Molecular and cellular biology is a unified way of studying living systems. It combines the disciplines of genetics and biochemistry to understand life at the molecular level and it aims to explain how molecular function produces the hierarchy of living cells, tissues and ultimately whole organisms.
Molecular & Cellular Biology can be studied as a single subject or you can specialise in either Molecular & Cellular Biology with Biotechnology or Molecular & Cellular Biology with Plant Science – see following entries.
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 two other subjects 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: molecular genetic methods, genomics, proteins, membranes and filaments, DNA structure and function, gene expression, mobile DNA, biotechnology, essential cell biology, and experimental strategies.
The degree programme reflects the fusion of biochemistry, genetics and cell biology. It can be applied to the study of all organisms, from humans to plants, bacteria and viruses. In fourth year you will learn to study and interpret primary data from current molecular and cellular biology research and you will choose from a range of specialised advanced courses, including molecular biology of cancer, cell function, the molecular basis of disease, stem cells, biotechnology and the molecular biology of plants.
You will also 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 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.
Our graduates are employed in the pharmaceutical, biomedical or biotechnological industries; others go on to postgraduate research in laboratories and then into research careers. Graduates are able to move readily into related specialties such as biotechnology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology.
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) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting WILL receive an offer from the University. This offer may be conditional (on second sitting results) or unconditional, depending on how many applications are received from students who have attained these grades.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, 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.
Applicants who receive an offer conditional on second sitting results will be required to study Advanced Highers in relevant subjects as an integral part of their conditional offer.
A-levels: AAB, including two science subjects. AS Level in either Biology or Chemistry. All Biology students study a minimum level of Chemistry in first year.
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.
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.