If you want to study Life Sciences, our widening access entry may be right for you. The first year of this course is mainly taught at Dundee and Angus College.
Life Sciences at Dundee offers a range of options that emphasise different aspects of the life sciences; organisms and their environment, human health and molecular structures and mechanisms.
This exciting Widening Access Co-curriculum programme, run in collaboration with Dundee & Angus College, gives you the opportunity of securing a place at the University of Dundee if you currently fall short of our entry requirements but meet our Widening Access criteria.
Dundee & Angus College
The aim of the first year, taught primarily at Dundee & Angus College, is to provide you with a strong foundation in basic science, giving you the core knowledge and skills to continue in your Life Sciences studies. Key areas will be supplemented through sessions supplied by the School of Life Sciences which will be taught on the University campus.
You will matriculate as a University of Dundee student with full access to all the resources and facilities. On successful completion of first year you will transfer directly into year 2 of the Life Sciences programme at the University of Dundee.
Staff at both Dundee & Angus College and the University operate an open-door policy and students are encouraged to approach staff as and when they wish for help and support.
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 laboratory research project will provide you with an opportunity to experience work as part of a real research team.
An excellent reputation
Dundee is the top university in the UK for Biological Sciences according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), the national system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions over a 5-year period.
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. You will be able to defer your final decision until you are in a position to choose in the light of experience.
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.
Although you apply for a BSc in Life Sciences, you will have the opportunity to specialise in a particular area and graduate in a specialist subject.
The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.
Must meet our Scottish Widening Access (SIMD) criteria.
At least 2 SQA passes at Higher level, one of which should be Higher Biology or Chemistry with good grades in other relevant subjects at intermediate 2 level or Standard Grade. Work experience or other qualifications will be considered.
Scottish Widening Access (SIMD 40) Vacancies
The University of Dundee is fully committed to admitting students with the promise and potential to excel on our broad offering of academic, vocational and professional undergraduate degree programmes. As such, our contextualised admissions policy ensures that educational disadvantage is considered in each decision and appropriate adjustments are made. Our ultimate aim is to increase the opportunities available to candidates from backgrounds who traditionally may not consider Higher Education.
To aid us in this mission, we are currently offering a small number of Widening Access vacancies to candidates from the 40 % most multiply-deprived areas in Scotland (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation or SIMD40). These places have been made available from ring fenced funds provided by the Scottish Funding Council. Candidates eligible for these vacancies will also qualify for our academic access programmes, which can help to top up any academic shortfall and prepare candidates for the transitional challenges of entering an undergraduate degree programme. Read more about our Access programmes. Please contact us if you would like to discuss in more detail.
English Language Requirement
For non EU students
English Language Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
This course is taught collaboratively in the first year by the Dundee & Angus College Applied Sciences team and the University of Dundee Life Sciences team. Thereafter it is taught exclusively at the University of Dundee.
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.
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.
Progression to your chosen specialisation at level 3 will depend on your overall performance in each module.
What you will study
Typical Degree Programme
Levels 1 and 2
The first two years will provide you with a broad-based working knowledge and understanding of living organisms at all levels of organisation: from molecules and cells through tissues and organs to the organisms themselves and the ecosystems in which they live. In all cases, you will be encouraged to consider how evolution through natural selection has acted to shape the living and extinct organisms that you encounter in their studies.
Compulsory modules at Dundee & Angus College:
- Presentation Skills in Science
- Statistics for Science
- Information Technology Applications Software 1
- Fundamental Chemistry: Theory and Practice
- Cell Biology: Theory and Practice
- DNA Structure and Function Microbiology: Theory and Practice
- Quality and Health & Safety Systems in Science Industries
- Applied Sciences: Graded Unit 1
- Biochemistry: Theory and Practice
- Microbiology: Theory and Practice
Optional modules at Dundee & Angus College:
- Fundamental Chemistry: An Introduction
Optional modules at University of Dundee:
- Introduction to the Life Sciences: The Early Years
- Introduction to the Life Sciences: Why go multicellular?
- Life : Building the organism
- Life : The Underlying Structures
Compulsory modules at the University of Dundee:
- The Evolution of Modern Life
- The Gene and the Cell
- Laboratory and Research Skills 2A
- Laboratory and Research Skills 2B
- Biomedical Sciences
- Biological Sciences
- Laboratory and Research Skills 2C
Optional modules at University of Dundee:
- Introductory Anatomy
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.
- Molecular biology
- Molecular genetics
- Biological chemistry and drug discovery
- Drug discovery
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:
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.
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.
Integrated Masters (Level 5)
The Level 5 curriculum 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, consists 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.
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.
A degree in 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.
The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.
Fees for students starting 2019-20
|Fee category||Fees for students starting 2019-20|
|Scottish and EU students||Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.|
|Rest of UK students||This course is not open to Rest of UK students|
|Overseas students (non-EU)||This course is not open to overseas students|
Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.
You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.
Examples of additional costs:
|One off cost||Ongoing cost||Incidental cost|
|Graduation fee||Studio fee||Field trips|
*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.
- may be mandatory or optional expenses
- may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
- vary depending on your programme of study
- are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable
Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.
For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.
Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)
|Apply Now||Life Sciences (with Dundee & Angus College) BSc (Hons)||C102|