People study biology at all stages of their life – whether as a kid at school, an undergraduate or postgraduate student, or a fully-fledged adult either hoping to pursue professional development in the sciences or just looking to study the subject recreationally. All of you will find it a rewarding and diverse discipline.
Luckily, in Glasgow, there are opportunities for people from all walks of life to study biology – with institutions offering qualifications, learning pathways, and broad and flexible courses designed to let everyone get the most out of the subject. From bachelor programmes in biology at the University of Glasgow to the real, practical study of botany and living systems of plants at the Glasgow Botanical Garden, the city has you covered.
Here, we’re going to take a look at the breadth of options available for the prospective student of biology in Glasgow – and we really hope you find it helpful. For those of you in different cities, try out our guides to studying biology in London, biological science courses in Leeds, biology in Manchester, and science classes in Birmingham.
Biology studies the fundamental elements of life on Earth, analysing the diversity of living things from the microbial to the ecosystemic. It covers everything from the workings of the brain and human genetics to the conservation of biodiversity and the way that living organisms interact.
And, whilst it is an incredible discipline, it also opens doors for students – providing key academic training towards careers in research, laboratory work, medicine, teaching, sport, and much more. If you are an adult hoping to get into a new profession, or a high school student wrestling with your curriculum, you should know that pursuing this subject will do you wonders.
Depending on your stage in life, the institution at which you will choose to study biology will differ.
Whilst we won’t cover schools here, there are options with higher education institutions and further education colleges. There are opportunities with private revision centres and personal tutors. And there is even the possibility of doing a bit of practical biology at museums and public gardens across the city.
Glasgow is a great place to study anything – including biology.
The Saturday School Glasgow is an institution founded by two full-time secondary school teachers in Scotland. At the weekend, however, they dedicated their time to preparing students from Glasgow to excel in their National 5 and Higher exams.
Running from January to May – when your exams will start – these classes take place every Saturday in the City of Glasgow College, right in the centre of town. You can take courses in physics, chemistry, Spanish, English, or maths, as well as sessions in biology and human biology.
In the biology classes, you will cover everything you need to know for your SQA exam – from ecology to genomics to cell structure and microbiology.
They also run Easter revision classes right before the exams, so you know exactly what you need to do when you sit down with that test paper.
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Another Easter revision course takes place at the University of Strathclyde and is run by Scholar Tutoring, a Glasgow-based tutoring agency. These run in the first two weeks of April.
Here, the courses on offer are a little more numerous, with Business Management, French, and Geography on offer too, but the format is roughly the same as the Saturday School. Sign up, attend, and receive intensive training in everything from cellular and molecular biology to ecological conservation and more.
They also run a ‘Unit in a Day’ course, in which you cover exactly that, as well as ‘grade boosters’, which are single-day intensively structured courses. If you’re worried about your exam, this might be a great option for you.
If group classes are not your thing – or if you would benefit more from one-to-one revision – there is no better place to find a private tutor in Glasgow than on Superprof.
Superprof is an online platform that connects students to local tutors qualified to teach the subjects that you need. In Glasgow, there are 73 tutors offering biology tuition, at an average price of £16 an hour.
Rather than paying for classes most of the content of which you already know, why not receive personally tailored advice on that equation on which you are stuck or on that theory you are struggling to understand? With the tutors able to come to your home – or available to teach you online – learning couldn’t be more convenient.
And once you have nailed your biology, lean something else. There are over five million tutors using the site across the world – teaching over a thousand different subjects.
For those looking for alternative pathways for their studies, you may well find what you are looking for at Glasgow Kelvin College. The College offers two HNCs (or Higher National Certificates) in Applied Science, with one specialising in biology and the other covering all of the scientific topics.
This qualification equates to the first year at university, and admission to the course requires at least one Higher qualification. In association with the University of Glasgow, you can study for an Applied Science HNC – in which you will cover anatomy, physiology, maths, biology and chemistry – and continue to study any of the life sciences degrees at undergrad level.
A great option for those not taking the conventional high school route.
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Biology is a beautifully diverse subject to study.
The Glasgow Clyde College offers a similar set up, providing Highers in science alongside HNCs, HNDs (Higher National Diplomas, the next stage up from an HNC), as well as SWAP programmes in the sciences.
The latter – the Scottish Wider Access Programme qualifications – are designed for adults returning to education after a break. They are full-time courses that prepare you for degree-level courses. At Glasgow Clyde, you can study Biomedical Science and Health, Biological and Chemical Sciences, Medical Sciences as part of this programme.
With campuses across Glasgow, this is a very convenient option for students of all levels.
Once you have the required qualifications, you can apply to a degree programme at the University of Glasgow. They offer designated Bachelor degrees in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Genetics, and Human Biology, as well as postgraduate programmes in the latter three. All will provide you with an incredibly comprehensive knowledge of the chosen subject and prepare you for the world of work beyond education.
With one of the biggest science labs in Europe – and the opportunity to study abroad in a later academic year – the University of Glasgow is a great place for those serious about biology. Be aware, though, that it is a prerequisite to have A Levels, Highers, or a further education qualification if you want to apply here.
There is an introductory guide to biology study options across the UK too!
If degree study is not your cup of tea, you can always try one of the other courses that the University of Glasgow offers – in any life science. In fact, you can study just about anything in a short course, from archaeology to a different language.
These will not gain you any qualifications, but they provide an interesting insight into the world of biology for anyone who is not a scientist, a researcher, or a budding biologist.
There are many places to get biology revision help in Glasgow.
If you are not so interested in gaining an undergraduate education – or if you did your undergraduate research a long time ago – different institutions across Glasgow offer educational courses in any old specific thing that you are interested in learning about.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are precisely such a place. They have a dedicated education officer who visits schools across the city to share the treasures of the gardens, while you can take courses at the Gardens themselves if you desire.
They offer HNCs in Horticulture and Garden Design, but also a certificate in Practical Horticulture – a practical biology course in which you will look at the ecology and evolution of plants and engage in a practical study of life.
The Glasgow Science Centre is another such institution, offering interactive science education programmes to kids and adults. Attend a seminar about space or attend a workshop on the molecule or marine biology.
These courses are guaranteed to be fun and engaging.