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Fifty degree programmes at 12 universities have been formally awarded accreditation by the Society of Biology.

The awards, presented at the Wellcome Collection on Wednesday, recognise degree programmes which promote academic excellence and prepare graduates for research-based careers.

Eleven high scoring graduates were also presented with the Top Graduate from an Accredited Degree Award 2014.

The Society's Degree Accreditation Programme aims to support the advancement of skills and employability in the biosciences.

The annual awards ceremony was attended by representatives from industry and the academic community, as well as the Society's member organisations, many of whom contributed to the criteria for the Degree Accreditation Programme.

Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology, said "We hope that through the Degree Accreditation Programme and the employer engagement work we have been doing, that we can add real value; to the individuals, the employers, and the UK economy, as well as inspiring more people to study the biosciences."

Speaking at the event, Professor Nessa Carey, who has worked in epigenetic drug discovery for the last decade, highlighted the importance of gaining technical and transferable skills that will allow graduates to be flexible in their future career journey.

'"The experience these students gain outside of the academic environment is vital for their technological skills but also the other skills they will gain, which are absolutely essential for a long career in science."

Professor Carey, author of the popular science book, The Epigenetics Revolution, also expressed her support for the Society's work.

"I really believe that the accredited degree programmes make an enormous difference, both to the chances of success and happiness of the careers of the graduates and also to the health and the wealth of nations in which those students will go on to work in."

A full list of degrees accredited by the Society of Biology can be found on our website.

The Society of Biology would like to thank our event sponsors: The Science Industry Partnership, AstraZeneca, OBN and UKSPA.

The Degree Accreditation Programme has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Skills and Employment through the Growth and Innovation Fund.