University of Essex Biology

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University of Essex Biology

University of Essex Biology

BSc Biological Sciences

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: C100
Duration: 3 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Biological Sciences (School of)
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £15,450
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666

About the course

As a biologist you explore the true science of life. There is an ongoing need for the application of biological research, and some of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the future are likely to result from this. We’re investigating bioengineering projects, the development of renewable resource, and the potential for genetics and genomics to revolutionise medicine and health.

The vast and diverse world of living organisms offers a huge range of potential for study and work, and at Essex we give you the opportunity to explore the impact of climate change on coral reefs, the biology of sporting achievements, and cancer and stem cell biology, to the development of new artificial blood products.

You have a large degree of flexibility in order to tailor your degree to your interests, whether they be cellular or molecular biology, or field-based ecological science. You can choose from a wide range of areas, including:

  • Animal behaviour and ecology
  • Plant biotechnology
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Cancer biology
  • Immunology

You learn modern lab techniques, take part in specialist field trips, and play your own part in adding to the ever-growing knowledge within biological sciences.

“I chose to study BSc Biological Sciences at Essex because it’s a very broad course with lots of choice for optional modules. The thing I enjoyed most was the field trip to Indonesia, as it was interesting to experience another culture and see the diversity of coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.”

Matt Wilby, BSc Biological Sciences 2015

Professional accreditation

Our BSc Biological Sciences is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the University campus. We support you extending your education through providing the option of an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad in an English-speaking country or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. Recent destinations for our students include:

  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Arkansas
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation. This is usually focussed around your course, and enables you to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways.

Organisations our students have recently been placed with include GlaxoSmithKline, Proctor & Gamble, Aquaterra, Astrazeneca, Genzyme, Reckitt Benckiser, Thermofisher, and Isogenica.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our research covers a wide spectrum of biology – from the cell right through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course include Dr Alex Dumbrell, who specialises in ecology and biodiversity, Dr Tracy Lawson, who researches stomata, using chlorophyll and thermal imaging to measure plant productivity, and Dr Phil Reeves, who works on the molecular mechanism of vision loss.

The University of Essex has a Women’s Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent spending by our University has allowed for major refurbishment and expansion of our School of Biological Sciences, including:

  • Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
  • Conduct your final-year research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
  • State-of-the-art research facilities, from cell imaging systems, to CO2 incubators, to underwater video cameras.
  • Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories
  • You may get the chance to carry out fieldwork at one of our international field stations in Portugal or Indonesia

Your future

Demand for qualified biologists continues to grow.

Our students have taken up a wide range of careers in research laboratories, consultancies, business and industry, conservation practice and environmental assessment. Others have gone on to work in sales, publishing and management, while others still have chosen to enhance their career opportunities by studying for MSc or PhD degrees.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high profile organisations:

  • The Sainsbury Laboratory
  • ALS Laboratories
  • Care UK
  • The Shard

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.