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Course Description

If you answered yes to the above question, an Ecology degree at Aberdeen will enable you to explore the science of all these topics, taught by experts who are actively involved in ecological research and its applications to environmental management and nature conservation. It will also provide you with opportunities to gain practical field experience in Scotland and abroad, on field trips, expeditions and through doing your own research project.

Our graduates have proven that an Aberdeen Ecology degree gives students a great start for careers in which they can make a difference to the world, working in wildlife research, nature conservation, environmental protection, environmental education and science communication.

If you answered yes to the above question, an Ecology degree at Aberdeen will enable you to explore the science of all these topics, taught by experts who are actively involved in ecological research and its applications to environmental management and nature conservation. It will also provide you with opportunities to gain practical field experience in Scotland and abroad, on field trips,...

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Course Content

Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses that can be chosen from those on offer across the Institute. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years.

  • Year 1

You will take eight courses in year 1. You also choose four courses from across the university, e.g. Cell Biology, Chemistry, Geography, interdisciplinary Sixth Century courses, or a language. At the end of the year you will attend a one-week field course on Plants and their Habitats in Northern Scotland at our field centre in Sutherland.

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

Frontiers in Biological Sciences (BI1009) - 15 Credit Points

Diversity of Life 1 (BI1012) - 15 Credit Points

Ecology and Environmental Science (BI1511) - 15 Credit Points

Diversity of Life 2 (BI1512) - 15 Credit Points

The Cell (SM1501) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice

  • Year 2

Core courses in year 2 include Biological Enhanced Skills Training, Ecology and Topics in Plant and Soil Biology. You choose five further courses; options available include Genes and Evolution, Ocean Biology, Conservation Biology, Animal Physiology, Sixth Century Courses and other courses across the university. You will also take a field trip, choosing between animal ecology in Yorkshire, the North-East Scottish coast or Mediterranean ecosystems in Spain.

Compulsory Courses

Genes and Evolution (BI2017) - 15 Credit Points

Biological Enhanced Skills Training (BEST) (BI2018) - 15 Credit Points

Ecology (BI2020) - 15 Credit Points

Plants, People, and the Environment (BI25P4) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the field courses listed below, plus a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

  • Year 3

There are four core courses in year 3; Statistical Analysis of Biological Data, Ecosystem Processes, Animal Population Ecology and Advanced Community Ecology. You also choose four from a range of courses including Animal Evolution and Biodiversity, Animal Behaviour, Conservation in Practice, Life History Evolution, Environmental Physiology and Sustainable Resource Management. You may take a field course in Field Ecology Skills, Mediterranean ecosystems or Conservation Issues in Scotland.

Compulsory Courses

Statistical Analysis of Biological Data (BI3010) - 15 Credit Points

Ecosystem Processes (PL3304) - 15 Credit Points

Animal Population Ecology (ZO3307) - 15 Credit Points

Experimental Community Ecology (EK3502) - 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

  • Year 4

In your Honours year you will carry out a research project and write an extended essay, each on a topic that you select to match your interests from a wide range offered. We encourage students to undertake their project in collaboration with an external ecological/conservation organisation and to undertake fieldwork during the summer. You will also choose four advanced courses from a wide range available and can opt to take any field trip that you have not taken before if places are available.

Compulsory Courses

SBS Honours Project (Semester 1) (BI4016) - 45 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 75 credit points from courses of choice, at least 45 of which must be from courses delivered by the School of Biological Sciences.

NOTE: A graduating curriculum for the Honours programme must include 90 credit points from Level 4 courses.

Each year you take a selection of compulsory courses and optional courses that can be chosen from those on offer across the Institute. The first two years lay a foundation for the more specialised third and fourth years. Year 1 You will take eight courses in year 1. You also choose four courses from across the university, e.g. Cell Biology,...

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Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

SQA Highers Standard: AABB* Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required. Minimum: BBB* Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are...

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Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods: coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course; practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and written examinations at the end of each course. The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of...

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