You focus on plants, animals and micro-organisms, but with a strong focus on whole organisms and their roles in the environment. You study specialist topics related to ecology and the environment, such as:
- biodiversity, ecology and conservation
- UK wildlife
- population genetics
- plant biology
- pollution science
- vertebrate biology
You also have the opportunity to choose from specialist topics such as ecosystem management, management of wildlife disease and epidemiology, and global species conservation principles and practice.
Like our BSc students, you learn the scientific skills required by professional biologists. You take these to a higher professional level during your fourth year, where you work alongside our research-active staff to explore advanced topics in ecology.
You will also 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.
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
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).
|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|
|Introduction to the Sedimentary Record||10|
|The Marine Environment||20|
|Marine Microbiology and Primary Producers||20|
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.
|Field Identification Skills||10|
|Pollution of Air, Water & Soil||10|
|Experimental Design and Statistics for Biologists||10|
|Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation||20|
|Residential Field Course||10|
|Environmental Management Skills||20|
|Plant Biology 2||10|
|Employability Skills for Biologists||10|
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.
|Biodiversity Science and Management||20|
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: biodiversity conservation; ecosystem management; management of wildlife disease and epidemiology; and global species conservation principles and practice.
Teaching and assessment
On average, you'll spend around a third of your time in contact with teaching staff for lectures, laboratory and field practical classes, computer sessions and in tutorial activities tied closely to key skills development.
You may find yourself spending as much time in the laboratory as the lecture theatre, or be off campus for half-day field trips.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
You'll develop key research skills, conduct your own research, and 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.
During your second year, you'll have the opportunity to undertake an employability skills module, involving a 35-hour work placement.
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.
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.
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 3 and 4.
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.
Facilities and environment
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.
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.
Graduates specialising in Ecology and Conservation are equipped prepared 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 film-maker – one of our graduates was the producer on Blue Planet II.
Our strong industry links will allow you to benefit from placement, volunteering and networking opportunities.
We have links with many of the leading organisations in the field, including:
- National Trust
- Natural England
- Local Eco consultancies
- National Parks Authority
- Great North Museum
Be from Newcastle. For the world.
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.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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You can also join us for an event at our London Campus.
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.