For admission to the three-year Degree Course in Biology, students must possess a secondary high school diploma, or another qualification attained abroad and recognized as being equivalent. Because knowledge of foundation scientific notions is considered important, an initial test will be performed, whose results may determine an invitation to take part in courses (zero credits) that prepare students for attendance of the official courses.
Key learning outcomes
The degree course in Biology was designed to give graduates a satisfactory foundation in the principal sectors of biology, and familiarity with specific methods of scientific research, so that they possess the following skills:
multidisciplinary methodological and technological skills for biological research; consolidated operational and applied skills in the field of biology, and more specifically, technical procedures for biological analyses, and a wide range of instrumental techniques, both for research and for monitoring and control; good written and oral knowledge of at least one European Union language, above all English; adequate skills and tools for the communication and management of scientific information; good skills at working as part of a group, of working with a sufficient degree of independence, with the capability of rapidly settling into a professional role at the workplace; and the basic academic skills necessary for the ongoing extension of one’s knowledge in the field.
The employment opportunities for these graduates comprise theoretical and applied research at public and private institutes, in various industrial sectors (biotechnology, agriculture and foods, pharmaceuticals) and in the biomedical field. Graduates will be able to rapidly enter positions of employment in Italy, Europe and further afield, as they will also have good knowledge of the English language, and good skills in the communication and management of information.
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course cycle, students will have acquired a good scientific foundation, and they will have detailed knowledge of the major sectors of research and applications in the field of Biology. By means of this learning, graduates will have the necessary academic skills to continue their studies fruitfully in Master’s Degree courses, above all those in classes LM-6 (Biology), LM-8 (Industrial biotechnology), and LM-9 (Medical, veterinary and pharmaceutical biotechnology). In addition, students will become familiar with the English language, enabling them to work with this language and understand scientific texts in English. They may also develop analogous skills in another European Union language.
The assessment of the students’ knowledge and understanding of the most important themes of Biology will be based on lectures with comprehensive illustrative documentation, the study of textbooks chosen for their clarity and authoritative scientific approach, frequent interviews with professors, and written tests during the academic year.
Applying knowledge and understanding
By means of the consolidated scientific approach acquired during the course, biology graduates will possess the skills necessary for working in private and public structures in various industrial sectors (for example, biotechnology, agriculture and foods, pharmacology), the biomedical field (analytical laboratories), the biodiversity and environment sector for the assessment and management of biological resources in ecosystems, and the area of environmental quality.
Graduates will be able to rapidly enter positions of employment in Europe and further afield, as they will also have good knowledge of the English language, and good skills in the communication and management of information.
The attainment of these skills will be developed by means of the professors’ constant reference to the applications of theoretical material treated during the lectures. The skills will be assessed during the examination by means of tests based on the application of the knowledge learned.
The consolidated foundation scientific training, along with specific knowledge, including methodological techniques, in the most important sectors of biological science, will enable graduates to understand and critically develop a wide range of biological themes, both in the areas of employment, and during further studies (Master’s Degrees, University Masters), both in Italy and abroad.
The attainment of skills in independent judgement is encouraged by the organization of academic work, facilitating students’ active participation in discussion sessions programmed as part of the academic courses specific to the different subject areas. The independence of judgement attained will be specifically assessed during the examination.
Through the experience that they have acquired during the course and periods of laboratory work experience, Biology graduates will have developed excellent skills in independent learning, both as regards theoretical research in specific areas typical of successive Master’s Degree courses, and in contexts concerning practical laboratory work (at manufacturers or analytical laboratories, or at University laboratories).
The attainment of sufficient learning skills will be encouraged by an all-round student orientation approach on the part of the course professors. It will be assessed by means of interviews with work experience supervisors during its conduction.
At the end of the course, Biology graduates will have learnt the skill of communicating knowledge, opinions and conclusions, clearly and comprehensibly to both specialists and non specialists, and to give oral presentations and written reports on their work to a wide range of counterparts, if necessary using specific audio-visual equipment.
This ability will be encouraged and assessed by means of public reports provided by students on specific subjects assigned by professors in the various subject areas. It will also be assessed in the final examination, during which students will be asked to provide a written and oral presentation of the biological techniques and themes that they worked on during their work experience session.
Final examination, if any
During the third year of the degree course, a practical training (work experience) session will be held, in which students attend University laboratories, or public or private-sector companies or research institutes. Work experience will be coordinated by a supervising professor. These activities will provide a total of 15 credits. At the end of the work experience session, and after having passed all the respective examinations, graduating students will discuss their laboratory work with the Degree Commission.