Biology Facilities

Facilities for skills development within:

  • Animal Behaviour & Wildlife Conservation
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

The facilities that back up your studies are up there with the best. Hands-on experience of technical and analytical equipment is central to the vocational application of science. Throughout your course you will be trained in the use and application of relevant equipment and techniques, and kept up-to-date with technological advances.

The use of technical facilities occurs both within laboratories and in the field. Training is specific and designed to meet the needs of individual courses and students will encounter a range of experiences as indicated below.

Laboratory and field trip provision

Laboratory and field trip provision exists throughout our courses, along with visits to industry and guest speakers on modules. A Sandwich year is also available to experience first-hand the application of science in industry.

Laboratory and greenhouse facilities are commonly encountered throughout the study of biological sciences, microbiology and biotechnology. A range of techniques are encountered during both taught practical sessions and during the final year research project. These include fermentation, isolation and manipulation of DNA, HPLC, tissue culture, microbial isolation and identification, and scanning electron microscopy within the image analysis suite.

A selection of our laboratory facilities and how experimental procedures are demonstrated and taught can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

There is an emphasis on field trips when studying animal behaviour and the conservation of wildlife to enable natural surveillance. Camera traps, radio telemetry and global positioning systems monitor wildlife remotely as demonstrated by the YouTube clip, while video is also used to observe the behaviour of captive populations in zoos and wildlife parks. Devices such bat recorders and sound recorders are used in conjunction with specialist software for the analysis of animal vocalisations. The recently updated stock of standard optical binoculars, telescopes and ecological sampling equipment (nets and small mammal traps), help to ensure adequacy of resources.

Field trips are organised to varied locations including trips to the Lake District during the first year and to the mountains of southern Poland in the second year. Additionally, optional field courses to Southern India and South Africa have been run in recent years.

Learning facilities

The University has ample, modern and recently refurbished lecture seminar and tutorial facilities.

Teaching accommodation ranges from the spacious lecture theatres with the latest visual and audio equipment to the smaller seminar and tutorial rooms for group work and discussion.

Academic studies are well supported throughout the University, not only within the purpose built Harrison Learning Centre which provides a relaxed and comfortable learning environment for student study with a comprehensive stock of books, journals and periodicals, alongside extensive on-line electronic resources.

The Canvas system provides an electronic support facility. The module by module structure is designed to support teaching and assessment and content is often explained using video and animation. Canvas contains lecture and seminar material, formative assessment with health and safety information. With 100s of PCs with associated printers and scanners available in the Faculty of Science and Engineeering and the Harrison Learning Centre, this educational facility is readily available.