London, England

IFSA Biosciences Career Accelerator

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Programs
  4. /
  5. IFSA Biosciences Career Accelerator

Program Overview

EXPLORE NEXT STEPS AS YOU STRENGTHEN YOUR RESUME FOR A DYNAMIC SECTOR 

Designed in partnership with leading U.S. universities, and The Leadership Edge—a top biosciences talent firm that works with more than 1,000 industry companies—and bioscience professionals, this unique program includes critical biology, neuroscience, and public health classes. Plus, opt to take a class at Queen Mary, University of London. That’s just the start.  

As you advance toward your degree, you’ll learn how the biosciences sector works and build professional skills through group challenges based on real-world situations, company visits, and guest speakers. You’ll also boost your resume with a leadership certificate, reflecting your newly honed skills. 

Preparation for a global field
Science is a worldwide collaboration. That makes London—a city as diverse as it is sophisticated—the perfect location to build intercultural agility as you explore and articulate cultural differences. These skills are incredibly valuable to the multinational companies in this sector that draw professionals from every continent. 

Location, location, location
London is the world’s 11th largest city for biosciences, with a thriving ecosystem that spans the entire sector, from biotech to nutraceuticals. It’s also the world’s top study-abroad destination. Get to know the city as you wander Camden Market, wonder at Tate Modern masterpieces, time travel at the Tower of London, and connect with local peers during special meetups, meals, and excursions.   

This is an exclusive IFSA-Designed Program. Learn more about these affordable programs here.

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: April 15
Spring: Oct. 1

Minimum GPA

2.00

Credit load

12–17

Housing

Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Instruction language

English

Language prerequisites

None

Visa required?

Not in most cases. Learn More.

Apply Now

Academics

Build your own curriculum with a combination of IFSA classes. All students take Leadership for the Biosciences Sector. Select IFSA elective classes for a total of 12–15 U.S. semester credit hours. Or, combine IFSA elective classes with one or two direct-enroll class at Queen Mary for a total of 12–17 U.S. semester credit hours.

CORE CLASS

Leadership Development for the Biosciences Sector (required)
Get ready to approach a fulfilling career in biosciences with insider’s knowledge and in-demand skills. From researchers to the range of team players that support their breakthroughs by managing projects, marketing, finance, and more, employers in this exciting sector seek talented candidates who can think critically, communicate, and collaborate effectively with a diverse group of teammates.

This unique class complements academic work, combining professional skill development with an in-depth look at how this industry operates, and delivering thoughtfully designed opportunities to put learning into practice. Lessons come to life with group projects, visits to industry companies and organizations, talks from experts who are driving industry change, and networking events—each enriched by immersion in London’s globally recognized bioscience ecosystem.

When you finish this class, you’ll have a complete understanding of career options that build on your love of science, as well as valuable global connections and a deeper understanding of your personal strengths. In addition, you will have an exclusive credential from The Leadership Edge—a firm that partners with 1,000+ life science companies, worldwide—to highlight your new abilities. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

IFSA BIOSCIENCES ELECTIVE CLASSES
IFSA has carefully tailored a suite of bioscience classes to fit U.S. degree requirements. All classes are open to all students. Prerequisites for some classes may be required. Please note, not all classes may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment. Click on each link below for a detailed class syllabus.

Biochemistry
This class focuses on studying chemical reactions at a molecular level to gain a deep understanding of living matter. Metabolic homeostasis, protein structure, and nutrient intakes impact on molecules will be covered. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Cognitive Neuroscience Foundations
This class will introduce the cognitive systems in neuroscience that include attention, pattern recognition, knowledge representation, language, reasoning, and human intelligence.  (3 U.S. semester credit hours) 

Ecology
This class will provide an overview of population biology, evolutionary ecology, community structure, with emphasis on species interactions, including competition, predation, and symbiosis.  (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Introduction to Statistics for Biosciences
This class will introduce the statistical methods used in the analysis of biological experiments. Topics covered in this class will include descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, regression, correlation, contingency analysis, and the testing of methods for sampling natural populations. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Microbiology
This class focuses on the different types of microorganisms, how they function, and research methods that can be applied to understand and manipulate them further.  (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Microbiome and the Brain
This class focuses on the microorganisms living within our body and how this plays a role in our health. This will include an overview of bacterial diversity and taxonomy, types and mechanisms of plant-bacteria interactions, bacterial pathogenesis, and methods for study. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Scientific Communication
In this class, students will develop skills in written and oral scientific communication. The class provides background on the different segments of scientific writing, including the peer review process and research communication. It requires students to write papers, abstracts, and grant proposals. Additionally, the class will provide context for copy editing, peer review and critique, and preparing presentations and proposals.  (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

IFSA ELECTIVE CLASSES
All classes are open to all students. Prerequisites for some classes may be required. Please note, not all classes may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment. Click on each link below for a detailed class syllabus.

Business Classes (coming soon)

Computer Classes (coming soon)

General Classes

Directed Research
This class offers a unique opportunity for students to delve deeply into host context research projects. Students will be guided through projects that are both feasible in the study abroad context and relevant to their broader intellectual interests. The class is structured through regular individual meetings with a faculty mentor to discuss the formation and execution of a research plan and, depending on the specific project, the possibility to conduct field- or internet-based research. At the end of the semester, students present a formal research paper. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Fantasy in the Real World: Literature through the Sociological Lens
Fantasy literature has great power – but does it also have great responsibility? This course looks at mainstream and fringe fantasy literature from the past century and the power that it has in modern society at large. We will examine its creation, consumption, and its ability to impact the real world. Using works such as Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, The Lord of the Rings, and The Game of Thrones, as well as lesser-known writings, we will embrace the fantasy genre as a safe space to explore sociological topics that are difficult to clarify in the real world, such as race, gender, class, and political processes. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Introduction to Machine Learning
The class provides an introduction to machine learning (ML), focusing on both solid and reliable theoretical foundations and ability to use its methods in practice. In the theoretical part, the focus is on understanding the variety of state-of-the-art ML models and algorithms. The models for ML range from geometrical, to probabilistic and logical. Students will learn how to distinguish these models and how to use them effectively. Several specific models and algorithms will be discussed, including regression, clustering, decision trees and neural networks, and deep learning. The applications of ML in data analytics will also be analyzed. Concurrently, students develop a solution for a test problem using tools discussed in the class, such as git, python, etc. The practical experience with ML algorithms is helpful in assessing the effectiveness of ML algorithms and provides an understanding of the key role of data selection and the evaluation of results. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Sustainability and the Global City
This class introduces urban sustainability from multiple disciplinary perspectives. It aims to provide students with the theoretical and methodological tools with which to evaluate potential for sustainable urbanism. Focusing on London alongside comparative global case studies, students will be exposed to urban planning and both natural and build environments in order to evaluate the common challenges and successes related to sustainability efforts. Through experiential learning opportunities, students will develop first-hand context as they examine various facets of sustainable urbanization in London. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Trends Start Here: New Media and Behavior
As individuals increasingly consume news from sources of personal choice and become producers of news through social media engagement, this class investigates communication patterns and human action. The relationship between media reporting and its impact on the psyche and decision-making provides a basis for course discussions. How does social networking affect our views of ourselves and others? How does our personal selectivity in news media consumption impact our choices and communications behavior? (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Urban Identities: Gender, Race, and Class in London
Drawing from anthropology and sociology, this course utilizes intercultural learning theories to foster awareness of one’s own perspectives as well as those of the myriad communities that comprise London. Multiple approaches to framing the multicultural city and appreciating common and contested spaces as inherent to urban diversity are included. This course will examine the role, function, and effects of identity as it relates to the lived experiences of Londoners. While case studies examine gender, race, and class specifically, the course will approach identity from the perspective of intersectionality, in which the dimensions of diversity are understood as the simultaneous interplay of multiple factors. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Psychology Classes

The Psychology of Crime and Justice in the UK
This class will follow the historical evolution of forensic psychology from Jack the Ripper to Julian Assange. Is a criminal mind born as such, or is the criminal a product of their environment? What role do governments and societies play in facing crime? Students will gain a foundation in relevant areas of psychology and psychoanalysis and then examine how that science interacts with real-world judicial systems. Additional topics will include punishment, treatment, and rehabilitation; assessment and intervention; and how dimensions of privilege can impact perceptions of crime and justice in both conscious and subconscious ways. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Social Psychology
A comparison of familiar social settings with unfamiliar social norms and behaviors abroad, this class explores the basic theory and research of social psychology – studying the interaction between individuals and social groups and how the behavior of groups and individuals within them is mutually affected. Students will demonstrate and discuss the pillar concepts of social psychology, including conformity, conflict, persuasion, helping, perceptions, and social identity. Students will expand on the roots of feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior locally and globally and explore your own attitudes and identity. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

QUEEN MARY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON DIRECT-ENROLL CLASSES 

Elective classes, including lab classes, are available at Queen Mary, University of London for a supplemental fee. You may take one or two classes. Queen Mary requires a 3.0 GPA minimum for enrollment in its classes.

CHART Your Course
Find the classes you need fast with CHART. Our easy-to-use tool shows you classes recently taken by IFSA students.

Credit Conversion
15 Queen Mary credits = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
20 Queen Mary credits = 5 U.S. semester credit hours
30 Queen Mary credits = 8 U.S. semester credit hours

Fall Classes
Some popular options are listed below, but you have access to any class available to visiting students. To view available classes at Queen Mary, visit the university’s class catalog.

  • Be sure to filter by Associate student modules, as these are available to visiting students.
  • Study abroad students may reroll in level 4, 5, and 6 classes. Levels often correspond with academic years.
    • Level 4 is an introductory university-level module.
    • Level 5 is an intermediate university-level module
    • Level 6 is an advanced university-level module.

Arts & Social Sciences

  • Art Histories: An Introduction to the Visual Arts in London
  • British Horror: Film, Television, and Literature
  • How Do You Know? From the Culture of Facts to Post-Truth Society
  • Labor Law: Individual Protections, Human Rights and Workplace Justice
  • Shakespeare: The Play, the Word and the Book
  • The Anthropocene: Between the Natural and Social Sciences

Biology

  • AI and Data Science in Biology
  • The Basis of Gastro-Intestinal Disease
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cells
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Classical Physics
  • Evolution
  • Experimental Neuropathology
  • Form and Function in Biology
  • Human Molecular Biology
  • Infectious Disease Biology
  • Introduction to Biopsychology
  • Introduction to Oral Biology
  • Laboratory Methods
  • The Microbial World and Humans
  • Molecular Biology, Immunology and Pathogenesis for Infection Science
  • Practical Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease in the Hospital and in the Community
  • Properties of Dental Materials I
  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Business & Economics

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Financial Accounting
  • Gender at Work
  • Health Economics
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Operations Management

Computer Science

  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Computer Graphics
  • Database Systems
  • Introduction to Multimedia
  • Logic and Discrete Structures
  • Signals and Systems Theory

Neuroscience

  • The Basis of Gastro-Intestinal Disease
  • Biomedical Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Exploring Neuroscience
  • Translational Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics

Psychology

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Health Psychology

Students who enroll in fall term modules within the School of Economics and Finance or the School of Biological and Behavioral Sciences will complete final assessments online in January. Queen Mary does not allow alternate arrangements to be made for either full degree or study abroad students, including IFSA students.

Spring Classes
Students enrolled in the spring term will complete on-site class instruction in late April. Final assessment, papers, and/or projects will be completed upon returning home and by the end of the regular Queen Mary spring term. Available classes may change from spring term to spring term. Reach out to your IFSA Enrollment Counselor for more information and assistance in locating classes.

Lab & Field Trip Fees
Please review syllabi and course materials when registering for direct-enroll classes. Certain classes may have a one-off lab or field trip fee disclosed in the syllabus or during the first meeting of the class. These fees are not included in your IFSA program fee. You will be responsible for these fees, whether they are billed and paid by IFSA or billed to you.

Queen Mary Prerequisites

  • Queen Mary requires a 3.0 GPA minimum for enrollment in its classes.
  • Class prerequisites as stated in syllabi.
  • Spring classes must completed on-site class instruction in late April.

DIRECTED RESEARCH
Engage in individualized field research with faculty experts on a contemporary issue of interest. Regular meetings with faculty will assist in the formation and execution of research plans, and they will guide you on how to thoughtfully and critically integrate academic research with experiential learning. You will sharpen your written and oral communication skills through the development of articulate and comprehensive research that is respectful to the sensitivities of the local culture.

If you chose to research live human subjects, live animals or another topic that is deemed by IFSA to be required to be reviewed by the Institutional Research Board (IRB) at your home institution, then you will have to file your project with your home institution’s IRB board and submit your result to IFSA. Your IFSA Enrollment Counselor will review your application materials to help determine if you must file with IRB.

For more detailed information and examples of previous student placements, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility

  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Your application to this program will require one (1) academic letter of recommendation.

 

TRANSCRIPT
Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.

Excursions

Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.

Activities

  • London Pandemics–Past and Present: This event will engage you with both an historic overview and a contemporary look at concepts of community health and global health, with a particular focus on London and the pandemic. You will attend a guest lecture at the IFSA Program Center, followed by the John Snow Cholera Tour. This tour will take you to the nearby streets of Soho to visit important sites in the story of Dr. Snow and the cholera outbreak in 1854.
  • London Statue Walk: This walking tour includes stops at some of London’s most iconic statues as well as some of its most obscure, weaving in historical, cultural, literary, and political threads as it seeks to put the past into dialogue with the present.
  • Homelessness in London–A Dialogue: This event will explore the realities of homelessness in London from three perspectives. First, you will participate in a dialogue with guest speakers followed by a tour of Central London developed, curated, and delivered by vulnerably housed individuals through Unseen Tours.

Excursions

  • The Square Mile Tour: The City of London, also known as the Square Mile, is just over one mile of the capital city. But what a mile it is. The Square Mile is the oldest part of London, dating back to 43 A.D. when the Romans christened it Londinium. From St. Paul’s Cathedral to Borough Market, the Bank of England to Tower Bridge, this walking tour will give you an exclusive glimpse into the London of old and new.
  • London Graffiti and Street Art Tour: Get ready to experience the very best London has to offer in street art and graffiti during our urban street art adventure through the amazing painted streets of Shoreditch, East London and the surrounding areas. See work by some of the world’s most famous street artists including Banksy, Ben Eine, Obey, Roa, C215 and 100s more. We introduce you to all the various types of street art from street sculpture to stencils, wheat pastes and stickers. In addition to schooling you in graffiti art and explaining the different styles of lettering and techniques used in street art, the tour will really open your eyes to the graffiti/street art around you, as well as the meaning behind the graffiti.
  • Stonehenge and Bath Visit: Stonehenge has stood on Salisbury Plain for around 5,000 years and it’s still unknown how the prehistoric monument came to rest there! Make up your own mind during this visit and discover the fascinating theories behind these rocks. You’ll learn about Stonehenge from the fascinating exhibits and be able to enjoy a virtual sunrise as it rises over the prehistoric stones! Afterward, travel to the Roman city of Bath for a walking tour of this World Heritage city once home to Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Gainsborough, Lord Nelson, and Beau Nash. Then prepare to travel back 2,000 years to the Roman era with a visit to the Roman Baths.
  • Piers and Queers Brighton Trip: Since the 18th century Brighton has become a cosmopolitan place of recreation, escape, and freedom. A destination for people who didn’t conform. With an LGBTQ+ population now estimated at 15%, Brighton celebrated England’s first civil partnerships, and hosts the UK’s largest Pride event as well as Europe’s first Trans Pride, rightly earning its title as the LGBTQ+ Capital of Britain. Peers and Queers is a tour of Brighton from a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer perspective, in a colorful 90-minute walk along the beach and historic city center taking in more than 200 years of history including Regency Dandies, 1950s lesbian and gay life, and political activism. Afterward, there’s time for a walk on the pier and fish and chips, just watch out for seagulls!
  • Windsor Castle and Eton College Tours: Take a full-day tour to the beautiful Berkshire towns of Windsor and Eton. Visit the king’s home at Windsor Castle which has more than 900 years of royal history and is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. After lunch it will be on to Eton, home of the world-famous Eton College founded in 1440. Eton has educated generations of British and foreign aristocracy and members of the Royal family including Princes William and Harry, and British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Housing and Meals

Housing

Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Meals

Self-Catering

Details

Housing and Meals  

Students live in London in centrally located furnished flats (apartments) selected by IFSA, with IFSA students as flatmates.  

  • Living space: Many flats have single bedrooms and private bathrooms. Others have single bedrooms and shared baths; some have shared bedrooms and shared baths.  
    • Bedrooms include bed, desk, chair, wardrobe, and light for each student. 
    • Linens and towels are typically not provided.  
    • There’s comfortable space to cook, eat, socialize, and study either in your flat or in convenient common areas.  
  • Meals: Students cook or purchase their own meals. Flats include shared kitchens. Most are fully equipped; if not, kitchenware is easy to purchase nearby. Flatmates say cooking and eating together is a fun, social part of their day.   
  • Commute: Varies by location. Expect a 20- to 45-minute trip by Tube (subway), bus, or on foot.  
  • Nearby: Camden Market, South Bank, Covent Garden, The British Museum, Hyde Park…the list goes on!

Dates and Fees

Term
Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Spring 2025
Mid-Jan. 2025
Early May 2025
$20,575 (estimated)
Oct. 1, 2024
Fall 2025
Early Sept. 2025
Mid-Dec. 2025
$20,575 (estimated)
April 15, 2025

Get Started

Eleni Katsarelas

Eleni Katsarelas

Enrollment Counselor