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
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.
This module introduces key general learning skills and essential practical skills required for a degree in the biological sciences.
Introduction to Environmental Science
Discover the fundamental principles of environmental systems and the interconnectedness of humankind with the environment.
Ecology and Evolution
Delve into topics such as the genetic basis of evolution, natural selection, animal behaviour, population biology and ecosystem ecology.
A week long residential field course examining the ecology of specific habitat types such as sandy and rocky shores, shallow water marine environments, woodlands and grasslands.
Train to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver standard and develop specialist diving skills including underwater navigation, deep diving, photography, and underwater naturalist.
This module allows you to learn theory and practise communicating a topic related to your degree, in a range of ways for a range of audiences.
Second year modules
Carry out practical observations of fish, squid, crustaceans, annelids and nematodes, and improve your skills in taxonomy and identification.
Marine Biology and Oceanography
Study physical and chemical oceanography and marine ecosystems such as tropical marine systems, deep sea and hydrothermal vents.
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 temporal and spatial factors affecting composition and productivity of intertidal systems, and the sustainability of intertidal resources.
Animal Form and Function
Learn how ecology shapes morphology, physiology and behaviour in different animals and across different environments, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Geographical Information Systems
Develop your understanding of the principles and processes behind GIS, the nature and use of spatial data and the application of GIS on this practical module.
Examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics, such as life-history, ecology and distribution, that make some species more vulnerable than others.
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 a detailed understanding of fisheries science covering taxonomy, distribution, growth, mortality, population dynamics, feeding, reproduction, parasites and predation.
Final year modules
Aquatic Resource Management
Learn key elements of aquatic resource management, including status of aquatic resources, exploitation methods, management processes and sustainability.
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.
Sensory Physiology of Animals
Discover the fascinating world of animal communication to learn how sensory systems control behaviour, and how this is applied to and affected by human activity, including climate change.
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).
Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring
Learn about the socio-economic, ecological, environmental, aesthetic and legislative aspects of EIAs, the industry standard for assessing the impact of new developments.
Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring
Examine the need for and context of field-based environmental monitoring strategies for both habitats and species. By taking part in fieldwork and research, you'll monitor a range of species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater monitoring and monitoring of marine communities.
You’ll study how climate change, overfishing, pollution and other critical challenges threaten marine ecosystems.
Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.
Conservation in a Changing World
Managing and protecting the natural environment is difficult enough, but we currently face rapid and dramatic change in climate, environment and socio-economic structures. Explore the challenges of planning effectively for conservation in a changing world.
Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.
Threatened Marine Habitats
Study the dynamics and ecology of threatened marine habitats (like coral reefs, mangroves, hydrothermal vents and polar regions), their anthropogenic threats and strategies for mitigation.
All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.