The study of living organisms, biology covers a wide range of topics. These topics include humans, animals, plants, as well as the world in which they are contained. The science of biology helps us to understand how we have developed over the years, and how our habitat has adapted with the human race.
An undergraduate degree in biology will cover the basic foundation of the science discipline, before exploring the more complex and developed concepts. You will study modules on genetics, physiology and cell biology, among others.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and laboratory sessions. These sessions will allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence your career choices once you have completed your course. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the opportunity to further research a favoured area of biology.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on you choice of institution. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or an integrated Master of Biology (MBiol).
Depending on your institution, your course might be accredited by a professional or academic body for biology. For example, in the UK, some biology degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
Generally, you can expect an undergraduate degree in biology to take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
On successful completion of your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate certificate or diploma.
The entry requirements for a biology degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their biology programmes.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Biology graduates will have many career options available to them. Roles include bacteriologist, microbiologist, research scientist and biological scientist, among many others. If you choose to continue your studies, other opportunities may become available, such as teaching and clinical trial administrator.
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