Biology is a fairly broad degree that refers to the natural science of plants and living organisms. Subject areas involve, but are not limited to, human biology, microbiology, biochemistry, and genetics.
A Biology degree will give you many skills that can easily transfer across a number of industries and biology graduates often go on to careers in sectors that play a key part in everyday society.
For example, modules in data handling or analysis could be useful in many roles that don’t have to be science based.
The majority of Biology degree courses take three years to complete, although some universities offer the option of a sandwich course that gives you the chance to have a year in industry before completing your degree.
So, what else do you need to know about studying Biology?
What A Levels do I need to take to study Biology at university?
If you’re planning on studying Biology at university then it should come as no surprise that you’re going to need a Biology A Level to be considered.
Although some courses may accept you with any science subject at A Level if you’re able to take Biology at college then do.
Other useful subjects for potential Biology students include:
Taking the combination of Biology, Chemistry, and Maths will give you the widest range of options when it comes to choosing a university and degree course.
What grades do I need to apply for Biology?
Entry requirements vary between universities. The highest offer we’ve seen comes from Oxford and Cambridge who ask applicants to have A*AA.
Most other top universities ask for AAB – ABB and some universities give entry requirements in UCAS points rather than grades.
Typically you’ll need 250+ UCAS points to apply for a Biology degree course.
Where can I study Biology?
Biological Sciences courses are offered at universities across the country but the universities that are generally considered to be the top 10 institutions for this subject are:
Other universities that are known to have good Biology and Biology related courses include Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol, Southampton, and Birmingham.
Which areas of Biology can I study?
There are many areas of Biology and if you’ve taken a general Biology degree, rather than specialising immediately, you’ll have the chance to specialise after your first year of study.
There are so many areas that you can specialise in it would be hard to list them all, but here are some of the more common specialisms within Biology:
Also known as Zoology, this area focuses on the core principles and problems relating to the animal kingdom.
Within this specialism you can specialise further and focus on one area of animal biology, such as marine and freshwater biology.
This area involves the study of the molecular basis of living systems and aims to understand the nature of the units that make up living organisms.
The most popular branch of Molecular Biology is the study of DNA in which scientists generally look at mutating or sequencing DNA in order to study the effects and possibilities of their work.
In some cases you may also relate this work to modern medicine by looking at diseases and molecular function and dysfunction.
Human Biology is another broad area that could include the study of topics such as Biochemistry, Physiology, and Cell Biology.
You could also study areas such as Anatomy where you’ll look the composition of the human body or Neurobiology where you’ll be studying the nervous system and brain.
What are my career options?
As we’ve said, Biology is a very broad subject and graduates go on to work in a variety of industries depending on their specialism and the kind of career they’re looking for.
One of the most common career routes is to go into research in your specialist area. For example if you specialised in Genetics your research might focus on how we can detect hereditary diseases in the womb.
Another popular option for graduates is to continue studying either for their Masters or PhD.
However, postgraduate study isn’t essential and the skills gained by studying for your undergraduate degree will equip you for just about any career in any industry.