why do you need to study biology


Biology is fundamental in the most literal sense of the word. Itвs all about how things live, breed, breathe and die, it\’s about the gears that keep us and everything else loudly chugging along. Itвs fascinating. Choose to study it at degree level and youвre set for a fascinating three years. If that practical ubiquity wasnвt enough to sway you, though, here are six reasons you might choose to get your Bachelors in Biological Studies. В
1. Flexibility Where more specific degrees like Forensics or Biochemistry root you in one particular biological discipline, Biological Sciences lets you taste a little bit of everything. Itвs like a world-buffet but with microbiology instead of sweet and sour chicken. Some courses will let you specialise in a particular area of interest but that remains your choice. If you want, youвre free to bounce from ecology, to cells, to marine life and back again. If youвre interested in every individual school of biology, or if youвre just a bit indecisive, a degree in Biological Sciences might be for you. 2. Lab and field work That flexibility means that, if you donвt want to, you never have to choose between lab and field work. Ecology students might never get the chance to don a lab coat and try out some pipettes, just as microbiologists will rarely ever lace up their boots for a walk through the woods. If youвre studying Biological Sciences, though, you get both in spades; one week might see you cramming cells under a microscope for a course in genetics and the next might have you grouping plants for a module on, well, plants.


Again, Biological Sciences is what you take if youвre feeling indecisive, or if you just can\’t bear to leave any one part of biology behind. В 3. You\’ll start to understand the world Itвs a bit of an adage that, if a particular topic affects us every day, if we have to live and breathe and work in its presence, then itвs probably worth studying. That definitely holds true for the Biological Sciences. This stuff is everywhere; itвs whizzing away when you eat your lunch, when youвre throwing coffee down your gullet to prep for a 9am lecture, when you walk your dog, when you\’re browsing the internet for guidance about what degree to take. Study Biological Sciences and it\’s impossible not to come face-to-face with whatever it is youвre learning about. It forces you to get under the skin of everything you see, to think about the mechanics whirring around under the hood of the world. If that sounds fascinating, and if you like never quite being able to escape your work, a Biological Sciences degree is almost definitely for you. В 4. ResearchВ Where some degrees make the student a filter for pre-existing knowledge, a Biological Sciences degree will often ask that you go out there and conduct research of your own, pursuing a question of your own concoction.


Not only is this exceptionally fun, itвll help develop the kind of skills employers drool over. You\’ll be working in a team, so you\’ll develop skills in communication, delegation, research and management. 5. Postgraduate options Though thereвs nothing stopping you launching into a career the second you get your mortarboard, one of the best things about a degree in Biological Sciences is the way it lends itself to post-graduate study. Because itвs both driven by research and flexible enough to let you find what youвre interested in, specialising by undertaking a master\’s degree is almost a natural step forward, and plenty of Biological Sciences students go on to take MAs in subjects like Biochemistry and Environmental Biology. In short, itвs a really strong way of kickstarting a research-based career. В Why study biology? The study of biology connects us to the world we are living in and reminds us of our interconnectedness with all other life forms. It develops awareness of the significance of New Zealand\’s unique fauna and flora and distinctive ecosystems. It provides opportunities to learn about the processes of all living things. What students learn is directly relevant to our species and environment. By studying biology, students learn to make more informed decisions about their own health and about significant biological issues such as genetically modified crops, the use of antibiotics, and the eradication of invasive species.


Biology helps students to recognise the importance of agriculture and horticulture for New Zealand, and, potentially, to contribute to its future. Biologists help New Zealand maintain its position as a leading breeder of new varieties and more efficient/productive plants and animals. Biologists contribute to medical and biotechnological advances. Biologists are also at the cutting edge of ecological conservation research. By studying biology, students become much more aware of ecological issues, and better able to debate situations where exploitation of the environment (for example, for farming, mining, or energy production purposes) clashes with conservation objectives, or where we need to develop more sustainable ways of using our natural resources (for example, soil, land, or water). Agronomist, animal behaviour scientist, animal welfare officer, biochemist, biotechnologist, cheese production supervisor, conservation biologist, environmental analyst, environmental ecologist, environmental manager, environmental officer, fisheries scientist, food and drink technologist, forestry technician, genetics technician, marine biologist, meat biochemist, medical sciences technician, nursery grower, plant pathologist, plant physiologist, quarantine officer, research manager, secondary school science teacher, zoologist. Why study? Last updated March 30, 2012

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