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C182 - Biology (Ecology and Conservation)

Biology (Ecology and Conservation)

BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: C182
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

This three-year BSc Honours degree covers plants, animals and micro-organisms, but with a strong focus on whole organisms and their roles in the environment.

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

In the first year, all students study core biology modules, giving you a strong foundation in the subject. In later stages, you will study specialist topics related to ecology and the environment, such as:

  • UK wildlife 
  • population genetics
  • plant biology
  • pollution science
  • vertebrate biology
  • biodiversity, ecology and conservation 

Lab and field-based teaching equips you with scientific skills required by professional biologists. You will enjoy a species identification field course, as well as a week-long project-based residential field course.

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

Student using a digital microscope

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

In Stage 2, you'll start to focus in on your ecology and conservation specialism, with modules including pollution of air, water, and soil, UK wildlife, vertebrate biology, plant biology, and environmental management skills. 

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Field Identification Skills 10
Pollution of Air, Water & Soil 10
Experimental Design and Statistics for Biologists 10
UK Wildlife 10
Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation 20
Vertebrate Biology 20
Residential Field Course 10
Optional Modules Credits
Environmental Management Skills 20
Plant Biology 2 10
Entomology 10
Animal Physiology 10
Employability Skills for Biologists 10

In Stage 3 you'll complete either a week long mammal surveying project on the university's farm, or a 12 day trip to Tanzania or South Africa, where you'll study ecology, conservation, and management challenges in tropical landscapes. 

You'll also complete a biological literature review, a biological research project, or a biological information project. 

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Biodiversity Science and Management 20
Applied Ecology 20
Optional Modules Credits
Animal Ecophysiology 10
Ecological Modelling 10
Mammal Surveying Skills 10
Molecular Evolution and Systematics 20
Plant Biology 3 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

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll learn from a combination of teaching methods, including:

  • lectures 
  • seminars
  • field work
  • lab work

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Case studies

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Practical sessions

  • Presentations

  • Projects

  • Seminar tasks/exercises

Skills and experience

Research skills

Throughout your studies, you'll develop key research skills, conduct your own research, and also learn from the research of your lecturers.

During your second year, you'll complete an experimental design and statistics for biologists module, allowing you to develop the problem-solving and statistical skills required by research biologists. 

In your final year, you'll have the option to complete an independent biological research project.

Business skills

During your second year, you'll have the opportunity to undertake an employability skills module, involving a 35-hour work placement. 

There is also an optional work placement year between stages 2 and 3, allowing you to build your skills, experience, and network. Recent students have secured placements at organisations such as:

  • the Wildlife Trust
  • the National Trust
  • the National Parks Authority 

Field-trips and excursions

Alongside lab-based practical work, you'll have the opportunity to develop your skills in the field, with a species identification field course, and a project-based residential field course where you'll visit locations such as Kielder, Millport, and Crete.

Throughout the course, you'll also be involved in day excursions that take advantage of the incredible environments on our doorstep, including the Northumberland National Park and the local coastline. 

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

Graduates specialising in Ecology and Conservation are equipped for exciting careers within organisations including the Wildlife Trust, Nature Trek, WWT, Natural England, National Trust, RSPB. 

You'll have opportunities in areas such as environmental management, teaching, environmental education, and science education. You could even become a wildlife filmmaker – one of our graduates was the producer on Blue Planet II. 

With a host of highly transferable skills, you'll also be able to pursue careers in sectors as diverse as banking and retail management, media, and adventure tourism. 

Many of our graduates also go on to further study and research. 

Industry links

Our strong industry links will allow you to benefit from placement, volunteering and networking opportunities, as well as 

We have links with many of the leading organisations in the field, including: 

  • National Trust
  • WWT
  • Natural England
  • Local Eco consultancies 
  • National Parks Authority
  • Great North Museum

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).

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