The BSc in Ecology and Conservation is a four-year course run by the School of Biology. The programme begins with a broad foundation across the range of Biology, and then progresses to ecology and evolution with options across a range of relevant topics. It incorporates substantial practical and field training, and development of quantitative skills.
Alongside Biology, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.
In third year, there is a shift from core, broad-themed modules to more specialised modules that allow students to prepare for their Honours degree. In fourth year students continue specific research in their chosen area through student-led, inquiry-based learning.
Centres of research within the School of Biology offer students the experience of working alongside experts and the opportunity to develop their own research in Honours years.
These facilities include:
- The Scottish Oceans Institute: houses a modern aquarium and laboratories for molecular, developmental and physiological studies of marine systems. The institute is ideally placed on the seashore near grey and common seal colonies and bottlenose dolphin feeding areas.
- The Centre for Biological Diversity: has excellent facilities for behavioural, ecological and evolutionary research on small animals (including birds, insects and fish) and on plants.
- The Biomedical Sciences Research Complex: offers large multi-group laboratories focused on structural biology, molecular microbiology, virology, chemical biology and molecular medicine.
Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Ecology and Conservation.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.
From first year to Honours, students studying Biology will also have the opportunity to go on field trips to gather data. Those who have a particular interest in ecology or marine biology will be perfectly located in St Andrews on the shores of the east coast.
During third year, Ecology and Conservation students will participate in a week-long field course involving field-based exercises in a range of aquatic or terrestrial habitats. You will be able to examine and measure biodiversity, ecophysiological adaptation and community structure with both plant and animal materials.
In Honours years, students can explore further afield in places such as Indonesia and Antarctica.
Find out more about studying Biology at St Andrews.