Molecular Biology BSc HonsUniversity of St Andrews
About this program
Molecular Biology BSc Hons
The BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology involves an introduction to the foundations of molecular and cellular biology and then focuses on topics such as chromosome structure and function, molecular genetics, molecular cell biology, biotechnology, bioinformatics, molecular virology and gene expression.
Molecular Biology at St Andrews incorporates substantial practical laboratory training and development of quantitative skills. Students have the opportunity to engage with a number of specialist topics that reflect the research interests of the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex including, for example, molecular microbiology, marine and environmental biotechnology, molecular virology, chromosome replication, genome stability and chromatin structure and function.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- SQA Highers
- GCE A-Levels
- IB points
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.
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Students must take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- Biology 1
- Biology 2
In second year, modules are chosen which will best prepare you for your intended degree (or group of possible degrees), and new topics are introduced in some second-year modules such as molecular biology and biochemistry. Students must take all four of the following modules:
- Applied Molecular Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Research Methods in Biology
In third year, you will continue to specialise in Molecular Biology via a wide range of modules covering core topics. Modules that have been offered in previous years include:
- Gene Regulation
- Infection and Disease
- Membranes and Cell Communication
- Protein Structure and Function.
In fourth year, you will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level and will also have the opportunity to select from a wide range of small, group-specialised modules. These modules are taught by academics at the forefront of their discipline.
In this year, students also undertake a substantial final-year research project. This research project is designed to develop skills in experimental design and problem-solving, the evaluation and interpretation of data, and communication skills. The project is selected and supervised by a member of academic staff, and it occupies half of the year.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.
The BSc in Molecular Biology is taught through a combination of:
- practical classes
- field work
- research projects.
Typical class sizes include:
- First year: lectures 250 to 330, practicals 80 to 100 students
- Second year: lectures 80 to 150, practicals 40 to 60 students
- Third year: lectures 20 to 70, practicals 20 to 60 students
- Fourth year: 5 to 25 students
The practical elements of the course taught in the laboratory and in the field enable you to learn the wide range of skills required of a modern molecular biologist. Students are provided with teaching microscopes and are taught in state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. Alongside the development of practical biological skills, students are also given the opportunity to expand on their presentation and IT skills.
Fourth year teaching differs from the typical lecture, seminar and tutorial format which students will experience from years one to three. Fourth year allows you to focus on a major project which occupies between a third and half of the year. Working on this project will enable you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees. The project can also lead to your first publication in a scientific journal.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical classes you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
Graduates from the School of Biology have a wide range of skills sought by employers:
- laboratory and field data collection
- data handling and presentation
- organisation and communication skills.
Biology graduates have secured employment as:
- clinical scientists
- consultant ecologists
- marine mammal scientists
- museum curators
- school teachers.
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About this institute
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first University. As a 600 year-old institution, we are known across the globe for our world leading quality and depth of research. For six centuries some of the world’s brightest and most promising...
Why study at University of St Andrews
Studying in St Andrews is a unique and rewarding experience that will take your skills and knowledge to the next level.
Students at St Andrews have access to some of the world’s best professors and lecturers and a degree from the University of St Andrews is sought after by employers around the world.
In addition to award-winning teaching and research, the University of St Andrews has an array of facilities which result in high levels of student satisfaction and a world class reputation.
University of St Andrews
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