Biological Sciences

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 4.16 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 13.4 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
200 place StudyQA ranking:1267 Duration:36 months You need IELTS certificate


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.


Studying for a Biological Sciences at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Biological Sciences.

A degree in Biological Sciences opens the door to a wide range of careers. Completion of the final year research project inspires many of our graduates to continue into the higher degree programmes of Master of Science (MSc) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), with the goal of pursuing a career as a research scientist or academic. There are also numerous opportunities for graduates in both the commercial and public sector, with many securing jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, government departments, environmental agencies and charities. Many of our graduates enter postgraduate teacher training programmes (PGCE) for entry into the teaching profession. 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. Indeed, although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the life sciences, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors including agricultural and medical laboratory work, forensic science, nature conservation, journalism, commercial life, Civil Service and accountancy.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15 Tuition fee
  • EUR 4160 Year (EEA)
  • EUR 13380 Year (Non-EEA)

England, Scotland and Wales £9,000; EU £3,575; International: £11,500

Start date September 2015 Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Stage 1

Biological Diversity
Environmental Biology
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Introductory Skills for Biosciences
and normally Biochemistry

This module combination provides students, undecided as to their final specialist degree area, with considerable flexibility at later stages. Students enrolled in the Biological Sciences degree pathway can move into a specialist biological degree option (Environmental Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology), or vice versa, on entry to Stage 2

Stage 2

This pathway 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.

Stage 3

During the final year, students in Biological Sciences take a two-module research project in one of the following subject areas:

• Biochemistry
• Environmental Biology
• Genetics
• Marine Ecology
• Microbiology
• Molecular Biology
• Zoology

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. 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.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band : 6.5

To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

take an IELTS test. More About IELTS


  • A-level BBB including Biology or Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Chemistry or Double Award Science + GCSE Mathematics.
    Note: It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate B2B2B2B2CC/B2B2B2B2B2 including Higher Level grade B2 in Biology + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade C in Chemistry and Mathematics.Note: It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than Queen's University Belfast.


The most generally appropriate professional body for graduate biologists is the Society of Biology.

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