Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

Register your interest to be notified when bookings open. Register your interest

UCAS code
C719
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc

Focus on the molecular and cellular aspects of life sciences and join biological scientists striving to solve major global challenges such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, ageing, antibiotic resistance and sustainable food production.

Biological Sciences is a flexible and interdisciplinary degree, which enables you to build a broad knowledge in your first year, with opportunities to tailor your studies and specialise in pathways such as Molecular Medicine; Infection and Disease; or Genome Biology and Disease in subsequent years.

Leeds is home to many world-leading researchers in biological sciences. You’ll be taught the latest techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy and gene editing which are rapidly increasing our understanding of living organisms.

This integrated Masters (MBiol) gives you an additional year of specialist training, to study advanced research topics and undertake your own extended research project. You may also choose to apply for our 3 year BSc and transfer to an MBiol up until the end of your second year, subject to suitable academic performance.

Course highlights

  • Choose one of the following three pathways to specialise in after your first year: molecular medicine, infection and disease or genome biology and disease.
  • A wide choice of research-led advanced topic lectures in your final year cover specialist topics in cell and molecular biology, exposing you to the latest techniques and cutting edge research.
  • Weekly research-focused practical classes will provide extensive hands-on experience in the laboratory, with the option to experience working in a research lab in your final year.
  • Development of a range of transferable skills such as data analysis, interpretation and critical appraisal which will equip you for a wide range of career options when you graduate.
  • One year of additional specialist training culminating in an extended research project.

Flexible degrees

Biological Sciences is a broad-based degree within the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology which offers you flexibility throughout your time studying at Leeds.

All our School of Molecular and Cellular Biology degree courses share the same set of compulsory modules in the first year. A key benefit of having a common first year is that at the end of year 1, there are opportunities to transfer onto degree courses in Biotechnology and Enterprise, Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, subject to approval. Additional degree courses may be available depending on your academic background.

Wellbeing afternoons

Here at the University of Leeds, we are acutely aware that teaching is only part of a healthy, engaging university lifestyle. Activities which contribute to your wellbeing are vital, and so we have created Wednesday Wellbeing Afternoons.

These afternoons are a period of time with as much teaching as possible removed to give you the chance to pursue your passions. This may be a competitive sport for the university, a social sporting activity, or indeed any activity which contributes to positive mental health. We want your degree to be as flexible as possible so that you can make the most of your time here with us.

Biological science or biology?

Unsure of the difference between biological sciences and biology?

Accreditation

Accredited by The Royal Society of Biology

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

This accreditation is applicable to the following course variants: BSc Biological Sciences (Industrial); MBiol Biological Sciences; MBiol Biological Sciences (Industrial); MBiol Biological Sciences (International).

Course details

Year 1

You will be introduced to cell biology, human physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics and immunology.

This will provide you with a broad understanding of life at the molecular and cellular level. You can select from a range of optional modules.

You’ll develop your laboratory techniques studying microorganisms (microscopy, sterile technique) and cellular components such as proteins and DNA (PCR, electrophoresis). This will include experience in experimental design.

Practical classes feature short projects, linked to core lecture material. In tutorials, you’ll develop your ability to analyse, interpret and present data, using scientific information to solve problems and create written and oral presentation. You will also receive guidance to start thinking about your future career.

At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.

Year 2

You will build upon your year one core modules, but with a focus on advanced topics. This includes genetic engineering, genomics and how diseases disrupt cellular structure and function.

Choose to focus your studies in one of three areas of interest over the remaining years of the course:

Molecular medicine – concentrates on drugs used to treat cancer and infectious diseases, and how these work at the molecular level.

Infection and disease – focus on virology, immunology, bacteriology and parasitology to understand current and emerging infections.

Genome biology and disease – includes bioinformatics, human genetics and reproductive medical science, aiming to understand the role played by genes in human health.

Complete research-focused practical lab projects, involving cloning and gene expression in addition to studying the effects of growth factors on cell division.

Tutorials with specialist tutors will help you develop a myriad of skills: experimental design, research ethics, data analysis and interpretation, and reviewing current research literature. You’ll also receive support for your career planning.

At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.

Year 3

You will undertake a practical project that introduces you to increasingly sophisticated techniques and provides the opportunity to become familiar with the cutting-edge research facilities available at Leeds, including bio-imaging and flow cytometry facility, protein production facility, biomolecular interaction facility, and nuclear magnetic resonance facility. You will also conduct a literature review of your proposed extended final-year research project, with the support of your supervisor. Alongside this, you will select the advanced topic BSc modules and study skill BSc modules aligned with your choice of theme.

Year 4

Spend approximately 6 months working on your extended research project in your supervisor’s laboratory. As you are fully integrated into a research group, you will contribute to internationally competitive research which can result in the first publication of your career. MBiol projects are varied: from molecular characterization of chancer associated signalling pathways and investigation of bacterial outer membrane protein folding, to identification and development of new biopharmaceuticals. You will gain experience in a range of advanced techniques such as CRISPR, advanced DNA/RNA sequencing techniques, structural biology, bioinformatics and many more, depending on the project. Alongside you will study a skills module designed to prepare you for a career as a professional scientist.

Course Explanation:

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biological Sciences BSc in the course catalogue

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Introductory Skills for Biological Sciences 40
Introduction to Genetics 10
A Short Introduction to Systems Physiology 10
The Basis of Life 20
Introduction to Microbiology 10
The Microbial World 10
Introduction to Immunology 10

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Applied Biology and Agriculture 10
Biology of the Mind 10
Introduction to Pharmacology 10
Human Endocrinology 10

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Genes and Genomes 20
Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling 10
Human Diseases 10
Intermediate Skills for Biological Sciences 40
Cell Biology of Disease 10

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Human Populations 10
Introduction to Bioinformatics 10
Parasitology 10
Human Genetics 10
Neurotransmitters and Disease 10
Molecular Pharmacology 10
Chemotherapy 10
Molecular Virology 10
Medical Bacteriology 10
Medical Immunology 10
Medical Virology 10

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Advanced Skills in the Biosciences 20
Research Tools and Applications 20
Extended Research Project Preparation 20

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Advanced Topics for Biological Sciences 1 20
Advanced Topics for Biological Sciences 2 20
Advanced Topics for Biological Sciences 3 20
Cancer Biology 20
Advanced Topics in Human Genetics 20
Reproductive Medical Science 20

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Extended Research Project 90
Specialised Research Topics and Skills 30

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.

Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures, lab practicals, and private study, supported by online resources.

A typical week in your first year includes eight to nine hours of lectures, six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.

Independent study and research are crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers comprehensive training.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

Including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.

We accept the following:

  • Science: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.

  • Science-related: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, statistics.

Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

When an applicant is taking any of the following:

  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

  • Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ)

  • Core Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)

  • AS Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)

  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

It will be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be a 1 grade drop from the standard offer. For example an A in one of the above qualifications with AAB at A-level (MBiol applicants).

GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English. The Faculty of Biological Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Alternative qualification

Cambridge Pre-U

BSc: D3/D3/M1 including D3 in biology or chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject. Global Perspectives excluded.

MBiol: D3/D3/D3 Including biology or chemistry plus another science or science-related subject. Global Perspectives excluded.

When an applicant is taking Global Perspectives this can be considered alongside Pre-U subjects and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. This would be D3/M1/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (BSc applicants) or D3/D3/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (MBiol applicants)

International Baccalaureate

BSc: 6,6,5 at higher level including Biology or Chemistry and another science subject.

MBiol: 6,6,6 at higher level including Biology or Chemistry and another science subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

BSc: H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 in biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

MBiol: H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BSc: Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AB in 2 Advanced Highers including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.

MBiol: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.

We accept the following:

  • Science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.

  • Science-related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer

Specific A Level subjects required – see entry requirement section above.

GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

Access to Leeds: Pass

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We welcome applications from mature students. We welcome applications from mature students from all backgrounds onto both full-time and part-time programmes.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions guidance

Visit our admissions guidance page for more information about applying to undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Application process

The Faculty of Biological Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed by UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Biological Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre, who will advise the applicant further.

Interviews

Except for those courses detailed below, interviews do not form part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences’ standard admissions process however, in some cases, an applicant may be invited for an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Email: fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.

Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the faculty student opportunity team, Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.

Our graduates have, for many years, experienced high employment rates and a significant proportion quickly gain employment upon graduation. With the expansion of the biosciences comes the generation of new and varied career opportunities.

Typical graduate careers include:

  • Academic research
  • Research bioscientist
  • Postgraduate study
  • Graduate medicine/dentistry
  • Science communication
  • Teaching

Examples of recent graduate destinations include:

  • Research & Development Scientist
  • Research Technician
  • Junior Account Executive
  • Corporate audit
  • MSc Physician Associate studies
  • PhD Regenerative medicine
  • Medicine

Careers support

We have a dedicated student opportunity team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.

We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual student-alumni networking event, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Covance, GSK, Nuffield NHS Ecological consultancies, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of your course studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Industrial placements are taken after your second year. This will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, the staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and recruitment process and provide details of organisations.

Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.

Combined study and working abroad

Our new module allows you to combine both a study abroad and industrial work placement into one additional year of study. Over the year you will study for a semester at one of our partner universities and complete an industrial work placement for 6 months abroad or in the UK.

Find out more about Combined study and work abroad.

Alumni profile: Adam Wilson

My degree highlights were doing two summer schools in South Korea and Hong Kong; working for a global company on my placement year, and conducting my own research with my integrated masters.
Find out more about Adam Wilson's time at Leeds