Biology and Ecology at Lancaster


  • Ranked 9th in the UK for biosciences in the Guardian 2015 University Guide.
  • 85% of 2014 graduates in full-time employment or undertaking graduate-level study 6 months after their degrees.

Why study Biology or Ecology at Lancaster University?

If you have studied biology at school or college and you are interested in the big questions about life on earth, then our range of innovative biology degree programmes are what you are looking for. Through our biology teaching and research at Lancaster University, we will equip you with the real-world skills required to help you tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our planet, whether it's researching underlying scientific principles, the development of new treatments for disease, helping to protect endangered species, or trying to make sure the world has enough food. At Lancaster, biology students can choose between:

Biology - aimed at students with an interest in organismal biology. You will learn how organisms interact and function, and how they are affected by the key global environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Biological Sciences - aimed atstudents with a broad interest in the science of life. You will learn about the principles and contemporary issues in biology whilst having the flexibility to tailor your degree to match your own interests.

Ecology & Conservation - Lancaster was one of the first universities in the world to offer a degree in Ecology. You will learn about the complex interactions that take place within ecosystems and examine solutions to the most pressing challenges to maintaining biological diversity.

Environmental Biology - relates basic biology to real-world situations. You will learn about the mechanism by which organisms interact with each other, with their environment, and with human activities.

At Lancaster University we also offer degrees in Biomedicine and Biochemistry.

Unique choice and flexibility

We offer one of the widest choices of study options anywhere in the UK, with the possibility of graduating with either a B.Sc. or M.Sci degree. The first year of our degrees provide students with the opportunity to link key global challenges, such as maintaining biodiversity to human use of the environment and human health, with our Biological Science degree programmes offering the most flexible choice of biology modules. You can then begin to specialize more in subsequent years, choosing modules that allow you to develop your interests in specific aspects of biology. This flexibility also means it’s easy to move between programmes if you find your passions lie in a particular discipline.

Innovative real-world teaching and learning; local and international hands-on experience

Field and laboratory work are central to our approach to teaching and learning. For students on the majority of our programmes, the field trips and residential field courses are the highlight of their study. They provide you with an opportunity to experience firsthand what you are learning academically and to get to know staff and your fellow students better. Overseas field courses go to Spain, Scotland, the Brazilian Amazon, and either Africa or South East Asia. Laboratory work provides you with experience of cutting-edge techniques that will equip you with the skills required of a well-qualified practising scientist.

You will also undertake a dissertation project, under the guidance of an active researcher. These could be in our high-quality laboratories using state-of-the-art instrumentation, or field-based, attached to ongoing research projects in the UK or overseas.

Students on specific degree programmes study abroad for a year in North America or Australasia while others may choose to spend time in other European countries via the Erasmus scheme.

Highly Rated

Lancaster is ranked 9th in the The Complete University Guide for 2016 and is one of the top places in the UK to study biology. Our biology degrees were ranked 9th in the UK and best in the North West in the 2015 Guardian University Guide. They also have a high graduate employment rate – 85% of students graduating in 2014 were in full-time employment or undertaking further study within 6 months of completing their degree. Our students love our intellectually stimulating and friendly atmosphere – 94% of our biology students said they were satisfied with their course in the 2014 National Student Survey. At Lancaster, students also benefit from excellent student to staff ratios, small tutorial groups and friendly, available and enthusiastic lecturers, and excellent pastoral care provided by departmental tutors and college advisors.

Why Lancaster?

  • Students choose from a wide range of innovative degree programmes
  • Exciting fieldtrips and residential field courses exposing students to wide-ranging topics and perspectives
  • Brand new labs, equipment and friendly support staff
  • Option to study abroad from a term to a year
  • Work with industry facilitated by an in-house business partnership team
  • Excellent academic, employability, pastoral and welfare support
  • Popular and highly regarded collegiate system
  • All lecturers have international profiles and are engaged in a diverse and cutting edge research