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Over 50 bioscience programmes at more than 20 higher education institutions were formally awarded degree accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology at the 2024 Accreditation Awards Ceremony in Westminster. This year’s event was held on Thursday 25 April 2024 in the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons.

RSB Accreditation Awards Ceremony students group shot holding their certificates

The annual Degree Accreditation Awards Ceremony celebrates universities, both in the UK and internationally, that have been awarded Accreditation, Advanced Accreditation, International Accreditation, Master’s Accreditation, and Doctoral Training Accreditation, commemorating institutions from the past year. 

The ceremony also showcases top projects by graduates at accredited higher education institutions. Eighty-nine students took home awards this year for achieving the highest grades for their projects in their respective bioscience disciplines.

To date, 69% of eligible UK institutions hold accreditation for their programmes in addition to the Society accrediting 15 international institutions.

Paul Trimmer, director of Accreditation and Professional Affairs at RSB, said: “The RSB Accreditation programme showcases 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.

We are delighted to congratulate the 56 programmes and 23 institutions that have been accredited over the last year. An especially important milestone was awarding accreditation to our first South American institution, meaning we have now expanded our accreditation reach across six continents.

Championing high standards in education is vital to providing a foundation for a collaborative, international biosciences community and it is encouraging to see that demand for accreditation continues to grow.”

The day began with the Accreditation Conference which brought together university representatives and industry employers from around the UK to discuss best practice in higher education. Opening the conference was RSB’s Accreditation Committee chair Professor Richard Reece CBiol FRSB, followed by presentations from a variety of speakers on good practice, a workshop and presentations on AI, and a talk by Professor Leanne Williams from our sponsor LearnSci.

The evening’s Awards Ceremony was introduced by the Viscount Stansgate Dr Stephen Benn FRSB who welcomed guests and stressed the value which accreditation provides.

RSB Accreditation Awards RSB president Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSB giving a speech

RSB president Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSB went on to say how encouraging it is to see a new generation of biologists coming through to take research forward and make it a huge part of not just this country, but the world at large. Professor Boyd stated it’s important that we raise consciousness of biology and make people aware of how big a part it plays in people’s lives, and encouraged guests to get involved with Biology Week later this year.

Prior to presenting the graduates with their awards, Professor Richard Reece CBiol FRSB gave an outline of the evolution and lineage of RSB’s Accreditation Awards from when it began in 2010 and an update on where we are now. He mentioned that the RSB aims to celebrate experimental work both in the UK and internationally and congratulated all of the institutions that had been awarded in the last year.

Michael Tonge, Director of Global Graduate, PhD and Placement Programmes for R&D at AstraZeneca, gave the keynote speech focusing on recognising the exemplary institutions that nurture the next generation through instilling a passion for discovery. He stated that accreditation is a visible signal of degree quality and that collaboration between academia and industry is vital for the benefit of human health and improving people’s lives. Michael said that the award recipients in the room demonstrate the type of determination, creativity and mind-set needed to face the biggest challenges of today, from disease outbreaks to the climate crisis.

Our thanks go out to Platinum event sponsor AstraZeneca for sponsoring the evening’s ceremony and LearnSci for sponsoring the Accreditation Conference.

To learn more about accreditation and discover which programmes and institutions are accredited by RSB, click here.

Institutions awarded Accreditation:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Birkbeck, University of London
  • Burnley College
  • Coventry University
  • De Montfort University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Ulster University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Warwick
  • University of West London
  • University of Worcester

Institutions awarded Advanced Accreditation:

  • Aston University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Salford

Institutions awarded masters Accreditation:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Leeds Beckett University

Institutions awarded International Accreditation:

  • Alfaisal University
  • Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral
  • University of Hong Kong

Institution awarded African Centres of Excellence (ACE) Accreditation:

  • University of Ghana (WAGMC)