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About Biosciences at Exeter

The cornerstone of Biosciences at Streatham is an enthusiasm to explore, describe and understand our natural world within a supportive, dynamic and multi-disciplinary community. It is a real pleasure to serve as Head of Department, as we continue to grow and further enhance our global reputation.

I hope you find the information on these webpages useful, and I look forward to welcoming you, should you contact or visit our Campus.

Professor James Wakefield
Associate Professor of Integrative Cellular Biology
Head of Department, Biosciences

Biosciences at Exeter sits within the Streatham Campus, a registered botanic garden and readily acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the country. Here, we explore the biology and chemistry that underpins our complex, dynamic natural world, creating new knowledge, communicating it to a wide audience, and applying it to some of society’s biggest issues. Our community of scholars - academics, students, research groups, professional support staff and collaborators - work together to make this a vibrant, stimulating and forward-thinking environment in which to work and study.

Research at our Exeter Campus ranges from fundamental studies of how biological molecules function, to developing an understanding of how organisms interact with one another and within the ecosystems they occupy. Although organised into distinct research groupings that reflect core research interests, with over 50 Faculty and 100 early career researchers we actively foster interdisciplinary research across the University, and beyond. We are situated over four closely and, in most cases, physically-linked buildings; the Geoffrey Pope Building, the Hatherly Building, the recently established £52M Living Systems Institute and the new BioEconomy Centre. As such, we seamlessly bridge fundamental and applied, focused and multi-disciplinary Biosciences research.

Our core undergraduate degree programmes in Biological SciencesBiochemistryBiological and Medicinal Chemistry and our shared programmes in Human BiosciencesMedical Sciences and Natural Sciences, mirror the breadth and depth of research we undertake. With Year in Industry, Professional Placement, Year Abroad and 4 year MSci variants, our education portfolio is rich, diverse and provides an inspirational, tailored and ultimately rewarding learning experience.

Our Masters by Research in Biosciences provides a valuable research-exclusive experience to those seeking future PhD opportunities, here and elsewhere. All our teaching revolves around fostering academic rigour, critical thinking and evaluation, in order to develop confidence, resilience and creativity in our students, and our New Ways of Learning committee ensures we remain at the forefront of teaching and learning across the Biological Sciences.

We have a diverse postgraduate research community comprised of over 150 PhD students; those on focused Doctoral Training Partnerships, including the BBSRC SWBioDTP, the NERC GW4+DTP and the MRC GW4 BioMed DTP in addition to those affiliated to a wide range of industrial, governmental and non-governmental organisations, individual international and self-funded studentships. 

We also have a thriving Early Career Researcher Network of postdoctoral researchers and research fellows. Together with our professional and technical service colleagues, our department is a diverse and considerate environment in which individuals can realise their full potential.