Skip to main content
“By creating we think, by living we learn” Patrick Geddes
Main University menu

Admissions Top-Level Menu

Undergraduate Menu

Life Sciences Building
Learn more about the teaching buildings

Physiological Sciences

BSc (Hons)

Have you ever wondered: what limits determine where humans and other animals can live? How are water, sugars and ions transported across cell membranes? What specific exercise training programmes ensure peak performance?

Physiology, the science of living systems, will help you to answer these questions and many more.

Why study Physiological Sciences at Dundee?

The School of Life Sciences consistently achieves high rankings for both its teaching and research, and our Physiological Sciences course was ranked No. 1 in Scotland by the Times Good University Guide 2012.

We are committed to delivering excellent physiology teaching and have been active in developing teaching software to help deliver both lecture and practical material.

What exactly is Physiology?

Physiology is about the functions of living organisms, such as the circulation and function of the heart, food and digestion and the energetics of muscle contraction. Its scope ranges from understanding events at the molecular level (e.g. how cells sense nutrients) to the integrative physiology of organs and systems and how they are regulated and adjust to change (e.g. in response to exercise and to environmental extremes such as the microgravity of space flight).

On a molecular level, understanding ion channel properties and what controls where and when they are placed in the body brings us closer to developing novel therapeutic strategies for pain control and the treatment of life threatening conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

Nutrient (glucose, amino acids and lactate) transport across membranes of tissues plays a key role in whole body fuel metabolism. Integrative physiology shows how whole body metabolism is regulated and how the body adapts to altered fuel intake and use, and how muscle can adapt to changes throughout life e.g. growth, ageing and functional alterations such as exercise.

Physiologists haved helped in the development of treatments such as cardiac pacemakers and artificial joints, which are of benefit to animals as well as humans.

What's so good about Physiological Sciences at Dundee?

Ruth Binns graduated in BSc (Hons) Anatomical & Physiological Sciences and is presently studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds. She says, "Physiology helps you answer those nagging questions about how we all work."

Flexible course pathways

Physiological Sciences is available as a single Honours degree programme and can also be combined with several other disciplines, in the Anatomical & Physiological Sciences degree, or combined with another subject e.g. pharmacology, in a Biomedical Sciences degree.

Degrees Available

  • BSc Physiological Sciences

The study of the Physiological Sciences can be combined with other life science disciplines in a more broadly-based Biomedical Sciences degree:

Teaching & Assessment

This course is 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

Typical Degree Programme

Levels 1 and 2

All Life Sciences degree programmes share common core modules at Level 1 that provide a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.

Please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpage for details of the common curriculum in Levels 1 and 2.

Level 3

At Level 3 you specialise much more in physiology, and you choose additional subjects that interest you to study alongside your main subject. You will study aspects of cellular and molecular physiology that currently cover:

  • membrane physiology
  • ion and nutrient transport
  • cell-cell communication
  • cell excitability and neurophysiology

The knowledge you gain from these topics will then be carried forward to demonstrate how function at the cell and molecular level is integrated into control of physiological systems (e.g. respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.) and the whole body.

Summer work placements

Many students take advantage of opportunities for summer work placements, normally between Levels 3 and 4, which are available as externally-funded competitive placements, or as voluntary laboratory work.

Level 4

Your studies at Level 4 will be at the level of current research in your chosen subject area.

Advanced study of topics in physiological sciences currently include:

  • membrane transport
  • lung development and function in health and disease
  • regulation of cardiac function
  • human reproduction
  • pain
  • modern techniques of human metabolic investigation
  • regulation of nutrient exchange
  • nutrient induced responses
  • regulation of fuel and oxygen utilisation
  • comparative animal physiology

Your studies will involve extensive use of scientific literature and the opportunity to attend a regular programme of seminars given by invited speakers from Britain and abroad.

  • Research project - several formats are available including laboratory-based research under the supervision of a leading scientist, computer modelling, multimedia teaching packages, literature and electronic database review.

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.

Careers

As a graduate in physiological sciences you will have an excellent grounding for a career in, or further training for, biomedicine and related fields including biochemistry, pharmacology and physiotherapy.

Many of you will contribute to a better understanding of the basis of human performance, taking higher degrees and then going on to careers in biomedical research.

You will also be welcomed into applied research and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Some of you will go on to teach in schools and universities. We also have a good record of postgraduate entry to medicine.

A broad spectrum of employment is available to graduates in any discipline and your training in communication and transferable skills will be recognised and valued by a wide range of employers.

Entry Requirements

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)

Qualification Grade
SQA Higher AABB
GCE A-Level not available
ILC Higher AABB
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)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
GCE A-Level AAB
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)

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
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)
European Baccalaureate

70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry (level 1 entry)
75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry (level 2 entry)

Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Courses starting September 2015

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)

Qualification Grade
SQA Higher AABB
GCE A-Level not available
ILC Higher AABB
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/National 5 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)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
GCE A-Level AAB
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/National 5 at C, GCSE at C, or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
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)
European Baccalaureate

70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry (level 1 entry)
75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry (level 2 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.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category Fees for students starting September 2014
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Students from the rest of the UK £9,000 per year for each year of the degree.
You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
EU students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Overseas students (non-EU) £14,500 per year of study.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Fee category Scholarships & Bursaries applicable
Scottish students
Students from the rest of the UK
EU students
Overseas students (non-EU)

Living Costs

  • 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.

Your Application

All applications must be made through UCAS

UCAS Codes

Institution Code: D65

Degree UCAS Codes KIS data
BSc Physiological Sciences B100 View KIS data for this course

UCAS Application Process


International Applicants

We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:

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.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Home / EU applicants

Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 384370/ 388074/ 388585 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384370/ 388074/ 388585 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us

International applicants

International Office
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388 111 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 111 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us