Biotechnology is a multidisciplinary science that seeks to optimise the utilisation of microorganisms, animals, plants and their cellular components in industrial, medical and agricultural processes and in environmental management. The development of biofuels is very topical.
At Glasgow, the focus is on teaching the molecular sciences and methods that underpin biotechnology.
In your first year you will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and encouraged to acquire general scientific skills.
You will also study either Chemistry or Science Fundamentals and one other subject of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In your second year, you will be introduced to the study of genetics, proteins and nucleic acids. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of other courses.
You will also study one or two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will study a broad spectrum of molecular topics in your third year to learn the key sciences that underpin biotechnology: molecular genetic methods, genomics, proteins, membranes and filaments, DNA structure and function, gene expression, mobile DNA, biotechnology, essential cell biology, and experimental strategies.
In fourth year you will learn to study and interpret primary data from current molecular biology and biotechnology research and you will choose from a range of specialised advanced courses. These include some general molecular topics such as the molecular biology of cancer, the molecular basis of disease and stem cells.
You will also study one or two advanced biotechnology topics:
- plant biotechnology.
You will have the opportunity to undertake a research project under the supervision of a researcher, the results of which sometimes contribute to scientific publications.
Molecular & Cellular Biology (with Biotechnology) can be taken as an MSci, which includes an additional placement year, between the third and final years of the degree. This is normally spent doing research in industry or some other organisation such as a research institute in the UK or overseas.
You will gain hands-on experience of modern laboratory techniques.
You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. The Erasmus Exchange Scheme offers the chance to study at a major European university, for three to 12 months, with some financial support from the EU. The International Exchange Programme allows you to spend a year or a semester in one of our partner institutions in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, or the USA.
Many of our students opt to undertake further study at postgraduate level in order to pursue careers in scientific research in academic institutions, or in laboratories of industries with a biotechnology or biomedical base. Others find employment in:
- industries based in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals
- the health service, such as in hospital laboratories.
For international students entry to this programme is supported by courses from GIC.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including two science subjects, one of which must be Biology or Chemistry) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Two Sciences (see subject specific requirements above), at minimum grades of A/B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers MAY be made to applicants who achieved between ABBB and AABB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
A-levels: AAB including one, preferably two, science subjects. AS Level in either Biology or Chemistry. All Biology students study a minimum level of Chemistry in first year.
Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
Accepted Science subjects:
- Computing Studies
- Environmental Science
- Human Biology
- Information Systems
- Managing Environmental Resources
- Science (Double Syllabus)
If you have exceptional A-level or Advanced Higher grades it's possible to gain exemption from Year 1 study and enter directly into Year 2 or follow a faster route advanced entry programme, both of which allow you to complete your degree in one year less than usual. See: Advanced entry
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.