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Biology courses

Our courses at Edge Hill University are taught in small, friendly groups in a supportive environment by experienced lecturers. Excellent teaching facilities are located in a modern, purpose-built and well-equipped building.

We have an excellent reputation for quality and in an external QAA audit, the department scored 23 out of 24 for its Biology provision for students, one of the highest scores in the country. All our staff are research active, meaning that we keep up-to-date with current developments which we pass on to our students. We’re not a large department, so you won’t get lost in the crowd.

At Edge Hill, practical work has always been an essential part of our modules. Students have extensive use of laboratories and cutting edge equipment such as a Scanning Electron Microscope, PCR and climate-controlled insectaries. The local area has a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats for fieldwork. Several modules have residential field courses, including a trip to Cyprus in the first year of our undergraduate courses (cost of this trip and all compulsory field trips included in fees).

Being a small department is one of our key assets. Our students appreciate being part of a close-knit community where everyone knows one another and they are treated as individuals rather than just a number.

This also helps our team of tutors to provide high-quality support and guidance by developing an understanding of how each student is progressing with their studies and enjoying their academic experience within the biology department.

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

MRes projects – 2022 entry

Our research priorities span three interlinked strands: Biomedical Science, Ecology and Genetics.

Biomedical Science research priorities often take a genetics-based approach and include research into regulation of endocrine hormone expression, rare skin diseases, pregnancy complications, wound healing, neuroscience, gene therapies and nanotherapeutics.

Ecology priorities include research into forest adaptations to climate change, mitigating impacts of habitat change on biodiversity, conservation of species in rare habitats and sustainable management of ecosystems.

Genetics research priorities include insect vectors of disease, plant evolution, divergent eukaryotic stress response mechanisms, soil microbiology and antibacterial discovery.

Across these biological sub-disciplines, we collaborate with researchers from around the Globe as well within Edge Hill University, utilising cutting-edge technologies.

The University in this recruitment round welcomes applications for MRes candidates in the projects shown below.

Biomedical Science (basic investigations and new therapies for diseases)

  • Novel therapeutics to target Ocular Fibrosis.
  • Extracellular vesicles as Cancer Biomarkers.
  • Development of mucus-penetrating nanocarriers for Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Cystic Fibrosis: can we make more CFTR protein using novel gene therapy vectors for the most severe cases?
  • Investigating strategies to stimulate inflammatory cell clearance of bacteria during hormone-driven ageing.
  • Blood-brain barrier disruption in cardiovascular disease.
  • The role of HOXA10 in embryo-endometrial attachment in the context of the endocrine disorder polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Analysis of heterogeneity in hormone gene expression in pituitary cells.

Ecology and Evolution

  • Urban biodiversity – the value of green spaces for invertebrates.
  • Plantations and woodland biodiversity, including those associated with dead wood and/or the canopy – species, traits and ecosystem function. A collaboration with forest research.
  • The impact of grazing approaches on biodiversity in upland habitats. A collaboration with the RSPB.

Genetics and Vector Biology

  • Pulling the emergency brake: is TbEro1 the trigger for the cell cycle arrest in Trypanosoma brucei during VSG stress?
  • A lethal makeover: can Trypanosoma bruceisurvive on an atypical surface coat?
  • Characterising the role of macrophage infectivity potentiators (MIPs) in the non-pathogenic organism Streptomyces coelicolor.
  • Characterization of antibiotic production potential of newly isolated Streptomycesstrains.
  • Genetic manipulation of biosynthetic gene clusters form Streptomycesspecies to increase antibiotic production.

Work-based learning

In addition to our extensive range of field trips, students in the department also benefit from an optional work-based learning module where they can apply and extend their skills in a professional setting.

Students have work placements with a number of host organisations including the RSPB, National Trust, Sefton Council, the Wildlife Trust , Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the NHS.


Our students graduate with a broad range of marketable skills such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, research and project management alongside detailed subject knowledge.

Recent graduates have progressed to successful careers in everything from reserve management to environmental consultancy, including positions as:

  • Wildlife refuge manager in Malaysia
  • NHS Data analyst
  • Nature Reserve Warden
  • Museum Entomology curator
  • Food analyst

Visit the department

To get a sense of what it would be like to study here you can visit the Biology department on one of Edge Hill University’s open days where you will get the opportunity to meet the staff and have a tour around the facilities.

Book an open day