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Gloucestershire Business News

University launches new biological sciences degree

Hartpury University has added a brand-new BSc (Hons) biological sciences course to its portfolio of animal degrees.

The course will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2024.

The new qualification is aimed at students who want to advance their understanding of living systems, from the smallest microbes through to large-scale ecosystems.

Students could be looking to pursue a wide range of biology careers, including research, clinical laboratories, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, teaching or animal health professions.

The wide range of topics covered includes modules such as genetics; biodiversity and evolution; cell biology; animal disease and parasitology; plant science; behavioural ecology; epidemiology; environment health and climate change; biochemistry; and toxicology.

Students studying this degree will be able to take advantage of external field trips, as well as being able to attend talks with visiting guest speakers. Previous field trips have included the Royal Veterinary College and the Three Counties Equine Hospital. Guest speakers have included conservationists, sustainability experts, plant breeders and academic researchers.

Alongside their studies, students can also develop real-world experience on site, either through the 11 commercial businesses, including equine and canine therapy and hydrotherapy centres, or through Hartpury's own state-of-the-art facilities.

Hartpury's facilities include an animal collection that houses more than 70 domestic and non-domestic species, including meerkats, prairie dogs, skunks, rabbits, rodents and tortoises. It is also home to a commercial farm and Agri-Tech Centre, which is actively engaged in using technology to address environmental challenges.

In addition, the campus provides a rich habitat to an abundance of wildlife, providing further research and observation opportunities. Staff and students have recorded badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, great crested newts, deer and at least four species of bat on campus.

For applied industry experience, Hartpury's Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) Centre has bolstered its regional, national and international links, giving students an opportunity to connect with more than 3,000 employers for work placements, research or graduate job opportunities, as well as offering CV and interview preparation.

Students have previously completed placements and secured roles at a range of zoos, wildlife charities and conservation organisations, farms and diagnostic laboratories.

Dr Wanda McCormick, head of animal and agriculture at Hartpury University, said: "With this new degree, we are giving students the opportunity to study a wide range of biology topics in a highly applied way and with an industry relevant focus. They'll be able to experience studying plants and animals in real life, survey real habitats on our campus estate and explore techniques in our labs that directly relate to the world we live in."

Students will get to undertake their own research project and could be part of some of the bigger projects already running at the university.

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