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International Year One in Biological Sciences

International Year One

What is the International Year One In Biological Sciences?

This International Year One programme includes modules in English language and practical biological laboratories, which are carefully tailored for your academic development and chosen area of study. These focused subjects will equip you with a broad base of knowledge in areas such as human disease genomics, genetic engineering, cell signalling and anatomy. After successfully completing the programme, and achieving the required grades, you will be able to progress to the second year of an biology-related undergraduate degree.

Key facts

Two semesters

Find out the specific term dates for this programme.

Biological Sciences/International Relations* - September, November (with Enhanced Induction) or January

Business Management/Business Management with Marketing/Civil Engineering - September only

*please note that applications for the International Relations route are now closed for the January 2024 intake.

Find out more about the entry requirements and course fees for this programme.


Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

This module introduces different cell types, human tissues, major organs, body systems and disease and emphasises the integrated nature of cells, tissues, and organs from a molecular and cellular perspective. In particular, the module will provide a comprehensive introduction to the human immune system. Topics include Generation of cells and systems in multicellular organisms, the Nervous system, Vasculature and Circulation, Respiration and Cardiology, Digestion, Liver metabolism, Kidney/electrolyte balance, Molecular immunology, Host-pathogen interactions, human disease, and immunological methods. You will learn how drugs, such as Curare, produce muscle paralysis, an effect that is useful in general anaesthesia, how adrenaline stimulates the heart, why Botox is a biological warfare agent and a cosmetic treatment and why beta blockers are used widely in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

The Molecular & Cellular Biology & Genetics module provides a basic and comprehensive grounding in the multidisciplinary science of eukaryotic cell biology and genetics. The composition, structure and function of organelles and other cellular components are discussed in the context of the cells they constitute and their biological activities. Examples from microbes, plants and animals are examined. The cellular and subcellular specialisations, and characteristics of higher tissue assemblies, are studied to understand how cells contribute to the overall functioning of the organism, and how malfunctions at the subcellular level led to diseases such as cancer. 

As cell biology is primarily an experimental science, the workings of cells will be frequently discussed in an experimental context to familiarise you with many of the common tools used by cell biologists. Cell Biology incorporates disciplines such as biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, cytology, histology, and biophysics. This module also describes the nature of the genetic material - DNA - and how it is transmitted from parents to offspring. Cell biology is increasingly important in all life sciences. Many of the advancements in modern science are the result of a better understanding of cellular components and their functions. 

This course introduces the basic concepts in Microbiology. The basic structures, types and activities of microorganisms are discussed, as well as their method of growth and reproduction. Various physical and chemical methods of control of microorganisms will be explored. Host-microbe relationships and disease processes are examined and aspects of preventing disease are introduced. The significance of microorganisms’ presence in food as well as their role in industrial processes and the environment are also outlined.

The overall aim of the module is to develop your fundamental knowledge of research philosophies and data collection methods, and to give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge to derive a research proposal within your area of study.

Why study Biological Sciences with us?

This International Year One programme will prepare you to progress onto BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences or a number of other degrees at the University of Leeds, which is one of the UK’s leading universities. Find out about the benefits of studying in this engaging and explorative environment here.

The Faculty of Biological Sciences

The University of Leeds is home to a world-class faculty, ranked among the best biological science departments across the globe. This includes the School of Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Molecular and Cellular Biology – all of which house dedicated teams of staff who engage students in high-quality research on global scientific issues.

Develop career prospects

Biological Sciences is a varied, interdisciplinary degree that can give you the tools that are vital to tackling global challenges. With a focus on developing both broad and specialist knowledge in the field, this pathway will provide you with skills needed to launch a successful career in the industry.

Support tailored to you

Designed for international students, this programme will enable you to achieve with the use of attentive teaching methods and full support throughout. Your learning will be structured in the same way as the University’s curriculum, to prepare you for the next step of your education.

University of Leeds subject rankings

The University of Leeds is ranked 4th in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology (The Guardian University Guide 2024)

The University of Leeds is ranked 23rd in the UK for Biological Sciences (The Complete University Guide 2025)

Research is at the heart of learning at the University of Leeds and it is ranked 14th in the world for International Research Network (QS World University Rankings 2025).

93% of students

who completed their International Year One programme in Biological Sciences at Leeds International Study Centre were eligible to progress to a degree course at the University of Leeds in 2023.

Progression Degrees

You will be required to take an Academic English Skills test at the end of your programme, details of English language grade requirements below. This means that once you successfully complete the International Year One, you will be ready to start the second year of your degree at the University of Leeds.

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
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How to apply

Discover how to apply for a programme at the International Study Centre. You can also find the documents you need to provide alongside your application.

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International Study Centre

Study abroad programs at the International Study Centre offers opportunities for international students to study in the UK. Discover how to progress to an undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds.

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English language courses

Our online English Language preparation courses will help you develop your English language skills to the level required to begin your chosen pathway programme.

Join us today

Our Student Enrolment Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and help you with your application. We can't wait to meet you!