From understanding how molecules and cells work to the study of entire ecosystems, biology at St Andrews covers all aspects of the natural world.

Teaching and research is interdisciplinary, spanning the biological, geographical, and psychological sciences. Biology at St Andrews specialises in:

  • animal behaviour
  • biology
  • biochemistry
  • cell biology
  • evolutionary biology
  • marine biology
  • neuroscience 
  • sustainable development. 
Student observing test tubes in a lab


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Biology offers both PhD and MSc(Res) programmes. Research in biology at St Andrews covers the full spectrum of biological science research, spanning the investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules to planetary environmental dynamics. 

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.

“A big motivation of mine for studying at St Andrews was the excellent research that is being carried out. As a biologist with the aim of going into research, it was important to me that the university had the facilities and people that would drive me in that direction. I love how personal the teaching style is here – students are welcome to chat to the lecturers and they are always happy to help.”

- Vienna, Austria


Second in Scotland and fifth in the UK for biology

Guardian University Guide 2023

Second in Scotland for biological sciences

Complete University Guide 2023

84% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)