Teaching

Teaching

Our lecturers experts on a remarkable range of subjects, from the genetics and evolution of shark teeth, and tropical conservation and biodiversity, to how soils and plants regulate climate change and sustainable agriculture. They'll introduce you to cutting-edge ideas, and teach you how to formulate scientific questions, design experiments and interpret your data.

We put a big emphasis on developing practical skills in the field and in our state-of-the-art labs. There are lots of opportunities to be creative, think independently and express your ideas. You can even make your own wildlife documentaries.

Practical teaching

Throughout your course, you'll be able develop the practical science skills that every biologist needs, under the supervision of our dedicated teaching staff. You'll cover techniques that range from DNA extraction and insect physiology to conservation modelling and water quality monitoring. These practicals can take place in the lab, or in local green spaces. Example topics include:

  • Drosophila genetics
  • Visualising gene expression
  • Avian developmental biology
  • Estimating animal population sizes
  • Conservation modelling
  • Productivity and biodiversity
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Plant ID (local flora)
  • Insect anatomy and physiology
  • Climate change evaluation

Spotlight 

Talking the Talk: Getting Science on Film

Many of our students are inspired to study biology by seeing the natural world captured on screen. This module gives you the chance to make your own wildlife documentaries, with support and advice from professional filmmakers with BBC experience.

Research projects

Project work is built into our degrees from the beginning. There's a week-long field course based in Sheffield in your first week of university, and research projects based around first and second year modules on genetics, computer modelling, behaviour, species interactions, conservation and climate change.

In third year, you'll tie your scientific skills together with an in-depth research project and dissertation. If you do one of our four-year research-intensive MBiolSci degrees, you'll get to do an even bigger project in fourth year.

Research projects

Lectures

In lectures, you'll learn fundamental biological concepts from the experts and hear about the latest research. We offer a huge range of lecture modules on topics that cover cells, genes and behaviour through to conservation, climate change and ecosystems.

Field work

Field courses
All of our students get to go do a field course between second and third year. We give you a choice of fascinating habitats to explore, from dramatic landscapes in remote corners of the globe, to complex ecosystems operating right under our noses.

Field courses

Sweden

Intro week
We get you set up as a scientific researcher from day one: you’ll spend the first week of your first term on a field trip in Sheffield, working on projects throughout the city’s green spaces and out to the edge of the Peak District. You’ll collect data in a spectacular environment, interpret your findings and present your conclusions as any other professional scientist would.

Intro week

Field trips
Since Sheffield is pretty much in the centre of England, it’s a great base for visiting scientific spots around the UK. We’ve run trips to:

  • Twycross Zoo, Warwickshire
  • The Deep aquarium, Hull
  • Old Moor RSPB reserve, Barnsley
  • Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, Doncaster
  • Rock pools at Filey, North Yorkshire

Tutorials

Throughout your degree, you'll work in small groups of six or seven students to look closely at scientific problems with supportive academic staff. They'll guide you through some of the most interesting and, sometimes, challenging topics. You’ll work with data and develop your writing, presentation and critical thinking skills.