The Department of Biology offers a wide range of activities for the public and school students of all ages. There are opportunities for school groups to visit the University to experience some hands-on activities and listen to talks, and members of the department go out to run activities in schools and at organised external events.
School visits and outreach
We offer a range of talks and hands-on activities suitable for students of all ages. These include talks about academic research, talks about our programmes and practical sessions both in our laboratories and workshops. For some of the hands-on activities we can lend schools equipment and give detailed instructions to enable teachers to run the activity with their own classes. Depending on availability we may be able to provide a scientist to run the activity.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss arranging an outreach session for your school. Details of University-wide services for schools are available at the University outreach pages.
Testimonials from schools
“A fabulous presentation on Species and Nature. We found it extremely interesting, informative and inspiring! Thank you so much!”
Year 6 class teacher.
“The students were fantastic with our children: [...] they loved the experience and gained some fascinating insights into the heart which they then used to produce a high-quality written explanation text about this organ. Thanks again to both students who were fantastic ambassadors for the university.”
Year 6 class teacher talking about a sheep heart dissection demonstration.
Unfortunately we are not able to offer any work experience activities at this time. We do have some fantastic online activities which you can take part in independently; these are our Bugs, Brains and Beasts MOOC (suitable for Year 12+) and our Biology Escape Room (suitable for Year 11+). We support our core first year Biology learning with a card game called Catastrophic, which was designed by students, for students. You can play Catastrophic online as well as in person at York (suitable for Year 12+). We also have some vlogs and blogs by our students talking about why they chose to study at York, why they chose to study their course here and also a day in the life of a student. You can find these on our Biology YouTube page and on the University Student Voices page.
Our staff and students talk about their exciting science at events from scientific conferences to talks to members of the general public. This includes participating in local events such as the York Festival of Ideas, YorNight and speaking in the Yorkshire Philosophical Society's Cafe Scientifique programme. Our staff and researchers are also involved in national and international outreach festivals including Soapbox Science and Pint of Science.
We organise a series of Biology Open Lectures each year which address important and topical biological subjects in an accessible manner suitable for lay audiences.
Admission is free and no booking is required. Each of the speakers is both a distinguished scientist and a good communicator. The lectures aim to capture the imagination of everyone interested in biology.
The University also organises a programme of Open Lectures covering a wide diversity of topics.
Student Engagement Team
Public engagement and schools outreach
Dr Adrian Harrison
Schools liaison for on campus practical lab sessions
Information and directions on how to find the Department of Biology can be found on our contact and find us page. This page includes maps, directions, opening times and Satellite navigation instructions.