Undergraduate 

Genetics BSc/MSci

Students in lab

Genetics affects all aspects of life and health. Understanding genetics and molecular genetics is fundamental to biology, biotechnology, medicine, and health care. This is illustrated by the daily stories of genetics and genetic research in the press. The education and training you will receive as part of your Genetics degree will open 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 data and written reports. These are key skills for any job in the modern world.

  • 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.

Why study Genetics?

  • You will also have the chance to spend one year working in a research laboratory in academia or in industry as part of our MSci programme. This will take place between years 3 and 4 of the Honours Degree.

Life Sciences at Glasgow

Our flexible Life Sciences degrees challenge you to apply the theory of the classroom in practical situations, in the lab or in 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.

Our strengths 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.

The University of Glasgow has a long and outstanding record in Animal Biology.

Programme structure

Year 1

You will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and acquire general scientific skills including key practical laboratory techniques and written and oral communication.

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 the final 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. You are not guaranteed a place on a particular final-year option.

Course details

Year 1

And dependent on entry grades in Chemistry either: § CHEMISTRY 1 CHEM1001

OR

Students then choose an additional 40 credits from a range of science and non-science courses.

Year 2

Students are encouraged to choose other Biology courses for their remaining 60 credits usually at least one from:

Year 3

Year 4

All students will undertake a research project consisting of one of the following types:

Plus one Compulsory course:

And at least two of the recommended option courses below (the availability of these courses may differ from year to year depending on staff availability and student demand).

The remaining 20 credits may be chosen from other life sciences final year option courses.


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. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2025

Summary of entry requirements for Genetics

SQA Higher entry requirements

  • ABBB is the minimum requirement from S5 to be reviewed for an S6 offer
  • Offers are not guaranteed to applicants who meet the minimum from S5
  • Typically offers will be made at AAAAA by end of S6. B at Advanced Higher is equivalent to A at Higher
  • Additional requirements: Higher Biology or Chemistry. (A in either).

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

  • 34 (6,5,5)
  • Additional requirements: HL Biology or Chemistry.

Advanced entry requirements for Genetics

SQA Higher advanced entry requirements

  • Advanced Highers – AAA including Biology and Chemistry attained in one exam year and at the first attempt.

A-level advanced entry requirements

  • Three A-levels at grades A*AA which include Biology and Chemistry attained in one exam year and at the first attempt.

IB advanced entry requirements

  • 38 points with three Higher Level subjects at 6,6,6 including Biology and Chemistry attained in one exam year and at the first attempt.

Choose point of entry 2nd year on your UCAS application to indicate you wish to be considered for advanced entry.

Admissions guidance

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.

English language

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

English language requirements

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 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test
  • IELTS One Skill Retake accepted.

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 2 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 2 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.

Cambridge English Qualifications

  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169

School Qualifications

  • iGCSE English or ESOL 0522/0500, grade C
  • International Baccalaureate English A SL5 or HL5
  • International Baccalaureate English B SL6 or HL5
  • SQA National 5 English or ESOL, grade B
  • SQA Higher English or ESOL, grade C
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, English Language grade 4
  • West African Examination Council, Senior Secondary School Certificate, English grade C6

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.

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.

Further information about English language: School of Modern Languages & 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.

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)

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.

College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences Deans' Award

The College of Medicine, Veterinary, and Life Sciences is offering two scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate programme within the College’s programme portfolio for 2024 entry.

 They are open to students applying to undergraduate programmes within the School of Life Sciences, as well as BSc Psychology within the College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

EU Welcome Award

The University of Glasgow continues to be committed to ensuring a strong relationship with our existing and future EU students, and supporting EU talent to make their home at the University of Glasgow. 

We appreciate the challenging financial implications that have arisen for our European applicants, and are therefore delighted to offer the EU Welcome Award to new incoming EU students starting an undergraduate programme for Academic Session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 for every year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study. This discount cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

Applicants that completed a Study Abroad year, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow and therefore eligible for the Alumni discount could be granted the EU Welcome Award as well.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a number of Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new International and EU students for 2024 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £7,000 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 new entrants who have attained academic excellence in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent).

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who may not be able to take their 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 the up coming academic session, ordinarily domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

James McCune Smith Undergraduate Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has up to 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 year one of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the university for 2024 entry. 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.

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.

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. For 2023 entry, 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 

Please see here for up to date information and criteria for 2024 entry. 

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 H1, H1, H1, H2, H2 from the Irish Leaving Certificate for 2023 entry. 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.

Please see here for further information and eligibility criteria for 2024 entry.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is awarding c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University for 2024 entry. 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.

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 2024-25

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.

Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 20 Sanctuary Scholarships for applicants to the University, who have been forced to travel to the UK for humanitarian reasons and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Glasgow applying for entry in September 2024/25. Please note that you must have applied to the University before submitting an application for this scholarship.

The scholarship will meet the cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme, for applicants who are unable to access mainstream funding through Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) or Student Finance. The Sanctuary Scholarship also provides a £5,000 per year stipend, to assist with study costs. In addition, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met, this will also be provided for the duration of your degree, if required. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

Undergraduate students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs only, if successful.

Postgraduate Taught Masters students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs and a partial tuition fee waiver, to cover any shortfall not met by your Postgraduate Masters tuition fee loan.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society is 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 for 2024 entry.

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

  • 16 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 31 January: all other UK applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international 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

More information about this programme

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