MBiol Biology

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

MBiol Biology students in a practical lecture

If you wish to study Biology, Marine and Freshwater Biology or Plant Biology then this exciting four year course may be for you. It allows students to integrate three years of undergraduate study in either Biology, Marine and Freshwater Biology or Plant Biology with a further year of postgraduate level study, leading to the qualification of MBiol (Biology). The course is ideal if you aspire to a career as a research scientist in Biology.

• Integrated four year course leading to a postgraduate qualification 

• Ideal for students who wish to develop to higher academic levels 

• Individual research project that is a major component of the final year 

• Course allows students to access four years of student finance

Click on the tabs to find out more . . .

 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from IBERS who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

This course will allow you to take your study of Biology, Marine and Freshwater Biology and Plant Biology to a higher level. Aberystwyth is a great place to do this in for many reasons. These include;

Passionate teaching staff who are expert in their field 

You’ll be taught by expert scientists who conduct research ranging from the molecular, through organismal, to global scales. Our lecturers are passionate teachers too, and you may already have seen some of them on TV documentaries, or listened in to them on your favourite science radio show. 

Fantastic facilities 

As a budding biologist , you’ll need access to top-notch research and teaching facilities. We have modern, well-equipped teaching laboratories, lecture theatres, and seminar rooms. You may also benefit from other facilities including:

  •  A modern aquarium housing cold-water and tropical, marine and freshwater species 
  •  An advanced microscopy and bio-imaging laboratory
  •  A wonderful museum full of historic zoological specimens 
  • The National Phenomics Centre

A prize-winning institute that can help you achieve your full potential. 

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment for Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), it was found that 78% of research submitted was world-leading or internationally excellent. The institute was placed in the top 10 in the UK for research intensity and had the 5th strongest submission overall in the UK. 

Unrivalled wildlife and countryside 

Perhaps you’ll be the kind of biologist who likes to do their science in the field rather than the lab, and there’s no better place for that than Aberystwyth.

Within a stone’s throw you’ll find:

  • Beautiful habitats, including marine, moorland, mountain, grassland and coast, providing you with a fabulous variety of fieldwork and recreational opportunities
  • Charismatic species such as red kites, bottlenose dolphins, beavers, water voles and more! 
  • If you’ve still more appetite for field work, you can take a residential field course away from Aberystwyth too.
  • A prize-winning institute that can help you achieve your full potential
  • Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) received the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' award at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards 
  • Our zoology students have won the “Biology Student of the Year” award at the European Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Awards, and the Welsh Ornithologists’ Society Student Prize

International opportunities 

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take the chance to study abroad during your degree? We have exchange agreements with universities in Europe, USA, Canada, and elsewhere, so you can apply to spend all or part of your 2nd year studying zoology overseas. You’ll miss Aber, but you’ll love the new perspectives international study can bring. 

Want to study in Welsh? 

Students can elect to study a number of IBERS modules in the medium of Welsh. Ask the department for further details.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (50 Credits) All integrated subjects must take the following modules

Semester 1

Biology Of The Cell BR10310

Genetics BR11310

Biological Molecules And Methods BR11710

Semester 2

Metabolism BR12010

Molecular Laboratory Skills BR12210

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Sgiliau Astudio A Chyfathrebu BG12410

Study And Communication Skills BR12410

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Llystyfiant Ac Ecosystemau BG12920

Vegetation And Ecosystems BR12920

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Amrywiaeth Microbau BG12110

Microbial Diversity BR12110

Year 1 Options Integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology must take CORE module: BR11500 and BR11520. Integrated Plant Biology must take CORE modules: BR13110 and BR12610.

Semester 1

Animal Diversity BR11500

Animal Life BR13110

Semester 2

Animal Diversity BR11520

Studying The Dynamic Countryside BR12610

Year 1 Options Integrated Plant Biology must take this CORE MODULE offered bilingually: choose your preferred language (this is not applicable to integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 2

Datblygu A Rheoli Cynefinoedd Ym Mhrydain BG10810

The Development And Management Of British Habitats BR10810

Year 1 Options Integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology: choose 10 credits (this is not applicable to integrated Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Biological Thought And Discovery BR12510

The Biosphere BR13210

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Profiad Gwaith BG24200

Work Experience BR24200

Semester 2

Profiad Gwaith BG24210

Work Experience BR24210

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23400

Research Methods BR23400

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23420

Research Methods BR23420

Year 2 Options Integrated Plant Biology must take this CORE module offered bilingually: choose your preferred language (this is not applicable to integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 2

Arolygu Ecolegol BG21420

Ecological Surveying BR21420

Year 2 Options Integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology must take CORE modules: BR20910, BR22620, BR21720 and BR22020. Integrated Plant Biology must take CORE modules: BR21120, BR20320 and BR24410 (this is not applicable to integrated Biology).

Semester 1

Aquatic Micro- And Macrophytes BR20910

Climate Change: Plants, Animals And Ecosystems BR21120

Marine Biology BR22620

Understanding Biological Research BR24410

Semester 2

Agronomy And Crop Improvement BR20320

Evolution And Molecular Systematics BR21720

Freshwater Biology BR22020

Year 2 Options Integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology: choose 20 credits. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable (this is not applicable to integrated Biology/Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Ethology BR21620

Advances In Invertebrate Zoology BR22410

Monitoring The Environment BR22810

An Introduction To Geographic Information Systems (gis) BR24810

Semester 2

Ecoleg Microbau Dyfrol A Daearol BG20810

Surveying Aquatic Environments BR20210

Aquatic And Terrestrial Microbial Ecology BR20810

Vertebrate Anatomy BR23710

Year 2 Options Integrated Plant Biology: choose 20 credits. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable. Due to limited spaces on field courses, attendance must be agreed in advance with the module co-ordinator (this is not applicable to integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 1

Bwyd, Ffermio A'r Amgylchedd BG21920

Applied Molecular Biology And Bioinformatics BR20620

Food, Farming And The Environment BR21920

Arctic Ecology Field Course BR23620

Year 2 Options Integrated Biology: choose a total of 90 credits including 20 credits from each section A,B and C below:

Year 2 Options SECTION A: You MUST choose at least 20 credits from this section. (This is not applicable to integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology/Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Advances In Invertebrate Zoology BR22410

Molecular Cell And Cancer Biology BR22720

Understanding Biological Research BR24410

Semester 2

Immunology BR22220

Vertebrate Anatomy BR23710

Year 2 Options SECTION B: You MUST choose at least 20 credits from this section. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable. (This is not applicable to integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology/Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Applied Molecular Biology And Bioinformatics BR20620

Infectious Diseases BR22310

Proteins And Enzymes BR23210

Understanding Biological Research BR24410

Semester 2

Sgiliau Ymarferol Microbioleg BG23010

Evolution And Molecular Systematics BR21720

Practical Skills For Biochemists BR22920

Practical Skills In Microbiology BR23010

Advances In Human Biosciences BR24610

Year 2 Options SECTION C: You MUST choose at least 20 credits from this section. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable. (This is not applicable to integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology/Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Climate Change: Plants, Animals And Ecosystems BR21120

Ethology BR21620

Marine Biology BR22620

Monitoring The Environment BR22810

Understanding Biological Research BR24410

Semester 2

Ecoleg Microbau Dyfrol A Daearol BG20810

Arolygu Ecolegol BG21420

Aquatic And Terrestrial Microbial Ecology BR20810

Ecological Surveying BR21420

Freshwater Biology BR22020

Year 3 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language.

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig BG32300

Dissertation BR32300

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig BG32330

Dissertation BR32330

Year 3 Options Integrated Biology/Plant Biology must take this CORE MODULE offered bilingually and in EITHER semester: choose your preferred semester and language (this is not applicable to integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Both Semesters

Cyfathrebu Ymchwil BG31710

Communicating Research BR31710

Year 3 Options Integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology must take CORE modules: BR32910, BR33010, BR33920, BR31010 and BR33220. Integrated Plant Biology must take CORE modules: BR30420, BR32020 and BR33720 (this is not applicable to integrated Biology).

Semester 1

The Agri-environment BR30420

Freshwater Biology Field Course BR32910

Marine Biology Field Course BR33010

Population And Community Ecology BR33920

Semester 2

Aquatic Animal Physiology BR31010

Crop And Grassland Production Science BR32020

Fish Biology, Fisheries And Aquaculture BR33220

Microbial Pathogenesis BR33720

Year 3 Options Integrated Marine and Freshwater Biology: choose 20 credits. Where modules are offered bilingually or in EITHER semester: choose your preferred language or semester if applicable. (This is not applicable to integrated Biology/Plant Biology).

Semester 1

Behavioural Neurobiology BR31510

Conservation Genetics BR31810

Semester 2

Threats To Natural Ecosystems BR34210

Environmental Law BR34610

Both Semesters

Cyfathrebu Ymchwil BG31710

Communicating Research BR31710

Year 3 Options Integrated Plant Biology: choose 20 credits. If you choose to select a field course you may choose ONE only. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable. Due to limited spaces on field courses, attendance must be agreed in advance with the module co-ordinator. (This is not applicable to integrated Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 1

Cwrs Maes Ecoleg Ddaearol, Iwerddon BG32110

Tropical Rainforest Ecology And Conservation (trec) Field Course BR30120

Bioinformatics And Functional Genomics BR31420

Conservation Genetics BR31810

Terrestrial Ecology Field Course BR33110

Year 3 Options Integrated Biology: if selecting a field course from the list below you may choose ONE only. Due to limited spaces on field courses, attendance must be agreed in advance with the module co-ordinator. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable. (This is not applicable to integrated Plant Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 1

Cwrs Maes Ecoleg Ddaearol, Iwerddon BG32110

Tropical Rainforest Ecology And Conservation (trec) Field Course BR30120

Animal Behaviour Field Course BR32710

Evolution Field Course BR32810

Terrestrial Ecology Field Course BR33110

Year 3 Options Integrated Biology: choose 80 credits EITHER entirely from the modules below, OR 60 credits with a 20 credit field course, OR 70 credits with a 10 credit field course. (This is not applicable to integrated Plant Biology/Marine and Freshwater Biology).

Semester 1

Bioinformatics And Functional Genomics BR31420

Behavioural Neurobiology BR31510

Conservation Genetics BR31810

Data-handling For Biochemists BR32110

Microbes In Industry And Research BR33620

Parasitology BR33820

Population And Community Ecology BR33920

Semester 2

Biochemistry And Pharmacology BR31220

Biodiversity Of Birds BR31320

Environmental Animal Physiology BR32420

Gene Expression And Developmental Genetics BR33320

Microbial Pathogenesis BR33720

Final Year Core (100 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Mbiol Research Project BRM2800

Frontiers In The Biosciences BRM4920

Research Methods BRM6400

Semester 2

Mbiol Research Project BRM2860

Research Methods BRM6420

Final Year Options Choose 20 credits.

Semester 1

Microbial Biotechnology BRM3720

Crop Genomics And Genetic Engineering BRM3920

Introduction To Concepts In Biology BRM4700

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4800

Semester 2

Introduction To Concepts In Biology BRM4720

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4820

Employability

Trained Biologists are needed in many facets of life, from the understanding of disease to the evaluation of the impact of climate change, from the development of draught resistant crops to conservation of biodiversity. Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance employability. The MBiol (Biology) has been created to meet the increasing demand for suitably qualified personal to work at high level in scientific research, development, lecturing, training and education, public and private commercial enterprise, consultancy and advisory work in the UK and throughout the world. The MBiol is also a recognised alternative to MSc for progression to a PhD studentship. 

Key Skills and Competencies 

Study Skills 

You will develop an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the key contemporary topics in Biology. You will master the research process and contribute to the knowledge base of the subject through your final year research. Throughout this you will encounter many opportunities to develop as a reflective, autonomous researcher. At all times you will have the support of expert academics working at the forefront of their field. 

Self-motivation and discipline 

Studying to postgraduate level requires discipline and self-motivation. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of experienced IBERS staff, you will be responsible for devising and completing a final year research project. This process will strengthen your skills as a self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by all employers. 

Transferable Skills 

The MBiol (Biology) is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. The course is made up of a number of taught modules plus guided independent student centred study. This provides you with a framework which allows you to develop your subject knowledge, through pursuing specific areas of interest and develop your skills of original thought, analysis, interpretation and reasoning. Regular assessment through reports, essays, seminar presentations, précis and case studies will prepare you for the many demands of the modern workplace.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

How will I be taught? 

The course will be delivered through a balanced programme of lectures, student-led seminars, laboratory practical classes and one-to-one tutoring for the final year research project. In addition, there will be problem-based learning scenarios; case studies; literature based research; computer-assisted learning; and work experience to support the teaching and learning. You will receive thorough training in biological concepts and practical scientific methods. 

How will I be assessed? 

You will be assessed through numerous methods including essays, practical exercises, oral presentations, worksheets, reports, dossiers, posters, portfolios, reflective diaries, literature reviews, magazine articles, field notebooks and exams. You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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Key Facts

UCAS Code: C109

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 320 - 360

Entry Requirements: GCSE: grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics and a science subject. A level: grade B in Biology or Human Biology required. Lower tariff points offers will be given to students studying more science subjects at A level, in addition to Biology or Human Biology.

Course Length: 4 Years