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
The MSi Biological Sciences enables students to gain an understanding of structure, function, and interactions of microorganisms, protists, fungi, plants and animals. Concepts and theories from the molecular and cellular levels through to whole-organism and ecosystems are also taught.
Students will gain practical laboratory skills to help them investigate and manipulate biological material including relevant physical, chemical and biological measurements and their application in a laboratory and research project setting.
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 intellectual, personal and team skills for employment and further study.
Importantly, students studying the MSci Biological Sciences will learn Masters level research skills and the application of their degree in a work place environment.
Biological Sciences Degree highlights
Biological Science graduates are employed in areas which 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
- The Society for Biology provides career advice and support for undergraduate Biological Sciences students, and professional recognition for graduate biologists through externally recognised awards commissioned by the Science Council.
- Embedded work placements on these degree programmes provide students with the opportunity to utilise the practical 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 students experience and assists them in pursuing a career in academia or in research.
“The science courses offered by Queen’s are of a really high quality and the fact that this course offers a year out placement, is extremely beneficial to my future career.“
Tiffany McConnell, Biological Sciences with Professional Studies
Biological Sciences graduates tackle worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss and global health issues. Students on this programme can choose to complete an optional work placement to develop the core skills and employment related experiences valued by employers.
Molecular Basis of Life
The World of Microorganisms
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.
Cell Biology 2
Plant Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
Molecular Genetics 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 compliment the theory, providing students with a solid foundation on which to build upon for stage 3.
• Biological Sciences students can complete a 16 week degree-related work placement
• Biological Sciences with Professional Studies students will complete a one year, degree related work placement
Immunology and Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases
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.
• Research Project
*Students carry out a full-time research project under the supervision of academic staff based in the School. There are no taught modules or examinations in this year, thereby allowing students to concentrate fully on their research projects.
People teaching you
Dr Angela Mousley
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
12 (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
28 (hours maximum)
For private study and writing assignments each week
Learning and Teaching
During the MSci 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 you 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 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] 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 you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:
formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.
A level requirements
AAB 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
AAB including Double Award Applied Science or Double Award Life & Health Sciences + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
AAA including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.
It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 and H3 in any order 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
H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Biology + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics.
It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.
MSci applicants will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc if they are not eligible for entry to the MSci, both at initial offermaking stage and when results are received.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes 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, which is considered by the Selector for the School of Biological Sciences along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. 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 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 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, such as the International Baccalaureate or Irish Leaving Certificate, will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.
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.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a 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 (email@example.com), 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)
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.
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.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,160|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,160|
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 and an E-Book at a cost of £25 and a dissection kit at a cost of £20. The following optional 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 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/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2019 from 1 September 2018.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).
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.
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 for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
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 2019.
- 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.
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