BSc (Hons) in Ecology


Program Description


People have an enormous impact on their environment through resource use, habitat degradation, and climate change. Understanding how our actions impact the ecological balance across the planet has never been more important.

We’ll give you a rigorous introduction to the science of ecology. You’ll understand how animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms interact with their environment, as well as the relationship between people and the rest of the biosphere.

This course covers the core conceptual issues of Ecology in its broadest sense, but also provides hands-on opportunities for learning transferable skills and analysing ecological relationships across all types of organisms. We’ll train you in the essential field and laboratory techniques, including on our inspiring 10-day field trip in Cévennes, France, a landscape of exceptional natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity recognised by UNESCO.

Whether you are interested in pursuing an academic career or want to participate in the practical solution of ecological problems, we’ll provide you with the tools and concepts you need to make a difference.

Fieldwork – an essential part of training – takes place in Scotland and France. There’s also an optional trip to Spain. Students may spend all, or part, of Year 3 studying abroad as part of an exchange programme with the University of Guelph, Canada, as well as participating in other international exchange programmes.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Research-led teaching by leaders in research around the world, from the alpine tundra to the tropics

#2 This is the perfect place to study Ecology with diverse landscapes and habitats on our doorstep, and field trips in Scotland, France and Spain

#3 We'll teach you the science of ecology and provide practical training in the essential field and laboratory techniques

Course details

Semesters 1-4 cover core modules in: Biological Sciences; Environmental Sciences; and Practical Skills in the Natural Sciences.

Semesters 5-6 cover the following advanced modules: Animal Ecology; Plant Ecology and Physiology; Population and Community Ecology; plus further optional modules, including the Spanish field trip.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll carry out an independent research project and go on the overseas field trip in France. You’ll also take four to six advanced modules from a defined list of options.

The research project in the final year takes up around a third of the timetable and is strongly linked with the active research interests of academic staff in Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Examples of recent high-quality student work include:

  • Plant biodiversity patterns in the Southern Highlands
  • Buzz-pollination and ecology of bumblebees
  • Climate change and the altitudinal limits of native montane plant species
  • The influence of diet on seaweed fly mating and oviposition behaviour
  • Heavy metal adaptation in rare plants

You may spend all or part of Year 3 abroad. We have a well-established reciprocal exchange programme with the University of Guelph in Canada where you’ll take subjects equivalent to those at Stirling. In addition, there are exchange opportunities with a range of universities in the USA, Australia and Europe.

Find out more about studying abroad.


Dr Kirsty Park

+ 44 (0) 1786 467799

Dr Mario Vallejo-Marin

+ 44 (0) 1786 467822

Fees - 2021/22

  • Overseas students (non-EU): £17,900
  • Scottish students: £ 1,820
  • Students from the rest of the UK: £9,250
  • EU Students: £17,900*

*For EU students starting studies in academic year 2021/22, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less