Biology (Conservation Biology)

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How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

Our specialist pathway in Conservation Biology offers a more focussed programme of study enabling you to develop your skills in a contemporary and practical degree. You will study the latest practical technique for studying conservation with a particular emphasis on the real world and its constraints. Our degree will stand you in good stead for a career in environmental / ecology consultancy or research or further study in conservation with skills particularly well-tailored for the practical job market.

Biology at Bath Spa is ranked 1st of all UK universities for Overall Satisfaction and Assessment & Feedback and ranked 3rd for Teaching and Personal Development. (Source: National Student Survey, 2014). This feedback from our students demonstrates the quality of experience you will receive if you study with us.

Why study Biology (Conservation Biology)?

This course will be of interest to those with an interest in ecology, wildlife conservation and animal behaviour. You will develop a combination of more traditional ecological skills such as surveying and identification with contemporary developments such as the use of infrared cameras, motion triggered photography and automated data collection.

Course structure

In your first year you will study the core modules, Introduction to Biological Sciences and Biodiversity & Conservation. This allows you to develop your understanding of conservation biology and fundamentals of biology from cell biology and genetics to characteristics of plant and animal communities. You may also choose to study additional modules in human biology, biochemistry and nutrition.

In the second year you will look at the biology of plants, animals and humans in greater depth and be able to study additional topics that particularly interest you, such as ecology, environmental sustainability, biodiversity, or microbiology. A work placement module gives you the opportunity to gain academic credit for relevant voluntary or paid work carried out during your second year. There are also modules in business, science publishing and psychology available to complement your Biology modules.

In your final year of study you will specialise in topics such as nature conservation, animal behaviour, marine biology, environmental consultancy, digital imaging or plant biology. All students also carry out an independent study as part of their dissertation which enables you to pursue an area of biology which is of special interest to you. In addition modules in business, sociology, psychology and science publishing are available.


Year 1

  • Introduction to Biological Sciences (compulsory)
  • Biodiversity and Conservation (compulsory)
  • Food Nutrition and Health
  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • Global Food Issues
  • Human Biology
  • Investigating Earth Environments

Year 2

  • Biology: The Science of Life (compulsory)
  • Biological Research Skills (compulsory)
  • Biodiversity Tools and Techniques (compulsory)
  • Ecology (compulsory)
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Food Product Development
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Work Placement
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Science Publishing

Year 3

  • Biology Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Nature Conservation in Context (compulsory)
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Digital Imaging
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Food Safety
  • Marine Biology
  • Medical Biology
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Plants and People
  • Enterprise: Creating Your Own Business
  • Successful Freelancing
  • Science Publishing Project
  • Neuropsychology
  • Individuals, Health and Society


Course assessment

We use a wide variety of assessment types in our modules, including essays, practical reports, oral presentations, posters and leaflets. Some first and second year modules have an examination component, but all final year modules are coursework only.

Biology (Conservation Biology) with a year in professional practice (UCAS code: D157)

Subject to approval, if you join the programme in 2016, you can opt to take a year in professional practice ('sandwich year') between your level 5 (year 2) and level 6 (year 3) studies.

This placement will enable you to put theory into practice, build professional networks and meet and work with potential employers. It will also help with work management and give you experience to bring back to your studies in your final year.

Your degree title will include the phrase “with a year in professional practice”, so it is clear to all employers that you have this experience as part of your degree.

We strongly believe that learning is not a one-way process and our teaching reflects this philosophy. We encourage discussion and participation in our classroom sessions and provide a lot of choice within assessments. This helps you focus on aspects of biology which particularly interest you, whilst ensuring we maintain the highest academic standards. Our range of natural and specialist resources support our wide range of teaching methods.

Teaching methods

The Newton Park campus is an excellent location for the study of Biology. The 'natural laboratory' of our campus provides a rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, which are used extensively in practical work.

Our laboratories, glasshouses and experimental areas provide specialist facilities for a wide range of biological studies including aquatic, ecological, anatomical and soil analysis. Our modern ecological surveying equipment such as bat detectors and night vision wildlife camera enables you to be involved in interesting and contemporary biological research studies

Application method

All applications are through UCAS.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

The University has a programme of Open Days throughout the year where you can learn more about our courses, see our facilities and talk to some of our current students. See the main University web pages for more information.

If you wish to know more about the content of the Biology degree please contact the Biology Subject Leader, Dr Ian Todd.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

260–300 UCAS Tariff points with minimum 80 points from a relevant science subject such as biology, chemistry, human biology, environmental science or social biology.

Career opportunities

Careers are available in a range of private and public organisation including organisations such as DEFRA, RSPB, Natural England and national and regional ecological consultancies.