MSci Palaeontology and Evolution (CF16)

2017 entry
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UCAS code CF16
Application method UCAS/Common Application
Course duration 4 year(s) full-time
Tuition fees Further information on tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
Location of course Clifton campus
Part-time study Part-time study is not available for this course
Number of applicants accepted for 2015/16 82 overall for Geology and Geoscience courses

About MSci Palaeontology and Evolution

Palaeontology is the study of the life of the past. This course studies the evolution of life through the combined study of geology and biology.

One third of the first year is spent studying geology and two thirds are dedicated to biology. After the first year you take core units from both disciplines which are particularly relevant to your area of study, but you will have a much wider choice of geological and biological options to choose from.

The final year is taught entirely in the School of Earth Sciences and involves a mandatory major research project.

The Palaeontology and Evolution cohort is small and high-achieving and always attracts great enthusiasts for the subject area. You will be part of a tight-knit and competitive, yet friendly group.

An MSci degree is a valuable qualification to have if you wish to progress to PhD study.

More about Geology

Find out more about studying Geology at Bristol including career prospects and how the course is taught and assessed.

Course structure

First year

  • Geology 1
  • Diversity of Life
  • Life Processes

Second year

  • Sedimentology
  • Introduction to Field Mapping
  • Geobiology
  • Quantitative Methods in Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Mesozoic stratigraphy and palaeontology fieldwork
  • Choice from:
    • Cell and Developmental Biology
    • Ecology
    • Neurobiology: from nerve cells to behaviour
    • Acquisition of Behaviour
    • Behavioural Ecology
    • Parasite Biology
    • Insect Biology
    • Conservation Biology
    • Marine Ecology and Physiology
    • Structural Geology
    • Soils and the Critical Zone
    • Atmospheric Processes
    • Imaging and Mapping the Earth
    • Green Planet

Third year

  • Palaeobiology Analytical Project
  • Evolution of the Biosphere
  • Fieldcourse or Laboratory Workshop 
  • The Cambrian Explosion: the origin of animal body plans
  • Choice from:
    • Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology
    • Neuroethology: neural mechanisms underlying behaviour
    • Sensory Ecology
    • Behaviour and Ecology of Social Insects
    • Optimisation, Behaviour and Life Histories
    • Evolutionary Ecology
    • Oceanography
    • Petroleum Sedimentology
    • Geomicrobiology

Fourth year

  • Current Controversies in Palaeobiology and Macroevolution
  • Phylogenetic Methods in Palaeobiology
  • Earth Science Research Project
  • Choice from:
    • Vertebrate Palaeobiology and Evolution
    • Biomechanics and Functional Morphology
    • Micropalaeontology
    • Tracing and Observing the Earth System
    • Early Human Origins.
Find out more about the course structure and units available for Palaeontology
Find out more about the course structure and units available for Evolution

Typical offer for MSci Palaeontology and Evolution - applicants must meet one of the following

A-level
Standard offer
AAB including two science subjects (one of which must be Biology)*; or ABB in three hard sciences (one of which must be Biology)*
A-level
Contextual offer
What is a contextual offer?
ABB including two science subjects (one of which must be Biology)*; or BBB in three hard sciences (one of which must be Biology)*
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Standard offer
34 points overall with 17 points at Higher Level including two science subjects (one of which must be Biology)*; or 32 points overall with 16 points at Higher Level in three hard sciences (one of which must be Biology)*
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Contextual offer
What is a contextual offer?
32 points overall with 16 points at Higher Level including two science subjects (one of which must be Biology)*; or 31 points overall with 15 points at Higher Level in three hard sciences (one of which must be Biology)*
Cambridge Pre-U offerRequirements are as for A-levels, where Grade A* is D2, A is D3, B is M2, and C is M3
Access to HE Diploma offerPass Access to HE Diploma (Science) with at least 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit, including 12 credits at Distinction in Biology plus one of: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics.
BTEC offer DDM in Science or Engineering, plus A-level grade B in Biology
Scottish Qualifications Authority offerSH: AAABB and AH: AB in two sciences, one of which must be Biology*
Welsh Baccalaureate offerRequirements are as for A-levels where you can substitute the same non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core grade
European Baccalaureate offer80% overall with 8.5 and 8.0 in two sciences, one of which must be Biology*
International qualificationsAccepted international qualifications

Specified subjects

*Science subjects should include one or more from the following group: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics. Other science subjects include Environmental Science, Geography, Geology and Psychology. Hard science subjects include: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics.

Applicants must also meet these requirements

GCSE profile requirementsProfile:
Grade B or above in English Language or Literature and Mathematics. In England, where numerical GCSE grades will start to replace letter GCSE grades, we will be aligning the two grading schemes as follows: 4 or 5 is C, 6 is B, 7 is A, and 8 or 9 is A*.
Further information about GCSE requirements and profile levels for 2018 entry.
English language requirements If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Deferred entry

For this course deferred entry is: Welcomed, but please seek advice about maintaining relevant skills

Selection process

UCAS or Common Application.

More information

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For questions regarding study and admission contact our Enquiries Team:
Phone: +44 (0)117 394 1649
Email: choosebristol-ug@bristol.ac.uk

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