Biology and Climate Change (with integrated year in industry)

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

Aberystwyth University's degree in Biology and Climate Change addresses one of the key challenges of contemporary living, namely Climate Change and its impacts on life on our planet. In this degree, you will learn what gives rise to the Earth’s climate, and the various factors driving climate change. You will study the impacts of these changes 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 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) to further enhance your subject-specific knowledge with the multi-disciplinary skills and attributes necessary to make a real change in the world.

Course Overview

Why should you study Biology and Climate Change (with an integrated year in industry) at Aberystwyth University? 

On this degree, you will learn about the science underpinning climate, and how humans have changed 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 for 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.

The integrated year in industry enables you to undertake a paid or unpaid work experience placement. Typically this is done during your third year, and students are required to seek and arrange the work experience placement independently. The University's Careers Services are also available to offer assistance. If you're unable to obtain a work experience placement, you will able to continue on the three-years Biology and Climate Change course FC71. 

Specialist opportunities at Aberystwyth for Biology and Climate Change students include:

  • The 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
  • The chance to carry out field research, both locally and abroad
  • An opportunity 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 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 September start - 2022

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
Climate and Climate Change BR16620 20
Ecology BR13510 10
Evolution and the Diversity of Life BR14310 10
Introduction to Conservation BR10110 10
Microbial Diversity BR12110 10
Study and Communication Skills BR12410 10
The Biosphere BR13210 10
The Green Planet BR13610 10


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biochemistry and the Cellular Basis of Life BR15320 20
Biological Thought and Discovery BR12510 10
Comparative Animal Physiology BR14110 10
Exploring Genetics BR14410 10
Introduction to Palaeobiology BR16510 10
Soils and their Management BR14910 10


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Integrated Year in Industry BRS0060 60


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Global Biodiversity Conservation BR33420 20
Anthropogenic threats to the Biosphere BR36720 20
Research Project BR36440 40


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Marine and Freshwater Field Course BR35020 20
Parasitology BR33820 20
Population and Community Ecology BR33920 20
Terrestrial Ecology Fieldcourse BR36620 20
The Agri-Environment BR30420 20
Wildlife Conservation BR34520 20
Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation (Trec) Field Course BR30120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Graduates studying this degree will be well-placed to pursue a career in climate change management, adaptation, and mitigation, both in the UK and abroad. Additionally, they will be suited to careers in related areas, such as environmental education and consultancy or conservation. Many are likely to undertake further postgraduate study, either at Masters or Doctoral level.

Course Content

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 will explore a wide range of topics from the Science of Climate, the biosphere, the green planet, evolution and diversity of life. These are all designed to give you a firm footing in your second and third years and allow you to try out topics you might never have considered before.

There is a wide range of modules on offer in the second year. You will have the opportunity to focus and delve deeper into the themes of climate change through studying these innovative modules which include: the governance of climate change, plants, animals and ecosystems, global biodiversity and a comprehensive research project. 

You will spend your third year undertaking a work placement as part of your degree.

In your final year you will also undertake your dissertation. Because of the range of research done in IBERS you will be able to find a project which really engages you and builds your scientific skills. The projects may be lab or field-based or data analysis studies, but all help you develop advanced analytical skills. You might be studying

parasites, plant breeding, bird behaviour, or cancer to name but a few.

How will I be taught?

It’s not all lectures and exams here at Aberystwyth. We place great emphasis on field and practical to let you get your hands dirty and build the 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 contents 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 this end.

There are, of course, exams, 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 50% 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, they 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 and first-class

potential employees at the same time.

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 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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