Biology is the study of life. Life on earth is fascinating, astonishing, diverse and beautiful, and the course aims to provide you with a detailed knowledge of all living organisms, how they work and how they function together with the environment they live in. However, all life is currently under threat, with man-made (anthropogenic) change affecting the earth and all its systems. Biological sciences offer us a number of tools which can be used to alleviate these effects, and preserve our natural environment, both for the benefit of plants and animals, and for current and future generations. This degree, Biological Sciences with Sustainability, is a multidisciplinary degree focussed on the biological sciences, preparing you to evaluate aspects of all life on earth, and provide solutions to ensure a sustainable future. Sustainable Development is defined as an aspirational ongoing process of addressing social, environmental and economic concerns to create a better world.. We need to recognise the interdependence of environmental integrity, social justice and economic prosperity, while acknowledging that environmental resources are finite and provide the foundation for our society and economy. The United Nations has defined seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which define the areas to direct efforts to ensure a sustainable future. This course will give you a solid ground in aspects of sustainable development, focussed around these SDGs, and centred on the biological sciences. In the first year of this course, you’ll study the building blocks of life, from molecules to cells to organisms, including bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. You’ll also be taught about the planet – its history, geology, chemistry, physics and climate, which dictate how life has evolved. Genetics and evolution are central to understanding biodiversity, and therefore underpin everything else. We shall also introduce you to the basic concepts of sustainability, centred on the three principles of environment, society and economy. These principles underpin teaching throughout the course. In your second year, you’ll study the systems in which life exists, and the interconnectivity of life, embedded in the principles of ecology, and the applications of different aspects of biological sciences such as conservation, ecosystem resources, biological resource production (agriculture, forestry, bioreactors for production of food, wood, pharmaceuticals etc), as well as the threats posed to life by anthropogenic (man-made) factors such as climate change, pollution, use of pesticides etc. We will also focus in more detail on the three main aspects of sustainability (society, environment and economics) and develop your competency in systems thinking. For those interested, you’ll have the opportunity to study health and disease in man or animals, a central pillar of sustainable development. You will also develop a research proposal for your final year project, working with a supervisor of your choice on a project based on their field of research. In your final year, you‘ll apply the biological knowledge and skills you have acquired to meet the challenges posed by the need for sustainable development. There will be a range of optional modules for you to choose from, depending on your particular interests. These include topics such as Behavioural Ecology (the study of behavioural interactions between individuals which affects their evolutionary fitness); Human Pathology (for those interested in human diseases); Tropical ecology and management (which includes an international field trip, which you would need to pay for); Food security (for those concerned about production of food and its sustainability); Wildlife Conservation – and many others. You’ll also study policy, internationalisation and economics so that you can understand the driving forces behind decisions made by governments and the constraints within which we all need to work.
Modules are subject to change and availability. Year 1: Core modules Plants and Microbial Sciences Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry Environmental and Quantitative Sciences Principles of Sustainability Animal Form and Function Year 2: Core modules Biological Resource Production Global Anthropogenic Change, Threats, and Responses Preparation for Research Ecology, Society, and Conservation Genetics, Evolution, and Biodiversity Ruskin Module Optional modules Vertebrate Biology Invertebrate Biology Marine Biology and Conservation Metabolism and its Control Animal Health and Disease GIS and Spatial Ecology Marine and Terrestrial Communities Principles of Pathology Year 3: Core modules Undergraduate Project Sustainability Project-based Module Policy, Globalisation, and Economics of Sustainability Optional modules Behavioural Ecology Comparative Physiology and Development Biology Current Topics in Marine Biology Tropical Ecology and Management Social and Environmental Compliance in Agri-Food Population Ecology and Wildlife Management Human Pathology Molecular Cell Biology Sustainable Land Management Wildlife Conservation Food Security Clinical Immunology
We’ll assess your progress through a variety of methods, including coursework, group assignments, activity-based assignments and exams. You can expect to take part in ongoing problem-solving activities, projects and presentations. You’ll also be able to access support material through our virtual learning environment. All assignments are designed with your career progression in mind and give you opportunities to develop and improve the transferable skills that employers look for.
How to apply
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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- Cambridge Campus
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course
The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
|Channel Islands||£9250*||Year 1|
|Republic of Ireland||£9250*||Year 1|
*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.