Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Biological Sciences

Why choose Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked in the UK's top 5 universities and the world's top 25 universities for Biological Sciences in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.

  • Our programmes are flexible. Teaching in the early years will give you a solid grounding in fundamental topics. You will specialise in an area of biological sciences that interests you in Year 3 and complete an independent research project in your final year.

  • You will learn in state-of-the-art laboratories, interactive computing studio facilities, and collaborative lecture theatres, ensuring a dynamic and immersive study experience.

Study abroad

Introducing Biological Sciences

Biology is the study of life and embraces many different areas of biological and biomedical interest. It reveals core scientific knowledge of how cells and organisms function. Its applications support the latest technological and scientific advances.

Studies range across topics such as:

  • cellular and molecular structure
  • modern genetics - how genes work, how they are regulated, and the effect they have
  • the development and behaviour of microorganisms, plants and animals
  • plant and animal evolution
  • environmental interactions and impacts.

Our teaching emphasises a skills based, research driven curriculum. As a result, not only will you learn key concepts, you will be doing it in an investigative way, collaboratively asking and, as you learn more, answering your own questions.

You will be taught in an internationally respected research environment, with access to modern facilities. You will also be directly involved in research projects.


The School of Biological Sciences offers 12 honours programmes, which cover the whole range of biology. You can see the full list at the bottom of this page.

We offer a flexible learning experience, where you can tailor your programme to your preferred career path.

Regardless of what you apply for, all our students complete the same core courses in Years 1 and 2, covering all 12 specialised subjects we offer. You will not need to choose your area of focus in biological sciences until the end of Year 2. This allows you to explore a range of courses before committing to your final subject specialisation.

If you study the MBiol Biological Sciences or Biological Sciences with Management programmes, a specific specialisation is not required, but you will be encouraged to align your studies with one of the areas of biological science.


You will have opportunities for work experience, both in the UK and abroad, during holiday periods. You can arrange this yourself, or with help from the University's Careers Service.

As part of the MBiol programme, you will have the opportunity to take an academic year-long research placement with one of our industrial partners or at a university in the UK or abroad during your 5th year.