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Biology

Biology is the study life at all levels of organization, from the gene to the ecosystem. In this program, you’ll develop skills through:

  • lab work
  • field work
  • research projects

Potential careers

What can you do with a biology degree? Here are a few jobs and fields that relate to the program:

  • biologist
  • research assistant
  • environmental scientist
  • health care professional
  • environmental educator
  • parks department professional
  • ecologist
  • fisheries biologist
  • teacher or instructor
  • forest biology
  • medical biotechnology
  • laboratory scientist
  • sustainability consultant
  • medicine
  • veterinary medicine
  • dentistry
  • pharmacology
  • physiotherapy

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

Opportunities in the biology program

Opportunities outside your program

  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to biology:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the biology program offer extensive hands-on learning.

Co-op

Co-op work terms
Alternate academic study with paid work terms to gain workplace experience

Course-based

BIOL 330 - Study Design and Data Analysis
Analyze field data and prepare an independent report

BIOL 362 - Techniques in Molecular Biology
Learn molecular techniques in a hands-on project

BIOL 409B Experimental Neurobiology
Investigate the neural basis of behaviour in the lab

Field experience

BIOL 215 - Principles of Ecology
Examine ecological field methods

BIOL 311 - Biological Oceanography
Collect data during a research cruise on a UVic vessel in Saanich Inlet

BIOL 312 - Entomology
Examine entomology field methods and observe aquatic and pollinating insects

BIOL 319 - Marine Ecology
Explore the ecology of local mudflats

BIOL 321 - Survey of Invertebrates
Take part in a field trip to observe marine invertebrates in local intertidal zones

BIOL 325 - Tree Biology
Study trees during field trips to local forests

BIOL 329 - Biology of the Vertebrates of British Columbia
Explore the diversity of local birding areas in weekend birding outings

BIOL 335 - Ichthyology
Study the evolution and diversity of fish in intertidal zones during field trips

MRNE 401 - Special Topics in Marine Biology
Examine the patterns of biodiversity at local, regional and global scales

MRNE 410 - Marine Invertebrate Zoology
Survey marine invertebrate phyla around Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

MRNE 415 - Structure and Function in Animals
Study the structure of marine animals at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

MRNE 417 - Crustacean Biology
Take part in lab and field activities related to crustacean biology

MRNE 418 - Marine Behavioural Ecology
Observe intertidal ecology and animal behaviours and conduct group-oriented research

MRNE 421 - Terrestrial and Freshwater Conservation
Gain field experience related to terrestrial and freshwater conservation

MRNE 425 - Ecological Adaptations of Seaweeds
Observe the ecological adaptations of seaweed in diverse environments

MRNE 430 - Marine Ecology
Investigate subtidal and benthic environments by diving and dredging

MRNE 437 - Marine Population Ecology and Dynamics
Examine intertidal and subtidal communities in the Barkley Sound region

Research project

BIOL 490 A - Directed Studies and Research in Botany
BIOL 490 B - Directed Studies and Research in Ecology
BIOL 490 D - Directed Studies and Research in Marine Biology
BIOL 490 E - Directed Studies and Research in Zoology
BIOL 490 F - Directed Studies and Research in Cell and Molecular Biology
BIOL 490 G - Directed Studies and Research in Evolution
BIOL 490 H - Directed Studies and Research in Neurobiology
BIOL 490 J - Directed Studies and Research in Forest Biology
Learn independently in the lab or through a written research project

BIOL 499 A - Honours Thesis I
BIOL 499 B - Honours Thesis II
Research, write and orally defend a graduating honours thesis

MRNE 400 - Directed Studies
Conduct an independent research project in your field of interest

MRNE 414 - Coastal Biodiversity and Conservation
Complete an independent research project related to coastal biodiversity and conservation

MRNE 419 - Subtidal Science
Learn the techniques and practical aspects of performing research underwater using SCUBA

Work experience

Work experience work terms
Take part in a modified co-op program requiring one or two work experiences

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the biology program.

Biology knowledge

  • understand the biological diversity of plants and animals
  • understand genetics and the mechanisms leading to diversity (Mendelian, molecular and population genetics)
  • use genetic analysis on a biological problem
  • apply the principles of evolutionary theory and natural selection in creating diversity
  • understand plant and animal structure and function
  • analyze biological problems at the genetic, molecular, developmental, organismal and ecological levels
  • use the concepts and tools of mathematics, chemical science and physical science to understand biology
  • understand the history of ideas in biology
  • consider the larger role of biology in society

Research skills

  • understand and use the scientific method and experimental techniques to solve specific problems
  • search and assess scientific literature
  • work with new and emerging concepts
  • gather evidence through observation and experimentation
  • use inductive reasoning and deductive methods to develop a testable, falsifiable hypothesis and predict expected results
  • design quantitative approaches and experiments to test and evaluate hypotheses
  • observe and record the results of research
  • use mathematical and statistical methods and tools to evaluate data
  • draw conclusions
  • communicate results and ideas clearly in scientific reports, papers and oral presentations
  • understand research and propose steps required to further the goals of an experiment

Field skills

  • practice safety at all times 
  • maintain and operate field equipment 
  • observe the natural environment
  • identify species by sight, sound, scat or footprint
  • handle organisms and collect data such as sex, length, weight, height, tissue or blood
  • keep records in the field
  • use proper field sampling protocols

Lab skills

  • use safe and careful practices
  • keep lab records
  • use sterile and aseptic techniques
  • use pipetting technique
  • follow standard methods and procedures for lab experiments
  • take accurate measurements and identify potential sources of error
  • troubleshoot and optimize methods and techniques
  • develop methods and procedures
  • analyze, make, purify, modify and characterize compounds, samples or devices
  • use lab instruments
  • calibrate, maintain and troubleshoot instruments
  • assess lab data

What's next?

To explore more visit the biology site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.

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