Biology (Environmental Biology) BSc Honours | Middlesex University London
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Biology (Environmental Biology) BSc Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2018
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Steve Kett

In a rapidly changing world, biologists investigate environmental impacts at many scales. This programme blends laboratory and field disciplines with state-of-the-art teaching laboratories and bespoke field trips both in the UK and in tropical ecosystems. This pathway offers an integrated approach to environmental biology, investigating relationships between organisms and their environments at scales ranging from the molecular to whole ecosystem ecology.

Why study BSc Biology (Environmental Biology) at Middlesex University?

We offer an integrated approach to environmental biology, which investigates the relationship between organisms and their environments, from biological molecules to ecosystem ecology.

You will spend the first year gaining a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of biology and then widen your studies to focus on contemporary environmental issues such as biodiversity, climate change and ecosystem balance. Through lab-based teaching, field trips, and exciting placement opportunities, we equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience to flourish in your chosen scientific career.

BSc Biology is part of a new suite of biology courses, designed to offer choice and flexibility in the modules you study. There is a common first year that focuses on covering the fundamentals of biology so you have the option of changing pathway at the end of the first year. The other courses in this suite are:

Course highlights

  • There is the opportunity for an internship in your third year, which can be completed in the summer or on day release. You will be supported in sourcing the best placement or internship for you and making your application
  • Our state-of-the-art facilities provide the next generation of scientific instrumentation for molecular analysis post the genomic era.
  • As research leaders in environmental science we are at the cutting-edge of critical findings to improve lives
  • The course is complemented by daylong and residential field trips in the UK and a residential field trip in Mauritius where you will focus on data collection and analysis, and develop new ideas for your own environmental research projects.
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BSc Biology (Environmental Biology)?

In the first year the focus is upon key themes of biology, from molecular to whole organism biology with inorganic and organic chemistry to support studies in Year 2 and 3. In Year 2, additional core modules develop field and ecology skills (Ecology and Field Techniques) and Biodiversity (Biodiversity). Core modules in Year 3 include evolution (Evolution) and conservation (Conservation in a Changing World).

Field work and field visits are a central part of the course. You will focus on skills associated with data/sample collection, analysis and ideas for innovative research projects. Additional emphasis is placed upon building effective team working skills and learning to work safely in potentially hazardous field environments.

What will you gain?

Each biology pathway focuses on core disciplines of biology including plant and animal biology, cell biology, microbial sciences and molecular biology. You will develop laboratory, field work and research methodology skills to prepare you for your career, or postgraduate study.


  • Year 1

    • Anatomy and Physiology of Plants and Animals (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

    • Chemistry for Biologists (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that underpin studies in biology. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts in chemistry and biochemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory skills and learn how to analyse experimental results in the context of theoretical concepts.

    • Principles of Microbiology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is an introduction to the scope of microbiology, the nature and importance of micro-organisms and factors influencing their growth and survival. The module explores the field of microbiology and its applications and importance in biotechnological processes, the environment and in health and disease.

    • Biological Techniques (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the fundamental laboratory and research techniques that underpin the study of biological sciences. Skills introduced in this module include observations and note taking; data handling, analysis and presentation; safe working practices and the ability to communicate scientific ideas in a variety of formats. The module will enable you to develop these skills and facilitate recognition of these skills in relation to employability.

    • Anatomy and Physiology of Plants and Animals (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life, investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

  • Year 2

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work, with the focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Microbial Life (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will explore microbial diversity and extend knowledge of the role of micro-organisms in relationships with other organisms, the environment and in the cause of disease. The module aims to further underpin knowledge of the numerical concepts associated with growth and death.

    • Biology of Complex Organisms (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to acquaint you with the organisation and complexity of Eukaryotic biota on Earth, their fundamental biological processes and interactions with each other and the environment. You will gain a solid grounding regarding Eukaryotic diversity as well as specific, functional knowledge of how they reproduce, respond to stimuli and maintain the requirements of life. Emphasis is laid upon establishing links between each specific topic and between those in other modules so you may develop your own biological synthesis throughout the module.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will reinforce and expand on the Year 1 module, Cell Biology and Genetics. The overall aim is for you to obtain understanding of the molecular processes occurring in organisms. In addition, you will gain experience in the principles, practice, quality assurance and application of commonly employed molecular methods and genetic tools and techniques.

    • Analytical Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the knowledge of important “state of the art” analytical methods in biological sciences. There is a focus on developing practical skills in analytical methods and the analysis and interpretation of results. Particular emphasis will be on proteins in the context of clinical diagnostics and environmental assessment.

    • Biodiversity (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the concept of biodiversity, its origins, measures, uses and management, as well as its Phanerozoic history. Concepts climate-biota interaction undergo investigation and this evidence is examined to investigate current trends and their likely effects on global biodiversity.

    • Ecology and Field Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the biological and environmental factors influencing structure and ecological interactions within a variety of ecosystems. UK Ecosystems and communities are particularly highlighted to illustrate concepts covered. Emphasis is placed on the "hands-on" approach. You will be required to participate in sampling different habitats, to analyse composition of sampled communities and to take responsibility for drawing conclusions from the results of your analyses.

  • Year 3

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills you have acquired when undertaking previous modules and from the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme. Further development of research skills, analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted in completing a dissertation.

    • Gene Technology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of their applications. Ethical issues and regulations of the field of gene technology will be explored.

    • Conservation in a Changing World (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and methods associated with conservation within an increasingly anthropogenic environment. It addresses arguments for conservation as well as problems associated with wildlife conservation.

    • Aspects of Evolution (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge of function and interaction of evolutionary processes upon Earth s biota. Effects of both natural and anthropogenic mechanisms/processes upon the evolution of extant and palaeobiota are examined within the context of specific case studies investigating events throughout the whole Phanerozoic.

    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module explores genetic and environmental factors that lead to changes in cells and cell processes with an emphasis on cellular and molecular responses in cancer. It reviews the current and future potential for molecular biology in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease including the associated ethical issues.

    • Gene Expression and Control (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in regulation of gene expression and current laboratory methods available for investigation. It also aims to provide an understanding of how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

    • Current Topics in Biosciences (15 credits) - Optional

      This module gives you the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge of a current topic within a biological sciences subject area of interest to you. You will be guided towards independent research of an appropriate topic of your choosing and then present your findings orally and in writing.

    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to recognise the current and future impact of sustainable biotechnology. The module will explore the role of biotechnology in plant and animal biotechnology, in waste remediation, clean and dirty water management, and the production of renewable energy sources. The importance of these processes for society and health will be explored.

    • Biology Work Experience (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to gain credits for work experience related to your programme. It aims to link academic learning to a placement organization. The experience provides opportunities for you to work in a relevant organisation and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, co-operation and self-reliance.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BSc Biology (Environmental Biology) support your career?

From this pathway, you may enter careers in conservation biology, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, agriculture, environmental protection or consultancy work. This course can also lead to postgraduate study in a related disciplines such as an MSc in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation in Action or to a research studentship.

Teacher training for either primary or secondary school is also an option and one for which the field work component may prove to be of real value in the current employment market. Employment may also be sought on graduate training programmes, laboratory or technical work or in other disciplines such as science journalism for example.

Natural Sciences Academic Society

The Natural Sciences Academic Society is the Middlesex University Student Union society that aims to Increase awareness of biosciences and their applications in jobs, research and innovation. Members and officers organise and participate in a variety of activities and events to showcase biological sciences and to illustrate that they offer more than just being enslaved to a laboratory. They aim to help students become the next generation of leading scientists by offering a spectrum of opportunities to bring out personal qualities and passions necessary for good science.

Dr Anne Ropiquet
Senior Lecturer in Biology

Dr Anne Ropiquet is a molecular biologist whose research encompasses genomics, ecology, anatomy and conservation science. Her work involves many different organisms and spans many environments from a super-computer lab in London, tropical forest in Mauritius, a zoo in Paris or a National Park in South Africa.

Dr Stephen Kett
SL in EnvScience & Engineering

Dr Stephen Kett is an ‘old school’ field biologist with interests in freshwater biology/ecology and UK natural history. When pressed, he admits to specific research interests in fish and fisheries biology, pond ecology/conservation and general aquatic macroinvertebrate biology.

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