Bangor University As Biology

bangor university

Bangor University As Biology

Biology covers both the unity and diversity of living organisms. During this biology degree you will be able to develop interests in plant and animal science and receive a thorough grounding in cell and molecular biology, as well as access modules as diverse as marine ecology and medical genetics.

Evolutionary, ecological and environmental aspects are strongly emphasised in our biology degree, and there is opportunity to follow applied aspects of biology and to learn about fundamental biological processes and mechanisms. Extensive use is made of the exceptional range of local terrestrial and aquatic habitats during field courses and practical classes. We are unusual among British Universities in having our own botanical gardens with various habitats for biological studies. We are also part of the Environment Centre Wales which is a partnership venture between Bangor University and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

During our biology degree you will receive training that covers the biology of plants and animals – from their molecular biology to their function in natural communities. We provide a diversity of laboratory and field biology experience, enabling you to acquire transferable skills (data analysis, group work, writing and presentational skills, IT skills). Whilst studying for this biology degree you are able to choose from a variety of modules across the School making it possible to specialise in different aspects of Biology depending on individual preferences. Possibilities range from plant diversity and ecosystem functioning through to whole-organism studies down to molecules and cells, with consideration of animal/plant form and function. We also offer modules on human health and disease and enable students to undertake field work.

Please see the Master in Biology page for information on the 4 year MBiol course.

Why choose Bangor University for this course?

  • Cutting-edge science is integral to our research programmes, and feeds through into the teaching environment. Our expertise in biology covers aspects of stress biology, energetics, adaptation to change, population genetics, biogeography, molecular ecology, climate change and carbon stores, cell and genomic biology, environmental micro-biology, neurobiology and development.
  • Our excellent facilities include: a Botanical Garden; our own Natural History Museum containing a comprehensive collection of invertebrate and vertebrate material and extensive marine and freshwater aquaria; and the Robert Edwards Laboratory for teaching cell and molecular biology.
  • Bangor’s location makes it an ideal place to study biology – the range of soil types, climate and topography provides numerous diverse habitats, all within easy reach for field-based studies.
  • Bangor is home to the divisional offices of Natural Resources Wales and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, both of which have close links to the University and staff associated with this course.
  • Exchange programmes and opportunities for studying abroad available – see introductory pages of this prospectus for details.

What will you study on this course?

Year 1

The first year of the biology degree is a general year for all of our biology related degrees, which will introduce three broad and very important aspects of modern biology. Students are required to take four compulsory lecture modules, one module in key skills and one practical module. In addition there are tutorials with individual members of staff.

Compulsory modules:

Organismal Diversity (20): The module will present an overview of basic classification, form and function of the major groups of living organisms.

Ecology & Evolution (20): Ecology is about understanding the dynamic changes in individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems in relation to each other and the physical environment, and understanding their evolutionary processes.

Cellular and Molecular Biology (20): This module will cover the chemistry of life, the molecular basis of inheritance and important aspects of cell biology, such as structure and function.

Biology Practical Module (20): Students will undertake a range of practicals from molecular and cell biology, through to animal function and ecology. Field work is included. The practicals will coincide with the appropriate subject area in the lecture modules.

Introduction to Microbiology (10): The module will introduce students to prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms by outlining their characteristics and structures.

Research Skills (20): The module is aimed at developing a range of skills commonly used by natural scientists, including basic mathematical manipulation, data interpretation, and presentation, experimental design and statistical analysis, IT skills and effective use of the literature.

Tutorials (degree specific) (10): Tutorials will be held by individual members of staff to groups of 6-7 students and involve discussions that are degree specific. Tutorials will develop communication skills.

Year 2

In the second year you will extend and deepen your understanding of biology by specialising in animal and plant diversity and function, and learning about the importance of molecular and cellular processes. There are four compulsory modules incorporating both lectures and practicals. You can choose 60-70 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules:

  • Bioscience Skills (20)
  • Evolution & Genetics 1 (10) OR Evolution & Genetics 2 (20)
  • Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (20)

Optional modules:

Choose 60-70 credits from:

  • Field Courses (20)
  • Vertebrate Biology (20)
  • Plant Diversity Practical (10)
  • Marine Ecology
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Plant Diversity and Conservation (10)
  • Cell Biology (20)
  • Conservation Practice (20)
  • Animal Behaviour (10)
  • Principles of Conservation (20)

Year 3

The third year includes a dissertation project that may be experimental or take the form of a literature review, which is supervised by a member of staff on a subject to suit your interests. Students have more choice in the third year and can take 100 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation (20)

Optional modules:

Choose 100 credits from:

  • Advances in Behaviour (20)
  • Herpetology (20)
  • Animal Survival Strategies (20)
  • Molecular Ecology & Evolution (20)
  • Freshwater Ecosystems 2 (20)
  • Attack and Defence in Plants (20)
  • Medical Genetics (10)
  • Forest Ecostystems (10)
  • Freshwater Ecosystems 2 (10)
  • Practical Developmental Biology (20)
  • Chemical Biology (10)
  • Forest Ecology (10)
  • Bio Enterprise and Employability (20)
  • Systematics & Diversity (20)
  • Drug Development (20)
  • Systematics & Diversity (20)

Entry Requirements

For 2017 entry (new UCAS tariff for courses starting in September 2017):

  • 136-112 tariff points including a level 3 qualification* in Biology and usually one other science subject. Second science subjects we consider include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environment Science etc. Please contact us for advice. *Level 3 qualifications include A levels, BTEC, Access, Irish Highers, International Baccalaureate, Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and others – for a full list, please refer to the new UCAS tariff at
  • We also welcome applications from mature applicants, individuals with European qualifications and international applicants (subject to minimum English language requirements).

For 2016 entry:

  • 320-260 points including Biology and usually one other science subject at A2 level
  • Irish Leaving Certificate including Biology at Higher level
  • Scottish Highers including Biology at Advanced Higher Level
  • Access and BTEC qualifications
  • Mature age students with relevant experience.

General University entry requirements

Here at Bangor, we accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds. We consider each application individually.

All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.

As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.

To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. Normally, all GCE A and AS levels, VCEs and Key Skills can be used to calculate your overall points.

For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see the UCAS website.

Qualifications currently not in the Tariff Framework:

Access courses and mature entry: We welcome your application if you’re taking a recognised Access course. We also consider applications from other older students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more help and advice about being a mature student at Bangor, please visit the Study at Bangor site.

International students entry requirements

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

More information

Home/EU students

E-mail for General Admissions: or write to:

Admissions Office
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0)1248 382017

International students

Email to International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028