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BSc (Hons) Cell Biology

UCAS Code C130 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

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
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Cell Biology focuses on the fundamental unit of life, taking you on an exploration of the cellular and subcellular worlds that underpin modern biology. 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’ll develop a thorough understanding of Cell Biology that will give you the choice to progress to more advanced and specialised topics. You’ll 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’ll also make sure you’ll have the skills and work-placement experience to kick-start your career in Cell Biology.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    AABB - one sitting
    AAAB - two sittings

    GCE A-levels
    BBB

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)
    DDM

    Essential subjects

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

  • 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 qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Bs in graded unit.

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

    Access courses
    Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are welcomed.

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

  • Advanced entry

    Year 2 entry may be possible with HND in a Science based subject. For information on accepted courses please consult our Advanced Entry page.

  • 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

    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 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our 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

In Semesters 1-4, you’ll study the following core module options: Cell Biology; Physiology; Genes and Evolution; Ecology; and Biodiversity. In addition, you’ll study practical 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 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: Applied Immunology, Enzymes and their Applications, Oceanography and Limnology, and Plant Ecophysiology.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll work on an independent research project and a number of advanced modules from a range of options, which currently include: Cell Birth, Life and Death, Genetic Engineering, Immunology and Disease, Molecular Techniques, and Proteomics.

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 details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18.

    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

    Dr Tim Whalley, Course Director

    + 44 (0) 1786 467821
    t.d.whalley@stir.ac.uk

    Dr Jenson Lim, Lecturer
    Biological and Environmental Sciences
    jenson.lim@stir.ac.uk

  • Fees and costs

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

      2018/19 2019/20

    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 2018 and 2019 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 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    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.

    £1,820*

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

    £1,820*

    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.

    £9,250 £9,250

    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.

    £14,460 £14,820

    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

    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)

    Eligible students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to receive the University’s Undergraduate Choice Scholarship, which offers a £1,000 cash award for Years 1-3 of study to eligible students coming to us with a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent

    Alternatively, the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship offers a £1,000 cash award for Years 1-3 of study to eligible students coming to us with a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    You don’t need to apply for these awards - 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

    Additional student costs are kept as low as possible, but include purchase of lab coat and some personal lab kit.

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. 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 a Cell Biology degree?

Our Cell Biology graduates may follow careers in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biomedical, biotechnology, 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.

  • 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)
I chose Cell Biology at Stirling because of the interdisciplinary training which provides a good combination of practical and theoretical courses.
Niki McAllister
4th year Cell Biology student
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