What you'll study
The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.
First year modules
The first year is designed to give you a good foundation in all aspects of Biology, from molecular genetics through to ecology. Modules include training in essential skills including fundamental laboratory and field skills, experimental design, scientific writing and data analysis.
Chemistry of Life
Develop the theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory skills to investigate the 'biomolecular' building blocks of living systems.
Diversity of Life
Through practical workshops, this module introduces you to the diversity of life and the fascinating adaptations that enable organisms to inhabit nearly all conceivable ecological niches.
Why did sex evolve? Why do we die? What is a species? How can evolutionary medicine help us? This module will provide you with an understanding of how life on earth came to be what it is, from genes to species. Without evolution, nothing in Biology makes sense.
Principles of Genetics
Explore core genetic concepts leading to an understanding of how genetics underlies the biological and molecular traits observed in organisms.
Cells and Organelles
Explore the fascinating inner workings of cells, giving you a foundation in areas such as cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry.
Explore topics including: the circulatory system, blood and cardiac muscles; the nervous system; reproduction; respiration; the gastro-intestinal system: and the endocrine system.
Ecology is the study of interactions among living organisms and their environment, and is the basis for nature conservation and understanding human impact on the planet. Gain an understanding of ecological theory, applied ecology, and the collection and analysis of ecological data. You can choose to complete integrated PADI Advanced Open Water training, with an opportunity to develop specialist diving skills relevant to ecological science.
Second year modules
In the second year you can start to tailor your programme to your interests, and will also be introduced to more advanced lab or field techniques. We will also give you training in how to apply for scientific jobs to enhance your employment prospects on graduating.
You'll take a problem-based approach to understanding modern molecular genetics and genomics of eukaryotes.
Professional and Research Skills for Biologists
Develop key experimental design and data analysis skills necessary for your degree. You’ll learn how to identify and evidence your skills and experience to help you secure employment in the future.
Explore the development of modern ideas in evolutionary biology, and their importance for understanding a variety of fundamental biological processes.
Molecular Cell Biology
Discover the important role histopathology plays in the diagnosis of disease, prognosis and treatment. Explore the journey that tissue biopsies take from the patient to the microscope.
Have we entered a new era of mass extinctions? Examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics that make some species more vulnerable than others. Learn to use scientific evidence to support biological conservation strategies.
Animal Form and Function
Learn how ecology shapes morphology, physiology and behaviour in different animals and across different environments, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Discover the fascinating world of photosynthetic organisms, from single celled marine algae to the giant trees of the tropical rain forests. Practical classes will teach you ways of investigating plants and algae in the lab and in the field.
Develop your understanding of why wild animals behave the way they do. You’ll study the proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour, and the interactions between animals and their environment.
Develop a detailed understanding of fisheries science covering taxonomy, distribution, growth, mortality, population dynamics, feeding, reproduction, parasites and predation.
Final year modules
You can select your choice of final year modules from a wide range of options, including residential field courses around the world, Biology in Education or a work placement module.
You can choose modules allowing in-depth study of areas of interest; we regularly review our final year modules to ensure they include cutting edge topics. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a research project within your area of interest, working closely with a member of our academic staff to develop skills to prepare you for employment or post-graduate study.
Independent Research Project
You'll have the opportunity to work on your own lab-based project. For many students, this is the highlight of their degree, as it's a chance to show off their skills in a real-world environment.
Structured Research Project
Undertake a collaborative research project, working with a team of other students to investigate research questions relevant to your degree.
Biology in Education
Thinking about teaching as a career? Undertake placements in local schools and deliver your own science lesson.
Human Evolution and Genomics
Can we sequence the DNA of fossil humans? Are humans still evolving? Did Neanderthals really go extinct? How can a knowledge of human genetics help understand disease?
Field Studies (Biology)
Recent students have selected from destinations including a dive-based trip in Malaysia and an exploration of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil (financial contribution required).
Sex and Social Behaviour
You'll develop a deeper understanding of fascinating topics such as the evolution of sex, cryptic female choice, sperm competition, sexual conflict, parental care, brood parasitism, co-operative breeding and much more.
Molecular and Medical Parasitology
Explore a range of medically important parasites which have a major impact on the morbidity and mortality of populations around the globe. And develop practical skills in parasitology.
Insects are among the most numerous, diverse and awesome creatures on the planet. In a mix of lectures, workshops, practicals and field trips, you'll discover this amazing, crazy little world we’re lucky enough to study.
Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.
Study the impacts of pollutants and ocean acidification on aquatic organisms at the molecular and cellular level.
Wildlife Ecology and Management
Explore issues surrounding wildlife resources with a focus on resolving disagreement between different groups with their own valid objectives (e.g. agriculture, conservation and government). You'll have the opportunity to engage with industry experts and practice industry standard procedures.
Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.
Gain an understanding of the key concepts in cancer biology. You'll learn how current research impacts diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.