Key Facts

Code C109
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in Biology or Human Biology

  • Course Length

    4 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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If you wish to study Biology, Marine and Freshwater Biology or Plant Biology for a career in academic or commercial bioscience research, 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.

 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
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning


Why study MBiol Biology at Aberystwyth University?

  • Learn and live in an exceptional environment where you will be surrounded by a great diversity of beautiful environments, including marine, moorland, mountain, waterways, grassland and coast.
  • Investigate subjects such as genetics, cellular biology, animal behaviour, ecosystems, humanity’s impact on the environment.
  • Receive expert tuition in scientific protocol and hands-on lab work.
  • Taught by well-known and leading experts in the Biology field.
  • State-of- the- art teaching facilities.
  • Use of the Biological Service Unit, Mass Spectrometry, Analytical Unit, Modelling laboratory, the Computational Biological laboratory, Advanced Microscopy and Bio-imaging Laboratory.

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.


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.


What employment options are open to Biology graduates?

Our graduates are strong candidates in the following fields:

  • Research science
  • Clinical molecular geneticist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Education 

Students who have completed a biology degree could also progress to further training in;

  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Science writers 

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 centered 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.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the four year degree scheme.

In your first year you may explore:

  • The diversity of biological disciplines which includes;
  • Structure and function of plants
  • Animals and microbes at the organismal, cellular molecular levels
  • Major animal vertebrate and invertebrate which will focus on;
  • Physiology, muscle and locomotion, nutrition, endocrinology, cardiovascular respiratory systems and homeostasis
  • The diversity of microbial life
  • Vegetation and ecosystems

In your second year you may discover:

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious disease
  • Marine or Freshwater biology
  • Impact of climate change on ecosystems
  • Qualitative and Quantitative procedures of data analysis

In your third year you may study and undertake:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Biochemistry
  • Parasitology
  • Gene expression
  • Biodiversity of birds
  • A compulsory dissertation
  • You will also have the opportunity to take part in a residential field course.

In your final year, you may study:

  • Microbial Biotechnology
  • Frontiers In the Biosciences
  • Concepts in Biology
  • Crop Genomics and Genetic Engineering
  • Mbiol Research Project

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.

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in Biology or Human Biology

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics and a Science subject

BTEC National Diploma:
BTEC insufficient

UCAS Tariff:
118 - 144

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
36 points overall with 6 points in Biology at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
75% overall with 75% in specified subject

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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