Biological Sciences with Professional Studies (BSc Hons) C104

BSc Honours

Biological Sciences with Professional Studies


Apply now

Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Medicine, Health and Life Sciences



Professional Year Out





Biological Sciences

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


Biological Sciences encompasses many aspects of the biosciences, from molecules to ecosystems and includes exploration of:

  • Biological diversity, systematics and conservation
  • Cell and tissue structure, function and physiology
  • Ecology and behaviour
  • Form and function of microorganisms, protists, fungi, plants and animals
  • Genetics and mechanisms and pathways of evolution

Why Queen's?

Work Placement: students have the option of choosing a 16-week (3-yr degree) or year-long work placement (4-yr degree). In previous years, students have gained placements with organisations such as Almac Pharma Services, Norbrook Laboratories, Warner Chilcott, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Belfast Zoo, the National Trust, Atlantic Whale Foundation, and the RSPB. In addition, students can avail of opportunities to undertake short summer placements abroad through programmes such as IAESTE, Operation Wallacea, and Frontier.


Course Content (including module information)



  • Molecular Basis of Life
  • The World of Microorganisms
  • Biodiversity
  • Cell Biology 2

This module combination provides students with a core basis for further study in biological sciences. 

All modules are compulsory and will give our students the skills and understanding to approach the Year 2 modules with confidence. 

This module combination provides students, who may be undecided as to their final specialist degree area, with considerable flexibility as they enter Stage 2; at this stage students enrolled in the Biological Sciences can move into a specialist biological degree option (Environmental Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology), or vice versa.



  • Animal Biology and Physiology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Microbes in Action

In addition to subject knowledge, modules aim to develop skills in critical, independent thought and management and decision-making. Year 2 modules include applied topics which will allow students the opportunity to consider progression into a range of honours degree courses.

This stage gives students a good choice of module combinations and ensures that the student retains a breadth of study of living organisms at a number of different levels of organisation.

The modules introduce a wide range of up-to-date biological techniques including genetic manipulation, electron microscopy, physiological studies of living organisms and modern approaches to ecology and evolution.



Students completing the BSc Biological Sciences with Professional Studies will complete a 46 week, year out work placement. The school of Biological Sciences have a dedicated careers advisor who can assist students in getting a relevant work placement, specific to their area of interest. 



  • Research Project
  • Parasitology and Zoonoses
  • Plant Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
  • Conservation Biology
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Immunology and Virology

During the final year, students in Biological Sciences take a two-module research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. The research project generally involves practical work carried out in the field and/or laboratory. The research project is carried out under the supervision of one or more members of the academic staff and generally involves practical work carried out in the field and/or laboratory including at Queen's University Marine Laboratory.

Stage 4 students will also select four taught modules from those listed above. Four taught modules are chosen so that module combinations either embrace a relatively broad range of these areas or permit a degree of specialisation within the subject.

In addition to subject knowledge, modules aim to develop skills in critical, independent thought and management and decision-making.


Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module.  Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module (BBC3025)] are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction, and is available on our School website (

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.

On the BSc in Biological Sciences we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society.  Students can make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.  Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Practical Classes:  where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.  All modules at Levels 1 and 2 have a practical element.  Practical classes reinforce the teaching received in lectures and facilitate the acquisition of skills that are greatly valued by employers.
  • E-Learning technologies:  Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning tools are also embedded in the degree through, for example: online exercises and assessments, interactive web-based learning activities.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Work placements:  Students taking Biological Sciences may undertake an optional 16- week work-placement in the summer between Level 2 and Level 3.  The work placement is assessed as a second year module and contributes towards your final degree mark.  Students may transfer to Biological Sciences with Professional Studies if they wish to undertake a year-long (46 week) placement.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
  • Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Industrial Visits:  As part of several modules, including Environmental Biology (EVB1004), Applied Ecology (BBC2025), Marine Ecology (BBC2026) and Marine Zoology (BBC3041), students are taken on field trips (up to one week in duration).  During this time, students will be trained in subject-specific practical skills as well as the more generic ones associated with experimental design, statistical analysis, data interpretation and good laboratory/field practice.  Students will be expected to undertake a number of group-based tasks and present their findings to classmates and a panel of lecturers.
  • Research (Honours) projects:  In final year, you will undertake a laboratory- or field-based project under the supervision of an academic member of staff.  The research that you undertake will be novel and will address an important biological question.  Your supervisor will guide you in carrying out this research.  Feedback will be provided on draft write-ups.  This project will count for 20% of your final degree mark.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. 

Entry Requirements


In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.


Entrance Requirements


  • BBB including Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C


  • BBB including Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C


  • ABB including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Note: it would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.


Irish Leaving Certificate:

  • H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics 


  • H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology + O4 in Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then grade O4 in Mathematics.

Note: it would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.


International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.


For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English


How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

A degree in biosciences opens the door to a wide range of careers.

Our graduates are employed in organisations working within environmental monitoring and management, water quality management, animal welfare, academic research, the agri-food industries, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, teaching and education, and science communication.

These employment areas have always been important, but have now become increasingly so due to worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss and global health issues.

Alternatively, the transferable skills you will obtain during completion of a biosciences degree will place you in excellent standing for specific graduate programmes to enter professions such as accountancy, management or journalism. Many of our graduates undertake the postgraduate teacher training programme (PGCE) for entry into the teaching profession.

Completion of the final year research project inspires many of our graduates to progress to postgraduate study, eg Master's (MSc) or Doctorate (PhD), with the goal of pursuing a career as a research scientist or academic.

For further study options, please see the School website.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Talk to us

Get in touch

Visit Queen's

Learn More

Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road

Visit Website

Get Directions


Money matters

Fees, scholarships and bursaries

Finances at university


Open Days and tours

Welcome to our beautiful campus

Meet Us


Choose Queen's

Choose a world-class university

Why us?

Discover more

Belfast Landscape


Researchers from Queen’s Awarded ESRC grants to Explore the Impact of Brexit in NI

13/04/2017 - Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have been awarded Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Brexit Priority Grants, for research into the impact and consequences of Brexit in Northern Ireland.