Biology involves the study of life at all levels, from the molecular biology of virus replication to the study of animals and plants in their natural habitats. Biology also touches on many aspects of contemporary life, from drug design and investigating the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease, to the migration and conservation of marine mammals – all of which can be studied at St Andrews.



Biology BSc (Hons)
Biology MBiol (Hons)
Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons)
Biochemistry BSc (Hons)
Biochemistry MBiochem (Hons)
Biomolecular Science BSc (Hons)
Cell Biology BSc (Hons)
Ecology and Conservation BSc (Hons)
Evolutionary Biology BSc (Hons)
Marine Biology BSc (Hons)
Marine Biology MMarBiol (Hons)
Molecular Biology BSc (Hons)
Neuroscience BSc (Hons)
Sustainable Development BSc (Hons)
Sustainable Development MA (Hons)
Zoology BSc (Hons)

Joint degree options

The Biology BSc programme can be taken with another subject as part of a joint degree or a "with" degree.

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Biology research areas

Research in Biology at St Andrews is organised into three major interdisciplinary centres which encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigation on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules to planetary environmental dynamics.

Research in biological sciences is underpinned by world-class research-led teaching and wider impacts on policy, public engagement and the economy.

Careers for graduates in biology

After studying Biology at St Andrews, students are well prepared to become the next generation of scientists and managers delivering research and scientific expertise in academic, industry, governments and non-governmental organisations.

A degree in Biology also provides students with transferable skills applicable to a wide range of scientific and non-scientific careers.

Graduates have gone on to find success in a wide variety of careers in research, industry and business. For example:

  • professional biologists in biological research, conservation, higher education, and the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries
  • researchers and advisers in government
  • journalists
  • advisers, researchers and managers in the National Health Service
  • teachers
  • forensic scientists
  • management consultants
  • marketing and advertising experts. 

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Many recent Biology PhD graduates have continued their academic careers working as postdoctoral researchers in laboratories worldwide, including research groups at prestigious universities.

PhD graduates have found employment with varied organisations, such as:

  • Physiological Society
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Havor Conservation Trust.

In addition to working in social, behavioural, biomolecular, ecological, environmental, marine and virology research environments, the School of Biology’s PhD graduates have secured posts in areas as diverse as higher education management, teaching, publishing and journalism, the charitable sector, the food and biotechnology industries, the police and the BBC.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


St Andrews offers a number of funding opportunities for undergraduate study.

Undergraduate scholarships

Taught postgraduate students

Funding is available for postgraduate taught study.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

The School receives support from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). UK and EU nationals holding a good first degree may apply for these research council studentships.

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

In the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014, Biology research at St Andrews was ranked second in the UK based on the impact of its research.

University league tables

The School of Biology was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019 and was ranked first in Scotland and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2019.


School of Biology
University of St Andrews
Biomedical Sciences Research Complex
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3401

Biology website   Biology research portal