You are viewing this course for September start 2024
Due to the urgent need to document, understand and ultimately prevent the decline of biodiversity, graduate ecologists are in high demand. The Ecology degree at Aberystwyth University aims to provide you with the academic knowledge and practical skills to meet this demand, and train you to be part of the next generation of ecologists who will respond to environmental threats, identify solutions and help conserve biodiversity into the future.
On the Ecology degree, you will study the interactions between organisms and their environment, building the essential foundation on which to develop your understanding of how wildlife will respond to current and future environmental threats, including pollution, climate change, invasive species and habitat destruction.
At Aberystwyth you will be studying in an area rich in a variety of stunning landscapes, providing excellent fieldwork opportunities in natural and semi-natural habitats and ecosystems including the Cardigan Bay coastline, freshwater environments, woodlands, heaths, moorland and alpine habitats. Many nature reserves within easy reach, including Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons National Parks.
Fieldwork and practical classes form an integral part of the course throughout. Overseas field courses are also available to you, depending on module choice, enabling you to learn about tropical ecology first-hand.
Our teaching staff conduct research in all areas of ecology and in different parts of the world. We have established links with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Natural Resources Wales, Snowdonia National Park Authority, the RSPB and various wildlife and woodland trusts.
The taught component of the Ecology with integrated year in industry degree (C181) is identical to its three-year sister course BSc Ecology (C180). The year in industry is taken in your third year in the UK or overseas, is supervised and assessed, and will count towards your degree grade. During your year in industry, you will pay a discounted tuition fee.
This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
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.
|Climate and Climate Change
|Comparative Animal Physiology
|Ecology and Conservation *
|Genetics, Evolution and Diversity
|Microbial and Plant Diversity *
|Skills for Wildlife Scientists *
|An Introduction to Landscape Ecology and Geographic Information Systems
|Climate Change: Plants, Animals and Ecosystems
|Research Methods *
|Environmental Microbiology and Monitoring *
|The Development and Management of British Habitats
|Integrated Year in Industry
|Environmental Regulation and Consultancy
|Population and Community Ecology
|Research Project *
|Global Biodiversity Conservation
|Sustainable Land Management
|Terrestrial Ecology Fieldcourse
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
Many of our graduates find employment in conservation and environmental protection, or in environmental education in schools, colleges or nature reserves. Our graduates can be found working for organisations such as DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs), the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England, ADAS, Forestry Commission, wildlife trusts, the Wales Environment Link, the National Grid and water authorities.
Completing a year in industry will allow you to:
- apply the learning from your course to the work environment
- make valuable industry contacts
- develop practical skills related to your area of study
- enrich your final year of studies with an enhanced appreciation of its applicability to your career
- greatly enhance your CV and increase your prospects of success in the job market.
Please note that we do not have automatic work placements for every applicant. You will be responsible for securing your own work experience, with the support of our dedicated Year in Industry Coordinator and careers advisor to maximise your chances of success. If you are unsuccessful, you will be able to convert your course to the three-year version of the BSc Ecology degree.
Teaching & Learning
What will I learn?
In the first year you will explore the amazing diversity of life on Earth. You will be introduced to fundamental and topical elements of ecology and will consider future challenges such as responding to global climate and conserving biodiversity. You will consider the importance of conserving biodiversity at a range of scales, from genetic diversity to biomes and ecosystems, and will look at the science underpinning climate and climate change. You will learn about land flora and British habitats and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to underpin careers in ecological surveying or management.
In the second year you will consider habitats, landscapes and the communities of species that reside within them, and gain the practical skills required by today’s professional ecologists. You will receive a thorough grounding in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate spatial distribution patterns of habitats and understand their ecological implications. You will further investigate the impact of climate change as one of the major future challenges to global biodiversity, and apply your learning to problems and solutions through field excursions and practical classes. Optional modules in aquatic biology, zoology and environmental microbiology enable you to specialise in particular areas, and you will have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s key biodiversity hotspots through an optional tropical field course.
In the third year, you will undertake your ecological work experience placement. You may undertake some or all of your industrial year abroad, if you wish.
In the final year you will look at environmental protection and sustainability and will consider the legislation and principles governing the regulation of the environment in the UK, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). You will explore population and community ecology and undertake a compulsory research project, which will allow you to perform in-depth research under the guidance of a supervisor. Your project may be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises, comprise a computer modelling exercise or involve data analysis. You will also take optional modules from a selection available, which include wildlife conservation, studying the impacts of intensive, extensive and organic agriculture and other forms of agricultural system on the environment, global biodiversity conservation, and a variety of anthropogenic impacts on the biosphere, including pollution, climate change and over-exploitation of resources. You will also have the opportunity to go on field courses, including a tropical rainforest ecology study trip.
How will I be taught?
The course will be delivered through lectures, workshops, tutorials, seminars, field courses and practicals.
You will be assessed through essays, practical exercises, oral presentations, worksheets, experiments reports, conservation plans, statistical exercises, posters, wikis, literature reviews, field notebooks and exams.
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 academic or personal matters.
Typical Entry Requirements
UCAS Tariff 120 - 104
A Levels BBB-BCC with B in Biology
GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh, Science and Mathematics
BTEC National Diploma:
DDD-DDM in a specified subject
30-28 with 5 points in Biology at Higher Level
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.