BSc (Hons) Cell Biology

Our cell biology degree will give you unique interdisciplinary training in the cellular and subcellular worlds that underpin modern biology.

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • UCAS Code C130
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

Find out more about Changes at Stirling, including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

Cell Biology is key to understanding how organisms develop, how they respond to their environment and how the diseased state differs from the healthy state.

Recent advances in cell biology are enabling cell biologists to:

  • understand the basis of diseases in humans, animals and plants
  • develop novel treatments and therapies for diseases
  • explore the processes associated with ageing
  • improve the quality and quantity of important food crops
  • develop novel and sustainable fuels
  • assess the impacts of environmental changes on biological systems

Our course offers you unique and flexible interdisciplinary training from staff whose knowledge is constantly refreshed by their active research work.

As you study, you will develop a thorough understanding of Cell Biology that will give you the choice to progress to more advanced and specialised topics. You will be given the support and encouragement to develop your passion and ideas for your research project where previous Stirling students have excelled in producing high-quality work. We will also make sure you will have the skills and work-placement experience to kick-start your career in Cell Biology.

 

Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for your country/region

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AAAB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

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

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects
To include Biology and one of Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology or Physics.

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

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, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics at Scottish Higher level or equivalent at Grade B, if HNC or Access course is not science related.

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

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, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

Advanced entry

Year 2 entry
Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our Advanced entry pages.

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

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.

Other routes of entry

If you’re an international student and don’t meet the academic and English-language requirements for entry onto this degree, there are other options. You could take our International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering which prepares you for entry onto our degrees. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Sport, Computing and Engineering or Maths provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

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

  • IELTS Indicator 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: 1 February 2021

If you are from India, Bangladesh, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

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

In Semesters 1-4, you’ll study the following core module options: Cell Biology; Physiology; Evolution and Genetics; Statistics; and Biodiversity. In addition, you’ll study laboratory skills in the Biological and Environmental Sciences and Quantitative Techniques. You’ll also take additional modules in other disciplines of your choice, usually from modules offered in Biological or Environmental Sciences or Aquatic Sciences.

Semesters 5-6 include modules in: Animal Physiology; Microbiology; and Animal Cell Biology. You’ll also select additional modules such as: Advanced Marine Biology, Infectious Diseases, Behavioural Ecology, Plant Ecology and/or Applied Biological Sciences Placement.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll work on an independent research project and a number of advanced modules which include: Molecular Techniques, Synthetic Biology, Biological Control Mechanisms and your Dissertation Project.

Research project topics will be offered to you that reflect the active research interests of academic staff but you’re also supported in developing your own ideas. Some students have organised projects with other research organisations, usually when they have already established a relationship with the organisation during vacation work.

Examples of recent high-quality student work include:

  • Expressing genes involved in Golgi secretion
  • Study of immunoglobulin M and monoclonal antibodies from Cod
  • PCR analysis of marine microorganisms in a changing climate
  • Why and how the fly immune system degenerates as flies age

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 has been awarded five star excellence for teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2020.

Teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, guided reading and research.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination completed during each semester. For many modules the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40 – 50 percent of the final grade, but for some modules this is as high as 100 percent.

Study abroad

As a Cell Biology student, you can study abroad in your third year. We have well-established links to universities in the US and Canada, as well as new exchange programmes to European universities.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Contact

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2021/22 2022/23
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £17,900 £18,800
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,900 £18,800

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 who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, Islands or Ireland and are starting a course of study in Scotland in session 2021/22 will be entitled to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. See more information on the SAAS website.

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.

Additional student costs are kept as low as possible, but include purchase of lab coat and some personal lab kit as well as travel expenses for an optional placement module.

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 2021/22, 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 a Cell Biology degree?

Our Cell Biology graduates may follow careers in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biomedical, biotechnology, microbiology and agricultural industries. Other career paths can include the civil service, forensic science, teaching, the food industry, and government and industrial research laboratories.

Many students will go on to further study, such as a Masters degree or a PhD.

Companies we work with

Companies we work with include:

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

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official data on each university's undergraduate courses, including satisfaction scores from the National Student Survey, details of graduate jobs and salaries, and other key information for prospective students.

What our students said

Niki McAllister
BSc (Hons) Cell Biology
I chose Cell Biology at Stirling because of the interdisciplinary training which provides a good combination of practical and theoretical courses.
Read Niki's story