You will be introduced to the study of zoology through core modules on how zoological research can address global challenges such as food security, invasive species and biodiversity conservation, using approaches from genetics and whole-organism biology to ecology and fieldwork. You will study the basics of how life works.
You will learn to conduct and present your own research on animal-related topics.
Year 1 compulsory field course: coastal & uplands habitats in Millport, Scotland.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.
Develop and strengthen your practical, experimental and analytical skills and begin to specialise in the core topics of zoology, including animal behaviour, development, evolution and physiology.
Year 2 compulsory field course: marine zoology in Pembrokeshire
Year 2 optional field courses: terrestrial ecology and behaviour in the Yorkshire Dales.
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
In your final year, you will carry out your own full independent research. Projects can be field, lab, literature- or computer-based and our best students have published their projects as scientific papers.
This will give you the chance to use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained so far to carry out a project focusing on a topic that interests you under the supervision of one of our field-leading experts. Diverse projects reflect the expertise of our staff, with study systems involving birds, whales, invasive species, parasites, crop pests and farm animals.
You’ll study topics at the cutting edge of zoological research, including the evolution of animal culture, behavioural ecology, conservation, animal science and bird behaviour.
Year 3 optional field course: South Africa field course
Integrated Masters (MBiol)
Our integrated masters MBiol programme shares the same year 1 and 2 studying with our BSc programme, providing a foundation knowledge and skills. MBiol offers and extended research project and Masters level modules in year 4, with research preparation modules in year 3.
Year 3 (MBiol)
In the MBiol year three, all content will be the same as for the BSc, except for your research project. Your research project will contain two components, first a literature review, and second a research proposal. Both components will link to the research project you will conduct in Year 4, and form the foundation for your independent research project. You will join the research group of your supervisor in year 3.
Year 4 (MBiol)
You will carry out your independent project by joining a lab/ research group at the cutting edge of research. This helps to develop the high-level research and professional skills that will serve you well in your future career. You’ll also choose Masters-level modules such as population dynamics, infectious diseases, and conservation genetics.
Year 4 field course option: African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. It will provide you with a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area.
Part time study
This course is also available to study part-time over 6 years. If you choose this option you'll study alongside our full-time students and the course content will be the same, but delivered at 50% of the intensity. As these courses are delivered primarily for full-time students you may need to attend the University on several occasions each week. Times are likely to vary with each new semester and will depend on the scheduling of compulsory modules and your choice of optional and elective modules.
Details of typical modules/components for our courses will now be published after July 1st (instead of May 1st), due to current limitations as a result of covid-19. These details may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, practicals and field research. Your first and second years will focus on these teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study.
Residential field courses provide an opportunity to study animals in their natural environment, with small group teaching and projects in animal development, behaviour, ecology and conservation.
As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are also crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.