About the Course

Biology at Oxford is a single honours degree course taught jointly by the Departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology. The course combines traditional core topics, such as animal and plant evolution and systematics, with modern developments and techniques in all spheres of biology, from the molecular and cellular to the whole organismal and ecological. It makes full use of Oxford’s major research expertise in all these areas, and one of the course’s major strengths is this fundamental association between teaching and research. We believe that the focus on biology in depth over three or four years, in combination with the tutorial system and world-class scientific research, provides a degree course that is second to none.

Biology at Oxford offers students the choice of leaving the course after three years and graduating with a BA, or continuing to a fourth year and graduating with an MBiol. Progression to the MBiol is contingent on satisfactory academic performance in the first three years. In  both streams, you will spend the first year encountering the full range of biology, developing an understanding of the integration between the levels and discovering, perhaps to your surprise, the similarities of some of the laws governing interactions between molecules, cells, individuals and populations. In the second year the depth of material covered increases in preparation for the third year. Here you will be able to specialise, pursuing the latest research, both pure and applied, in those subjects that interest you most. The fourth year consists of an extended project, which can be lab or field based, plus advanced research skills training. Recent changes to the course structure have placed additional emphasis on emerging topics relevant to society such as GM crops, bio-fuels, stem cells and ageing.

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for Biology - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.