School of Biological Sciences

Undergraduate study

Biology science equipment in the lab

Immerse yourself in scientific thinking

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. We offer a range of undergraduate courses, and all include the option to study abroad for a year.

Explore how the human genome responds to nicotine addiction, discover how enzymes can be converted into novel bio-catalysts, how a cancer cell arises, how a plant makes food for us all, how microbes can clean up oil pollution and live in extreme environments. 

Depending on which course you choose, you could be learning to dive in Sulawesi while studying coral reef ecosystems, spending a week on a yacht ocean sampling in Greece, or developing animal and plant identification skills while studying environmental biology and ecophysiology in Portugal. Please note that these options may be subject to additional costs.

Our friendly atmosphere, shared staff-student social spaces, and open-door policy mean that you feel part of a vibrant and supportive community. Like our students, our academics have travelled from all over the world to be at Essex, and are both internally recognised scientific experts and university educators. 

Explore our undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • We are in the top 20 nationally for overall student satisfaction in biology (NSS 2018)
  • Our teaching is underpinned by research - new ideas and theories are tested in the classroom
  • We emphasise employability and have strong links with industry

What do we have to offer?

Leading experts in their field

We offer a range of undergraduate courses taught by experienced academic staff from around the world. With such diverse areas of study available, our academics contribute their wealth of research experience in areas including:
  • cancer biology and proteomics
  • protein structure, function and drug targeting
  • coral reef diversity and threats
  • plant productivity: genetic manipulation and global change

Supporting your studies

The student experience is at the centre of everything we do to prepare you for life after study. From the moment you start your course, you will be supported right through to graduation. Our staff and student mentors help you achieve your full potential throughout your studies, while our focus on our students led to a 90% overall satisfaction rating in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

Learning to fit your interests

All of our undergraduate courses offer a degree of flexibility so that you can design your learning to suit your interests. You can focus on specific areas with a choice of modules and independent research projects in your final year or choose to make your course a four-year programme.

Making your course a four-year programme by taking a year in industry, or studying abroad, can really broaden your horizons, making you more appealing to potential employers.

For example, with our study abroad links to institutions in the USA, Australia, Europe, Japan and Canada, you have a chance to enhance your CV and develop your life skills.

Getting you ready for life after graduation

We place an emphasis on learning key skills, even if you choose to move away from the sciences. Such skills also prepare you to undertake postgraduate study in the future.

"Throughout my years at Essex I received exceptional support from the members of staff at the School of Biological Sciences. The classes were always captivating and with the breadth of knowledge and skills I gained during this time I was able to take the next steps towards my goal of a career as a research scientist."
Andreea Manole BSC BIOCHEMISTRY, 2013
"After graduating from Essex with a degree in biomedical science, I went on to attend Leicester Medical School. My placement year in Cambridge at the NHS, which I completed as part of my degree at Essex, allowed me to gain valuable experience as well as a high level of professionalism. The broad range of modules I studied at Essex proved to be a tremendous help in my current course, as it covered much of the material I am now studying and helped me have a better understanding of the course. Because of it, I feel better prepared than my peers, and I only have Essex to thank for that!"
Sam Little bsc biomedical science, 2014