The course

UCAS code
5 years
Delivery type

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


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Our MBiol Biology degree is a broad-based programme with a diverse range of topics. In Levels three and four you'll be able to select from courses ranging from molecular biology and genomics, to marine and environmental topics, allowing you to develop your particular interests.

The course structure at Level 5 in semester one consists of an introduction into Entrepreneurship and Creativity, and a literature review in preparation for the research project, as well as options in Research Design and Analysis, Marine Resource and Sustainability and laboratory work in Practical Molecular Biology. Semester two is fully devoted to an extended research project. 

This biology degree aims to provide a flexible package of knowledge and practical skills in the biological sciences, giving you the chance to maximise your potential and enjoy a successful career – whether it's in academia, industry or commerce.

Course content

Year 1

Introduces Biology knowledge and understanding and practical skills. Additional subjects include Mathematics for Scientists and Chemistry as required for future learning.

Year 2

Concentrates on broad topics in Biology. Students take five core courses and choose three optional courses from a list of subjects.

Year 3

Brings specialisation according to the student's choice. Students take one core course, Global Research Skills, and choose seven courses from a broad list of options available. 

Year 4

Students pursue a research project and dissertation as the practical component of the year and choose seven courses from a broad list of options available. 

Year 5

The course structure in Semester one consists of an introduction to Entrepreneurship and Creativity and a literature review in preparation for the research project. Students also take two optional courses from a wide list of options available. Semester two is fully devoted to an extensive research project. 

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Work and study

This is what our MBiol Biology 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 BCC - 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 2023 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £22,264

* 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.