BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Sciences

This course has been withdrawn for session 24/25, meaning only advanced entry is available to those holding a relevant HNC/D (or equivalent).

Applied Biological Sciences

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, August 2024
  • Duration 36/24 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code 8C93


Scotland is internationally recognised for its crucial contributions in drug discovery and development, medical technologies, stem cells, bio-manufacturing and bioinformatics.

We’ve worked with Forth Valley College and business to develop a fully integrated degree course in Applied Biological Sciences. Our course is making a difference by solving the problem of skills shortages in life sciences. We’ll give you technical expertise and proficiency in the vital practical and research skills sought-after by employers.

The degree is taught jointly at Forth Valley College (Falkirk Campus) and the University of Stirling and also receives input from employers across the Scottish life sciences community. Classes for year 2 are delivered at Forth Valley College’s campus in Falkirk, with years 3 and 4 being delivered at the University of Stirling campus.

Your study will begin with fundamental science and laboratory skills before focusing on the cellular and molecular aspects of biological sciences.

Your final year will focus on proteomic and genomic aspects of biological sciences, plus your research project. Our research-led teaching, together with the experience and insight gained by your work placements, will make you work-ready for a modern career in biosciences.

The Scottish life sciences sector is calling out for highly skilled graduates with hands-on experience. An integrated degree will provide the practical and research skills required to produce 'work ready' graduates.

David Wotherspoon, Diageo


Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

Year 1 entry is unavailable, only those with a suitable HNC/D for year 2 or 3 entry will be considered for this course.

Advanced entry

This course is only available for advanced entry, therefore all applicants must have a relevant HNC/D to start in year 2 or 3. Please contact for more details.

Additional information

Start dates

This four-year course is a collaboration between Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling. In Year 2, you will be taught at Forth Valley College's Stirling Campus, where the teaching terms start in August each year (see Forth Valley College's term dates). You will then transfer to the University of Stirling for Years 3 and 4, where the teaching semesters start in September each year (see University of Stirling's semester dates).

How to apply

This course is only open to those with a relevant HNC/D and are looking to gain entry into year 2 or 3.

To request an application form please email outlining the qualifications you currently have and/or sitting this year.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

This course is only available for advanced entry, if you start in year 2 this will be delivered by Forth Valley College, and you’ll be based at the University of Stirling campus in Years 3 and 4

Course structure

This course offers interdisciplinary training in areas that are key to contemporary biological science, including animal, plant biology and biotechnology. This course will ensure you have life science awareness, strong technical expertise and are proficient in vital 'hand skills' (practical and research skills), that are heavily sought-after by employers.

Forth Valley College’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) provision is amongst the strongest and most comprehensive to be found at colleges from across the UK. The College has close links with industry, in order to provide you with the skills required by employers. Learner engagement and satisfaction are also major strengths for the College.

Year 2 will be delivered by Forth Valley College at their Falkirk Campus, with some key subject tutorials delivered at the University of Stirling. During the first 2 years, the focus is on the acquisition of fundamental biological laboratory skills, giving you an understanding of the science that underpins them. All modules will have an applied and practical skills focus. Much of the teaching will be done in small classes at Forth Valley College, with others at the University of Stirling, including a module in statistics, focused practical laboratory sessions and opportunities to undertake project work in Year 2.

From Year 3 onwards, you will be taught at the University of Stirling campus for the remainder of the course. Modules will focus largely on the cellular and molecular aspects of biological sciences including immunology and microbiology.

An industrial placement module will give you valuable insight into how the biosciences industries work, as well as giving you hands-on experience in the workplace.

Your final year will focus on advanced cellular and molecular biology, proteomic/genomic tools and experimental design together with an extended research dissertation carried out in academics’ laboratories. Research-led teaching is the key to deep learning and understanding. This approach, together with business placements, enables you to apply the skills that you develop to modern biosciences careers. We offer a wide range of research topics for your dissertation projects, from environmental and applied microbiology to infectious disease research.

You'll have full access to all of the University and College’s facilities and will be fully enrolled within both institutions.

My experience of the Industrial Placement Module was overwhelmingly positive. I now have a much better understanding of what it's like to work in the science industry. I have gained many new practical and personal skills and have a clearer idea of what career path I may want to follow.’
Dominic Quinn, BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Sciences

‘There were so many opportunities to develop my practical skills within a laboratory environment which will surely prove to be beneficial to me in the future. All modules gave a full spectrum of knowledge which will put the solid foundation for building my career.

Charlotte Rachel Curtis, BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Sciences 

Year 2 (at Forth Valley College)

• DNA Molecular Techniques
• Microbiological Techniques
• Immunological Techniques
• Protein Structure and Function
• Applied Biological Sciences: Graded Unit 2
• Mathematics for Science 1
• Animal Biology
• Plant Biology
• Quality and Health & Safety Systems in Science Industries
• Animal and Plant Cell Culture: An Introduction
• Instrumental Techniques
• Ecology and Ecosystems

Years 3 and 4 (at University of Stirling)

In the final two years students are taught at the University of Stirling. See information about modules in years 3 and 4 below.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details


The University of Stirling achieved five stars for teaching in the QS Stars University Ratings 2024.

Our teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, guided reading and research. In addition, a placement enables you to experience biological sciences within a business biosciences environment.


Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination completed during the semester. For many modules, the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40–50 percent of the final grade.

Work placement opportunities

We offer a work placement module with 17 different Life Science Industries based in and around the central belt of Scotland. For more information regarding those companies, please get in touch with us.


Student Recruitment –

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £20,300 £21,300

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

Preparing you for the world of work 

This course has been developed with employers, with an emphasis on understanding and practicing modern biological techniques and a view to producing ‘employment ready’ graduates. 

Companies we work with include: Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Valneva, BioReliance, Merck, Roslin Technologies Limited, Hyaltech Ltd and Diageo. 

Companies we work with

  • Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)
  • Valneva
  • BioReliance
  • Merck
  • Roslin Technologies Limited
  • Hyaltech Ltd
  • Diageo

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What our students said

Charlotte Curtis
Charlotte Curtis
BSc Applied Biological Sciences
I feel the placement module in the third semester gave me good insight into a real life scientific industry and the skills that are needed to pursue a career in a biology field.
Read Charlotte's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.