Choosing the right degree can be tricky; there are lot of questions to be answered.
In this section:
I am thinking of a career in research
How to spot an advanced accredited degree
Get on faster
Is biology right for me?
What if I want to study another subject as part of my degree?
Accreditation by other organisations
If you’re thinking of entering a career in research then you might want to consider what practical skills and experience a particular degree course offers. Studying a degree with advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology is one way to show you have that experience; it means that you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project in a working environment. This experience will typically be six months to a year, meaning that it will often be a placement, or sandwich, year in industry, or an integrated masters year.
Working with experts from universities and employers from across the country, we assess degree programmes to make sure you receive up-to-date knowledge of the subject, and current research and analytical methods as well as the right learning support and teaching environments.
Sometimes a course might not show our logo but you might see the following statement:
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders of the future. The advanced accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.
Key Information Sets (KIS) are a new way to help you compare and choose undergraduate courses. Universities use them to publish survey data about how satisfied students are with their courses as well as detailed course information, graduate employment prospects and tuition fees. They may also include a similar statement about accredited courses.
The Advanced Degree Accreditation Programme is an optional scheme run by the Royal Society of Biology. This means that some UK undergraduate courses aren’t accredited even if they meet the criteria. There are many excellent degree programmes delivered by UK universities which do not have advanced accreditation.
Once you graduate from an advanced accredited degree, you will be able to become a Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB) after only one further year of work or professional practice, rather than the usual three.
Through membership you will:
If you're thinking about a career in biology, check out our career resources which have loads of advice about going to university, gaining experience, and job hunting. Alternatively, why not download the Becoming A Biologist: Degrees and Careers in Biology for some ideas about where a biology degree could take you.
If you don't want to focus so much on research during your degree, or want to combine biology with another subject, then look out for Royal Society of Biology recognised degrees. A recognised degree means that it still delivers enough biology content (more than 50%) for you become an associate member when you graduate and demonstrate your professionalism as a qualified biologist.
Lots of other organisations also accredit degrees programmes, including the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Some, such as the Institute of Biomedical Science are looking for degrees that meet specific requirements for programme content and enable you to gain professional registration.
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) offers a complimentary undergraduate and taught postgraduate degree accreditation scheme covering a wide range of applied ecological and environmental management topics. CIEEM’s scheme can cover whole degrees or accredited degree pathways as appropriate.