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BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Sciences

UCAS Code 8C93 Part-time study available

Plan for your future with this Applied Biological Sciences degree developed in partnership with business partners and delivered jointly by the University of Stirling and Forth Valley College.

Applied Biological Sciences

Forth Valley College logo

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

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 for your country/region

  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    28 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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 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 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL 80 with no subtest less than 17
    • 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

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    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

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.

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.

Semesters 1-4 will be delivered by Forth Valley College at their Falkirk Campus, with some key subject tutorials delivered at the University of Stirling. The semesters focus 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 Semester 5, 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 in academics’ laboratories, and a number of elective modules. 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 cancer 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, Year 3 student


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2018.

    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. For more information regarding those companies, please contact Kevin Petrie who is the coordinator of this module on

  • Contact

    Sabine Matallana-Surget, Ph.D.
    Course Coordinator
    Biological and Environmental Sciences (Room 3A116),
    University of Stirling
    Stirling FK9 4LA

    +44 (0)1786 467774

    Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager 

    Forth Valley College
    Grangemouth Road,

    +44 0845 634 4444

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2019/20 2020/21

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to 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 online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2019 and 2020 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2021 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on our University and Europe information pages.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.


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


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,820 £15,600

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

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

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

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

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern 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 and Northern 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.

  • 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.

    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.

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.

  • The University of Stirling consistently earns five QS Stars for employability, with more than 97% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating. (HESA DLHE 2016/17)
  • 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.

Charlotte Curtis
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.
Charlotte Curtis
BSc Applied Biological Sciences
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