Undergraduate 

Genetics BSc/MSci

Students in lab

Genetics affects all aspects of life and understanding genetics and molecular genetics is fundamental to biology, medicine, and biotechnology. The education and training you will receive as part of your Genetics degree opens up a whole world of job opportunities in science, industry, healthcare, forensics, and beyond.

You will undertake laboratory training and acquire important transferable skills including problem solving, writing and presenting of reports, and critical analysis of written reports and data. These are key skills for any job in the modern world. You will also have the chance to spend 1 year working in a research laboratory in academia or in industry as part of our MSci program.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Genetics BSc (Hons): C400 4 year degree
  • Genetics MSci: 5 year degree
    Applications to the MSci are not taken via UCAS: you may apply for transfer mid-BSc

Life Sciences at Glasgow

With hands-on experience and flexible degrees, studying at the School of Life Sciences challenges you to apply the theory of the classroom in practical situations, in the lab or the field. We offer an extremely wide range of courses in human and animal biology, biomolecular sciences, infection and immunity. 

Our aim is to offer internationally competitive degrees that meet the needs of today’s science graduates. To achieve this aim, we utilise the research and teaching strengths of the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences to provide our graduates with the skills necessary for success in any chosen career.

We have a large and diverse student body, which includes Scottish, UK, EU and international students. We regularly welcome visiting and exchange students, and we believe in the many advantages our students gain from adding an international dimension to their studies.

Strengths of the school include:

  • substantial flexibility within our range of degree programmes
  • an opportunity for you to gain experience working or studying abroad
  • annual field courses to destinations around the globe
  • access to the University’s world-renowned museums of Anatomy and Zoology
  • top-quality student experience.

Our museums

The University’s Hunterian Museum is home to over a million magnificent items, ranging from meteorites to mummies and Mackintosh. The Zoology and Anatomy museums are a fantastic resource for Life Sciences students.

Zoology Museum

With almost two million animal species described so far: and many more to discover; we can only hope to give our visitors a taste of the range of animal variety. Perhaps unexpectedly, the museum also maintains displays of live animals: a small selection of snakes, lizards, frogs and invertebrates is on show.

Anatomy Museum

William Hunter’s remarkable specimens show all aspects of human form and function and reflect his lifelong career as a pioneering anatomist and obstetrician. Largely used for teaching and research, the collections have considerable importance in the history and development of medicine.

Programme structure

Year 1

You will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and encouraged to acquire general scientific skills.

Initially, you will study the key foundations of Life Sciences, via lectures and practical lab classes. First year Biology is split into two courses, with a different biological focus in each.

Year 2

In semester 1, you will develop your knowledge of fundamental aspects of biology. In semester 2, you will be introduced to specialist subject areas according to your interests (eg animal biology; biomolecular sciences; human biology; infection biology).

You can also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3, 4 and 5

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will develop an in-depth understanding of the principles of genetics and biomolecular science, including: classical foundation of genetics; the application of genetics to understand evolution, populations, biological function, and disease; molecular genetics using model organisms; and human genetics and how it impacts on disease, medicine, and the development of treatment for these diseases.

Laboratory work and small-group teaching are important parts of the Honours programme, allowing you to develop problem-solving, group-working and communication skills. In fourth year you will be able to follow your interests and choose three advanced Honours option courses as well as enrol on a core course. You will also perform your own research with one of the genetics research teams.

You can take Genetics as an MSci, which includes an additional work placement year, between the third and final years of the degree. This is normally spent doing research in industry or an organisation such as a research institute in the UK or overseas.

Final-year optional courses may change and places may be limited. Students are not guaranteed a place on a particular final-year option.

Course details

Year 1

You will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and encouraged to acquire general scientific skills.

Initially, you will study the key foundations of Life Sciences, via lectures and practical lab classes. First year Biology is split into two courses, with a different biological focus in each.

Core courses (2 x 20 credits):

Semester One
Semester Two

Plus 40 credits. Select from:

-OR-

Plus Optional Courses (40 credits). Select from:

Semester One
Semester Two

Year 2

You will develop your knowledge of fundamental aspects of biology and be introduced to specialist subject areas according to your interests (e.g. animal biology; biomolecular sciences; human biology; infection biology).

Core courses (2 x 30 credits)

Plus Optional Courses (60 credits)

These can be Biology courses or courses from other subject areas, for example:

Semester one
Semester two

Year 3

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the principles of genetics and biomolecular science, including: classical foundation of genetics; the application of genetics to understand evolution, populations, biological function, and disease; molecular genetics using model organisms; and human genetics.

Core Courses (2 x 60 credits)

MSci Year

Work Placement (120 credits)

Genetics can be taken as an MSci degree, which includes an additional placement year between the third and final years of the degree, normally spent undertaking research in industry or research institute in the UK or overseas.

Year 4/5

If you progress to honours, in year 4 you will choose four advanced Honours option courses to study in greater depth. You will also undertake an independent research project with one of the genetics research teams, which can lead to a contribution to scientific manuscripts. Laboratory work and small-group teaching allow you to develop problem-solving, group-working and communication skills.


Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2022

Summary of entry requirements for Genetics

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher+B Advanced Higher (ABBB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher Biology or Chemistry.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S5 or S6)

  • MD20 – BBBB (also other target groups*)
  • MD40 – AABB*
  • Additional requirements: Higher Biology or Chemistry. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

Widening Participation Articulation Programmes

The University has bespoke HNC Articulation Programmes running at various colleges, offering direct entry to Year 2 of this degree.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: A-level Biology or Chemistry.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL Biology or Chemistry.

Glasgow International College

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

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)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures 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 External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


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 see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

Recent graduates have taken research, support or leadership roles in academia, industry and public services. Many graduates have entered teaching, medicine, management and journalism but these are only a few examples. The skills you will gain will help you in any future position.

Career options

  • Bioinformatician
  • Researcher in molecular life sciences
  • Molecular geneticist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Computational biologist
  • Data scientist
  • Genetic counsellor
  • Project manager
  • Lecturer
  • Epidemiologist

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

Genetics: C400 (4 years)
KIS

MSci

Applications to the MSci are not taken via UCAS: you may apply for transfer mid-BSc

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award

In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £3,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

RUK Excellence Scholarship

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2021/22, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the University. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

Scholarship application deadline is 5PM on SUNDAY, 13TH JUNE.

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Access Bursary

Glasgow has a long and proud tradition of providing financial support to talented students who, for reasons of financial hardship, might not be able to take a place at university. Our RoI Access Bursary is part of our commitment to continue to attract and support students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The RoI bursary will be up to £2,000 for your first year of study and £1,000 for continuing years.

Payments of the RoI Access Bursary will be detailed in your Award Letter.

  • The RoI Access Bursary will be awarded as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Access Bursary will be paid in 10 instalments from October until July; this award is based on household income
  • The RoI Access Bursary will only be awarded in years where tuition fees of £9,250 apply (i.e. Normally Years 1,2 and 3. Bursary is not paid in Year 4 where no tuition fees are due).

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Excellence Scholarship

The RoI Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained at Irish Higher grades A1, A1, A1, A1 from the Irish Leaving Certificate.  Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants are not eligible for this award.

Payments

  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be processed as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be paid in 2 instalments.
  • The first payment will be in October and the second payment will be in February.

These payments will be credited to the UK bank account held on your MyCampus profile; therefore, it is vital that this is up to date at the start of the session. By submitting your bank details on the MyCampus system, you are confirming that you agree with the terms and conditions of the award.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Cowrie Foundation Scholarship

The University of Glasgow and The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will offer a scholarship to support Black African and Caribbean heritage applicants from socio-economically challenged backgrounds.  Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and commencing an undergraduate study in the academic year 2021-2022.

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation wants to fund 100 Black British students through UK universities in the next decade. More information on the Foundation can be found here.

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2021/22. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

We are also offering eight scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £2,500 stipend towards study costs, per year of study.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society are offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and postgraduate applicants.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

SQA applicants who are eligible for our Widening Participation programmes are encouraged to participate in one or more of these programmes, including Summer School, to support your application and the transition to higher education.

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website).
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

Times Good university guide

7th in UK

Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Biological Studies]

Times Higher Education

World top 100

Times Higher Education World University Rankings [Life Sciences]