Palaeontology and Evolution

Develop a deep understanding of the evolution of life on this planet through the study of geology and biology.

Friendly environment

Our excellent student-to-staff ratios mean all of our students become valued members of the community.

Learn with experts

The Bristol Palaeobiology Research Group was identified as the best palaeontology research group in the world in the first discipline-specific annual review by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR 2017).

Hands-on learning

The whole Earth is our laboratory, and fieldwork is an integral part of our teaching. An exciting programme of field trips is included in your tuition fee.

Palaeontology and Evolution courses for 2022

Single Honours

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Palaeontology and Evolution at Bristol

Palaeontology is the study of the life of the past. Our students explore the evolution of life through a combination of geology and biology.

Bristol's courses cover many aspects of palaeobiology, as well as earth sciences and biological sciences. Our degrees are interdisciplinary and provide you with a broad background in palaeobiological science, including state-of-the-art methods and technological advances.

Palaeontology and evolution at Bristol attracts great enthusiasts for the subject area, and the student cohort is tight knit. You will join a large and vibrant group of experts in the field of palaeobiology, with interests ranging from dinosaurs to plants to the origin of life.

By studying at Bristol, you will become a numerate and analytically able palaeobiologist with an understanding of the evolution of life in the context of this planet and its history.

You may also be interested in other earth sciences subjects at Bristol, including Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience.

There are many things about my course which I enjoy, but the way it is structured has impressed me the most.

Fiann Smithwick, MSci Palaeontology and Evolution

Career prospects

Our highly numerate graduates enter many different fields of employment. Some students continue research to MSc or PhD level and enter academic careers.

Popular career routes include science education; written, digital and film media; outreach work; and the museum sector. The science-based aspects of our courses provide opportunities to enter many professional careers in graduate-level jobs, including positions in industry, finance or law.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

You'll be taught by renowned experts whose research feeds directly into your studies, meaning you'll learn at the cutting edge of scientific developments. By your final year you'll be conducting your own independent research and exploring the questions that matter most to you.

You will deepen your understanding of major topics, including mass extinctions, macroevolution and climate change. You will study core units in geology and biology and, in the third year, will study a range of specialist, optional units to suit your interests and career goals.

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field courses. Dedicated palaeontology field courses are included in your tuition fee.

You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self-assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff. A personal tutor will advise you and monitor your progress throughout your time with us.

Gain experience

You can grow your skills and experience beyond the classroom with opportunities to participate in outreach activities or research internships.

We regularly offer exciting research opportunities where you can work with our leading experts on cutting-edge science, making your own contribution to your field whilst also honing your professional and research skill set.

Many of our students also choose to volunteer with the renowned Bristol Dinosaur Project, conducting outreach in local schools and encouraging children to engage in science and the history of their city. You'll develop valuable science communication skills, give back to your community, and gain an insight into teaching and outreach for future career ideas.

Palaeontology and Evolution

Palaeontology and Evolution courses for 2022

Single Honours

Palaeontology and Evolution is a diverse course that covers many aspects of palaeobiology as well as earth and biological sciences. Our degrees are interdisciplinary and provide you with a broad background in palaeobiological science, including state-of-the-art methods and technological advances.

Why study Palaeontology and Evolution at Bristol?

Join a large and vibrant group of experts in the field of palaeobiology, with interests ranging from dinosaurs to plants to the origin of life. You’ll learn from renowned experts whose research feeds directly into your studies, meaning you'll learn at the cutting edge of scientific developments. By your final year you’ll be conducting your own independent research and exploring the questions that matter most to you.

You will deepen your understanding of key topics, including mass extinctions, macroevolution and climate change. You will study core units in geology and biology and, in the third year, will study a range of specialist, optional units to suit your interests and career goals.

Dedicated palaeontology field courses are included in your tuition fee.

Palaeontology and evolution at Bristol attract great enthusiasts for the subject area and the student cohort is tight knit. Our excellent student-to-staff ratios mean all of our students become valued members of the community.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Our palaeontology and evolution courses will be perfect for you if you have a keen interest in the history of life on Earth. You will be interested in understanding the pattern and process of evolution that has led to peaks and troughs in biodiversity through time, and be willing to learn cutting-edge numerical and computational methods that can be applied to palaeontological questions.

You will need to have a strong background in science and an ability to draw together different scientific subjects to further your understanding of palaeontology.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory based practicals and organised field courses. A personal tutor will advise you and monitor your progress throughout your time with us.

You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self-assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff. We use a range of assessment methods; some units are assessed by exams, some by coursework and some by a combination of the two.

What are my career prospects?

Our highly numerate graduates enter many different fields of employment. Some graduates continue research to MSc or PhD level and enter academic careers.

Popular career routes include science education, media (written, digital, film), outreach work and the museum sector. The science-based aspects of the programme provides opportunities to enter many professional careers in graduate-level jobs, including positions in industry, finance or law.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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