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BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular Biology)

Key information

Led by a research-active team, our biology degrees explore issues of key importance in the modern world.

UCAS code
Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
BSc (Hons)
Mode of delivery
4 years
Start date

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular) will provide you with the knowledge and subject-specific skills relevant to the practice of modern biochemistry, and cell and molecular biology. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of the foundations of biochemistry, and cell and molecular biology, integrating concepts of related areas such as physiology, microbiology, biotechnology, and genetics.

You’ll develop your critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving skills. You’ll learn about scientific concepts, evaluate research findings, and present innovative solutions to complex biological problems using a range of media. You’ll work independently and collaboratively, and engage in group projects, scientific discussions, and research initiatives. 

Hands-on laboratory work is prominent throughout the degree, and you’ll have access to our state-of-the-art labs where you can put theoretical knowledge into practice. This will help you gain valuable skills in interpreting and analysing scientific data.

As well as building your skills in biological sciences, you’ll develop sought after soft skills, such as problem-solving, communication skills, and practical presentation skills. You’ll also understand the vital role of a biologist across a range of professional fields including research and development, quality assurance, environmental monitoring, and public health. 

This industry-focused degree will ensure you have the understanding, knowledge, skills, and personal qualities required to understand the impact that biochemistry, and cell and molecular biology has on our daily lives, and you’ll become a confident graduate ready to undertake a wide range of careers within the scientific or other employment sectors.

Your student experience

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active biologists and academics from the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences which sits within the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS).

EGIS is one of the United Kingdom’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity. Our teams work closely and have links with industry, and experts are regularly invited as guest lecturers in most courses and advise on student research projects.

The Institute of Life and Earth Sciences is well known for its strong research focus in various areas of biological sciences. Research activities encompass both fundamental and applied research, addressing critical issues in the field and making significant contributions to scientific knowledge. This degree is aligned with our research objectives to advance our understanding of the natural world, address global challenges, and contribute to scientific advancements that benefit society.

Go Global

With Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme, you can carry your studies to new places and experience new cultures, expanding your horizons on the way. You'll discover what it means to be a true global citizen and emerge prepared for wherever your career journey will take you.

Inter-Campus Transfer: Dubai

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Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

Introduces Biology largely as Human Biology with accompanying courses in Applied and Environmental Biology. Additional subjects include Mathematics for Scientists and Chemistry, as required for an understanding of future courses in Biochemistry and Physiology.

Mandatory September

  • Introductory Biology 1
  • Practical Skills in Biology
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together A
  • Mathematics for Scientists 1

Mandatory January

  • Biology Practical
  • Introductory Biology 2
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together B

Programme Video

The Natural World

Fees and funding

ScotlandPaid by SAAS
England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland£9,250
  • Status: Your residency status is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course.
  • International: 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above).

Scholarships and bursaries

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (including a science subject)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (including a Maths or Science subject)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 27 points to include a science subject at Higher Level 5
  • BTEC DMM (in relevant subject)
  • HNC C in graded unit (in relevant HNC)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including a science subject at B)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (including a Maths or Science subject)

Additional information
Suitable science subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Human Biology, Mathematics and Physics.

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular Biology) students are doing 15 months after graduating:
are working
are studying
are studying and working


The average salary of students 15 months after graduating
The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course

Potential career paths

  • Natural and social science professionals
  • Science, engineering and technology associate professionals

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