Undergraduate 

Physiology BSc

Student in lab

Physiology is concerned with the working of living organisms. It aims to understand the underlying processes and mechanisms operating in structures from single cells to the whole animal.

Anatomy & Physiology is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 4th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2019).

You may qualify for work placement with leading pharmaceutical companies.

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 students to gain experience working or studying abroad
  • Annual field courses to destinations around the globe
  • Access to the UofG’s world-renowned museums of Anatomy and Zoology
  • Top-quality student experience.

What to Expect

A degree at the School of Life Sciences offers you the flexibility to study a range of subjects in your first two years, giving you a breadth of experience, before specialising for your Honours years.

Degrees in Life Sciences are all offered as single Honours, however, a joint degree in Psychology & Neuroscience is offered through the School of Psychology.

In first year, you’ll normally select three Level-1 courses, according to your interests and long-term plans. These will include Biology and a Chemistry-based course.

Although your interests are likely to be science subjects, you may also be able to choose an Arts or Social Sciences subject as a third choice, subject to availability.

In second year, you may select all of your courses from Life Sciences or combine them with additional Level-1 or Level-2 courses.

At the end of second year, most of our students progress to a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree (four years). We also offer a Master in Science Advanced Honours degree (five years) and a Bachelor of Science designated degree (three years).

Programme structure

Year 1

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

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 (e.g. animal biology; biomolecular sciences; human biology; infection biology).

You will 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 learn about the major organ systems of the body, including cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary and renal, and the central nervous system. You will also study other topics such as the properties of excitable cells and mechanisms regulating the internal environment of the body.

In year 4 you will cover several topics in physiology in depth and undertake a research project.

You can take Physiology 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.

The list of available final-year optional courses is subject to change each year. In addition, places in optional courses may be limited, so students are not guaranteed a place on a particular final-year option.

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: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

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

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2019

About entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

Admissions Policies

  • See our full A-level Admissions Policy
  • More information on our International Baccalaureate admissions requirements
  • Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

    A-levels

    • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry A-level at Grades A or B, including practical assessment.

    Highers

    • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
    • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
    • Standard S6 Academic entry Requirements: AAAAAB.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Highers in two Science subjects one of which is relevant to the programme. Higher Biology OR Human Biology OR Chemistry at Grades A or B. 

    We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

    • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
    • Adjusted S6 Academic entry Requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
    • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Highers in two Science subjects one of which is relevant to the programme applied for. Higher Biology OR Human Biology OR Chemistry at Grade B.

    International Baccalaureate

    • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
    • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points.
    • Other mandatory requirements: Minimum of two relevant Science subjects at HL: SL6 will be considered for one. Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry at SL6 or HL6. 

    European qualifications

    Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]

    Accepted Science subjects

    Accepted Science subjects:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Engineering Science
    • Environmental Science
    • Geography
    • Human Biology
    • Lifeskills Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics of Mechanics
    • Physics
    • Statistics

    Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

    Advanced Entry

    Applicants who achieve exceptional grades in their Advanced Highers, A-levels or International Baccalaureate may be considered for Advanced Entry, meaning that an Honours degree can be completed in three years instead of the normal four years, or four years for five-year integrated Masters programmes. Indicative grades that must be attained in order to be considered. 

    • A-levels: A*AA.
    • Advanced Highers: Three Advanced Highers at Grades AAA including two Science subjects one of which is relevant to the programme. Grades must be attained at one sitting. 
    • International Baccalaureate: 38 Points.

    The mandatory requirements specified must also be met. All applicants should use the standard UCAS code but apply for Y2 entry.

    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 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*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
    • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
    • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
    • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
    • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
    • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

    * Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

    For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years 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 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:


    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

    Physiology provides a broad scientific education, which allows our graduates to pursue a career in research or work in related subjects and in areas such as universities and the pharmaceutical industry, scientific publishing or public health.

    As a graduate you will have a number of direct paths open to you:

    • Physiologists work with clinical colleagues in the investigation of diseases
    • Neurophysiologists study the brain
    • Cellular physiologists study how individual cells work
    • Sports physiologists work with athletes and dieticians.

    Recent graduates have gone on to train as teachers, nurses, doctors and dentists. Several have taken postgraduate courses in dietetics, metabolism and physiotherapy.

    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)

    • KIS
      Physiology: B120

    You may apply for transfer to the MSci mid-programme. MSci applications are NOT taken via UCAS.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

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

    Scholarships

    We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. 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.

    Sun Yat-sen

    The University of Glasgow offer a 10% discount to student of Sun Yat-sen University who have completed the first 2 years of their undergraduate degree at Sun Yat-sen University and wish to complete their degree at the University of Glasgow.

    more information

    RUK Access Bursary 2018 Entry

    The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2018-19 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

    more information

    RUK Excellence Scholarship 2018

    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). 

    more information

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

    How to apply

    If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    UCAS deadlines

    The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

    The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

    • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or 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.

    Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
    Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

    UCAS tariff points

    The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

    How soon will I receive a decision?

    We will usually respond before the end of March.

    If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

    If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

    Will I be interviewed?

    An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

    Is deferred entry available?

    For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

    University Transfers

    Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

    1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
    2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

    Widening participation

    We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

    Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
    Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

    95%

    BSc Physiology students were satisfied overall

    Data published by Unistats, March 2018