BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Human Health)

Visit our Edinburgh Campus

Edinburgh Open Days

Book your place

Saturday 30 September and 28 October.

Get a feel for undergraduate life and study at our Edinburgh campus. Attend subject talks, explore our facilities and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable students and staff.

Book your place
Four students walking outside reception on Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

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


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


This course comprises a core of biology with an additional emphasis on the study of topics central to human health and wellbeing such as nutrition, physiology, and psychology. These themes are developed together throughout the course, with some flexibility in course structure and design, according to your interests or career aspirations.

David Hunter, Biology student

Heriot-Watt first appealed to me because of its location. The University also has a good reputation within science and engineering and graduate employment.

David Hunter, Biological Sciences BSc (Hons)

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1 

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

Semester 2 

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

Year 2

Semester 1 

Core Semester 1 courses include:

  • Human Physiology 
  • Metabolism in Human Nutrition 
  • Research Methods in Biology 

Optional Semester 1 courses include:

  • Science and Exploitation of Plants 
  • Management in a Global Context 

Semester 2

Core Semester 2 courses include:

  • Introduction to Microbiology 
  • Cell and Molecular Biology 

Optional Semester 2 courses include: 

  • The Biosphere 
  • Animal Biology 
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences 
  • Social Psychology 

Year 3

Semester 1

Core Semester 1 courses include:

  • Pathobiology of Human Disease 
  • Molecular Biology 

Optional Semester 1 courses include:

  • Introduction to Food Microbiology 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Concepts in Beverage Science 

Semester 2 

Core Semester 2 courses include:

  • Global Research Skills 
  • Applied Studies in Human Health 
  • Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Physiology 

Optional Semester 2 courses include:

  • Medical Microbiology 

Year 4

Semester 1 

Core Semester 1 courses include:

  • Honours Research Project – Execution 
  • Receptor Signalling in Health and Disease 
  • Immunology 

Optional Semester 1 courses include:

  • Microbial Molecular Ecology 
  • Microorganisms in Human Health and Drug Discovery 

Semester 2 

Core Semester 2 courses include:

  • Honours Research Project – Dissemination 
  • Genomics and Proteomics in Disease 

Optional Semester 2 courses include:

  • Plant Health 
  • Molecular Toxicology 
  • Antibiotics and Stress Responses in E.coli 

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Human Health) students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 65% are working
  • 10% are studying
  • 15% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £23500
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £23000

Potential career paths

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

Entry requirements

Year 1

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

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (including Biology or Human Biology plus Highers AABB)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Biology or Human Biology)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 32 points (with Biology or Human Biology)
  • HNC B in graded unit (in relevant HNC)
  • HND BB in graded units (in relevant HND)
  • BTEC DDM (in relevant subject)

Year 3

  • HND AB in graded units (in relevant HND)

Additional information

English language requirements

The minimum requirement for English language for all our undergraduate Biology courses is IELTS 6.0. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* 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. Find out more about tuition fees.

** '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). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

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 about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.