Our Biology graduates have a strong record of employment in fields ranging from marine biology to pharmaceuticals, medical, water, the food industry and public sector organisations.

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The suite of Biological Sciences degrees sits within the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Each degree comprises one or more key compulsory courses with a choice of optional courses that allows it to be fashioned to an individual student’s interests, within the constraints of the programme of study. We offer five courses within the Biological Sciences subject area allowing students to gain a firm foundation and then specialise into their preferred field.

Studying Biological Sciences at Heriot-Watt provides a thorough grounding in cell and molecular biology, microbiology, marine and environmental biology, toxicology and biotechnology. Emphasis is placed on the applied aspects of each discipline, so that knowledge may be used for the benefit of society.

Our degree programmes share courses at Level 1 while in later Levels they comprise a mixture of compulsory and optional courses that reflect the specialist subject. Transfer between degrees is flexible during Years 1 and 2, and possible in some cases during Years 3 and 4.


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Student experience

After Level 2, our classes tend to be smaller, informal and yet academically demanding. Traditional lectures, informal tutorials, laboratory classes, project work and field courses are included within the curriculum. We also provide support and advice through our academic tutoring system and opportunities to develop the interpersonal skills which are important in establishing future career aspirations

Teaching and assessment

Learning methods include:

  • lectures and tutorials
  • computer and project-based learning
  • laboratory-based teaching
  • fieldwork and site visits
  • presentations by visitors from industry.

In the final year, coursework, carried out through projects and research dissertations, accounts for 65% of the final assessment.

Industry networks

Heriot-Watt’s Biology Society arranges for various industry professionals and alumni to attend throughout the programme giving guest lecturers, presentations and talks.

Key information

Admissions Team