School

Life Sciences

Two hands holding overlapping petri dishes

Exploring the science of life

There has never been a more exciting time to study the science of biology, whether your interest is in human, animal or plant life. As one of the University’s largest departments, we’re renowned for our high levels of student satisfaction on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

At Essex you can study a wide and exciting range of subjects including biomedical science, marine biology, biochemistry, biological sciencesgenetics or genomics.

We address problems ranging from how to exploit enzymes as new industrial catalysts and how they evolve to drive antibiotic resistance, to use microbes as agents to clean up pollution and keep us healthy, to stop cancer cells forming. We are working to develop better crops to feed us, understand the effects of climate change on ecosystems from the tropics to the arctic and how modern life affects the workings of the human genome.

Like our students, our staff are passionate about science and have travelled from all over the world to be at Essex. Our founding principle of research-led teaching is central to our ethos, giving you the opportunity to develop an enquiring research mind set while you gain practical laboratory skills and field techniques in our first class facilities.

Our curriculum is constantly evolving, so you have the freedom to explore what interests you most from our diverse selection of modules. Whatever you choose, we equip you with everything you need to build a successful and satisfying career.


Our work with business

Through our research and teaching and our external Advisory Board we have developed strong links with companies, government bodies and charities. Our Advisory Board brings together representatives from external organisations, key employers, regulators and professional bodies to help inform our curriculum, employability and research outputs.


View our courses

Why choose us?

Biology at Essex is ranked 10th in the UK for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2020)
89% of our School of Life Sciences students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020)
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
State-of-the-art laboratories
Athena Swan Bronze Award
A man wearing a lab coat reaching across a laboratory shelf, picking up a clear bottle with a blue lid.
A pipette held over a row of test tubes that have red, yellow and blue liquid in them.
UoTY winners 2018
A pair of hands wearing green disposable gloves holding a bottle with some red liquid in it.
Athena Swan bronze award logo
Professor Phil Mullineaux
There has never been a more exciting or important time to be a biologist to address the many challenges the natural world and human society face. As a student in our School, you will be taught by enthusiastic academics who are leading researchers in their fields, in a supportive environment that will build on your passion for biology. 
Professor Phil Mullineaux
A head and shoulders shot of William McCallam, with an out of focus building in the background.
Science and campaigning: how research can change the world

This research seminar, hosted by the School of Life Sciences, will feature William McCallam discussing his work with Greenpeace, and the essential role that science plays in campaigning.

Read more about this event
Latest news
Scientists call for decade of concerted effort to enhance understanding of the deep seas
25 Nov 2020
Scientists call for change in conversation to protect ocean
25 Nov 2020
Essex researcher ranked among 2020's most influential scientists
20 Nov 2020
Two female students talking
Get in touch with us

If you would like any more information about Life Sciences or have a question you would like to ask, please complete this short enquiry form.

Contact our School of Life Sciences
Colchester Campus Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
All enquiries:
Telephone: 01206 874074