BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Sciences

Developed in partnership with businesses from the life science industry and delivered jointly by the University of Stirling and Forth Valley College.

Applied Biological Sciences

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date August 2022
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code 8C93

Overview

 

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 the first two years will be delivered at Forth Valley College’s campus in Falkirk. Classes for the last two years will be 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

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
BBB

GCE A-levels
BB

IB Diploma
28 points

BTEC (Level 3)
MMM

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology or Chemistry

Preferred subjects
Preference will be given to candidates with a strong science background.

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

Other Scottish qualifications

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology or Chemistry

Preferred subjects
Preference will be given to candidates with a strong science background.

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology or Chemistry.

 

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Advanced entry is not available for this course.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

Direct applications

If you would like to apply only for this integrated degree course, you can use our direct application form (instead of completing a UCAS application for multiple course choices). Email admissions@stir.ac.uk with the name of the course you want to apply for, and we will send you a link to the direct application form. We can also help you to complete the form if you need.

If you would like further information or guidance, please contact Forth Valley College’s University Partnership Officer, Lisa Baxter at lisa.baxter@forthvalley.ac.uk.

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 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 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
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 24 March 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language 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

We deliver this course with our partner, Forth Valley College, which gives you a shared learning approach and combines both our knowledge and expertise. Together with employers, we deliver the most up-to-date and business-relevant curriculum.

Direct applications

If you would like to apply only for this integrated degree course, you can ask to be sent a link to our custom built direct application form, instead of completing a UCAS application form for multiple course choices. We can offer you assistance in completing the form.

If you would prefer this option, please email us at admissions@stir.ac.uk requesting the link to the direct application form and advising which course you wish to apply for.

If you would like further information or guidance, please contact Forth Valley College’s University Partnership Officer, Lisa Baxter at lisa.baxter@forthvalley.ac.uk.

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.

Years 1 and 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 Applied Biological Sciences 

Year 1 (at Forth Valley College)

• Applied Sciences: Graded Unit 1
• Laboratory Skills for Science Industries
• Fundamental Chemistry: Theory and Laboratory Skills
• Statistics for Science 1
• Human Body Structure and Function
• Biochemistry: Theory and Laboratory Skills
• Fundamental Chemistry: An Introduction
• Microbiology: Theory and Laboratory Skills
• DNA and Genetics
• Cell Biology: Theory and Laboratory Skills
• Biotechnology: An Introduction

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.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

The University of Stirling achieved five stars for teaching in the QS Stars University Ratings 2021.

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.

Assessment

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.

Contact

Sabine Matallana-Surget, Ph.D.
Course Coordinator
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA

+44 (0)1786 467774

sabine.matallanasurget@stir.ac.uk

Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager 

Forth Valley College
Grangemouth Road,
Falkirk

+44 0845 634 4444

fiona.jackson@forthvalley.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2022/23 2023/24
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £18,800 £20,300
Overseas students (non-EU) £18,800 £20,300

Scottish students

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

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

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll 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 will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

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 below for more information.

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.

European Union students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students from the Republic of Ireland should see the fee and funding information under England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland.

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.

Overseas students (non-EU)

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.

Funding opportunities

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students domiciled in Scotland

The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

EU students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

In addition, students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled overseas

The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

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.

EU and overseas 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

What jobs can you get with an Applied Biological Sciences degree?

Many of our graduates find employment within the NHS and other healthcare providers, in jobs such as virology, haematology, microbiology, biochemistry, and many others.

In addition, you’ll be well skilled for employment within University research laboratories, or to embark on a research career in areas such as food security, development of sustainable fuels, novel treatments for diseases, microbiology and environmental sciences. 

Life Sciences contribute over £3.2 billion to the Scottish economy every year (Scottish Enterprise, 2016) and is a key, growing sector in the UK and worldwide economies. This degree will give you the practical knowledge and techniques you need to be readily employable as a life science graduate in this sector.

Employability skills

This course has been developed with employers. Healthcare requires knowledge of complex technologies. The emphasis will be on understanding and practicing modern biological techniques with a view to generating ‘employment ready’ graduates. The development and awareness of good health and safety behaviours, and good manufacturing and laboratory practices, are embedded throughout this degree.

Companies we work with

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

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.