LIFE SCIENCES AND GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (BASc)
Full-time 2019 entry, AAB, IB 36
Use your passion for Life Sciences and apply it to answering the Big Questions of our time by studying it in combination with Global Sustainable Development (GSD).
Can we end world poverty by 2030? How can we ensure our cities are safe? How can we tackle the effects of climate change on our world? If you’re keen to search for the answers and make a difference to our world, Global Sustainable Development can show you how.
Our students are aspiring global citizens with social consciences. They are flexible, adaptable and broad minded. By studying GSD, you’ll consider issues from many different perspectives, understand their complexity and learn to use a variety of approaches to think creatively about potential solutions.
We’ll challenge you to become an active participant in your own learning and help you to develop professional skills through certificates you’ll complete as part of the course. You’ll also have the opportunity to spend part of your second year studying abroad at our partner institution in Australia – home to the world-leading Monash Sustainability Institute.
On this course you will consider current problems of sustainability from many different perspectives, understand their complexity and learn to use a variety of approaches to think creatively about potential solutions. You will develop expertise in the subject of Life Sciences which will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the issues explored.
Year 1: Four core GSD modules comprising half of the workload and four core modules in Life Sciences. Opportunity to take Certificate of Digital Literacy.
Year 2: For the GSD half, 60 credits of GSD modules comprised of one 30 CAT optional core (Food Systems, Security and Sovereignty or Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development) plus further module(s) totalling 30 CATS selected from the range of modules available across the University (including from within the Global Sustainable Development Department) which have a global sustainable development focus.
For the Life Sciences half of the course, students take four core modules worth 48 CATS including a Field Trip, plus one optional module worth 12 CATS.
If you opt to travel abroad to study at Monash University for part of the year you take one of two optional GSD core modules in the first term whilst at Warwick together with further relevant second year modules from within or outside of the School totalling 15 CATS. In addition, you take a core module from the School of Life Sciences (18 CATS) plus a further optional core (12 CATS). Whilst abroad, you are required to study relevant approved modules equating to 60 credits selected from those offered by the partner institution.
Final Year: Core GSD module 'Dissertation' (30 CATS) plus further relevant modules from within or outside of the School totalling 30 CATS. For the Life Sciences half of the course, you undertake a Research Project alongside alongside a range of optional modules.
You will attend lectures and take part in seminars, workshops and tutorials and work with your fellow students in teams on controversial, topical problems that pose significant sustainable development questions. You will undertake fieldwork, archival research, interviews with members of the local area and engage in peer discussion to propose alternative solutions. You will review the work of your fellow students.You will also engage in laboratory based work on the Life Sciences half of the course.
You will be taught by a range of academics, from different disciplines, who will communicate their expertise on a specific issue and describe their methodology for addressing it. Your role is to bring together these various approaches and to develop your own informed stance on each issue.
Core first year GSD modules have 23 hours of contact time each made up of lectures, workshops and, for the 'mini-project' module, group supervision sessions and a field trip. In the second year, optional core GSD modules have around 45 contact hours each for the 30 CATS versions and half this for the shorter 15 CATS versions.
Teaching is via workshops. Optional GSD modules are available with between 20 and 50 hours for scheduled contact time depending upon how the module is taught. For example, some modules have lectures, seminars, film screenings and research supervision whereas others have lectures and workshops. Some modules include field trips.
Seminar groups comprise between 10 and 15 students.
In the first year, two of the GSD core modules have an exam worth 40%. The remaining 60% of these modules and the other core GSD modules are assessed by methods other than formal examination. For Life Sciences, two of the core first year modules are wholly assessed by exam. Others are assessed by coursework. In the second year GSD optional cores and options do not have traditional examinations. Two of the Life Sciences cores are assessed by examination. Optional cores are assessed either wholly by exam or wholly by coursework or a combination of the two. The final year core GSD module is a Dissertation/Long Project and so is assessed via 'coursework'. The overall percentage of the course that is assessed by coursework depends upon the options taken.
The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
There is an option to spend part of the second year abroad studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Students may be based at either the University’s Melbourne campus or at its campus in Malaysia.
Students spend the first term of their second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Australia in February to join Monash for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms). This arrangement is the integrated terms abroad variant of the course.
During their time abroad students study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards the final degree classification awarded by Warwick. Students may also choose to spend a year studying or working abroad (e.g. as part of the ERASMUS scheme).
Marks gained from such study do not count towards the overall Warwick degree but recognition of the time spent abroad is recorded on the HEAR.
"The modules in first year have given new perspectives on topics I thought I knew a lot about, and it has helped me think more about my life."
Check out Meredith's blog
"First-year core modules are varied and I loved how my days could begin with a lecture on the structure of bacteria flagella and end with a lecture on the nervous system."
Check out Emma's blog
A level: AAB, to include A Level in Biology. You will also need Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
IB: 36, to include Biology (at Higher Level 6), Mathematics and English
Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units, and grade A in A level Mathematics or equivalent.
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference. We are considering innovative ways to broaden how we assess candidates, so you are advised to check our website prior to applying in case we have introduced any changes.
- Economic Principles of GSD
This module aims to introduce you to various economic concepts and perspectives related to global sustainable development. In particular, you will consider the relationship between economics and policy, and you will become familiar with the way in which economists address real-world dilemmas. Upon completion of the module, you will acquire specific subject knowledge that will allow you to apply fundamental economic principles and techniques to the analysis of global sustainable development problems and describe how economic activity relates to social and environmental development.
- Social Principles of GSD
This introductory module allows you to examine in-depth the most crucial concepts that allow you to analyse and interpret the social and political issues related to global sustainable development. You will be considering complex, topical issues that allow you understand and evaluate the most pressing social and political contexts of sustainable development at national and international levels.
- Environmental Principles of GSD
This module allows you to investigate the range of perspectives on Sustainable Development from the field of Environmental Studies. It aims to equip you with the capacity to engage in academically-grounded and critical discussion of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, as outlined by the increasingly prevalent framework of the nine Planetary Boundaries. Learning also includes employability skills for the persuasive communication of environmental policy to key decision makers: specifically through the creation of a Policy Briefing paper and a Policy Pitch.
- GSD Mini-Project
This module requires students to engage actively in understanding the real-life application of the theories they study in their first year modules by focusing on a topical issue of sustainability affecting the local community. The module aims to provide students with opportunities to examine the Economic, Environmental and Social arguments that have been advanced in relation to the specific case studied.
Life Sciences modules
- Molecules, Cells and Organisms
This module provides a basic introduction to whole organism and developmental biology within the context of evolution and is the foundation for study of man other modules in Life Sciences.
- Agents of Infectious Disease
This module looks at aspects of the topic of infection and considers the agents themselves and their interactions with host species.
- Tutorial Programme
This bespoke tutorial programme has been designed specifically for this course. Students meet regularly with their personal tutors to work through worksheet based problems and engage in research focussed discussions.
- Animal and Plant Biology
The module presents current understanding of animal and plant evolution, diversity and physiological activities.
- Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development
This module examines, in depth, the ways in which our bodies relate to various forms of development. It engages with the Sustainable Development goals around “Good Health and Well-being” (Goal 3), “Gender Equality” (Goal 5) and “Reduced Inequalities” (Goal 10).
- Or Food Systems: Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability
This module is taught in collaboration with active researchers from across various disciplines at Warwick University, especially those involved in the university's Global Research Priority on Food. The module aims to examine the relationship between Food and Sustainability using theories and methods from the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Life Sciences modules
- Ecology and Environment
This module provides an overview of the principles and processes that underpin our understanding of the natural world and introduces major marine habitats, ecologically significant organisms and biological processes in the oceans.
- Ecology and its Applications
Students gain a scientific and interdisciplinary perspective of the earth and its processes including measuring with remote sensing, changes to climate and environmental responses by habitats and species to disturbance.
- Environmental Biology Lab
These two modules involve students in field work to determine the pollution status of rivers by sampling populations of freshwater macro-invertebrates, faecal coliforms and antibiotic resistant bacteria. The modules are designed to promote good laboratory practice in biological techniques.
- Dissertation/Long Project
The module requires you to demonstrate your acquisition of a range of intellectual and practical skills for engaging with a topical issue related to any area of Global Sustainable Development. You are expected to bring together theoretical concepts and practical approaches to address a specific problem, and to demonstrate your ability to think across disciplines and produce an original intervention (a concept paper, a practical project, a film production, a long essay, an advocacy campaign etc…) in the field of sustainable development.
- Plus a choice of Life Sciences Research Project
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying:
Global Sustainable Development - Keeping the Phoenix Flying or Clipping its Wings?: Learning through Student Research into the Praxis of ‘Local’ Sustainable Development; Extinction & Survival; Inequality: Wealth, Behaviour and Society; Surviving the Apocalypse.
Life Sciences - Evolution, Genetics and Genomics; Microbial Pathogens; Plant Molecular Development; Psychobiology.
Our degree programmes have been developed to provide you with a set of skills that will enable you to compete for existing and emerging roles across a variety of professions. Your options are varied across a range of industries, from working in the United Nations to advising small businesses on issues that will affect the local community.
You will also learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:
- Analytical and problem solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation.
- Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions.
- Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings.
- Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data.
- Organisational: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised.
- Team working: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude.
- Project work / lobbying for international organisations, NGOs and charities
- Advisory / consultancy roles in public services, education or the environmental or energy sectors
- Roles in communications, public relations and the media
- Sustainable finance
A level AAB to include A Level in Biology. You will also need Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE
IB 36 to include Biology (at Higher Level 6),Mathematics and English
Degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)
3 years full time
24 September 2019
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry and optional study abroad term in Year 2 at a partner institution in Australia.
Find out more about fees and funding
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course.
This information is applicable for 2019 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
Global Sustainable Development
Economic Studies and Global Sustainable Development
Global Sustainable Development and Business Studies
History and Global Sustainable Development
Philosophy and Global Sustainable Development
Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development
Psychology and Global Sustainable Development
Sociology and Global Sustainable Development
Theatre and Performance Studies and Global Sustainable Development
Biological Sciences (MBio)
Biomedical Science (MBio)
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (MChem)