In first year, modules introduce you to core subject material relevant to all degree programmes in areas such as animal and plant biology, molecular biology, cell biology and genetics. Both of the following modules are compulsory.
- Biology 1: provides an introduction to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
- Biology 2: provides an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and addresses key elements of organismal and ecological aspects of life.
In second year, modules are chosen which will best prepare you for your intended degree (or group of possible degrees) and new topics are introduced in some second year modules such as evolutionary biology and ecology.
- Research Methods in Biology (compulsory): this module will help you develop essential academic and transferable skills, with major emphasis on problem solving. This is achieved through a combination of interactive lectures, independent data-handling workshops and group work on a mini research project.
You also take three of the modules listed below.
- Cell Biology: introduces the concept of ‘a cell’, moving on to discuss different types of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell.
- Evolutionary Biology: gives an overview of the history and major principles of modern evolutionary biology.
- Invertebrate Zoology: surveys the major invertebrate groups, emphasising the diversity of body plans while demonstrating how the common functional requirements such as feeding, reproduction, respiration and excretion are achieved.
- Molecular Biology: provides an introduction to modern molecular biology.
- Applied Molecular Biology: examinescase studies to provide examples of how molecular biology techniques are applied in research to address real-life questions and problems.
- Biochemistry: a number of central metabolic pathways and their control are studied in detail, alongside examples of their importance in disease and recent metabolomic studies.
- Cell Systems: explores how cells interact with one another to form complex tissues and organisms.
- Comparative Physiology: covers the principles of physiological adaptation in a range of animals, including examples from all major taxa and from all habitats.
- Ecology: introduces basic concepts in population, behavioural and community ecology and how they relate to biodiversity.
- Vertebrate Zoology: explores the diversity of vertebrate animals, beginning with the closest relatives of vertebrates and the evolutionary origins of the group.
In third year, you will have the opportunity to begin specialising in Biology via the wide range of modules provided. The modules cover a variety of topics from animal plant interactions and zoology to pharmacology and neuroscience.
Here is a sample of Biology Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:
- Protein Structure and Function
- Developmental Biology
- Animal Behaviour
- Terrestrial Zoology
- Bacterial Virulence Factors
- Biology of Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Vertebrates
- Advanced Topics in Biomolecular Sciences.
In fourth year you will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level and will also have the opportunity to select from an extremely wide range of small, group-specialised modules. These modules are taught by academics teaching to their research strengths and at the forefront of their discipline. A research project is also undertaken which occupies between a third and half of the year.