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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Department of Biosciences

Our research and teaching addresses fundamentally important questions facing humankind, from food security to sustainability in industrial processes, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and the impact of climate change on life on earth. Our students develop a wide range of analytical and practical skills that prepare them to meet these challenges.

"At Durham we provide an outstanding environment for research and education in animal, plant and bacterial biology encompassing expertise from the atomic to whole ecosystem scale. Trained by Durham Biosciences in the skills and knowledge required, our students are able to succeed in a wide range of careers or training environments and help society tackle the challenges for the future"

Professor Martin Cann, Head of Department


Undergraduate Study

Our teaching is broad, from molecular structures to landscape-scale population dynamics, reflecting major questions in biology. Students can specialise in areas of interest, but develop a breadth of understanding and practical training, whether in the lab, in the field or in industry.



Postgraduate Study

Join a strong and vibrant postgraduate community for training in modern research techniques using state-of-the-art research infrastructure. Students are supervised for Masters or PhD programmes by supervisors who are world experts in their fields.




Our research covers the breadth of the biological sciences, from cell and molecular biology in animals, plants, and microbes; to ecology, evolution and the environment. We often work at the interface with other disciplines such as the physical sciences, supported by outstanding research infrastructure in genomics, bioimaging and mass spectrometry, and plant and animal growth facilities.




Follow Us


BBSRC 2020 Impact Showcase

Congratulations to Biosciences David Weinkove and Magnitude Biosciences whose research on C. elegans is featured in the BBSRC 2020 Impact showcase.




(10 Aug 2020) » More about BBSRC 2020 Impact Showcase

Scientists discover secret behind Earth’s biodiversity hotspots

Researchers have discovered why the tropics and a handful of other areas across the globe have become the most biodiverse places on the planet.

(7 Aug 2020) » More about Scientists discover secret behind Earth’s biodiversity hotspots

Reactive stress-coping styles show more variable reproductive expenditure and fitness outcomes.

Congratulations to Dr Sean Twiss’ lab who have just published their latest study in Scientific Reports with a team of researchers from the Sea Mammal research Unit, Uni. St Andrews and the Alaska SeaLife Center.

(16 Jun 2020) » More about Reactive stress-coping styles show more variable reproductive expenditure and fitness outcomes.