• University of York

The Biology of Bugs, Brains, and Beasts

Improve your understanding of some of the key concepts in A level biology and discover what's involved in higher level study.

The Biology of Bugs, Brains, and Beasts
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $54Find out more

Prepare for university study with this online biology course

Are you a student in sixth form and thinking of studying at university? On this course, you will use innovative research to enhance your understanding of basic biological concepts taught in A level biology. You will also be introduced to university-level material so you can get a sense of what it’s like to study biosciences at the University of York.

Over three weeks, you will take a fascinating look into bugs, brains and neuroscience, and the interaction of animals with the environment. You will also discover what makes the University of York a unique place to study.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds Gain an insight into the exciting world of Biology by joining our course, as we explore three fascinating subject areas… Bugs, Brains and Beasts

What topics will you cover?

  • Bugs (microorganisms and the biochemistry of life)
  • Brains (neuroscience: learning and memory)
  • Beasts (interaction of animals with the environment - ecology and conservation)

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the ubiquity and importance of microbes
  • Explore the biological basis of learning and memory
  • Describe how species interact in biological communities, considering their wider habitat and the influence of humans

Who is the course for?

This course is for school students in sixth form or Year 11 that are considering applying to university, as well as anyone interested in biology.

Who will you learn with?

Setareh Chong

Setareh Chong

I am the course coordinator. I am also a Lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of York. My teaching focuses on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

James Chong

James Chong

I am a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of York. I use applied systems biology to understand and improve how anaerobic microbial communities recover resources from waste.

Sangeeta Chawla

Sangeeta Chawla

I am a Lecturer in Neuroscience at the University of York. My work investigates the molecular and cellular basis of behaviour.

Rachel Hope

Rachel Hope

I'm an Associate Lecturer in Biology at the University of York. My background is in disease ecology and I use microbiology to help answer interesting ecological questions.

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

I'm an Associate Lecturer in Biology at the University of York. My background spans chemistry to stem cells. I'm interested in how we can use the body to repair itself.

Antje Kuhrs

Antje Kuhrs

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Biology, University of York. One of my interests is the genetics of neurodegenerative diseases.

Colin Beale

Colin Beale

I am an ecologist working at the University of York who has particular interests in African ecology and conservation.

Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biology at the University of York. My teaching and research focus on cell signalling in the developing, mature and ageing brain.

Gavin Thomas

Gavin Thomas

I am a microbiologist at the University of York who studies how bacteria interact with the world around them, whether this be inside our bodies, inside insects or in our armpits!

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

Join this course

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  • Access to this course for 5 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

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Get a taste of this course

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