Biology (BBI) / BSc


Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological advance of modern society, and are central to global concerns about how we affect, and are affected by, our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food. The BSc programme biology focuses on the functioning and complexity of living systems and their interactions with their (a)-biotic environment. The BSc Biology programme can be seen as a broad bachelor in the life sciences with a fundamental approach. The programme provides a multidisciplinary training to equip students with a broad range of theoretical and practical skills in order to reach a level of knowledge and understanding sufficient to start at the job market or as in most cases happens enter and benefit from further training in subsequent master programmes in biology or related areas.
During the common part of the programme students study the basic concepts in biology on molecular, cellular, organismal, population and ecosystem level in an evolutionary perspective. Besides, students obtain a firm basis in chemistry, mathematics, statistics, physics and modelling in order to understand biological concepts.
Subsequently students choose a major to deepen their knowledge in a certain area within biology such as Cell and molecular biology, Organismal and developmental biology, Human and animal health biology or Ecology and biodiversity. In the major Cell and molecular biology students learn several research techniques to study the functioning of cells. In the major Organismal and developmental biology students learn how organisms adapt to the biotic and abiotic environment. Not only embryonic development is studied, but also the development and adaptation in later stages in life are studied. The major Human and animal health biology especially focuses on prevention of health problems and the functioning of healthy animals. The major Ecology and biodiversity does not only have field practicals, but students also learn to quantitatively analyse large amounts of data.
Students complete their major within the BSc Biology with a BSc thesis which is a short research project, for which students have to write a research plan, critically review the research plan of fellow students, investigate a biological question and present their results in the form of an article and an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to:
- have advanced knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts and mechanisms in biology on the molecular, cellular, organism, population and ecosystem level;
- be able to apply basic knowledge of physics, mathematics, statistics and chemistry and relate concepts at molecular, cell, organism, population and ecosystem level to solve biological problems (under supervision);
- be able to analyse concepts, approaches and methods and reflect upon scientific biological literature;
- be able to gather and interpret relevant data in the field biology using common research techniques such as microscopy, dissection, determination of organisms, molecular biological techniques, safe microbiological techniques and modelling;
- be able to apply procedural knowledge by writing and carrying out a research plan in the field of biology including the main phases of a scientific research process;
- be capable of doing experiments, collecting data and simulating data in the field of biology (under supervision);
- be able to communicate (verbally and in writing) the outcomes of learning, experiments or project work to both specialists and non-specialists audiences, both in Dutch and in English;
- be able to make judgments based on social and ethical aspects of biological research and are able to recognize and analyse these aspects in concrete situation;
- design and plan own learning path (under supervision) based on continuous evaluation upon personal knowledge, skills and performance.


- Cell and Molecular Biology;
- Organismal and Developmental Biology;
- Human and Animal Health Biology;
- Ecology and Biodiversity.

Programme Director

Ir M.V. Coppens
Phone: 0317-(4)82407

Study Adviser(s)

- Ir A.J. Hoetmer
Phone: 0317-(4)85223
- Dr P.W. de Jong
Phone: 0317-(4)82806

Programme Committee

Chair: Dr D. Vreugdenhil
Secretary: Ir M.V. Coppens


Study Association

B.V.W. Biologica
Membership 9 Euro a year
B.V.W. Biologica, Forum / Building 102; Droevendaalsesteeg 2, Wageningen

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MAM Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MAS Animal Sciences
MBF Bioinformatics
MBI Biology
MDR Development and Rural Innovation
MPB Plant Biotechnology
MPS Plant Sciences