What is Biological Sciences?

Biological Sciences is a branch of science that studies living organisms and their interactions with their surroundings. The field encompasses various subdisciplines, including genetics, microbiology, ecology, physiology, botany, and zoology. In the UK, universities offer undergraduate and graduate programmes in biological sciences, providing students with the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the living world.


A strong focus on research and innovation characterises the study of biological sciences in the UK. Students will learn the latest techniques and technologies used in the field and have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects alongside leading scientists and researchers. This gives students the skills and knowledge they need to pursue successful careers in academia, industry, or government.

Undergraduate programmes in biological sciences in the UK typically last for three or four years and cover a wide range of topics, such as cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in laboratory work, field trips, and research projects. Graduate programs, such as Master’s and PhD, allow international students to delve deeper into a specific area of interest and conduct independent research.

The UK is home to some of the world’s leading universities in biological sciences. These institutions offer excellent facilities, resources, and support for students, as well as opportunities for international collaborations and networking.

Students interested in gaining a deeper comprehension of the human world will find that the opportunity to study biological sciences in the UK is both stimulating and gratifying. Students will acquire the information and skills necessary to pursue successful professions in a wide variety of sectors if there is a strong emphasis placed on research and innovation in the learning environment.

Why study Biological Science in the UK?

Earning a degree in biological sciences allows you to investigate the workings of the living world while simultaneously broadening your skill set and opening the door to a variety of professional opportunities. 

Occupationally relevant skills:

  • Detailed topic knowledge paired with practical lab skills and expertise in field operations
  • You may possibly have earned experience during a placement with an industrial company.

Transferable skills:

  • Coordination and communication
  • Thinking that is both critical and analytical
  • IT skills and digital literacy
  • Organization presentations
  • Report creation
  • Study techniques for managing time.

Accreditation at the professional level:

  • The Royal Society of Biology has the authority to validate academic degrees.
  • Degrees can be paired with other certifications, such as those from the Royal Society of Chemistry or the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. 

Who studies biological science mostly in the UK?

  • Full-time students -84%
  • Part-time students – 16%
  • International students- 8%

During the 2014-2015 academic year, there were 176,760 students enrolled in this biological science in the UK. 68.5% of graduates went straight into the workforce after graduation.

Top graduate destination for international students in the UK

Health and social work- One of the areas where biological science plays a crucial role is in health and social work. In the UK, people with a background in biological sciences can work in several jobs related to health and social work.

One of the most popular career paths for individuals with a degree in biological sciences is in the field of medicine. Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and surgeons use their knowledge of biological sciences to diagnose and treat patients. 

A degree in biological sciences can also be a great start for a career in medical research, where scientists look for the causes of diseases and come up with new ways to treat them.

Education In the United Kingdom, pursuing a career in teaching in the field of biological sciences can be an experience that is both gratifying and enjoyable. You would be responsible for educating and motivating the future generation of scientists and researchers in the subject of biological sciences if you were to become a teacher of biological sciences.

Wholesale and retail trade- Biological Science graduates can take up various roles in wholesale and retail trade, such as product development, food safety and quality control, buying, and supply chain management. 

You can work with suppliers to ensure that products meet the necessary standards and help develop new products that meet customers’ needs. You can also work in quality control, ensuring that products are safe for consumption and meet industry standards.

Arts, entertainment and recreation- In the UK, there are a variety of roles that a Biological Sciences graduate can pursue within the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries. Some examples include:

Wildlife photographer: Wildlife photographers use their knowledge of biology and ecology to capture stunning images of animals and plants in their natural habitats. They may work for nature magazines, newspapers, or other media outlets, or they may be freelance photographers.

Science presenter: Science presenters use their knowledge of biology and other sciences to educate and entertain audiences. They may work for museums, science centres, or other institutions, or they may be freelance presenters.

Film and television consultant: Biological Sciences graduates with a passion for film, and television can use their knowledge to serve as consultants on projects with scientific themes or that require scientific accuracy.

Bioprospection: Bioprospection is exploring the natural world for new products and technologies. Professionals in bioprospecting can help find new products from plants, animals, and microorganisms.

Artistic biology: Some artists use biological materials or themes in their work, such as creating sculptures out of living organisms or creating art that reflects on the impact of human activity on the environment. Biological scientists with a creative streak can use their knowledge to help artists understand and work with these materials or themes.

Science Communicator: Science communication professionals explain scientific concepts and research to the general public, which can be done through writing, broadcasting, podcasting, or social media.

Examples of related careers include the following:

  • Research scientist
  • Biomedical scientist 
  • Forensic scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Healthcare scientists in clinical biochemistry, hematology, or immunology
  • Pharmacologist
  • Psychologist
  • Science lecturer
  • Science journalist
  • Sports therapist
  • Toxicologist
  • Zoologist

Overall, while most people associate a career in biological Sciences with research or academia, there are numerous opportunities in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries for those with a biological sciences background. With a strong foundation in the subject and an interest in the arts, entertainment, and recreation fields, a Biological Sciences graduate can find a fulfilling and unique career path.

Top universities for studying Biological Sciences in the UK

Newcastle University: Biological Sciences at Newcastle University in the UK offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of topics within the field of biology. The programme is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of biology and the skills needed to conduct independent research.

Bangor University: The graduate programme in biological sciences at Bangor University is a research-based programme designed to provide students with advanced training in the field. The programme offers MSc and PhD degrees, and students can work with a wide range of research groups within the School of Biological Sciences, including evolutionary biology, ecotoxicology, and conservation biology. Graduates from the programme have gone on to successful careers in academia, government agencies, and the private sector.

University of Aberdeen: Undergraduate students at the University of Aberdeen can choose from several degree programmes in the biological sciences, including a BSc in Biological Sciences, a BSc in Marine Biology, a BSc in Ecology and Conservation, and a BSc in Medical Microbiology. These programs give students a broad understanding of the various subdisciplines within the field, including genetics, microbiology, ecology, and evolution.

University of Portsmouth: Among the cutting-edge research facilities of the University of Portsmouth are the marine biology lab, genetics lab, and biotechnology lab. International students at these institutions have access to state-of-the-art labs where they can learn from and collaborate with some of the world’s foremost authorities in their fields.

The University of Portsmouth’s Biological Sciences programme places a heavy focus on hands-on learning and fieldwork. A marine field station is available to students in the BSc in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology so that they can conduct research and obtain practical experience with marine animals and ecosystems.

Coventry University: Coventry University in the UK offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in biological sciences. The undergraduate program includes a BSc in Biological Sciences, which covers various topics, including genetics, microbiology, ecology, and biochemistry. The program includes practical laboratory work and field trips, providing students with hands-on experience in various aspects of studying biology in the UK.

Available Biological Sciences courses in the UK

The following are some of the fields of study that are covered by academic programmes in institutions of higher education in the UK:

  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Sport and exercise science
  • Molecular biology, biophysics, and biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science
  • Psychology 

Entry requirements for Biological Science in the UK

Academic Qualification-

  • A levels– You will typically need at least two A levels, one of which must be in biology, and preferably chemistry as well, to enrol in a degree programme that is connected to biology. 
  • The entry criteria for schools and universities can range from CCC all the way up to AAA, although the most typical criterion is BBB. In addition to this, you will need to possess five GCSEs with grades ranging from A to C, including science, English, and mathematics.
  • BTECs: D*D*D*–MMM
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAA–CCCA for the Scottish Highers (Advanced Highers: AAB–AA)
  • International Baccalaureate: 39–26


  • Contact your local NHS trust, university, or biotechnology businesses or industrial labs to inquire about work experience or shadowing opportunities in a laboratory.
  • Participating in volunteer work with community organisations focused on conservation, such as assisting with field surveys
  • insights gained from participating in massive open online courses (MOOCs), online courses, podcasts, or watching movies on YouTube
  • Reading on your own, such as in books, scientific journals, or the science news on the BBC or the Guardian, or in research fields at the University of your choice. 
  • Summer programmes like Sutton Trust and UNIQ, as well as placements through In2scienceUK, are available to students who qualify.

Typically, universities will require that you have completed an Advanced Placement course (or its equivalent) in biology and occasionally chemistry as well.

What criteria will be used to assess your performance?

The following are some examples of the various ways in which courses are evaluated, depending on the module:

  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Work in the laboratory and literature reviews
  • Presentations (oral and poster)
  • A few quick tries
  • A research project is typically an option for the senior year.

How much salaries do graduates of Biological Sciences obtain?

Graduates with degrees in biological sciences might anticipate an initial income of between £17,000 and £23,000.

While you are earning your doctorate, you will be eligible for a stipend of approximately 15,600 pounds if you remain in the academic world and move into research (some organizations pay more). Postdoctoral researchers could receive a salary in the range of £30,000 to £40,000. A salary in the range of £53,000 to £60,000 is possible for senior research fellows or lecturers.

Or, you may make up to £39,000 per year as an experienced microbiologist working in the industry, with the possibility for even higher pay depending on the responsibilities you have.

Final Words

In conclusion, studying biological sciences in the UK offers many opportunities for international students looking to pursue a career in the field. With world-class universities and research institutions, cutting-edge facilities, and a diverse range of study options, the UK is an excellent destination for international students studying biological sciences at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The country’s strong academic reputation, combined with its vibrant culture and rich history, make it an ideal place to live and study. Additionally, studying biological sciences in the UK can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities, both in the UK and internationally. Overall, studying biological sciences in the UK is a great choice for students looking to gain a comprehensive education in this fascinating and rapidly-evolving field.

Is biological science a good degree in the UK?

Students with a degree in biological sciences will have several options for employment, especially in academics, businesses, and the field. Many students who major in biology go on to work in research labs or the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, providing them with a solid foundation for a future in medicine.

Is a biology degree worth it UK?

Graduates from a biology programme are competitive for any position that values data management or research abilities. Employers in fields other than science could also benefit from hiring in this area. Universities and medical research institutions are two examples of sectors that regularly hire recent college graduates for biology-related positions.

What is a biologist's salary in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, the annual salary for a biologist comes out to an average of £53,210.

How difficult are the biological sciences in the UK?

In most cases, majoring in biology does not require a significant amount of prior education or experience in the field, making it one of the more accessible scientific disciplines. When compared to the typical science course in other subjects, biology classes have a reputation for having a lower level of mathematical difficulty, which is something that both students and teachers appreciate.

How long is a biology degree UK?

A Bachelor of Science in Biology can be earned in either three or four years. If you decide to spend some time studying in another country, you will do so during the third year; nevertheless, the coursework for the third year will be completed during the fourth year.

Why study biological sciences in the UK?

Earning a degree in biological sciences allows you to investigate the workings of the living world while broadening your skill set and opening the door to various professional opportunities. Occupationally relevant skills: a comprehensive understanding of the topic, together with practical based skills and experience working in the field.

Is the UK good for biotechnology?

One of the most prominent places for businesses that are based on biotechnology is London. In the United Kingdom, there are over 2,500 businesses that are based on biotechnology. The educational experience is made more varied by the presence of universities.

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