Bachelor of Science in Biology

Biology studies ‘life’ in all its diversity and on all organization levels. Studying the complexity of living systems requires a solid knowledge of different sub-disciplines of biology. The programme contains field work as well as a fair amount lab work, depending on your choice of specialization.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Sciences
Dutch
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Programme summary
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Postgraduate studies

What

Biology studies ‘life’ in all its diversity and on all organization levels. Studying the complexity of living systems - whether they be a cell, an embryo or an entire ecosystem - requires a solid knowledge of different sub-disciplines of biology, ranging from physiology, cell and developmental biology, taxonomy, population biology, to ecosystem, ecology and nature conservation. Figuratively speaking – and sometimes even literally - our study programme will take you to deserts, polar regions, forests, seas and many other familiar and not-so-familiar places. After all, our entire planet - every nook and cranny of it - harbours a rich diversity of life forms and ecosystems. Biology, however, also reveals itself in laboratories, under microscopes and by means of complicated measuring equipment. Being one of the fundamental sciences, biology is at once profound and holistic. It studies fundamental concepts, processes and underlying mechanisms. Biologists often work closely together with other scientific and applied disciplines, such as biochemistry and biotechnology, chemistry, geography or geology.

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For whom

Biologists are fascinated by the origins of life and the evolution that resulted in the diversity, complexity and functioning of all living systems. You have a broad interest in the exact sciences and fundamental research, you can observe well, and you have the necessary skills to learn to conduct laboratory experiments and/or do fieldwork. Since all first-year course units start with the basic principles and gradually build up from there, the programme is open to students with a wide range of prior education. A strong interest in biology and science in general is your most important asset.

Structure

Bachelor

Fundamental knowledge of living matter presupposes, among other things, insight into biochemical, physiological and molecular properties. To study these, scientists avail themselves of laws and techniques from other disciplines such as chemistry, physics and mathematics. The first year, therefore, focuses strongly on those basic subjects a lot of attention is paid to those fundamental basic subjects. The purpose being, to bring all students to the same level with sufficiently broad insights into biological diversity, building plans and processes. From the second year onwards, the curriculum almost exclusively consists of biologically oriented course units. By way of Bachelor’s dissertation, the third year contains a five-week independent project. It is an assignment that will allow you to experience first-hand what it means to conduct academic research. The third year also offers the possibility to study abroad for the duration of one term.

Freedom of choice is limited: the third year offers a choice between the Biology Track or the Education Track, the latter giving direct access to the Master Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master). The Bachelor’s programme offers a taste of various disciplines of biology, which are later elaborated as Main Subjects in the Master’s programme. Naturally, the Biology programme does not consist of a theoretical component alone; the practical component is just as important! As a freshman, you already spend half the time in labs and practicals. Practicals and tutorials are conducted in small groups and under supervision. You are made familiar with the principles of scientific experimenting and observation, and you learn to master the theory by putting it into practice. The programme also contains a number of field trips, as well as day-long or week-long excursions to nature reserves in Flanders and Northern France.

Master

The Master in Biology is (largely) English-taught. In so doing, we prepare you for the international aspect of the professional field, you will learn/learn to use the proper English jargon. The Master’s programme offers two options for further specialization by means of a minor and a major. The broadening focus of the minor prepares you for either a career in research or in business. You can choose between a Research Minor and a Bio-Inspired Innovation and Sustainability Minor. Your choice of minor determines your choice of major in the first year of the Master’s programme. Via the major you gain an in-depth and integrated insight into one of three major research areas that are supported by the research expertise present at Ghent University. Your choice determine in which one of these areas you will specialize. The Research Minor allows for a choice between the following majors: Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Global Change Ecology and Functional Biology. 

In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master). For more information, go to de educatieve master (120 sp).

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Labour Market

In days gone by, biologists were usually found either in the research or the education sector. Nowadays, biologists are present in almost every sector of the labour market. The business world values biologists’ broad scientific knowledge of biologists, as well as their research skills. Then there is the ever-growing environmental sector. In the end, though, the research sector still remains the most important sector for our graduates: about half of them find a job there. The government and the private sector each employ 20 % of our graduates, whereas the remaining 10% find an education-related job.

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