University Of Aberdeen Biology
Biology is the core life science, concerned with all lifeforms. If you are fascinated by the diversity of life in the natural world then this is the degree for you.
Our degree in Biology requires you to develop a broad understanding of the nature of living things, from molecules and cells to organisms and populations, communities and biomes, but crucially, it also allows you to become a specialist in the area that is of most interest to you.
Your courses will give you an excellent foundation in the theory and practical elements behind the study of life and provide you with the technical skills to pursue your own interests through your project work. You will graduate with a deep understanding of the terrestrial and marine environments and the wealth of organisms that live there.
What You’ll Study
Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses which can be chosen from those on offer across the institution. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years.
- Year 1
In year one you take eight courses, including five foundation Biology courses and a course in Chemistry. This leaves a choice of two further courses which would normally contribute towards enhanced study.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
Introduction to Biological Science BI1008)
- Eleven themes are explored in engaging lectures, exploring organismal biology and introducing you to the science that underpins current understanding of biology.
- Structured practical sessions and class activities help you to develop your study and laboratory skills, and provide you with a strong foundation for a successful transition into university study.
- Regular assignments, a mix of online tests, practical reports and reading assignments, structure your activities and help you progress through the course material.
- Weekly guest lectures about current research helps you to see how basic biological concepts are being applied to real world problems.
Diversity of life 1 (BI1012)
A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of major groups of organisms from plants through fungi to invertebrates.Learn about how each group of organisms arose, their characteristics, and how they achieved success.
Practical activities provide hands on experience of materials demonstrating the diversity of plants and invertebrates.
You will be assessed by a combination of laboratory reports, on which you will get detailed feedback to help you develop your skills, and an exam.
The Cell (SM 1501
- cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science;
- this course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies;
- all practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology;
- employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive session run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise
Economic and Environmental Science (BI1511)
This course will take you on a journey through the physical workings of the Earth, the interactions between species and their environments and then on to the effects humans are having on the planet and thoughts on the future.
Teaching by staff with different subject specialisms who give both variety and immediacy to course material.
Exposure to the problems we are facing both now and in the future which means that students can make informed choices in their everyday lives.
A range of ‘wet’ and computer-based practicals enhance the classroom teaching and develop generic scientific skills.
Diversity of Life 2 (BI1512)
- A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of advanced invertebrates and vertebrates.
- Learn about how each group of organisms arose, their characteristics, and how they achieved success.
- Practical activities provide hands on experience of materials demonstrating the features of amphibians, fish, birds and mammals.
- You will be assessed by a combination of laboratory reports, on which you will get detailed feedback to help you develop your skills, and an exam.
Plus 45 credit points from courses of choice.
You are required to choose 60 credits from Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses across levels 1 and 2.