The modules described here are the ones that we currently offer and will give you a good idea of the range of subjects that we teach. However as our undergraduate teaching is research led and we constantly review our teaching to ensure that the modules that we offer are up to date there may be changes to module titles and content.
Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.
The first year modules are designed to give you a broad and balanced view of modern biology. They will develop from what you have learned at school but you will soon be learning new material. You will take 20 credits of language in your first year taught by our Center for Modern Languages.
First year modules
Choose two optional modules
Example optional modules may include:
Introduction to Microbiology | Watch video - Broad introduction to microbiology with a focus on infectious disease, covering bacteria, fungi, protists, archaea and viruses.
Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences - This module provides a broad overview of the biology of our environment, including topics such as climate change, conservation, ecophysiology and cell biology of plants.
Genetics I - Storage of genetic information, gene expression and regulation, mitosis and meiosis, gene linkage and chromosome mapping.
At this stage you begin to tailor the degree towards your own particular interests. In your second year you will also select and apply to the European partner university. The Erasmus tutor will help you make an informed selection and support the application process.
Second year modules
Core modules (taken by all students on the Biological Sciences programme)
Communication and Skills in Biosciences - Science communication in videography, writing and speaking, ethics in science, analysis of the scientific literature.
Molecular Biology and its applications - Genetic analysis and gene cloning, DNA fingerprinting and forensics, genomics and computational approaches to genetics.
Example optional modules may include:
Animal Biology - This module explores how the central nervous system translates sensory stimuli to behaviour. Topics include comparative neurobiology, biological timekeeping, sensory biology, learning and behaviour and others.
Cell and Developmental Biology - Development of multicellular organisms, interaction between cells and the cellular matrix, regulation of stem cell function.
Microbes and Man - The impact of microbes on humans, bacteria, fungi and viruses, common themes of infectious disease mechanisms.
Genetics II - Organisation of genes and genomes, generation of genetic diversity, gene transmission and analysis of problems in transmission and molecular genetics.
Evolution of Humans and Other Animals – The primary aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of comparative animal biology in an evolutionary context.
Critical Issues for 21st Century Ecosystems - Core skills in ecosystem knowledge
Global Challenges and Plant Science |Plants interact flexibly with their environment. This module explores the cellular and molecular features facilitati ng such interactions, including interactions with parasites. The module introduces the model plant Arabidopsis, and you will design and test hypotheses in specific experiments
Field Course: Alpine and Glacial Ecology in Norway | Watch video
Field Course: Adaptations to Aquatic Environments | Watch video
Year in Continental Europe
You will join a University in France, Spain or Germany according to your language qualification. Assessments at the host university will make a small contribution to your overall degree mark (weighting 6.25%).
Upon returning from your Year in Europe, you will rejoin the final year of the BSc Biological Sciences course. The final year is made up of a combination of taught modules and independent study. It is here that the link between the teaching and the research in the school is particularly important. The final year modules are informed and inspired by the research being carried out in the school.
The final year allows choice from a range of specialised topics. Central to the final year is the research project, which makes up one third of the credits earned in the final year. This allows you to join one of our many research groups, providing the fascinating opportunity to experience research first hand and to contribute to current research projects.
Project work is not limited to the laboratory; some students will do more ecology- based projects involving field work.