If you are in the UK and hoping to learn biology, you have come to the right place. Here, we outline some of the best options for studying the biological sciences up and down the country – at whatever level you may be at.
If you are prospective undergraduate hoping to find the best degree course through which to get a rigorous academic qualification, or a high school student looking for a great place for revision; an adult seeking an extra string to add to your bow of qualifications or a casual learner after a one-off biology lecture – you’ll find what you are looking for here.
This list has some of the best educational institutions in the country – from universities to revision classes to further education colleges. And with the great biology teaching that they offer, you are sure to gain the skills and knowledge that you need to succeed.
Biology is a discipline of amazing breadth and diversity, spanning from the great biological systems of plants, animals, and other living organisms to the microscopic life at the level of microorganisms and bacteria. It ranges from what we call conservation biology – the study of mechanisms to protect ecology and ecosystems – to cellular and molecular biology, the study of the tiniest things that make up our organism and life on Earth.
Within this, there is space for everyone to study what they love, from the politics of biodiversity and neuroscience to the chemistry and physics at the basis of molecular science, photosynthesis, or bioinformatics. There’s mathematics, geography, and animal behaviour too.
If any of these interest you, a course in biology may well inspire you to consider any of the careers in biology. From laboratory research to work in academia, teaching, medicine, or environmental policy, there are many options for professional work in the sciences. And some biology qualifications will of course be necessary for all of these.
Biology covers everything from these blood cells to rainforests stretching thousands of miles.
When you look at the different options to study biology – whether that’s for a science degree or for the study of life at any other level – you will find many institutions offering very similar options. This means lots of places offering A Levels and GCSEs, lots of higher education institutions, and lots of different private tutors.
The main thing that you should consider when enrolling in any of these is that you are comfortable in the school and that you warm to and trust the teachers. Because, at the end of the day, your teacher is the one that will determine whether you want to study your subject at all.
So, make sure that you take a look around whichever school, college, or university you are interested in before you commit. Whilst this might seem obvious with universities – considering the amount of open days there are – when you are considering revision classes or private tuition, the advice is precisely the same.
Good luck! We hope you find what you are looking for.
London is one of the best places in the world to study the life science. With some of the most important biological science institutions in the country – if not on the planet – it will not disappoint you. And that’s whether you want to study microbiology, organ systems, or environmental biology – or anything else for that matter.
For more detail on the options available to budding students of biology, check out our piece on biology courses in London.
For those currently studying biology at GCSE or A Level, the UK’s capital has plenty of options for extra revision. Active primarily during the Easter school break, institutions like Mander Portman Woodward or PMT Courses provide intensive, high-quality courses in different locations across London.
So, no matter which exam board or qualification you are studying for, these revision classes will have you covering everything from genetics to biochemistry to evolutionary theory – all in a busy week.
PMT, in association with IntoUniversity, has some free spaces on their courses, so check them out!
It’s not just kids that have the opportunity to learn about evolution, human physiology, or genomics. Rather, London has plenty of opportunities for adult learners too.
Try out the City of Westminster College, which offers A Levels and GCSEs to adults. Or the City and Islington College, which offers a range of practical courses including Access to Higher Education Diplomas. These are for those budding undergraduates who do not yet have the prerequisite qualifications.
If you are dead set on a career in biology – if you can see yourself working in a biology lab – you will need to take an undergraduate degree in your subject. Whilst the majority of higher education institutions in London offer these, Imperial College London is probably the best for the sciences.
Here you will study in depth the extent of your subject, covering everything from animal physiology to immunology, from ecosystem management to evolutionary biology. At the same time, this will prepare you, if you so wish, for graduate study and ultimately for postdoctoral research.
Study animals and plants in a biology course.
If you’re not a Londoner, don’t fret. Manchester has some great opportunities too for studying biology. Here, we look at two options – biology revision for kids and adult learning opportunities – but you can find more information about biology lessons in Manchester in our dedicated article on the subject.
For those Mancunians looking for an opportunity to consolidate their learning before their biology examinations, there is A Level Revision UK. These guys run revision classes at Manchester Metropolitan University, throughout Easter, and here you will cover everything from the ecological to the organismal, from the microbial to the biochemical.
Biology in Action also run revision days in Manchester, but these are designed to be more inspirational than comprehensive.
Manchester is a great place for adults to study biology – at A Level or diploma level. These courses cover the basics of general biology for people who return to the subject later in life.
The courses are inspiring, well-taught, and guaranteed to get your enjoying and understanding everything from population genetics to cell biology.
Birmingham, as another of the major UK cities, is another great place to study. If you are after a postgraduate research project in biology or a private tutor to help you through your A Level exams in chemistry or physics, there is something here for you.
Check out our full article on learning biology in Birmingham for more.
Birmingham is another city in which MPW has a school, so if you’re living in this city you can take advantage of the quality, reliable revision classes to get yours through your GCSE and A Level exams.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for an A Level to study, you could do much worse than the South and City College, which has eight campuses spread across the city. Here, you can learn everything you need from the A Level biology curriculum and prepare yourself for a biology degree at the same time.
Whilst this could go under any city, you may find that you prefer to learn with a private tutor. These give you a greater flexibility and a personal attention to human biology, plant physiology, or cellular biology – or whatever it is you are struggling with!
Superprof is a great place to find such a tutor, with hundreds of expert teachers scattered across the country as well as in Birmingham too.
Understand the processes that create our DNA in a biology course at university.
The options in Leeds are just as broad, with opportunities to study ecology and evolution or cell structure at any level, pace, or age.
For more, click through to our specific article on biology courses in Leeds.
If you are struggling with any of the biology topics in high school biology, you could try attending a revision course in Leeds. Justin Craig Education and EducateFirst are two brilliant institutions offering such courses – and you can study for general chemistry, mathematics, or English courses too.
Whilst Justin Craig is based just outside Leeds, its combination of quality teaching and age-old expertise promises that they will have you fluent in zoology, population biology, or other parts of modern biology in no time.
Those interested in pursuing a career in botany, biophysics, or marine biology will need to consider undergraduate research at a higher education institution. Try the biology department at the University of Leeds for such opportunities in the city.
Make sure you check out the prerequisites before you seek admission.
Last but not least, we have Glasgow, a city which, like the others, has plenty of options to engage academically with the diversity of life. Check out the University of Glasgow’s department of biology, make your own scientific discoveries at the Glasgow Science Centre, or go over the basics of human disease in a revision class.
For more information on study options for biology in Glasgow, follow the link.
For those interested in exploring the science of living things and living systems at degree level, but who do not have the space in their schedule to attend university full time, don’t forget that you can explore the options for online biology degrees with the Open University.
These are just as comprehensive as those you study in person – and just as well-regarded – and you will cover everything from cell and molecular biology to population ecology. This is a great option for learners up and down the country.