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Previous experience and compatible courses

What kinds of students should consider doing this course?


Evolution and Behaviour provides a broad base for further studies across the whole spectrum of biology, and should be considered by all biologists, whether their primary interests lie in molecular and cellular disciplines, physiology, psychology, or in ecology and evolution. The course is also appropriate for physical scientists with an interest in evolutionary biology or psychology.

What previous experience is required?

An A level in Biology is not an essential requirement for this course, but some sixth-form level experience of Biology (e.g. AS level, IB, Scottish Highers) is definitely useful background.

With which other courses is Evolution and Behaviour compatible?

The course can be most usefully combined with Biology of Cells, Physiology of Organisms or Geology, but in fact it can be taken with any of the other 1st-year Natural Sciences courses. It is an excellent background for all the second-year biological courses, including cellular courses, but is particularly relevant to Animal Biology, Ecology, Experimental Psychology and Plant Sciences.

Structure of the course


There are three lectures per week, held in the Main Lecture Theatre of the Department of Zoology on the New Museums Site. Synopses of these lectures are given in the course handbook.


Biology is an experimental subject: the course therefore provides hands-on experience of basic techniques and experimental approaches and an opportunity to see a wide range of organisms. The practicals are an integral part of the course and it is essential that you attend them. They are held in the Elementary Laboratory of the Department of Zoology.
You will do a three-hour practical every other week either on a Monday or a Tuesday.
Both practicals run from 12 - 1, and 2 - 5.
You will have been registered for either the odd or even weeks of term.

Please ensure you sign the register for each practical class you attend. The register, along with other information, will be posted on the Evolution and Behaviour noticeboard in the Elementary Lab. If for some reason you cannot attend your assigned practical time please email with details.

You are expected to write up each practical. One practical from each half-term section will be formally assessed and form part of your total mark in this subject for the year as a whole. This assessed practical must be written up and handed in during the practical session.

Field Course

You have the opportunity to attend one of two one-week field courses held away from Cambridge in the Easter Vacation. More information...