Biological sciences is the study of life and living organisms, their life cycles, adaptations and environment. For good reason, evolutionary biologists now sometimes speak in terms of theoretical and applied evolutionary biology, indicating that the scientific discipline continues to prosper as it reaches out to new areas of research. Biology students practice and apply their knowledge in both field and laboratory settings, and master basic skills including statistical analysis, various laboratory methods, and techniques and taxonomic (identification) skills.
Biology as a separate science was developed in the nineteenth century, as scientists discovered that organisms shared fundamental characteristics. Microbiology is made up of several sub-disciplines, including: bacteriology (the study of bacteria), mycology (the study of fungi), phycology (the study of algae), parasitology (the study of parasites), and virology (the study of viruses, and how they function inside cells) 1. These broad areas encompass a number of specific fields.
These students receive free on-campus housing and a living stipend during their research fellowship, allowing them the freedom to fully devote their time to investigating an area of their own interest. The core strands that unite all the various disciplines and sub-disciplines of the subject are: the study and characterization of living organisms and the investigation of the science behind living things.
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.
All of these tools for state-of-the-art molecular and integrative biology research — as well as opportunities to do field research on our University farm and in the lush environment around campus — will be available to you as an undergraduate student. Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. As a biology major, you might accompany your professors on a field expedition to study seabirds in Alaska, wild eggplants in Australia, giant salamanders in Japan, or bats, bees, and lightning bugs here in Pennsylvania.