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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

C181 BSc Ecology and Conservation (3 years)

Develop your passion for the natural environment and equip yourself with the skills to work in conservation and ecology with Southampton’s three-year BSc Ecology and Conservation degree.

You will gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of life, from molecules and cells, to whole organisms and ecosystems, developing vital skills for a variety of rewarding careers including conservation and policy making.

Book your placeFind out more at our 2019 Open Days

Introducing your course

This is a truly hands-on degree offering fieldwork in locations as diverse as Spain and Belize. More locally, our students develop their field techniques in the nearby New Forest National Park, Jurassic Coast of Dorset (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and the South Downs National Park.

On campus, your learning will be underpinned by the ground-breaking ecological research carried out by many of our staff. You will have access to our state-of-the-art facilities, building your laboratory skills within our Life Sciences building.

We have links to a number of local conservation organisations such as Marwell Wildlife and work placements are available for ambitious and talented students.

BSc Ecology

The course gives you the opportunity to develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of life from the molecular, through cells and whole organisms, to ecosystems. Compulsory and optional modules in your first and second year will be followed by original research in the third year.

View the programme specification for this course for 2017/18 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

 

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key Facts

  • You will have the opportunity to carry out fieldwork in the UK, Spain and Belize 
  • Wide variety of options for undertaking year three research project (e.g. lab work, fieldwork, communication, education or business)
  • Opportunity to study abroad at host universities in Australia, New Zealand and Europe
  • 100 per cent of our research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF2014)
  • Flexible, interdisciplinary course, with opportunity to choose modules from other disciplines and change degree in year one

 

Photo of Charlie Wilson
The newly built Life Sciences Building means we have a very modern, well equipped teaching and learning space which contributes a lot to the learning experience.
Charlie WilsonMSci Ecology and Conservation 2017*

Typical entry requirements

For 2020 entry

View 2019 entry requirements

QualificationGrade
GCSE Applicants must hold GCSE English Language (or GCSE English), Mathematics and Science (minimum grade C/4).
GCE A-Level AAB including Biology and one further science subject.
GCE A-Level with Extended Project Qualificiation (EPQ)

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data allows us to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience.

Applicants who are highlighted in this way will receive additional scrutiny during confirmation of results.

Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Candidates with only Biology A Level may be considered on an individual basis for the BSc. A level science subjects considered include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required.

Welsh Baccalaureate offer

AA from two A levels including Biology and one further science subject and B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate.

A level science subjects considered include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics,  a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. General Studies, Critical Thinking are excluded for entry.

International Baccalaureate Diploma
offer

Pass with overall score of 34 points, with 17 points at Higher Level, including 5 and 6 points at Higher Level in Biology and one further science subject.

Science subjects considered include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology.

Applications where Higher Level subjects have been studied without the full Diploma, will also be considered on a case by case basis.

International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP)
offer

Offers will be made on the individual Diploma Course subject(s) and the career-related study qualification. The CP core will not form part of the offer. Where there is a subject pre-requisite(s), applicants will be required to study the subject(s) at Higher Level in the Diploma course subject and/or take a specified unit in the career-related study qualification. Applicants may also be asked to achieve a specific grade in those elements.

Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma offer

60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at Level 3 of which 45 credits must be at Distinction.

A core science Access to HE Diploma must be studied.

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (first awarded 2017)

H1, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 to include Biology and one further science subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (last awarded 2016)

AAAABB to include Biology and one further science subject.

Acceptable science subjects considered include Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Applicants will be required to have achieved a pass in Mathematics and English at ILC Grade C or 04, the equivalent of GCSE grade C/grade 4.

Scottish Qualification offers

Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U offer

D3, D3, M2

D3, D3, M2 to include Biology or Chemistry and one further science subject. Science subjects considered include Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology and Geography. Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of grade B.

Level 3 BTEC (QCF) offer (unreformed) D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus AA in A Level Biology and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC Diploma/BTEC Extended Diploma without two AA grades in A Level Biology and one further science subject.
Level 3 BTEC (RQF) offer (reformed)

D in the BTEC Extended Certificate plus AA in A Level Biology and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma/ BTEC National Extended Diploma without two AA grades in A Level Biology and one further science subject.

Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.

European Baccalaureate offer 79%-85% overall to include grade 8 in Biology and grade 8 in one further science subject. Acceptable science subjects considered include Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. 
International qualifications

Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country

This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.

English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

For 2019 entry

QualificationGrade
GCSE

Grades A-C in English, Mathematics and Science.

International students, whose first language is not English, must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS.

 GCE A-level

AAB (excluding general studies):
Biology must be offered at A-level (B) along with at least one other A-level science subject
A-level Science subjects considered include:
A-level Biology (minimum grade B)
Other science A-levels 
Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, Environmental Science, Geology, Geography

We do offer entry through a one year Science Foundation programme designed to enable you to qualify for entry to Honours degree programmes in Biological Sciences if you have not studied the appropriate Science subjects at GCE A level or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.  It is particularly appropriate if you are a mature student or if you have obtained good grades in non-science A levels.

International Baccalaureate requirements

 34 points on the IB scale, to include 17 points at the higher level, including a minimum of 6 in Biology at Higher level.

Alternative qualifications and International applications

Applications are encouraged from students studying for GNVQs, BTEC, Access, International and European Baccalaureates and other UK, EU and overseas qualifications.  If your first language is not English then you are required to reach a satisfactory standard in an approved test in English, e.g. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English grade C or above, IELTS grade 6.5 or TOEFL score of 600.

Mature applicants

We will consider applications from mature students with none of the above qualifications, but with evidence of recent successful study.

Non-standard

All “non-standard” applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Selection process:

Typical entry requirements

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The modules below provide an example of the typical course content for the BSc Ecology and Conservation degree. This constitutes a series of compulsory, core and optional modules amounting to eight modular units each academic year. Optional modules can be modules from outside the faculty, including Curriculum Innovation modules, and a language module, which can count towards your degree.

Students who have not taken A-level Chemistry are also able to take Introduction to Chemistry, which will provide sufficient background and insight into the subject for further studies.

Certain 2nd or 3rd year optional modules may require specified pre-requisites modules from previous years.

Year 1

Compulsory Modules:

Optional Modules:

 

Year 2

Compulsory Modules:

Optional Modules:

 

Year 3

Compulsory Project Modules:

 

Compulsory Option Modules - at least 4 from:

Optional Modules:

Innovation modules options outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course
 
 

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
NameAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
EcologyBSc2018Full-time£9,250£20,320
EcologyBSc2019Full-timeFull-time£20,970
View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

List of additional costs for this course
TypeDescriptionCost
Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays; projects; dissertations may be submitted on line. In the majority of cases, though, students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to www.printcopypayments.soton.ac.uk Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. Students entering Year 1 in 2015/16 will be given a printing allowance of £3 per 7.5 ECTS BIOL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts (except BIOL1001 as there is nothing to print out). Practical handouts and module guides will be provided by the University. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/copyrooms/service.page. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory and field equipment and materials: All materials required for laboratory or field work are provided. Where necessary, suitable specialist safety equipment will be provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense. The Students Union Shop stock these items.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
FieldworkAccommodation, insurance (travel/health), travel costs, immunisation/vaccination costs, other costs: For compulsory residential fieldcourses accommodation and travel are normally provided though where necessary, you will be expected to cover the cost of getting to and from the departure point which may be an airport. You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional fieldcourses, you may be asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs. Undergraduates are automatically covered under the University’s travel insurance whilst on organised and supervised fieldcourses. Those travelling independently in connection with their programme can be included under the University’s travel insurance upon application – there may be a cost attached to this. There are also opportunities to undertake fieldcourses with another organisation, e.g. Operation Wallacea – for example see here: http://opwall.com/undergrad-research-assistants/dates-and-prices/ Where necessary students will need to arrange and pay for any vaccinations. Specific details on what additional costs there are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of the relevant programme.
PlacementsStudents who choose to go on an industrial placement at the end of Part 2 can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
OtherParking costs: There may be a requirement to undertake work at Southampton General Hospital (SGH), for example during a final year research project. Students may need to cover costs for transport to travel to SGH or for car parking.
OtherTravel costs: Students who opt to undertake a module delivered at Marwell Wildlife will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

The academic year

Eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts 35% towards the degree and the third year 65%.

The tutorial system

Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.

Research

Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in their area of research. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly true for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our research laboratories. You will use equipment bought for current research, and do a project designed to further your understanding of your topic.

Administration

We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader: Dr A Marchant and Dr Lex Kraaijeveld

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study29%26%12%
Independent study71%74%88%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment51%70%47%
Practical exam assessment27%19%47%
Coursework assessment22%11%6%

Study Locations

The Life Sciences Building

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Wildlife is a charity dedicated to the conservation of biodive...Find out more

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Sciences is based at the world-renowed National Oceano...Find out more

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