Students Staff

Undergraduate courses

We offer a range of courses in different disciplines at undergraduate level. All include the option to study abroad for a year and placement years are possible for BSc Biological Sciences, BSc Genetics, BSc Microbiology and BSc Biochemistry.

Depending on which course you choose, you could be learning to dive in Sulawesi while studying coral reef ecosystems, spending a week on a yacht in Greece learning ocean sampling or developing your research and laboratory skills in the Colne/Blackwater Estuary. Please note that these courses may be subject to additional costs.

  • BSc Biological Sciences

    This flexible course offers modules ranging from cell and molecular biology, to biodiversity and applied ecology. You have the option to transfer to more specialised courses at the end of your first year. You will find a wide choice of modules in your second and third years, with options that allow you to continue to study a wide range of subjects, or to focus on the aspects of biology that you find most interesting.

    This degree is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.

    Experience Day video

    How does the hairy cactus save water? How much food will we need to have produced by 2050 to feed the population? How much water does a sycamore tree use every hour? In this video Dr Tracy Lawson answers these questions in her taster lecture, as part of our Experience Day.


  • BSc Microbiology (subject to approval)

    Fight disease. Feed the world. Save the environment. Microbial life underpins the whole of the biology and the chemistry of the natural world. Through understanding the benefits and potential harm microorganisms can present, we can discover new treatments for disease, improve agricultural practices and find ways to clean up pollution. Microbiology explores viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa and the extensive impact that they have on our lives.

    Our BSc Microbiology gives you a solid foundation in the theoretical aspects and the technical skills required for researching this area. The course covers a wide range of topics, including molecular virology and immunology, plant-microbial interactions, industrial biotechnology, microbial communities, and environmental and synthetic microbiology.

    • BSc Microbiology (also available with year abroad or placement year)(subject to approval)

    Experience Day video

    How does the hairy cactus save water? How much food will we need to have produced by 2050 to feed the population? How much water does a sycamore tree use every hour? In this video Dr Tracy Lawson answers these questions in her taster lecture, as part of our Experience Day.


  • BSc Biochemistry

    Our three-year BSc Biochemistry develops your understanding of the molecular principles at the root of biochemical reactions and processes. This course includes discussion of advancing areas like bioenergetics and enzymology. As a biochemistry student you will look at biochemical methods and approaches while gaining an understanding of biochemical, molecular biological and genetic knowledge.

    This degree is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.


  • BSc Biomedical Science

    Our three-year BSc Biomedical Science course uses a disease-based approach to the study of the biomolecular foundations of medicine, and includes specialised modules concerning the application of biomedical sciences in the NHS. The skills you will learn are at the forefront of advances in medical research, including biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. This means our graduates have a science qualification appropriate for a career in a wide variety of industrial and public sector environments.

    This degree is accredited by the IBMS (Institute of Biomedical Sciences), which is a prerequisite to working in the NHS as a biomedical scientist. If you successfully complete a portfolio during a placement year at an NHS hospital, you can also apply for HCPC registration and go into your career at a higher level, not needing a traineeship.


  • BSc Genetics

    Some of the most exciting and important advances in biology are now being made in the field of genetics and our course gives you the opportunity to study these fast-changing areas. Genetics is at the forefront of modern biology, from the latest advances in medicine to the conservation of endangered species. The study of genetics includes understanding how genes are passed from one generation to the next, how DNA works and the effect of variation and natural selection. You will develop an understanding of the genetics of populations, biodiversity, human health and cloning, with a strong emphasis on molecular and cellular aspects.

    This degree is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.

    • BSc Genetics (also available with year abroad or placement year)

  • BSc Genetics and Genomics

    The sequencing of the human genome is one of the biggest achievements of this century. This endeavour resulted from the development of automated sequencing and the use of computers for sequence assembly and annotation. Nowadays, thousands of genomes have been sequenced and the number is increasing exponentially. Genomics is leading to major advances in biotechnology and molecular medicine.

    On our course you will study both genetics, at the level of a single gene or group of genes, and genomics, at the level of an organism’s entire genes – the genome. This allows you to gain an understanding of hereditary issues, the effects of variation and natural selection, how genes interact with each other, and the role of environmental influences.


  • BSc Marine Biology

    Our BSc Marine Biology gives you a detailed understanding of marine and estuarine biodiversity and ecology, the nature of threats to aquatic systems and how they can be managed. You will conduct marine and freshwater surveys and gain professional skills ranging from species identification to diving-based research methods.

    This degree is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.

    Study and learn to dive in Sulawesi

    Our three-week long optional module operates at the end of the spring term in your second year on the remote coral island of Hoga, within the Wakatobi Marine National Park, south-east Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    You will learn the key practical skills required as a coral reef biologist and receive training in scuba diving, species identification, and scuba and snorkel based assessment and monitoring techniques. Students participating in diving will have the opportunity to take a course to develop key diving skills and, if successful, be awarded with a Coral Reef Research diver certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).



    Study estuarine and coastal ecology on your doorstep

    Our five-day course investigates the relationship between biological diversity, and aspects of water chemistry and habitat structure in different coastal environments situated along the Essex Colne/Blackwater Estuary complex. You will gain experience in the identification of a wide variety of animals and plants along the estuarine salinity and nutrient gradient, from the head of the estuary at Colchester to the open sea coast, and in associated coastal habitats including freshwater grazing marshes, salt marshes and borrow dykes. This course is structured to provide experience of important standard laboratory skills and techniques, for example, measuring chlorophyll a and phosphate concentrations, and measurement of sediment properties.



  • MMarBiol Marine Biology (Integrated Masters)

    Our four-year Integrated Masters in Marine Biology enables you to achieve a postgraduate level qualification in marine biology. You will gain an ideal basis for careers where research and independent project management are required, including progression to a PhD.

    This degree is approved by the Royal Society of Biology.