Biology is an exciting and rapidly developing subject, with many applications in fields as diverse as conservation biology and molecular genetics.
The study of living things has undergone tremendous expansion in recent years, and topics such as cellular and molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology are advancing rapidly. These developments are having a tremendous impact on society, in areas such as medicine, the environment and agriculture. Biology is a single honours degree course (either 3 years for a BA, or 4 years for a MBiol) taught jointly by the Departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology.
At Keble: 6
At the Faculty: 112
Past Admissions Feedback
Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.
The Course at Keble
At Keble, we have recently increased our investment in Biology and we now admit six students a year. There are two Tutorial Fellows, who specialise in Cell Biology (Stephen Kearsey) and Ecosystem Biology (Sarah Knowles).
Oxford has devised a brand new course in Biology starting from 2019. In the first year there’s now a special four-week orientation period to help you make a smoother transition from school to university. The first year has teaching across the full range of biology, developing an understanding of the interactions between molecules, cells, individuals and population. Your college tutors will do much of your teaching in this year. From the second year onwards, more of your teaching will be done by specialists in specific fields, such as GM crops, bio-fuels, stem cells and ageing. Although you’ll have tutorials with tutors in other colleges, your Keble tutors continue to keep an eye on you through regular meetings and social events. They will also help you keep up your study skills.
Keble students have generally performed very well in their finals examinations, perhaps because they often work together. There’s financial support from the Keble Association for overseas field trips in between the second and third years – and for research trips that you might organise yourself. Being right next door to the Science area, we’re not far from the main departmental teaching spaces. The University Museum, famous as the site of the Huxley-Wilberforce debate about evolution, and housing its very fine zoological collections, is immediately across the road from us – so you’ll have no excuse not to go there regularly.