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C103 - Biology

Biology

MBiol Honours

  • UCAS code: C103
  • Full time
  • 4 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

Our four-year Biology MBiol Honours degree is very similar in content to our Biology BSc degree but includes a year of master's-level study, which offers significant research experience.

Fees (per year)

  • UK/EU: £9250
  • International: £22800

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAB-BBB
  • IB: 32-34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

You study a broad curriculum that explores all areas of biology, including animal and plant biology, microbiology and ecology.

You will have the opportunity to choose from specialist topics such as gene technology, wildlife disease management and ecological survey techniques. You’ll learn skills such as:

  • molecular biology techniques
  • bioinformatics
  • the use of geographic information systems

Like our BSc students, you learn the lab and field skills required by professional biologists. You build on these in your fourth year, where you work alongside our research active staff to explore advanced topics in biology.

BSc or MBiol?

Some of our degrees are offered at two levels:

  • three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • four-year Master of Biology (MBiol)

Our MBiol degrees involve an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, during which you will gain significant research experience to increase your employability.

READ MORE

Students during a field trip to the Farne Islands

Quality and ranking

Biology at Newcastle ranks 92nd in the Life Sciences category, Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

Modules and learning

Modules

The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research, and course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

The first year of this degree is shared with other degrees in the School. This provides all students with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of biology. You can transfer to one of our other Biology degrees before the second year should your interests change (subject to achieving the appropriate grades).

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Genetics and Evolution 20
Diversity of Life: Form and Function 20
Ecology and Conservation 20
Cells and Biomolecules 20
Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences 20
Optional Modules Credits
Crop Pests 10
Animal Health 10
Introduction to the Sedimentary Record 10
The Marine Environment 20
Marine Microbiology and Primary Producers 20
Introductory Oceanography 10

You'll continue to build upon your skills, delving deeper into the field. Modules include field identification skills, plant biology, animal physiology, experimental design and statistics for biologists, and entomology. You'll also have the option to embark on a residential field course.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Field Identification Skills 10
Plant Biology 2 10
Animal Physiology 10
Microbiology 2 10
Experimental Design and Statistics for Biologists 10
Molecular Biology and Development 10
Vertebrate Biology 20
Optional Modules Credits
Animal Parasitology 10
Entomology 10
Animal Behaviour 10
Pollution of Air, Water & Soil 10
Employability Skills for Biologists 10
Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation 20
Methods in Biotechnology: Principles, Theory and Practice 20
Methods in Biotechnology: Principles and Theory 10
Residential Field Course 10

You'll have the choice between completing a biological literature review, a biological research project, or a biological information project – an innovative public communication of science project, which will see you design, produce, and present materials aimed at a specific target audience.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Molecular Evolution and Systematics 20
Plant Biology 3 20
Optional Modules Credits
Animal Ecophysiology 10
Ecological Modelling 10
Genomics 10
Cellular Systems 10
Biodiversity Science and Management 20
Applied Ecology 20
Biotechnology: Applications 20
Behavioural Ecology 10
Conservation and Ecological Research in Human-modified Landscapes of Sub-Saharan Africa 10
Biological Literature Review 40
Biological Information Project 40
Biological Research Project 40
Creativity and Market Research in Science and Engineering 10

With approval from the Degree Programme Director, an alternative optional module to those listed above may be selected.

You build on the knowledge and skills you developed in the first three years, working alongside our research-active staff to explore advanced topics in biology. You undertake a significant research project working with an active research group.

You also have the opportunity to choose from specialist topics such as: gene technology; wildlife disease management; applied bioinformatics; and ecological survey techniques.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Research Project 60
Optional Modules Credits
Practical Techniques in Molecular Biology 20
Biotechnology: Advanced Topics 20
Applied Bioinformatics 10
Management of Wildlife Disease and Epidemiology 10
Global Species Conservation Principles and Practice 10
Invasive Species 10
Wildlife Conflicts and Management 10
Wildlife Research in Practice 10
Management and Visualisation of Data in Ecology and Conservation 10
Geographical Information systems and Remote Sensing 20
The Biological Study of Behaviour 20
Data preparation, analysis, interpretation and presentation for MSc 10
Academic and professional skills for MSc 10
Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology 10
Quantitative Ecological Research Methods 20
Ideas for Business Enterprise for Postgraduates in Science, Agriculture & Engineering 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll be taught via a combination of methods, including:

  • lectures
  • lab work
  • field work
  • seminars
  • tutor group sessions

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Practical sessions

  • Presentations

  • Reports

Skills and experience

Research skills

You'll have access to our labs and research facilities, including a field station, two research farms, and an on-campus museum with a whole host of biological collections.

Your learning will be strongly informed by the School's research, and you'll be taught by experts at the forefront of their respective fields.

Business skills

The optional employability skills for biologists module will equip you with real-world business skills, including a 35-hour work placement.

Previous students have completed placements at organisations including the Great North Museum Learning Team, the Great North Museum Library, and the Gorilla Project. 

Practical skills

This is a highly practical course and you'll spend much of your time the lab or off campus on a half-day field trip. You'll develop practical skills by observing and experimenting in the lab and the field, using scientific apparatus.

Several modules include fieldwork, such as field identification skills and mammal surveying skills.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment

Facilities

You'll be based in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at our city-centre campus. 

Away from the main campus, you'll have access to teaching at our two University-run farms. These are used as demonstration facilities as well as a field station with glasshouse and dedicated teaching facilities. 

Our marine zoologists will be able to study living organisms with access to the Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats and our research vessel, The Princess Royal.

On campus, you'll receive teaching in our purpose-built laboratories and be able to visit the Great North Museum, where there's a range of important biological collections. There's also our controlled-environment aquaria in the Ridley Building. 

Support

As a new student, you'll receive a tablet, so you can download online learning resources, helping to make our campus more sustainable.

You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Your future

Recent graduates have taken roles such as researcher, environmental monitoring officer, science explainer, and science writer, within organisations such as RSPB, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Natural England.

Many students also go on to further education, pursuing master's degrees, PHDs, postgraduate teaching qualifications, and medicine and law courses.

Industry links

We have built strong links with leading organisations, including:

  • National Trust
  • Natural History Society of Northumbria
  • WWT
  • National Parks Authority
  • GENEIUS

These links will provide opportunities to secure work placements, internships, and volunteer roles, as well as building up an invaluable network of contacts in the sector. 

Make a difference

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Careers support

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ inititiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level

AAB-BBB

International Baccalaureate

32-34 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

PARTNERS

The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

Visit the PARTNERS website

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)

UK Students

£9250

International Students

£22800

The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:

Scholarships

Find out more about:

Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By Phone

Contact us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333. We're open 9.00 to 17.00 every week day except Wednesday (10.00 to 17.00).

Online

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