BSc Biological Sciences Queen's University Belfast
Biological Sciences encompasses many aspects of the biosciences, from molecular biology through to whole organisms and ecosystems, and includes exploration of:
- Biological diversity, systematics and conservation
- Cell and tissue structure, function and physiology
- Ecology and behaviour
- Form and function of microorganisms, protists, fungi, plants and animals
- Genetics and mechanisms and pathways of evolution
Students will gain core technical skills and subject-specific practical laboratory- / field-based skills to help them investigate and manipulate biological material including relevant physical, chemical and biological measurements and their application in a laboratory, field, and research project setting. During the final year project, students will have access to cutting-edge research facilities across the molecular and ecological disciplines. Additional skills achieved include Collation, quantitative analysis and interpretation of experimental data, including problem-solving; communication and application of knowledge; the use of computers for data management and presentations, and the development of intellectual, personal and team skills for employment and further study.
Biological Sciences Degree Highlights
Biological Science graduates are employed in sectors that are addressing worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, and global health issues.
- Royal Society of Biology Accreditation
This course has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. This highlights the academic quality of the course and recognises the course in enabling graduates to meet the needs of the employer through the development of technical and transferable skills.
- Embedded optional work placements (16 weeks) provide students with the opportunity to utilise the practical, transferable and professional skills gained during the teaching of their degree and apply these in a work environment. In previous years, students have gained placements with organisations such as Almac Pharma Services, Norbrook Laboratories, Warner Chilcott, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Belfast Zoo, the National Trust, Atlantic Whale Foundation, and the RSPB. In addition, students can avail themselves of opportunities to undertake short summer placements abroad through programmes such as IAESTE, Operation Wallacea, and Frontier.
- Final year research projects allow students to gain considerable research experience in one of the research laboratories at Queen’s University Belfast. Working alongside world-leading researchers enriches the student experience and assists them in pursuing a career in academia or in research.
Employment after the Course
A degree in biosciences opens the door to a wide range of careers. Our graduates are employed in organisations working within research and development, environmental monitoring and management, water quality management, animal welfare, academic research, the agri-food industries, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, teaching and education, and science communication. Employment in these areas is critical to address global problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, antibiotic resistance, and global health issues.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's, you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Biological Sciences graduates tackle worldwide problems such as climate change, food supply and security, biodiversity loss, and global health issues. Students on this programme will complete a set of core compulsory modules at stages 1 and 2 and will select from a range of optional modules at stages 2 and 3. All students will undertake compulsory Research Project modules at stage 3 which can be lab- or field-based. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake a 16-week work placement to develop the core skills and employment-related experiences valued by employers.
- Molecular Basis of Life
- The World of Microorganisms
At this stage students enrolled in the Biological Sciences can move into a specialist degree option (Marine Biology, Zoology, Microbiology) or remain enrolled on the Biological Sciences pathway to retain breadth in subject teaching.
- Cell Biology 2
- Plant Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
- Invertebrate Biology
- Invertebrate Biology
- Forensics and Toxicology
- Applied Genetics
- Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics
- Coastal and Oceanic Biology
- Applied Ecology
- Animal Biology and Physiology
- Microorganisms in Action
- Work Placement
Throughout stages 1 and 2 practical classes in Biological Sciences reinforce and complement theory in the biosciences, providing students with a solid foundation on which to build upon for stage 3.
Biological Sciences students have the option to complete a 16-week degree-related work placement which takes place over the summer period between stages 2 and 3.
- Research Project
- Industrial Microbiology
- Immunology and Immunotherapy
- Medical Microbiology
- Microbiome: Biotechnological Applications and ‘Omic Manipulations
- Behavioural Ecology
- Global Change Biology
- Conservation Biology
*During stage 3, students in Biological Sciences take a two-module research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. The research project generally involves practical work carried out in the field and/or laboratory.
Learning and Teaching
During the BSc Biological Sciences, the school provides a range of learning experiences to enable students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work. 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:
- E-Learning technologies, lectures, personal tutor, practical classes, research projects, self-directed study, work placement, and Work-Related learning/Field Trips/Industrial Visits.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of academic year examinations. Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module] are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Details of how each module is assessed are outlined in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through the course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including Lecturers, Module Coordinators, Placement Supervisors, Personal Tutors, Advisors of Study and through their peers.
- Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Program Tuition Fee
Scholarships and Funding
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fees and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.
English Language Requirements
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