Important information

Please note: this Biology course has been changed since the Undergraduate Prospectus was printed. The course structure has changed, and there is now the opportunity to study for a fourth year and graduate with a Master's degree (MBiol), in addition to the existing BA degree.

If you are applying to start in 2019 please use the following link:

If you already have a place to start the Biological Sciences course in 2018 please use the following link:

Lectures for Entry in 2018

First year

There are no options in the first year. Everyone studies four major strands of which the first three are examined at the end of the year:

  • Cells & Genes
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Organisms
  • Quantitative Methods (a two-year course, assessed during the second-year University exams)

Second year

In the second year lectures are offered under eight themes, two of which are compulsory. Students are encouraged to attend lectures within all themes but usually specialise in four or five.

Compulsory themes:

  • Evolution
  • Quantitative Methods

Optional themes

  • Adaptations to the Environment
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Plants and People

Third year

In the third and final year, the 6 general themes diversify into around 20 specialist options. Students are free to select any combination from these options, which cover the full breadth of active research in the departments. Students are recommended to take a minimum of six options but can take more if they wish to do so.

  • Animal Cognition
  • Animal Locomotion: Evolutionary Biomechanics
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Communication, Culture and Collective Behaviour
  • Development and Evolution of Animals
  • Ecology of Terrestrial Ecosystems: Past, present and future
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Forestry: genetics, silviculture and policy
  • Genome Evolution
  • Human Evolutionary Genetics
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Marine Ecology
  • Metabolic Adaptation in Plants
  • Molecular mechanisms of cell function
  • Plant Diversity on an Oceanic Island
  • Plant Development - Genetics and Evolution
  • Plant signalling and growth
  • Sensory Ecology and Physiology
  • Social Evolution
  • Soils, roots and food security
  • Species conservation
  • Theoretical Epidemiology
  • Tropical Forest Ecology
Note that these options may be varied from time to time - the available options will be published to on-course students before they begin their third year.
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