Biology involves the study of life at all levels of organisation, 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.
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.
Standard entry grades: AAAB, including Biology (or Human Biology) and one other science from the following:
Minimum entry grades: AABB, including Biology (or Human Biology) and one other science from the following:
Standard entry grades: AAB, including Biology and one other science from the following:
Minimum entry grades: ABB, including Biology and one other science from the following:
Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5), including HL6 in Biology and HL6 in one of the following subjects:
Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in Biology and HL5 in one of the following subjects:
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
Students must have studied Biology (or Human Biology) at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent. Preference will be given to candidates offering strong science qualifications over and above the stated minimum requirements.
Faculty entry requirements
You must also meet the Faculty of Science minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and two SQA Highers from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCE A-Level from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of Biology conducts world-class, innovative multidisciplinary research, and in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014, Biology was ranked second in the UK based on the impact of its research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
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:
marine mammal scientists
Beyond biology, recent graduates have gained employment in a wide variety of business sectors such as marketing and finance. Others have gone on to study for a wide range of Masters and PhD programmes in the UK and overseas.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Biology students may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in our School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Abroad site.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Biology students have lectures and practicals in purpose-built facilities on the North Haugh. Also at the North Haugh, students can study and access library resources at the JF Allen Science Library. One other area available for biology students is the Bell Pettigrew Museum in the Bute building, a spectacular zoology museum which includes the arrangement of species to show evolutionary relationships between animals.
There’s also the opportunity to join the popular student-run Biology Society, which organises regular social meetups and biology-related events throughout the year.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
“Studying at St Andrews has given me much more than just education. It has instantly given me the feeling of home and it never ceases to amaze me how much the University cares about the wellbeing of the students. Thanks to the flexibility of the schedules, I was able to engage in other sciences besides Biology in the first year, and explore different aspects of the subject in the second year."
Katarina (Bratislava, Slovakia)
School of Biology University of St Andrews Biomedical Sciences Research Complex North Haugh St Andrews KY16 9ST
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).