Biology and Climate Change

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The BSc Biology and Climate Change degree course at Aberystwyth University explores how Earth’s climate system relies on many interrelated pieces working together to function, the various factors driving climate change, and creative ways of responding to the challenges and opportunities of the current climate crisis. BSc Biology and Climate Change will equip you with relevant subject-specific knowledge alongside the multi-disciplinary, interpersonal skills and attributes needed if you want to play a part in creating a more just and sustainable world. If your future intentions involve having a positive impact, this course will set you securely on that rewarding journey. 

Course Overview

You will study the impacts of Climate Change on the living world, from organisms to entire ecosystems, and their implications for the conservation of biodiversity. During your course, you will learn a range of practical laboratory and field-based skills alongside the theoretical knowledge that underpins the subject. In some modules, you will also work alongside students from other Departments (International Politics, Business, and English and Creative Writing) and you will be encouraged to look at the subject from different perspectives. 

On this degree, you will learn about the science underpinning climate, and how human activity has effected changes to these processes in recent times. You will explore the impacts of climate change on biodiversity at the level of species, habitats, and ecosystems, and the scope of organisms and populations to evolve in the light of this threat. By working across disciplines, you will learn the need for both scientific research and governance in tackling these important issues. 

Aberystwyth and the surrounding area has a great variety of local habitats and ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial – an ideal location to study the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, and the scope for mitigation. You will have the opportunity to carry out field research, both locally and abroad, and to work with established academic researchers who work on various aspects of the past, present and future effects of global climate change on natural ecosystems. 

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff in the Department of Life Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Department has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Modules September start - 2024

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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
An Introduction to Landscape Ecology and Geographic Information Systems BR25520 20
Research Methods * BR27520 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
Climate Change: Plants, Animals and Ecosystems BR21120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Ecological Surveying BR21420 20
Environmental Microbiology and Monitoring * BR26020 20
Freshwater Biology BR22020 20
Marine Biology BR22620 20
One Health Microbiology BR26520 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Global Biodiversity Conservation BR33420 20
Research Project * BR36440 40
Wildlife Conservation BR34520 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Environmental Regulation and Consultancy BR35620 20
Freshwater Biology Field Course BR37720 20
Marine Biology Field Course BR30020 20
Marine and Freshwater Field Course BR35020 20
Population and Community Ecology BR33920 20
Sustainable Land Management BR30420 20
Terrestrial Ecology Fieldcourse BR36620 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


With a degree in Biology and Climate Change you will be well-placed to pursue a career in climate change management, adaptation and mitigation, both in the UK and abroad. In addition, you will be well suited to careers in related areas, such as environmental education and consultancy, or conservation. Many choose to go on to postgraduate study, either at Masters or Doctoral level.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

In your first year you will explore a wide range of core topics that include ecology, microbial diversity, the biosphere, the green planet, evolution and the diversity of life. These are all designed to give you a firm grounding in Biology and Climate Change. You will also be able to choose your own modules from those that are available. 

During your second year you will explore various future environmental change factors and how plants, animals and ecosystems will be affected. You will also examine the decision-making processes, the negotiation and the politics surrounding contemporary climate governance. In preparation for your final year dissertation, you will study the processes involved in planning good scientific research. 

During your final year you will examine the nature and extent of biodiversity from the level of genetic diversity to biomes and will be introduced to the methods of measuring and monitoring change in biodiversity at different levels. You will explore the current and future anthropogenic threats to natural systems and mankind including impacts such as pollution, climate change and over-exploitation of resources. Finally, you will undertake in-depth research on a topic that is broadly relevant to your degree or your interests. This is a graduating level cap-stone experience and because of the range of research at Aberystwyth you will have no trouble finding a project that really engages you and builds your scientific skills. The projects may be lab or field-based, or data analysis studies, but all will help you to develop advanced analytical skills.  

In addition to the core modules described above, you will have the opportunity to select other modules in line with your own interests. There is a wide range of modules on offer in the second and final year and you might want to explore topics that you haven’t considered before.      

How will I be taught? 

It’s not all lectures and exams here at Aberystwyth. We place great emphasis on field and practical work to let you get hands-on experience and build practical and analytical skills.  We have a very well-developed E-learning environment which captures every lecture for you to revisit at your leisure and hosts a wide range of content in all formats. We have an excellent Student Support team at Aberystwyth who can help arrange for additional teaching resources and alternatives for those students who need it. Our aim is to make everything we do fully accessible to everyone, and our teaching and support staff are dedicated to achieving this. 

How will I be assessed? 

There are exams, of course, but every module has more than one form of assessment. In most modules coursework makes up a significant proportion of the marks (typically up to 60% although there are modules assessed entirely by coursework). Coursework assessments range from practical or field reports through to writing journal-style articles and making podcasts. Our assessments are not just designed to test your knowledge and understanding, but also build real-world skills such as teamwork, presentation and report writing skills that are needed in any graduate-level job. When we teach and examine, we are aiming to create the scientists of the future as well as first-class potential employees. 

Personal Tutor 

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will be your main contact throughout the duration of your studies. Your personal tutor can help you to settle in when you first arrive and will be available to help you with anything after that, whether academic or personal. 

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 to include B in A-level Biology or equivalent - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC with B in Biology/Human Biology

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh, Science and Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DDD-DDM in a specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
30-28 with 5 points in Biology at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall with 7 in Biology

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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