Structure and overview
The College of Life Sciences offers a range of BSc degree programmes that emphasise different aspects of the life sciences: organisms and their environment (Biological Sciences), human health (Biomedical Sciences) and molecular structures and mechanisms.
Why study Life Sciences at Dundee?
As a place to study life sciences we achieve consistently high ratings, and the internationally-recognised research strengths of the College of Life Sciences are reflected in our research-led teaching and a wide range of research training opportunities for life sciences graduates.
Leading scientists are involved both in the planning and teaching of our courses, and we have up-to-date and well-equipped facilities for practical work.
Undertaking an Honours research project will provide you with an opportunity to experience work as part of a real research team.
What's so good about Life Sciences at Dundee?
An excellent reputation
Our research is rated 1st in Europe for biology and biochemistry, and 4th for molecular biology and genetics (By Thomson Scientific), and we are ranked 85th in the World's Top Universities for life sciences by the QS World University Rankings 2011.
Our excellent reputation also extends to the quality of our teaching. In the 2010 National Student Survey we were ranked No. 1 in the UK for student satisfaction in anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, with 100% of our students saying they were satisfied with the quality of their course. In biochemistry and biological sciences we were ranked No. 1 in Scotland.
Flexibility and choice
The curriculum is highly flexible and permits you to keep most degree options open until halfway through Level 2. Even at the end of Level 3 you may still have at least two degree options open to you. Rather than being committed to the degree for which you entered, you will be able to defer your final decision until you are in a position to choose in the light of experience.
Students also have opportunities on most of our degree programmes to take a subject outside the Life Sciences in the early years - e.g. Environmental Science, Geography, Psychology, IT, Mathematics or a foreign language.
Throughout the duration of your degree programme you will take modules specially designed to help you recognise and develop the skills needed for success in your studies and future employment.
The diagram below shows the various degree pathways that you can take. To read about this in further detail, please visit the 'teaching & assessment' section of this webpage.
Entry with Highers *
Core theory and practical modules + subjects from other Colleges e.g. Languages
Entry with Advanced Highers
or A Levels
Core Theory + Practical + Outside Subject
Choose from: Biomedical, Biomolecular or Biological modules + outside subject
Choose to specialise in the subjects that excite you in Biomedical Science or Biological Sciences
Bachelor of Science (Ordinary Degree) Biomedical Science or Biological Sciences
Opt to have a year in industry or study abroad
Research projects + specialist units on current research in Life Sciences
in specialist subject (see lists) or joint subjects e.g. BSc Hons Biomedical Sci BSc Hons Biological Sciences
Extended research projects Research seminars in your chosen area Research skills and planning
in a specialist subject
* Please note that we also offer a widening access programme in collaboration with Dundee & Angus College: BSc Life Sciences
Teaching & Assessment
Our courses are taught by staff based in the College of Life Sciences.
How you will be taught
We use a variety of teaching methods, with lectures and practicals forming the core. In addition, we use workshops, tutorials, computer-aided learning, and field excursions, as appropriate to each module.
What you will study
All life sciences degree programmes share common core modules in the early years that provide a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.
All our Honours degrees are also available as 3 year options for applicants who already have appropriate qualifications at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 7 - the equivalent of the A2 year of A-Levels or the Scottish Baccalaureate. To benefit from the best academic progression, applicants with these qualifications will be made offers for the 3 year Honours degree and will start the programme at SCQF 8 (Level 2). Once you have been accepted onto the course, your current knowledge base and skill set will be assessed, so that we can recommend appropriate modules for the first semester.
Typical degree programme
Levels 1 and 2
You will take courses covering the breadth of the biological and chemical sciences, as a core foundation for future studies. Our teaching emphasises practical skills, including labs, fieldwork and problem solving, set in the context of a core knowledge which covers the biological and chemical sciences from molecules to communities, via microbiology, cell biology, comparative physiology, biochemistry, genetics, population and community biology, all of which are a means to teach principles which apply across the subject.
In addition, you will be developing your problem solving abilities, and many transferable skills: researching scientific publications, making presentations and developing your analytical skills.
Both levels include the option for study of modules outside the College of Life Sciences, which we encourage. See our BSc degree structure and overview and our MA degree structure and overview to learn more about these additional modules.
For both three year and four year routes, our aim is to train you as a scientist by the end of SCQF 8 (Level 2), with an emphasis on core knowledge, practical experience and problem-solving skills to prepare you for the research-led specialist teaching in Levels 3 and above.
Level 3 (equivalent to SCQF 9) is based around two themes, the Biological Sciences and the Biomedical Sciences.
The Biological Sciences theme supports your development as a broader life scientist, and allows you to focus on current areas of research excellence in the College - many of these use the same principles and technologies to study different problems and, as the year progresses, you will be choosing which areas interest you more, and therefore which of several degree streams is best for you.
The Biomedical Sciences theme prepares you for degrees in subjects in which subject-specific knowledge has a stronger role, while still being within the research excellence of the University, and which are focussed more on the human condition:
- anatomical sciences
- forensic anthropology
- physiological sciences
- sports biomedicine
At the end of Level 3, you may leave with a non-Honours degree in Biological or Biomedical Sciences, an excellent foundation for many careers.
Between Levels 3 and 4, you have the opportunity to take a year out of Dundee, either studying abroad, or on a full-time work placement. Both of these can give you a 'real world' perspective on your studies, while further developing your CV.
Level 4 (equivalent to SCQF 10) continues the specialisation of Level 3, focussing strongly on your degree choice, and with a significant laboratory and skills element, through the Honours project and seminars and presentations. Because the Honours year is that much more challenging, entry to Level 4 from Level 3 requires a minimum grade average.
At the end of Level 4, you will either graduate with an Honours degree in a named single subject, or a more general Honours degree in Biological Sciences or Biomedical Sciences.
Specialisation in two subjects will be recognised in your degree title, for example BSc Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology and Physiological Sciences). The title of your degree will reflect the specialist subject(s) you have studied and the project undertaken.
Integrated Masters (Level 5)
We are currently developing the Level 5 curriculum, which will provide an opportunity for extensive development of your research and analytical skills in the subject area you feel most passionate about.
This level, the Integrated Masters, may consist of an extensive research project, coupled with in-depth analytical seminars and research training, which will prepare you for the world of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, both in and out of the academic world; or it may focus on the specialist knowledge in e.g. anatomical or forensic sciences, that will prepare you to be a practitioner on graduation.
If you want to do the Masters year, you will need to achieve high scores throughout your studies, as progression into this part of the course will be competitive.
Throughout your scientific studies you will be developing transferable skills.
At Levels 1 to 3 you will be taught transferable skills, either embedded within the core curriculum, or as part of the pastoral and academic tutorial system. Your degree programme will involve a combination of independent learning and team work, through which you will develop your skills in information processing, use of computers, problem-solving, experimental design, analysis and critical evaluation of scientific literature, report writing, making presentations, communication and time management. These are important elements of all of our degree programmes, and they will help to ensure that you have the skills to make you attractive to a wide range of employers.
How you will be assessed
All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures. Regular in-course assessments (e.g. practical reports, computer-based exercises, essays and data processing exercises) provide feedback on your progress and help you prepare for end-of-module examinations. On-line assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access via a PC on or off campus. Peer assessment operates in many team projects.
A degree from the College of Life Sciences offers excellent job prospects after graduation. The University has one of the highest graduate employment rates in the UK.
To find out more about career options, please visit the individual course webpages.
These are minimum indicative entry requirements, not a guaranteed entry level. You will get an individual offer from us following our review of your application. Please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.
Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.
Courses starting September 2014
Your application for entry will be judged based on the highest level qualifications you have or are taking, e.g. students offering A-Levels or Scottish Baccalaureate will be made an offer based on entry to the 3 year Honours degree as this offers the best academic progression.
4 year Honours degree (Level 1 / SCQF 7 entry)
|GCE A-Level||not available|
|IB Diploma||30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)|
|Essential Subjects||Biology and Chemistry (Higher, ILC Higher, IB Higher Level) plus
Mathematics and Chemistry (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2 at C, ILC Ordinary Level at C or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
|EU & International||Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country|
3 year Honours degree (Level 2 / SCQF 8 entry)
|SQA Advanced Higher||AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
|IB Diploma||34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)|
|Essential Subjects||Biology and Chemistry (AH or A-Level or IB Higher level) plus
Mathematics (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2 at C, GCSE at C, or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
|SQA||A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit with appropriate Science units (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HND with grade AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units (Level 2 entry)
|Scottish Baccalaureate||Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 (grade C) (Level 2 entry)|
|SWAP Access to Science Programmes||Relevant science subjects with AAA grades to include Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6 (Level 1 entry)|
|EDEXCEL||A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science modules (Level 2 entry)
|Advanced Diploma||Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE C (Level 2 entry)|
|Welsh Baccalaureate||Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C (Level 2 entry)|
70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry (level 1 entry)
|Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.|
English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.
Fees and Funding
There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.
The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.
- Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
- Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
- As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.
All applications must be made through UCAS
Institution Code: D65
|BSc Anatomical Sciences||
|BSc Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery||
|BSc Biological Sciences||
|BSc Biomedical Sciences||
|BSc Forensic Anthropology (different entry requirements)||
|BSc Molecular Biology||
|BSc Molecular Genetics||
|BSc Physiological Sciences||
|BSc Sports Biomedicine||
|Degree with a year in industry|
|BSc Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery||
UCAS Application Process
We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:
- Your Home Country - including information about qualifications from individual countries
- Fees and Funding
- English Language Requirements
- International Student Support
What skills, qualities and experience do I need?
Your personal statement should demonstrate an interest in the subject you are applying for and a commitment to the study of that subject. How did your interest in the subject arise, and do you have a particular career path in mind?
You should comment on your participation in both school/college/work and extracurricular activities and on the extent to which they have aided in your personal development and the acquisition of skills that will be of value to you as a life sciences student.
- Do you have an enquiring mind?
- Do you have good analytical skills and problem-solving ability?
- Are you self-motivated and able to work independently?
- Are you a good team player?
- Do you have good communication skills?
If you are planning a gap year, comment on the intended activity and the benefits that you think you are likely to gain from the experience.
Tips for your application
Give careful consideration to both the style and content of your personal statement as it can be an indicator of your ability to communicate as well as providing an account of your personal achievements and skills.
Advanced Entry Honours Degree
It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in 3 years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.
If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:
Home / EU applicants
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Telephone: 01382 384 029 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 029 (from outside the UK)
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Telephone: 01382 388 111 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 111 (from outside the UK)