MBiol

Biology

Key Facts

Code C109
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in Biology or Human Biology. Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

  • Course Length

    4 Years

Further details on entry requirements

Apply Now

Biology significantly impacts our lives, improves our health and well-being through new ways to fight disease, secure food production and develop new bio-fuels and other important products. The discipline of Biology spans environmental, whole organism and cellular studies, today enhanced by a focus on sequencing of whole genomes, analysis of their evolution and individual gene function and use of cutting-edge analytical techniques.This exciting course develops the breadth and depth of biological knowledge required to pursue a career as a professional scientist.

Student Satisfaction and Employability Results

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 92% student satisfaction (NSS 2018)

98% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 3% more than Biological Science graduates nationally, (HESA 2018*)

Overview

Royal Society of Biology Advanced Accredited Degree
This course has been awarded Interim Advanced Accreditation status. This will become Advanced Accreditation when the first cohort of students graduate from the MBiol degree courses in the summer 2018 (subject to final confirmation from the Royal Society of Biology).

Why study MBiol Biology at Aberystwyth University?

  • The Integrated Masters in Biology is for students who have the ability to study to a higher level than the standard BSc degree and integrates three years of undergraduate study in Biology with a further year of postgraduate level study. 
  • Students’ graduate with the qualification of MBiol (Biology), a recognized Masters level qualification for a career in academic or commercial biological research. 
  • In the final year, Integrated Masters students have the opportunity to complete a Masters research project embedded within one of several pioneering research groups led by expert IBERS academic staff. This is pursued alongside study on taught modules that develop essential skills required by today’s professional biologists. 
  • Specialist opportunities at Aberystwyth for Integrated Master students include:
  1. application of molecular techniques including DNA extraction, sequencing and analysis;
  2. extensive research and teaching labs equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including bioimaging facilities, high-throughput DNA sequencing, flow cytometry, lab scale to pilot plant fermentation, proteomics, metabolomics and spectroscopic platforms;
  3. controlled environment rooms and extreme experimental environments to study terrestrial organisms.
  • 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.
  • 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. Check out our module tab!

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.

Modules

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.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biological Molecules BR15810 10
Cell Biology BR13910 10
Ecology * BR13510 10
Evolution and the Diversity of Life BR14310 10
Exploring Genetics BR14410 10
Metabolism BR12010 10
Microbial Diversity * BR12110 10
Molecular Laboratory Skills BR12210 10
Study and Communication Skills * BR12410 10
The Green Planet * BR13610 10

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
The Biosphere BR13210 10
Biological Thought and Discovery BR12510 10
Comparative Animal Physiology BR14110 10
Soils and their Management BR14910 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Chromosome Dynamics BR21820 20
Climate Change: Plants, Animals and Ecosystems BR21120 20
Evolution and Molecular Systematics BR21720 20
Research Methods * BR25620 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Advances in Invertebrate Zoology BR25420 20
Freshwater Biology BR22020 20
One Health Microbiology BR26520 20
Proteins and Enzymes BR26620 20
Cell and Cancer Biology BR25920 20
Ecological Surveying * BR21420 20
Marine Biology BR22620 20
Vertebrate Organisms BR26820 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Communicating Research * BR31710 10
Dissertation * BR32330 30

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Behaviour Field Course BR32710 10
Behavioural Neurobiology * BR31510 10
Biochemistry and Pharmacology BR31220 20
Biodiversity of Birds BR31320 20
Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics BR31420 20
Data-Handling for Biochemists BR32110 10
Environmental Animal Physiology BR32420 20
Evolution Field Course BR32810 10
Gene Expression and Developmental Genetics BR33320 20
Microbes in Industry and Research BR33620 20
Microbial Pathogenesis BR33720 20
Parasitology BR33820 20
Population and Community Ecology BR33920 20
Terrestrial Ecology Field Course BR33110 10
Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation (Trec) Field Course BR30120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Frontiers in the Biosciences BRM4920 20
Field and Laboratory Techniques BRM4820 20
MBiol Research Project BRM2860 60
Research Methods in the Biosciences BRM6420 20

Employability

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. Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

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

BTEC National Diploma:
BTEC insufficient

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

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

The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

Back to the top