Ever since its foundation in the 15th century, Magdalen has had a very strong tradition of research and teaching in the natural sciences.

We are one of the larger colleges in the University for Biology and typically admit six or seven undergraduates for this subject each year. Biologists at Magdalen tend to be highly motivated and go on to pursue many diverse and interesting careers. A large proportion of our graduates continue with postgraduate degrees in biological subjects, either at Master’s level or through research for a doctorate. One of the key reasons for this commitment to biology at Magdalen is that we have a dedicated group of Fellows and Tutors involved in teaching, creating a vibrant and exciting environment in which to study all aspects of this subject.

Our core teaching team comprises three tuptorial fellows based in three different University departments: Professor Andrew Smith, who is a plant scientist specializing in physiological and biochemical adaptations to environmental stress; Professor Tim Barraclough, an evolutionary biologist in the Department of Zoology who works on speciation, adaptive divergence and diversity patterns; and Professor Stephen Goodwin, a tutor in Biomedical Sciences, who teaches genetics. Our students may also benefit from interaction with professorial fellow Liam Dolan, the Sherardian Professor of Botany, and with Professor Laura Fortunato, a tutor in Human Sciences who has overlapping interests in evolutionary anthropology.

The College is able to support Biologists who wish to undertake fieldwork or internships during the vacations through a generous Travel and Research Grants scheme.

Entry requirements



Written work

None required.

Specific subjects

Biology is essential; plus either Chemistry, Physics, or Maths. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.

Deferred entry

Applications for deferred entry will be considered on their merits.