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17 institutions have been awarded Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology in recognition of the high standards of education provided by their undergraduate or postgraduate bioscience degree programmes.

The RSB Accreditation programme champions excellence in the biosciences, by not only recognising degree programmes that offer a high standard of teaching, curriculum provision and practical skill set development, but also those that enhance graduate employability skills.

Over the last year, 17 more institutions' degree programmes have been recognised by the scheme, with almost 300 programmes across 38 UK institutions having now received Accreditation, and over 200 programmes across 23 UK institutions having now received Advanced Accreditation.

A parliamentary reception celebrating the latest Accreditation cohort took place on 25th April, with academics, industry representatives and bioscience students in attendance.


Students and RSB staff at the event


For the first time the RSB has awarded Doctoral Training Accreditation, in recognition of the specific skill sets and competencies students develop during their training to enhance their PhD research.

The Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences at Coventry University received their award earlier this year, the first in the UK to receive such recognition.


Representatives from Coventry University celebrating their Accreditation with Professor Dame Jean Thomas (far right)


For the first time since the programme started the RSB awarded Foundation Degree Accreditation, recognising foundation degrees that equip students with the skill sets and experience to find a career in the biosciences sector or continue their education at university.

The first Foundation Degree Accreditation was awarded to South Devon College, in recognition of its two year biosciences foundation degree.

The evening also included celebrating students gaining the Top Project Award from accredited programmes.

Professor Dame Jean Thomas Hon FRSB, President of the RSB, also presented the Presidents' Medal to Professor Simon van Heyningen for his work as member of the Accreditation Committee; Simon has been a member since its conception and has worked tirelessly to drive the scheme and shape its development.


Professor Simon van Heyningen (middle) receiving his Presidents' Medal with Professor Dame Jean Thomas (left) and George Freeman MP (right)


Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the RSB, said: “We are delighted to congratulate the 17 institutions who have been awarded a form of accreditation this year.

“Now, almost 50% of UK Higher Education Institutions have programmes accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

"It is a fantastic development that we are now able to offer accreditation to both foundation degrees and doctoral training programmes as part of our Accreditation programme.

“We want to ensure that all bioscientists, at any stage of education, can embark on their studies in the knowledge that they will receive an exceptional standard of training and support, equipping them with the skills employers particularly value.”

12 universities were awarded Accreditation for their undergraduate bioscience degrees, and Aberystwyth University and The University of Manchester received Advanced Accreditation for their Master’s Degree programmes.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The University of Hong Kong were awarded International Accreditation.

More photos from the evening can be found on the RSB Flickr page.

Institutions awarded Accreditation:

  • Aberystwyth University - 20 degree programmes
  • Anglia Ruskin University - one degree programme
  • Aston University - six degree programmes
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University - six degree programmes
  • University of Derby - four degree programmes
  • University of East Anglia - one degree programme
  • Keele University - 24 degree programmes
  • Liverpool John Moores University - four degree programmes
  • Newcastle University - 16 degree programmes
  • Nottingham Trent University - seven degree programmes
  • University of Plymouth - four degree programmes
  • University of Salford - 14 degree programmes

Institutions awarded Advanced Accreditation:

  • Aberystwyth University - five degree programmes
  • The University of Manchester - 54 degree programmes

Institutions awarded International Accreditation:

  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University - one degree programme
  • The University of Hong Kong - two degree programmes

Institutions awarded Doctoral Training Accreditation:

  • Coventry University - one Doctoral Training scheme

Institutions awarded Foundation Degree Accreditation:

  • South Devon College - one degree programme