- Tailor your programme to your interests, potentially culminating in a named specialism. These include Animal Biology, Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Optional residential field courses in the UK and abroad
- The opportunity to apply your skills in practical settings throughout your studies provides a variety of employment and further study opportunities after you graduate
- Our four-year programme includes completion of a research-focused MSci
8th for Biological Sciences
The Guardian University Guide 2021
92% of Biosciences students agreed they were satisfied with the quality of their course
National Student Survey 2019
Taught by scientists from the fields of genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and organic, inorganic and physical chemistry
Our teaching laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for observational, experimental and numerical aspects of biosciences and our facilities
|Qualification||Required grades||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAA||A in Biology and A in another science subject*|
|IB||36/666||HL 6 in Biology and HL 6 in another science subject*|
|BTEC||DDD||Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma are also required to achieve A-levels at grade A in Biology and A in another science subject*|
|GCSE||C or 4, B or 5 and C or 4||Grade C or 4 in English Language, Grade B or 5 in Mathematics and Grade C or 4 in Double Award Science or Chemistry|
Specific requirements must still be achieved, therefore where a grade A is required, offers will be ABC or ACC. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
*Accepted science subjects: Biology/Human Biology^; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Life and Health Sciences (Double Award only), Marine Science; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths^; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Sport Science; Statistics.
^If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one 'science' but could count as two A-levels towards our general requirements.
The four-year MSci Biological Sciences programme mirrors the BSc Biological Sciences programme during the first three years, but also includes an additional fourth year to undertake a research project.
This flexible degree programme, gives you the option to design either a broad-based biology degree or a more focused degree specialising in areas of biology which interest you. There is the opportunity to follow one of three specialisms – animal biology, microbiology and infectious disease or molecular and cellular biology – and graduate with your chosen specialism named in your degree title, eg, MSci Biological Sciences (Animal Biology).
After a foundation first year, which covers the range of biology from molecules to ecosystems, you have freedom of module choice in second and third year. Options range from forensic science to the ecology of environmental change; from mammalian biology to medical biotechnology; from human molecular biology to a coral reef field course.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
You will be introduced to modern techniques associated with biology research and their application within a range of fields from biotechnology industries to biodiversity and conservation. Modules cover animals, cells, biochemistry, ecology, genetics, microbiology and plants.
There is only one compulsory module in the second year (Research Skills and Bioethics) and this forms a foundation for the work of the final year research project. Optional modules span a wide range of biology, including field courses in the UK and abroad*, and subjects including medical and general microbiology, forensic science, human and molecular biology.
*Field course locations are subject to change
You will take modules that will provide you with the opportunity to focus on an area of biology that particularly interests you. You will also undertake an independent research project, which may be field-based and/or laboratory-based and is centred on the cutting-edge research of leading bioscientists.
You will undertake a research project focused on a specialised area aligned to one of our leading research groups. You will also undertake advanced modules in this final year.
Tuition fees for 2021 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £23,800 per year
Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs. When participating in field courses, you will be required to cover any visa costs and, if necessary, purchase anti-malarial medication and relevant immunisations.
You will also need to provide your own specialist personal equipment appropriate to the field course destination, e.g. walking boots, rucksack, mosquito net, sleeping bag, binoculars. You may incur additional costs dependent upon the specific demands of the research project chosen.
The University of Exeter is offering scholarships to the value of over £4 million for students starting with us in September 2021. Details of scholarships, including our Global Excellence scholarships for international fee paying students, can be found on our dedicated funding page.
In the second year, if you are interested in ecology you can attend one of our optional ecology field courses in the Bahamas.
Run on the beautiful desert island of San Salvador, the field course presents a fantastic opportunity to study ecology in a unique and exciting environment. The island is surrounded by coral reefs – many in excellent condition – and other associated habitats. During eight days in the field, you will have the opportunity to snorkel patch reefs, a reef crest, a drop-off, sea-grass beds and mangroves.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
- Laboratory sessions
- Independent study
Over the course of your degree, you will participate in a mix of larger lectures to smaller, focused sessions based around the latest research topics. In the teaching laboratory you will develop the necessary skills to become a professional biologist; you will then put these to use while undertaking your independent research project. We encourage students to publish their results in the scientific literature and make a real contribution to the fields of Biosciences.
We frequently introduce new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
Learn from experts
We believe every student benefits from being part of a research-led culture and being taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and be an active member of a research team. Our academics bring their results from the laboratory and the field directly to their teaching, and our students also help to collect this data. The complementary expertise of our staff ensures a vibrant, collaborative research culture within our research groups, made up of researchers at all stages, from Masters to Post-doctoral scientists.
Our staff have close links with a wide range of industrial, medical and conservation organisations, with whom there may be the chance to collaborate for your final year research project. Many of our students work with these organisations during their vacations and others build experience through one of our four-year programmes with industrial experience.
Your first year does not count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. All marks after your first year count towards your final classification.
Modules are assessed using a variety of methods including essays, exams, presentations, laboratory reports and a dissertation.
As well as more than 15 hours per week of direct contact time with your lecturers, all students have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
Over the course of your degree programme, you will have access to our multi-million pound teaching, learning and research facilities, including our:
- State-of-the-art teaching laboratories
- World-class Aquatic Resources Centre
- State-of-the-art bioimaging facility, incorporating confocal and electron microscopy
- Next-generation DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry facilities
- Plant growth rooms and greenhouse facilities
Employer-valued skills this course develops
A degree in Biochemistry will help you to develop a wide range of essential skills such as analytical problem solving, team work and organising and communicating information. Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Biosciences degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.
Supporting your career in Biosciences
Each year Biosciences students are able to access a huge range of opportunities to support their future career options. Sector related careers and employability sessions are put on for the students over the course of their programme which include: career talks and networking events with visiting alumni and employers from a range of backgrounds, employability seminar series events hosted by employers, ‘Dragons Den’ style assessment days, mock interviews and an annual College of Life and Environmental Sciences Careers Fair where students can develop networking skills.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.
The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you wish to follow, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.
Many of our graduates are employed in discipline relevant roles in the UK and overseas including laboratory-based positions, conservation management, ecology, teaching and nursing. Others use the skills gained on their course to enter widely different career paths in law, business or management. Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Biosciences degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.
Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates from our Biosciences undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
Recent graduates are now working as:
- Bioinformatics Research Assistant
- Cardiac Physiologist
- Civil Service Fast Stream Graduate
- Clinical Exercise Specialist
- Development Chemist
- Graduate Teacher Training Scheme (Science)
- Lab Technician
- Management Consultant
- Pharmacovigilance Associate
- Policy Adviser
Recent graduates are now working for:
- Ambios Ltd
- BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
- Cancer Research UK
- Johnson and Johnson
- Sangar Institute
- The Pirbright Institute
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation from a Biosciences undergraduate degree. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17.
- BVetMed Graduate Accelerated
- MPhil Biological Sciences
- MRes Tropical Forest Ecology
- MSc Climate Change Science and Policy
- MSc Conservation and Biodiversity
- MSc Conservation Science and Policy
- MSc Ecological Consultancy
- MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology
- MSc Marine Environmental Management
- MSc One Health (Infectious Diseases)
Fantastic facilities, outstanding teaching, world-leading research and exceptional graduate employability are just a few of the reasons we think you'll love it here. Find out what our students say about choosing Exeter.
Studying at our campuses in Devon or Cornwall means you'll have some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the UK on your doorstep. Find out about student life at Exeter and the huge range of sports, clubs and societies on offer.
One University, two locations
We have around 20,000 students across our three campuses in Devon and Cornwall which means we offer the academic excellence and facilities you'd expect of a major university but also a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.