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BSc in Biology

From molecules to ecosystems — understand patterns and processes of life.

Introduction

For centuries, human beings have been fascinated with questions about life, how it propagates and where we come from. Biology studies living organisms and life processes to answer these questions.

Our programme encourages you to observe and explore the life around you while making connections across disciplines. We equip you with quantitative skills and the ability to conduct independent work. 

Our programme is focused on understanding the uses and relevance of biology and education. We train you to read biological texts, learn skills for conducting experiments, data analysis and visualisation, and understand how knowledge is created in this scientific discipline. 

iThink Biology is a new online textbook for undergraduate biology students. The website is free, prioritizes the development of essential skills of the student over memorizing content, and is based completely on Indian examples. We invite you to use this book to study and teach biology through an interdisciplinary lens, with an emphasis on the importance of biology for society and the environment.

WE BRING YOU INTERDISCIPLINARY OPENNESS

Our degree encourages you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning a variety of subjects across disciplines.

A COMMON CURRICULUM FOR ALL STUDENTS

You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your degree to build all the tools you need for your three years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and a workshop in creative expressions.

WE OFFER ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE

We provide active academic assistance and ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the academic programme to fulfil your aspirations.

WE ENSURE FINANCIAL SUPPORT 

We ensure that no student has to drop out of university because of financial trouble or social disadvantage. We provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Living on campus

We believe that learning happens inside and outside the classroom, and that in living together that our students can meet and encounter diverse people from different social and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Our campus has a range of activities from discussion groups to sports and clubs for our students and faculty to interact with each other and build meaningful relationships over three years of study.

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Course structure

Our courses provide a rigorous and integrative exposure to the life sciences. Our programme ensures that you:

  • Learn about length and time scales: from molecules to ecosystems, from milliseconds to millenia.
  • Understand the relationship of disciplines within biology and the field of biology to other branches of science.
  • Are aware of the relevance of biological tools and techniques to understand how to sensitively address the relationship between the life sciences and society. 
  • Read biological texts and work with experimental skills to work in academia and the laboratory.
  • Grow familiar with data analysis and visualisation techniques. 

You can choose between:

BSc in Biology (84 credits)

This is elementary for the undergraduate degree with a Major in Biology.

BSc in Biology with Honours (96 credits)

We offer you the opportunity to take up an additional research project around a topic and work closely with a member of the faculty to write a thesis, and study additional courses.

We believe that it is important that you understand the broader contexts of each discipline and the porous borders between them. We encourage you to make links between your chosen field of study and the world in which we live.

We introduce you to different modes of thought and themes, including writing and communication skills, strong critical abilities, a facility for language, and the ability to connect ideas across fields of study and inquiry.

  • Foundations

    These courses will help you develop a toolkit to prepare for your undergraduate study. You will develop your critical reading and writing skills and communication abilities.

    The key areas you will work on are language capacities, reading, writing and speaking. We will work with different forms of writing, ranging from autobiographical writing to mappings and note-taking. These classes will include classroom discussions, presentations, collaborative works, group work and practicums.

  • Creative Expressions

    In this set of courses, you will explore embodied ways of learning through a sustained practice of an art form or a sport. You could choose from a variety of interests including, but not limited to woodwork, martial arts, music, theatre, dance, yoga and visual art.

  • Understanding India

    In these courses, we will explore the nature and diversity of the Indian experience. We study the vast diversity of historical, cultural and linguistic aspects that define Indianness.

    You will learn to understand how the subcontinent has changed in its environment, across geography, geology and territory. We will think together about debates on the people who live here, their culture, and the larger questions around population and inequality. Most importantly, we examine the many structures that organise Indian society.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies

    You can choose one interdisciplinary area of study of four courses and a field practice of two weeks. These courses are about current Indian and global scenarios, whether social, political, cultural or ecological conditions.

    • Development

      Development aims to create social conditions for individual and social well being. How are development issues framed and what issues are involved in bringing about social change? What are the theoretical, conceptual and practical contestations around the political project that is development? This set of courses explores the many interdisciplinary fields like the humanities, social sciences, science and technology that inform development challenges.

    • Education

      In this set of courses, you will learn the nature and content of education, and its context and structure, especially in India. We begin by a broad overview of what a democratic conception of education entails, and what the values and ethics that define educational structures are. We examine aspects of education that encourage learning and the role of a teacher in the learning process. will explore and evaluate classroom practices and environments and learn how educational processes determine what is worth teaching.

    • Media and Democracy

      Over the course of time, human communication has been mediated by market-driven technology and gadgets. In turn, these forms of communications shape the public sphere in which ideas of what we are circulate. Modernity has had a close relationship with communication technologies.

      This is a set of courses to help you understand what role media and technologies play in shaping democracy, democratic policies and publics in India. We live in a world of unprecedented access to information. Media and communication have the capacity to deepen democracy but also the ability to foster anti-democratic politics.

    • Climate Studies

      These courses will help you develop the knowledge necessary to understand the earth’s climate systems. You will examine and analyse the role of human activity on the earth’s climate and its effects on the present and future climate scenarios, and identify the effects of climate change on biodiversity through the lens of historical changes in the Holocene. We hope you will apply systems thinking to examine the origins of the climate crisis and proposed solutions and grow comfortable with civic engagement and transfer of knowledge and resources for climate solutions at different levels.

    • Data, Democracy and Development

      The set of courses will orient you to think about data as an essential part of building empathy and democratic values. We ensure you have the requisite tools for data collection, analysis, presentation, and dissemination so that you can construct the right platforms and build technologies that embody democratic principles. These courses will foster a culture of investigation with data, keeping in mind questions of ethics and politics.

      • Development as Freedom

        Common Curriculum

        Build a broad based perspective on poverty, inequality, social policies and constitutional principles using the capabilities approach.

We help you study biological phenomena across scales of space and time and concepts around these. We explore how history and society have impacted biology as a discipline and vice versa.

Our core courses sometimes require an understanding of other scientific disciplines, and to ensure that you are able to study with ease, we offer you supportive courses in methods, chemistry, mathematics and physics. 

You can choose additional subjects in biology according to your interests in areas you want to learn more about. You can also select three courses from elective courses in Ecology and Environment or Computational and Integrative Biology.

  • Ecology and Environment

    This track is designed for students who are interested in ecology and environmental biology. It will build upon fundamental concepts of ecology covered in the Introduction to Biology courses and allow students to gain a deeper understanding of methods used to study our natural surroundings and the effect of human activity on our environment.

  • Computational and Integrative Biology

    This track is designed for students who are keen on understanding molecular and cellular scale processes through multiple perspectives including computational analysis and physical laws. Students will be able to appreciate why multiple perspectives are needed to study phenomena operating at a range of time and length scales (such as development).

We give you the option to engage in a deeper way with a subdiscipline of biology. To do an Honours degree, you need to study additional courses and evolve a project to research, present and write as a thesis. We will train you to pose scientific questions, conceptualise hypotheses, conduct experiments and document your results. 

For this pathway, you need to study additional courses, as well as choose between Ecology and Environment or Computational and Integrative Biology for your Honours work. 

  • Ecology and Environment

    This track is designed for students who are interested in ecology and environmental biology. It will build upon fundamental concepts of ecology covered in the Introduction to Biology courses and allow students to gain a deeper understanding of methods used to study our natural surroundings and the effect of human activity on our environment.

  • Computational and Integrative Biology

    This track is designed for students who are keen on understanding molecular and cellular scale processes through multiple perspectives including computational analysis and physical laws. Students will be able to appreciate why multiple perspectives are needed to study phenomena operating at a range of time and length scales (such as development).

Total 96 credits

Faculty