Dr Adrian Goodman - Programme Leader
Dr Goodman's research interests are broad and include the mechanical design of plants and animals. He is interested in the agronomic and ecological aspects of plant biomechanics, but has also worked on the mechanical properties of hoof keratin and cortical bone.School Staff List
Biology is the science of life itself, exploring the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living organisms.
The MBio Biology degree at Lincoln covers a diverse range of subject areas while allowing students to develop their own specialisms. The course includes opportunities for overseas field work to study living organisms in their natural environments.
Students join a vibrant academic community in the School of Life Sciences and can benefit from research-focused teaching by academics. There is an emphasis on practical work, with students conducting their own projects alongside academics and practising researchers.
Students can participate in two residential field trips in the UK, enabling them to study animals and plants in the wild. For UK based field trips the University will cover costs of transport, accommodation and meals at the field site.
There is also an overseas field trip available in the third year as part of the optional 'Overseas Field Course' module. Further details, including costs, can be found in the Field Trips section.
Throughout this course, students are able to study the many facets of biology, develop an understanding of research methods, and apply their learning in the laboratory and in the field.
The first year of this degree introduces students to the different elements of biology, including evolution, ecology, metabolism, microbial biochemistry, and genetics. In the second year, students can study a range of topics including molecular biology, animal health and disease, animal behaviour, clinical biochemistry and diagnostics, immunology, human ageing and disease, UK field course and conservation biology, alongside training in data handling and analysis.
In the third year, students can select specialist areas including veterinary parasitology, applied biochemistry, cancer epidemiology and pathology, 21st century medicine, blood sciences, plant-animal interactions, soil biology, global change biology, animal cognition and welfare, palaeobiology and behavioural ecology, in addition to undertaking an individual research project to develop independent investigation skills.
Teaching at Lincoln places a strong emphasis on students engaging actively with their studies from the outset. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as researchers and producers who can make a contribution to their field of study.
Teaching and learning methods include lectures and practical classes, which cover the core subject matter and technical skills, supported by tutorials and seminars which allow students to develop, analyse, and present their own findings. Practical classes in the laboratory and field allow students to practise project management and data gathering, handling, and interpretation skills.
Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. There is also opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.
We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.
Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Animals is concerned with the principles of the diversity of anatomical form and function in animals using a comparative approach. Anatomical adaptations will be explored across taxa within the animal kingdom in order to show how different types of organisms use their anatomy to solve the similar physiological problems. Through this, an understanding will be developed of how organisms from different taxa address physiological aspects of their life histories.
Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. These interactions can be studied across different levels of biological organisation including individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. This module will examine how these different levels of organisation are interconnected and how the study of ecology allows us to better understand patterns in the natural world
Introduction to the Life Sciences is designed to provide a foundation for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of fundamental cell biology, biochemistry and genetics in the context of life sciences.
Microbial Biochemistry will introduce students to fundamental aspects of molecular biochemistry and microbiology through the study of antimicrobials. The module will introduce key concepts including Koch’s postulates, Ehrlich’s magic bullet and the 20th century era of antibiotic discovery from Fleming onwards.
This module aims to provide a broad overview of plant form and function by reviewing the key structural characteristics of cells, tissues, and organs in a range of plant species. The module investigates the diversity of plant form and the evolutionary history of plant life; emphasis is placed on the adaptations of plants to their environment. It focuses on the relationship between anatomy and the mechanical role of cells, tissues, and organs. On completion of this module students would be expected to have a broad understanding of form and function in plants, key elements of plant-animal and plant-fungal co-evolution / interactions, and an appreciation of the diverse range of structures and tissues utilised by humans.
Research methods for the Life Sciences aims to introduce the skills and knowledge necessary for students to assimilate and judge scientific knowledge. Students will be introduced to the tools required to search and evaluate the scientific literature relevant to their studies, and some of the key philosophical constructs around which scientific knowledge is based. They will be taught about hypothesis testing, experimental design, data collection, basic mathematical and statistical concepts, and data presentation, and gain hands-on experience of their application.
This module provides a critical insight into the application of the principles of conservation biology. It will give an overview of the nature, value and complex threats to biodiversity and will detail the biological problems faced by small populations of animals, in particular. The module will also deal with the practice of population conservation and management, including methods to assess population size, survival rates and how to use this information to assess the viability of populations.
Data-centric skills are crucial for any life scientist undertaking any form of data collection, management, visualisation and/or analysis. This module introduces students to skills in data storage, handling and manipulation; understanding different data types; visualising data; fitting statistical and analytical models; interpreting and reporting statistical and analytical results; and using these skills in experimental designs. In the age of information, computational skills are becoming ever more relevant, and this module will hone different computational skills. All these skills will aid you in undertaking future research projects, including the third-year honours project.
The Evolution module aims to introduce the fundamental concepts and theories that explain and predict how biodiversity evolves as a result of multiple factors emerging from both ecological and sexual interactions. The integrative nature of this module guarantees that a broad diversity of the central topics in the field of evolution is covered.
Molecular biology is of critical importance when understanding biological systems. This module is designed to provide students with an insight into the techniques used and applied by molecular biologists in a number of specific contexts. The module will explore the origins of molecular life on Earth, before examining the molecular control of eukaryotic replication, transcription and translation. The focus will then move to in vitro experimentation including DNA isolation, amplification, sequencing and manipulation; before looking at applications of molecular biology and how they can be applied to our understanding of population genetics and health and disease
This module is based on the four ethological levels of explanation for animal behaviour as introduced by Nikolaas Tinbergen, one of the fathers of ethology, in the 1960's: mechanism, development, function and evolution. It will deal primarily with the ethological concepts underlying the study of animal behaviour supported by classic experimental studies of domestic and wild animals from a wide range of taxonomic groups. The module will also cover the design, data collection, analyses and interpretation of behavioural studies in a variety of species both in the laboratory and in zoo
This module covers some aspects about animal health and disease. In particular, diseases of a wide variety of different animals, and the impacts which they pose to the animals, and humans. This will also include some levels of disease treatments, and control, and discuss different methods of these. Functional animal nutrition of various species to prevent disease and maintain optimal health, as well as how diseases can affect behaviour will also be included.
The module provides an overview of the main principles of clinical biochemistry and its role in diagnostics and monitoring of patients. It enables students to discuss endocrine disease as well as liver, respiratory, gastrointestinal, vascular, bone and renal disease. It will also cover key techniques used in diagnosis and clinical research.
The module provides an overview of how different systems in the body are key for maintaining homeostasis within the body and how alterations to these systems that occur as we age can lead to a variety of different blood disorders, haemostatic disorders, cancer and neurological disease. The module will also introduce students to the use of laboratory techniques in the investigation of these diseases from both a theoretical and practical point of view and demonstrate how these are being used to help diagnose and distinguish between these different disorders.
This module provides an overview of the cellular and molecular basis of the immune response in health and human diseases. The structure, function and complex mechanisms of host defence by B- and T-Cells will be discussed. Students will evaluate the role of inflammatory mediators, soluble effectors and cellular cytotoxicity in inflammation and immunity.
This module is an introduction to the key major taxonomic groups of invertebrates and vertebrates. Major invertebrate groups will include inter alia: sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, nematodes, annelids, molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, and cephalochordates. All major vertebrate classes will be considered in detail.
This module focuses on reproduction and development in a range of invertebrates and vertebrates. There will be a comparative analysis of anatomy, physiology, behaviour and evolution of reproductive patterns, including the main anatomical features of male and female reproductive tracts. There will be descriptions of the processes of gamete production in males and females. The underlying principles of ontogeny from fertilisation to birth will be described in a variety of taxa with an emphasis on the factors controlling developmental processes. Additional content will focus on factors, e.g. environmental pollution, that affect reproduction and development in animals
The School believes that an option to study overseas is a valuable educational opportunity for our students. Provision of this option supports the educational aims of the School of Life Sciences and enhances the distinctiveness of its degrees at Lincoln. The optional year is intended to: - enable students to benefit from studying within a cross cultural environment; - expose students to a wider academic and cultural experience; - enhance their future employment opportunities; - by increasing their cultural and professional mobility. This module is optional for students within the School. Study Abroad is a year long module which enables students to spend a year studying abroad at one of the University’s approved partner institutions. Eligible students must have completed their second year of study to a satisfactory standard and successfully completed the application process for the year abroad. During the year spent abroad, students share classes with local students and study on a suite of locally-delivered taught modules which have been approved in advance by the University. Upon their return, as part of the assessment for this modules, students are required to critically reflect upon their experience of living and studying in a different cultural environment and the skills acquired.
This module aims to help students understand theory, develop skills, build tacit knowledge and importantly, integrate and apply know-how and skills acquired from prior learning to novel situations. The module is built around the principle of scientific enquiry and the ownership of that process by students in order to develop cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. Student ownership will be developed throughout the module, culminating in an independent, residential in-situ field study in which they design a study, collect & analyse data and present their findings.
In this module, students undertake an independent programme of research under supervision from a member of staff. It provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate original and critical thought, as well as to build discipline-specific research and project-management skills. A wide range of subject expertise exists within the School, and students are expected to work on a project that is relevant to their programme of study. Under the guidance of a supervisor, students will review the literature, identify a research question/aim and objectives, and design a programme of research respectively. Students will be expected to manage the project and work in a safe and ethical manner, which will include undergoing training in and engaging with obtaining relevant ethical approval and risk assessment. Students will collect and analyse data, record their activities and research methodology and results in a “lab book”/ equivalent robust means of recording. We currently offer projects in the laboratory (wet or animal) or field, projects that involve data analysis, literature research, educational research, science communication research and market research. Students may work individually or in groups addressing similar questions, but must write up individually. The findings of the research will be written up and presented orally. The conduct and performance of the student as a research apprentice will be assessed.
In this module students can gain an understanding of, and an appreciation for, the interactions between plants and animals that have been the driving force for the evolution of the world as we know it. Interactions between the flowering plants and vertebrate and invertebrate animals have led to the huge diversity of flowering plants that maintain the essential life support systems of the planet and are the basis of all current agricultural systems. Despite the huge economic costs of agricultural pests that damage plants, the evolutionary arms race between plants and their herbivores has driven the evolution of many of the important plant secondary compounds we use today as stimulants (e.g. caffeine) or drugs (e.g. salicylic acid = aspirin). Other economically, evolutionarily, or ecologically important plant-animal interactions include pollination and seed dispersal. Students can examine the economic, evolutionary, and ecological consequences of plant-animal interactions at scales from ecosystems to molecules. They will have the opportunity to develop their own perspective on this important topic, and will be asked to review and interpret and evaluate the evidence available in the primary literature.
Our understanding of human disease is constantly evolving and this increased knowledge is presenting new opportunities to better therapeutically target and treat these diseases. As such, this module will focus on investigating the latest cutting-edge treatments being used by the NHS now and into the future to treat disease, discuss the ethics associated with bringing these into practice, evaluate the successfulness and limitation of these approaches, and explore where future development is needed to fully realise their potential.
This module explores the scientific study of animal cognition and welfare, with particular attention focused on experimental design, methodological considerations, and interpretation. It will cover the objective assessment of animal cognition and welfare with research examples from both wild and captive animals.
This module aims to provide real-world context to the theoretical knowledge of biochemical properties, processes and techniques. Via the delivery of theoretical background material, supported with real life case studies and problem based learning, students will be guided through how fundamental understanding of biochemistry can be applied in a variety of ways to solve problems and develop products. The module will also highlight the external pressures to industrial and academic exploitation of biochemical fundamental knowledge, by considering ethical, regulatory, funding and commercial limitations and opportunities. Substantial experimental design and data handling training will be incorporated to prepare the students for innovative application of knowledge, and evaluation of their own work and other research.
Behavioural ecology examines the way in which behavioural repertoires contribute to survival and ultimately reproductive success. The module will focus on key topics including: Optimality Theory, Sexual Selection, Communication and Sensory Ecology, Altruism and Cooperation, Arms Races, Fighting and Assessment, Navigation and Migration, and Human Behaviour.
The blood sciences module will provide a deep understanding of this emerging, mixed-disciplinary field incorporating areas including clinical biochemistry, haematology and blood transfusion. This module will develop knowledge of the role of clinical biochemistry and immunology laboratories in the functional diagnosis and monitoring of endocrine function, allergy and autoimmunity. In addition, you will gain an understanding of the different haemopoietic systems within the body and the techniques used within NHS haematology laboratories to monitor these. A range of diagnoses that are enabled through the analysis of blood will be explored, including erythrocyte disorders, haemoglobinopathies, coagulation disorders and leukaemia. We will also discuss the role of transfusion in both treatment and management of diseases. Specific focus will be placed on the importance of blood group matching, donor selection, and blood processing/testing. Furthermore, we will also discuss immunohaematology and techniques used for detection and identification of antigens and antibodies; to enable students to evaluate adverse transfusion effects as well as the transfusion-transmitted diseases.
The module provides an overview of the role of cellular pathology in the diagnosis and monitoring of malignant and non-malignant diseases. This module intends to evaluate the normal and abnormal histology and ultra-structural features of human cells and tissues. The module enables students to appraise malignant and non-malignant cytology, and critically evaluate the role of multiple research and diagnostic techniques; ie. electron microscope and immunocytochemistry in pathological differential diagnosis. The module will enable students to understand and critically evaluate different methodologies of cancer treatment, how cancer drug resistance evolves and investigation of the role of personalised medicine for optimum patient treatment/outcomes.
This module will consider human-caused environmental change that affects a substantial part of the globe and biological systems. Biological responses to these human induced changes will be considered in terms of how organisms, species, and communities may acclimatise, adapt, or change. Specifically, we will consider how organisms can respond genetically and phenotypically, and how and why communities may change in their species and functional composition. After consolidating understanding of the causes of, and biological responses to, global change, we will consider what these impacts mean for ecosystem structure and function, the development of novel ecosystems, and approaches for conservation and ecosystem management under global change. This module will cover a range of differing causes of global change e.g. biological invasions or urbanisation, but content will be flexible to remain relevant to current and emerging challenges.
This module is designed to introduce the student to the fundamentals of forensic anthropology. Students will be introduced to forensic anthropology before embarking on a series of lectures and practical sessions covering human osteology and the methods used to estimate a biological profile; sex, ancestry, age, and stature estimation. This module will also introduce the student to the various pathological conditions and traumatic injury affecting human bone including post-mortem damage. This module aims to equip the students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to participate in forensic anthropological analysis by preparing a case report on a skeleton.
This module will build on the knowledge and understanding of microbiology and animal disease gained previously at L2. The module aims to develop students’ understanding of the One Health approach to human and veterinary diseases, including protecting animal and human populations from infectious agents recently introduced through cross species transmission.
This module provides students with the opportunity to investigate biological phenomena in the field at an overseas location. Students work in groups, guided by staff, to develop and test hypotheses allowing them to understand more about biological processes operating within the study area. They are encouraged to view the ecosystem within the wider context of the anthropogenic impacts being imposed on it. This module is optional and courses run subject to sufficient student demand. Students who opt to undertake a field trip overseas will be expected to cover transport costs (including flight costs). These costs will vary depending on the location of the field trip. Accommodation and meals at the field sites are fully funded by the University. Students may be required to pay for overnight stays, local travel, and food close to the destination if their flights arrive the day before the team are scheduled to meet. Students may bring personal items of clothing and travel equipment, some of which may be specialised for the environment they are travelling to, and recommended medicines and travel toiletries such as anti-malaria medication, vaccinations, insect repellent, and sunscreen. These costs will depend on what students choose to bring.
At the interface between Earth and Life Sciences, Palaeobiology is the study of all aspects of the biology of extinct biota and their relations to the physical environments in which they lived. The discipline documents and explains patterns and processes governing past Life, and is key to our understanding of evolution in deep time and up to the present. Fossils are the currency of Palaeobiology. Their unique and fundamental contribution is their ability to provide measurable models of anatomical, functional, and ecological change over millions of years of evolution. Natural selection theory predicts that organism diversity results from species interacting with each other and with their environments. Consequently, fossils are the natural “time capsules” preserving the historical record of faunal and floral successions on our planet. This record unravels the pathways through which traits observed in extant organisms are selected for, elucidates models of biodiversity rises and falls, and casts light on the complex relationships between the geosphere and the biosphere. Palaeobiology tackles some of the most challenging and engaging topics of modern biology, including the emergence of biodiversity, patterns of recovery, and expansion of ecosystems and species in the aftermath of profound crises (such as mass extinctions), and the interplay between originations and extinctions in shaping the Tree of Life. This module aims to enable students to comprehend the thrust and scope of fossil-based research, progressing from basic observations to formulation of complex macro-evolutionary inference. Palaeobiology is eminently interdisciplinary, absorbing concepts and methodologies from numerous other fields and providing tools and knowledge of wide use to other biologists, particularly those interested in tempo and mode of evolution and the comparative method.
This module provides a critical insight into the study of the biological diversity of soils, including their ecological and functional roles, to understand about best management and conservation practices. Students can learn about key issues affecting important soil processes and the methods for measuring and managing soil biodiversity.
The impact of parasites to the health, welfare, and productivity of animals remains one of the most important issues in veterinary biology. A detailed understanding of the biology and epidemiology of parasites and the association they have with their hosts is vital in protecting and improving animal’s health and welfare. This module aims to provide a theoretical background for understanding the specialised features that parasites have developed to adapt to their host and transmit between hosts, the diseases which result, and advances in treatment and prevention of infection. Students can also learn analytical laboratory methods for the identification of different types of ecto- and endoparasites. Case studies will be used to illustrate how the current advances in research are applied to understand and inform the epidemiology, control, and prevention of parasite mediated disease in animals and monitor emergent diseases globally and within the UK.
The module focuses on the development of transferable skills that are applicable both professionally and to research projects, within the programme of study and beyond. The skills will be relevant to the broad biosciences and will allow students to strengthen their proficiency primarily in these areas: scientific writing and communication skills, research data analysis and presentation, professional and career skills.
This module comprises a research project for the MBio suite of programmes. The project is supervised by a member of the Life Sciences academic staff and provides the opportunity to contribute to high-impact research across a variety of research areas. The projects are set within one of the School's research groups and can be enhanced by research workshops and transferable skills offered in the accompanying modules. Projects present the opportunity of work towards generating a scientific article of publishable quality.
This module centres on workshops in research techniques which are delivered by supervisors of research projects. Workshops will be delivered approximately fortnightly throughout Semesters A and B. The workshops are split into three broad research areas: Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare; Biomedical (including general Biochemical and Cellular), and Evolution and Ecology. Workshops combine demonstrations with hands-on work in-lab or in-field. Students are offered a choice of workshops from an extensive list of options, and the write up of six of these will form the basis of assessment.
† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.
The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that may be used include coursework such laboratory exercises or reports, case studies, problem-solving exercises, essays, poster or oral group presentations, short answer and structured questions, and project reports. This is in addition to written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests.
The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.
Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.
For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.
GCE Advanced Levels: ABB, to include a grade B in Biology or Chemistry. Practical elements must be passed.
International Baccalaureate: 32 points overall to include Higher Level grade 5 in Biology or Chemistry
BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science*: Distinction, Distinction, Merit.
*not all modules are accepted. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BTEC Diploma Applied Science acceptable with other qualifications. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (email@example.com).
Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 128 UCAS Tariff points, including 40 points from 15 credits in Biology or Chemistry.
Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English, Maths and Science. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.
Non UK Qualifications:
If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.
EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.
For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Science Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:
If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.
Students can participate in two residential fully-funded field trips in the UK, enabling them to study animals and plants in the wild. There is also an optional overseas field course in the third year which provides the opportunity to do research in a novel environment and to study local flora and fauna. Destinations may vary, but have previously included the cloud forests of Ecuador, the Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, Kevo in Finland, and Peniche in Portugal.
Students who opt to undertake a field trip overseas will be expected to cover transport costs (including flight costs). These costs will vary depending on the location of the field trip. Accommodation and meals at the field sites are fully funded by the University. Students may be required to pay for overnight stays, local travel, and food close to the destination if their flights arrive the day before the team are scheduled to meet.
Students may bring personal items of clothing and travel equipment, some of which may be specialised for the environment they are travelling to, and recommended medicines and travel toiletries such as anti-malaria medication, vaccinations, insect repellent, and sunscreen. These costs will depend on what students choose to bring.
Discover more about our research, academic staff, facilities, and student and alumni stories in our dedicated School of Life Sciences brochure.
This course is designed to equip graduates with the skills necessary to enter a range of scientific and non-science-based roles in agriculture, biotechnology, animal sciences, and environmental protection. A wide range of career paths are available to biology graduates including research and development, technical roles, science communication and publishing, and scientific sales and marketing. Some students choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level.
"The course opened up ideas and opportunities which I would not have been able to get anywhere else. All of the staff are exceptionally friendly, approachable, and just want you to make the most out of your degree."Demi Christofi, BSc (Hons) Biology graduate
While you may not be able to visit us in person at the moment, you can still find out more about the University of Lincoln and what it is like to live and study here at one of our live Virtual Open Days.Book Your Place
The scientific study of animal behaviour and welfare furthers our understanding of why animals behave in the way that they do.
Ecology and Conservation at Lincoln seeks to explore the natural world, from individuals to populations, and communities to ecosystems.
The study of zoology is an exploration of how animals have evolved, how they function, and the ways in which they interact with their environment.