Biological and earth sciences

The curriculum for this course will comprise academic input from four departments within the Faculty of Science, which encompasses the following subject areas: biology, geography and geology. The Sea Mammal Research Unit contributes a marine biology element, and aspects of the University's interdisciplinary undergraduate programme in sustainable development will also be incorporated through contributions from various Schools.

Lecture content will be taught by academic staff of St Andrews and will be underpinned by additional practical sessions in laboratories and on field trips, with experienced graduate students assisting.

Examples of topics students might expect:

  • FUNdamentals of rocks: exploring rocks and minerals
  • Infectious diseases
  • Glaciers: how they work and why they are relevant
  • Ice age! Climate drivers and ecosystem responses in recent Earth history
  • Ocean surfaces: monitoring the marine environment with seals and satellites
  • Sing with me! Cultural transmission of humpback whale song.

Examples of laboratory sessions or fieldwork students might expect:

  • Breath-holding laboratory
  • Shore work: algal zonation
  • Coastal restoration: saltmarsh survey and measuring mud!

These examples are merely a sample and are based on previous years, although topics may change based on the curriculum chosen by the department in any given year.

The academic course is enhanced by field trips to sites of scientific interest and cultural enrichment is provided through the general ISP programme, which includes an extensive programme of social and cultural activities, sports and much more.