Biology is the study of living organisms: their structure, function, organization, origin, and evolution. The term biology comes from the Greek βίος (bios), meaning life” and from the Greek λογία (logia), meaning study of”. While more than a third of Oxford biology graduates go on to further study such as a research doctorate or postgraduate course in an applied field, over half embark on a professional career after graduating in areas as diverse as conservation, industry, finance, medicine, media, teaching or the law.
The fields within biology are further divided based on the scale at which organisms are studied and the methods used to study them: biochemistry examines the fundamental chemistry of life; molecular biology studies the complex interactions of systems of biological molecules; cellular biology examines the basic building block of all life, the cell; physiology examines the physical and chemical functions of the tissues and organ systems of an organism; and ecology examines how various organisms interrelate.
Biology is one of the largest majors at Dickinson, home to 14 faculty members with research expertise in ecology, molecular genetics, cell biology, plant biology, animal physiology, microbiology, neuroscience, bioinformatics and evolution. The survival of a living organism depends on the continuous input of energy Chemical reactions that are responsible for its structure and function are tuned to extract energy from substances that act as its food and transform them to help form new cells and sustain them.
Students in the Biology program develop these skills with excellence. For instance, a living thing would be one that is comprised of a cell or a group of cells. You’ll learn how cells do what they need to do, from a molecular level right through to whole cells, tissues, and organs. It is impossible to study zoology without knowing a great deal about evolution, physiology and ecology. Vladimir Torchilin , who is a University Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has produced pioneering methods that aim to diminish the side effects of chemotherapy by delivering drugs directly into diseased cells and leaving healthy ones unharmed.
The environmental studies and environmental science majors examine environmental challenges faced by humans from an array of perspectives, including anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, geography, geology, history and philosophy. All students are encouraged to participate in an independent study or Honors project, in which you can work closely with a member of the biology faculty on a research topic.
NEON will enable new discoveries and collaborations in the field of ecology of and beyond. With excellent communication skills and the ability to convey scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience, biology graduates can find a suitable place in a wide range of fulfilling jobs including press officer, journalist, presenter, teacher, policy campaigner and science writer. Biology students will have a good base to move into medicine, and many go into research laboratories, or the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, guided independent study sessions and fieldwork for about 14 hours a week. Kevin Dunbar and his students spent many hours meticulously interviewing real biologists from top laboratories, recording their lab meetings, and reading grant applications and manuscripts of research papers. On this module you’ll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and supervised time in a studio or workshops and you’ll take part in fieldwork study and guided independent study.