The modules taught in Year 1 reflect the complexity of life forms, from molecules through to organisms, plants and animals, to populations.
A set of core modules will allow you to develop your skills in research and analysis and introduce you to the disciplines of immunology, microbiology, genetics and cell biology.
You’ll gain an understanding of the chemistry underpinning biological processes, the different types of cell and how they come together in human tissues, organs and body systems, as well as how they are affected by disease.
You’ll also choose an optional module on a specialist topic from agriculture to pharmacology, which may help you choose your specialism for the next two years.
There is a residential field course on Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland where you will study coastal and upland habitats, and our research ethos is developed and fostered from the start through practicals and tutorials.
Because of the broad nature of your first year, there are opportunities to transfer between the Biology, Biological Sciences and Microbiology courses at the end of the Year 1.
In Year 2 you can take modules in the disciplines of applied biology, genetics, zoology, plant biology and ecology, which include human genetics, evolution, animal behaviour and parasitology. There are optional Yorkshire Dales and Mediterranean field courses. This degree offers the opportunity to take an industrial placement or a study abroad year at the end of Year 2, which will enhance your employment prospects.
By the time you enter Year 3, you’ll be in a position to apply your research skills to an independent project: working with our world-class scientists, you’ll explore a specific topic in depth as a research, literature or computer-based project. You’ll also study topics at the cutting edge of biological discovery in areas such as epigenetics, behavioural ecology and conservation biology.
There is also a popular optional South African field course.
Find out more about our field trips
Integrated Masters (MBiol)
Years 1 and 2 are the same as for the BSc and provide a foundation in the subject.
With a greater focus on research, the MBiol will offer you research preparation modules in Year 3 as well as Masters level modules and an extended research project in your fourth year.
In Year 3, you’ll undertake a practical project which aims to introduce you to increasingly sophisticated techniques and research facilities in preparation for your research project.
In your final year, you’ll be able to select from a variety of Masters-level optional modules that are informed by our tutors’ leading research. You could build your skills in statistics or study medical diagnostics among others, while the African Field Ecology module gives you another chance to apply your knowledge to fieldwork in Kenya.
Most of Year 4 is devoted to a research project, allowing you to work alongside our experts to explore a specific topic in biology. This helps to develop the high-level research and professional skills that will serve you well in your future career.
Find out more about choosing between an integrated Masters and a BSc degree
Part time study
This course is 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, but 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 this course will be published on May 1st. These may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the 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 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 includes 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 also 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.
We use a variety of assessment methods to helpyou develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, datahandling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work,online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays,posters and oral presentations.