You will study a wide range of topics, including ecology, biodiversity, evolution and genetics, further broadening your perspective by choosing modules in the School of Earth and Environment, such as creating sustainable futures.
Ecology is best understood through observation and practical experience, so in year 1 you will explore whole organism biology in the lab and field and you will go to the coast of Scotland to undertake the first of the residential field courses that we offer. You’ll be introduced to the exciting world of ecology and conservation research right from the start.
Year 1 compulsory field course: coastal and uplands habitats in Millport, Scotland.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.
You will specialise in the key issues in ecology and conservation biology, through core modules such as population and community ecology. You’ll hone your fieldwork skills during the residential field course on Mediterranean ecology in southern Spain, and the newly developed urban biodiversity and conservation field course, qwhich is especially desined because of its low carbon footprint..
Other optional modules include animal behaviour and sustainable food production, while options from other faculties include climate change and managing biodiversity, which will broaden your horizons in this area.
Year 2 compulsory field courses: Mediterranean ecology in Spain and urban biodiversity and conservation
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
You will carry out your own independent research project. Projects can be field, lab, literature or computer-based which you’ll carry out under the guidance of a leading academic.
You will also work with leading experts on advanced topic modules in ecology and conservation science, developing your research techniques, knowledge and transferable skills.
You’ll also have the chance to attend the optional South Africa field trip and to study from a wide range of optional modules, such as advanced topics in behaviour and law and the environment in the School of Law.
Year 3 optional field courses: South Africa field course
Integrated Masters (MBiol)
Our integrated Masters MBiol programme shares the same year 1 and 2 studying with our BSc programme, providing a foundation knowledge and skills.
Year 4 (MBiol)
You will produce an extended research project focusing on an original, cutting-edge topic specific to ecology and conservation that will equip you with the skills necessary for a career in research, as well as setting you apart in the graduate job market. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of Masters-level modules, such as conservation genetics and Introduction to geographic information system (GIS).
You will have the option to study savannah ecology and conservation on the African field course, which is based at Mpala Research Centre, Kenya. This field course provides a first-hand experience of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area.
Year 4 optional field courses: African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya.
These courses are also available to study part-time over 6 years. If you choose this option you'll study alongside our full-time students and the course content will be the same, only delivered at 50% of the intensity. As these courses are delivered primarily for full-time students you may need to attend the University on several occasions each week. Times are likely to vary with each new semester and will depend on the scheduling of compulsory modules and your choice of optional and elective modules.
Details of typical modules/components for our courses will now be published after July 1st (instead of May 1st), due to current limitations as a result of covid-19. These details may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study.
As a guide, a typical week in your first year will include nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.