Biological Sciences: University of Oxford

Javascript is required to view this map.
Biological Sciences: University of Oxford, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, Oxford, United Kingdom
Course Language(s) 
Course Beginning 
3 years
01865 281214


Biological Sciences at Oxford

The present course in Biological Sciences, designed both to incorporate the most recent developments in biology and to reflect changes in A-level syllabuses, started in 1996: in the summer of 1999 it received the maximum score of 24 under the Subject/Programme Review conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Oxford has large departments of both Plant Sciences and Zoology, with extremely wellequipped modern laboratories. In addition, the extensive zoological and botanical collections in the Zoology and Plant Sciences Departments, University Museum of Natural History, Botanic Garden (the oldest in Europe), Arboretum and University Parks support work on the animal and plant kingdoms. The departments also have access to Wytham Woods and the Food Animal Initiative site at the University Field Station for fieldwork. The Department of Biochemistry and its Genetics Laboratory also contribute to teaching and offer opportunities for projects or graduate work. The Oxford course permits a flexible combination of molecular and whole-organism biology with opportunities to specialise in particular areas.

Admission requirements:


Practical laboratory work is an integral part of teaching, but, where appropriate, fieldwork is also a crucial part of some courses. There is a one-week field trip for all first-year students to Pembrokeshire to study population biology, and an optional plant biology field course to southern Portugal for third-years. Many students carry out their research projects in the field, either in the UK or in the tropics.

A typical weekly timetable

Your work is divided between lectures (between eight and ten a week), tutorials (one or two aweek) and practical classes.

Application procedure

No written work is required. Candidates called for interview at Oxford are interviewed at two colleges.

Course summary

1st year Courses

Four courses are taken:

  • Cells and genes
  • Organisms
  • Populations
  • Computing and data handling


  • First University examinations (moderations), Three written papers; satisfactory practical record

2nd year Courses

Three of five options are taken, plus two compulsory courses:

  • Cell and developmental biology
  • Animal biology
  • Plant and microbial biology
  • Environmental biology
  • Biology of animal and plant disease

Compulsory courses:

  • Evolution and systematics
  • Quantitative methods


  • Second University examinations, Two written papers: Evolution and systematics exam and one option (minor subject)

3rd year Courses

Two of the three options chosen in the 2nd year are taken at a higher level


  • Final University examinations, Five written papers: Quantitative methods exam and two options (major subjects); two course assignments and project (prepared work counts for 30% of overall assessment); satisfactory FHS practical record.

People who viewed 'Biological Sciences: University of Oxford' also found interest in following institutions . . .