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The Department of Biology offers B.Sc. (Hons.) degree courses, as well as postgraduate courses leading to M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. The Department offers training in biological disciplines through a variety of leaning experiences which include traditional lectures, independent study, hands-on practical work in the field and laboratory, as well as student involvement in research conducted by academic staff members. Biological disciplines taught at the department range from micro- and molecular biology, biotechnology, ecology and ethology, botany, fisheries biology and ecotoxicology to conservation biology, equipping students with a thorough understanding of biological complexity and the management of biological resources. In response to popular demand, courses for the general public are also held annually.

Courses for the General Public

Decreasing fish stocks, impacts of aquaculture on the environment, decreasing access to the shore, increasing pollution, marine traffic and marine related tourism, the changing climate, jellyfish and plankton blooms affecting the sea around the Maltese Islands are all issues which are frequently discussed in the press and on social media. To cater for increasing public interest in understanding the consequences of such pressures on marine habitats and sea life, the Department of Biology of the University of Malta is regularly organising courses open to the general public on the following topics:

  • An Introduction to Marine Biology (BIO1100)
  • Topics in Marine Biology (BIO1200)
  • An Introduction to Fisheries and Aquaculture (BIO1300)

Each course consists of a series of lectures held in the evening as well as practical sessions / site visits, which are held on Saturdays. 

B.Sc. (Hons.) Biology

A full-time 3-year B.Sc. (Hons.) course in biology designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the topics and concepts pertaining to the both traditional and modern biology. The course covers essential core subjects, including biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, ethology and evolution,  diversity of plants and animals, conservation biology, plant and animal biology, animal form and function, and research methods for the biological sciences, as well as more specialised subjects, including microbiology, parasitology and immunology, bioinformatics and genomics, biotechnology, marine biology, aquaculture and fisheries biology.

A full course description is available here.

Joint (Hons.) B.Sc. Biology 

A full-time 4-year B.Sc. (Hons.) course, where students can choose a combination of two subject areas from those offered by Faculty of Science Departments:

M.Sc. Biology by Research

A research-based postgraduate programme which supports the professional development of biologists by emphasising practical research methods and skills. Students are required to write a dissertation based on research work of an advanced and original nature on a specific topic, under the supervision of staff at the Department of Biology. The research will generally be laboratory and/or field-based, although in certain cases work could be based on existing data-sets or literature research, provided that an original scientific contribution is made. 

A full course description is available here.

M.Sc. Applied Biology

A new full-time 1-year or part-time 2-year M.Sc. course focussing on applied biology, a scientific discipline at the forefront of research and technological developments in the life sciences. Students will gain knowledge and practical experience on the application of biological knowledge to solving practical problems in a variety of biology disciplines, including: techniques in molecular biology, biotechnology, the maintenance of natural living resources, terrestrial and aquatic food production, applied biochemistry, ecosystems and biodiversity, ecotoxicology and pollution studies, applied bioinformatics, and the importance of ecosystem goods and services. A dedicated module on research methods in applied biology and the completion of a scientific research project will provide students with hands on research experience.

Further information on this course, which will be offered for the first time in October 2018, is available here

M.Phil. and Ph.D. Biology

Academic staff at the Department of Biology conduct cutting-edge research in a variety of biological disciplines, including in particular: applied biotechnology; bioactivity of plant extracts; microbiology; ecological assessment and monitoring; fisheries science and fish biology; functional ecology and ethology; marine ecology; biogeography of the Maltese Islands; marine and terrestrial botany; marine pollution and environmental quality; population genetics; biodiversity and conservation biology. 

Students interested in furthering their postgraduate studies in these fields of study should identify a suitable supervisor in the first instance, and contact the relevant staff member to define a research project proposal. Once a suitable project has been identified, students will be invited to apply for an M.Phil. degree, which can eventually be transferred to a Ph.D. if all requirements are met. 

Further information on pursuing doctoral research at the University of Malta is available here

Last Updated: 26 November 2018

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