Biological Sciences encompasses many aspects of the biosciences, from molecular biology through to whole organisms and 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
Students will gain core technical skills and subject specific practical laboratory- / field-based skills to help them investigate and manipulate biological material including relevant physical, chemical and biological measurements and their application in a laboratory, field, and research project setting. During the final year project students will have access to cutting-edge research facilities across the molecular and ecological disciplines. Additional skills achieved include: Collation, quantitative analysis and interpretation of experimental data, including problem-solving; communication and application of knowledge; the use of computers for data management and presentations, and the development of intellectual, personal and team skills for employment and further study.
Biological Sciences Degree highlights
Biological Science graduates are employed in sectors which are addressing worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, and global health issues.
- Royal Society of Biology Accreditation
This course has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. This highlights the academic quality of the course and recognises the course in enabling graduates to meet the needs of the employer through development of technical and transferable skills.
- Embedded optional work placements (16 week) provide students with the opportunity to utilise the practical, transferable and professional skills gained during the teaching of their degree and apply these in a work environment. 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.
- Final year research projects allow students to gain considerable research experience in one of the research laboratories at Queen’s University Belfast. Working alongside world-leading researchers enriches the student experience and assists them in pursuing a career in academia or in research.
"As I very much enjoyed biology at secondary school it was a logical transition to choose Biological Sciences at QUB. I find the course content most interesting as it is relevant to scenarios which occur in everyday life. Following completion of this degree I hope to enter the field of research, in which my knowledge of biological sciences will enable me to support the agricultural industry, an area close to my heart. If you work hard and remain focussed, the potential opportunities are endless!"
Samuel Hawe, 3rd year Biological Sciences student
- Royal Society of Biology Accreditation
Introduction Biological Sciences graduates tackle worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, and global health issues. Students on this programme will complete a set of core compulsory modules at stages 1 and 2, and will select from a range of optional modules at stages 2 and 3. All students will undertake a compulsory Research Project modules at stage 3 which can be lab- or field-based. Students will also have opportunity to undertake a 16-week work placement to develop the core skills and employment related experiences valued by employers. Stage 1 •Molecular Basis of Life
•The World of Microorganisms
At this stage students enrolled in the Biological Sciences can move into a specialist degree option (Marine Biology, Zoology, Microbiology) or remain enrolled on the Biological Sciences pathway to retain breadth in subject teaching.
Stage 2 Core Modules
•Cell Biology 2
•Plant Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
•Forensics and Toxicology
•Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics
•Coastal and Oceanic Biology
•Animal Biology and Physiology
•Microorganisms in Action
Throughout stages 1 and 2 practical classes in Biological Sciences reinforce and complement theory in the biosciences, providing students with a solid foundation on which to build upon for stage 3.
Biological Sciences students have the option to complete a 16 week degree-related work placement which takes place over the summer period between stages 2 and 3.
Stage 3 Core Modules
•Immunology and Immunotherapy
•Microbiome: Biotechnological Applications and ‘Omic Manipulations
•Global Change Biology
*During stage 3, 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.
People teaching youDr Angela Mousley
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 15 (hours maximum)
Typically around 9 hours teaching [3 hours for each module studied – see later information on course content] and 3 hours practical every two weeks for each module.
Personal Study 28 (hours maximum)
For private study and writing assignments each week.
Learning and Teaching
DDuring the BSc Biological Sciences, the school provides a range of learning experiences to enable students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip for life and work. 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:
E-Learning technologies, lectures, personal tutor, practical classes, research projects, self-directed study, work placement, and Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Industrial Visits.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of academic year examinations. Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module] are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Details of how each module is assessed are outlined in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction, and is available on our School website (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofBiologicalSciences/).
As students progress through the course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including Lecturers, Module Coordinators, Placement Supervisors, Personal Tutors, Advisors of Study and through their peers.
- Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for programmes in the School of Biological Sciences must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected and all subject requirements must be met.
Applicants offering other qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE (or equivalent) profile is usually expected of those applicants offering other qualifications.
For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, there may be the possibility of advanced entry to Stage 2 depending on relevance of the HND and first year results (at least half of the first year units must be at Merit grade). Where offers are made for entry to Stage 2 students would be required to achieve 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in final year. Those not eligible for entry to Stage 2 would be considered for entry to Stage 1 provided at least one first year unit is at Merit grade. Students would be required to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year.
For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Biological Sciences, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: 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.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Employment after the Course
A degree in biosciences opens the door to a wide range of careers. Our graduates are employed in organisations working within research and development, 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. Employment in these areas is critical to address global problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, antibiotic resistance, and global health issues.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,530 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,530 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £21,400 International £21,400
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Biological Sciences costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10, a dissection kit at a cost of £20 and may wish to buy an E book at a cost of £25.
The following modules have a compulsory field trip:
Year 1 Biological Diversity Module has a field trip costing £80.
Year 2 Applied Ecology Module has a field trip costing £125.
Year 2 Marine Ecology Module has a field trip costing £90.
All students may apply to go on a School Workplace Tour at a cost of £100.
How do I fund my study?
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.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2022 from 1 September 2021.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2022 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2022) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2022. If you apply for 2022 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2022.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS