Biology is the study of life and living organisms. It's a fascinating subject that answers key questions such as how life first began, and which offers developments and solutions to major social and ethical challenges. It has offered an advanced understanding of serious threats to human populations, conservation and habitats.
This course allows you to gain a broad understanding of molecular, cellular, organismal and population biology, as well as giving you the chance to specialise in areas that suit your interests through a wide range of optional modules. You'll gain a broad understanding of genetics, immunology, microbiology and other key disciplines, while you could also choose to explore plant growth, conservation biology, population genetics, bioinformatics and many more.
If you are unsure of the difference between Biological Sciences and Biology? Check our guide to help you decide which is right for you.
Both our Integrated Masters (MBiol) programme and BSc with Industrial Placement Year programme has been awarded advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).
The MBiol offers students an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge plus the exceptional experience of advanced research.
Compulsory modules in year 1 will give you a broad foundation as a scientist. You'll be introduced to cell biology, genetics, ecology and the application of biology to agriculture. You'll also develop your research skills through extensive practical work in our labs and apply them to field work in North Yorkshire. An optional module of your choice will allow you to gain specialist knowledge in a topic that interests you, such as the chemistry underpinning biological processes or immunology.
In the following year, you'll deepen your understanding of plant and animal biology through evolution in core modules, as well as building your skills in research and examining experimental design. This year also allows you to begin tailoring your degree to your interests and career ambitions. You'll be expected to maintain a spread across modules related to the areas of genetics and organisms, but you'll be able to study topics such as genetic engineering, bioinformatics, sustainable food production and animal nutrition. A choice of field courses will be among the optional modules open to you.
Year 3 will give you more scope to work independently, as a research project, literature review and poster allow you to focus on a biological topic in depth. This work is supported by a wide range of choice. You'll select optional modules from the fields of genetics, ecology, and animal and plant organisms. Topics could include population genetics, plant growth and resource acquisition, evolution and conservation biology, and a field course in South Africa is also on offer.
By the time you reach 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. However, most of the year 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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
Including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
GCSE: Typically Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
Number 1 for employability - the Faculty of Biological Sciences is ranked highest for employability amongst Russell Group universities. Higher than Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings College, Liverpool, Manchester, York.
Our biology students graduate into many different careers, including the pharmaceutical industry, agribusiness, conservation, environmental consultancy and education. The MBiol is good preparation for PhD study which can lead to a research career in academia, industry or biological research. It offers a solid foundation for postgraduate entry to a scientific career.
Career destinations in the field of biology are wide-ranging and employment prospects are excellent, with 91% of recent graduates having secured jobs in a multitude of roles relating to the subject of Biology or in further study within six months of graduating. Recent graduates can be found working as for example:
We take personal development and career opportunities very seriously and the Faculty has a dedicated Employability Officer who works closely with the Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placement opportunities. The team also organises regular careers workshops designed especially for biological sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual biological sciences and sport sciences careers and networking fairs attracting graduate employers such as AstraZeneca, Covance, GSK, Nuffield Health, RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, UK International Soccer, CP+R (Clinical prevention and rehabilitation) and Opta Sports offering you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.
The team works closely with the University's Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. The Careers Centre work with the Employability Team to provide high quality professional support and advice for all our students and access to thousands of opportunities for graduate employment, placements and internships.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the fourth year of the MBiol studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Industrialplacements are typically taken between your third and final year. This willextend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, staff atLeeds will help you with your CV and application letters and provide a list oforganisations which may offer industrial placements.
Placementsabroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to makesure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you anexcellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, todevelop new skills and to augment your CV.
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