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.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Biology BSc (Hons)
Biology MBiol (Hons)
Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons)
Biochemistry BSc (Hons)
Biochemistry MBiochem (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 Aquaculture UGCert
Sustainable Development BSc (Hons)
Sustainable Development MA (Hons)
Zoology BSc (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Science Pathway to BSc (Hons)
Gateway to Science Gateway Programme

Joint degree options

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

International Foundation programmes - 2020 entry

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Science September Foundation
Science January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


Animal Behaviour MSc
Marine Ecosystem Management MSc
Marine Mammal Science MSc
Statistical Ecology PGDip/MSc
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning PGDip/MSc
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning PG Certificate
Sustainable Aquaculture - Distance Learning modular


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

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Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

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Biology research areas

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

Research in biological sciences is supported by world-class research-led teaching and has wider impact 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. They will be able to deliver 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.

Biology PhD graduates have also 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 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 Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and was ranked fifth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2020.


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