Zoology

What is Zoology?

Zoology is the study of animals, how they evolve, move, behave, develop and function. We consider five core areas to be central to the understanding of zoology, and we base our courses around these themes:

  • Evolution
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Physiology
  • Development
  • Field work

Why study Zoology?

Most of us are drawn to Zoology by a fascination with animals and a curiosity-based drive to understand how they function, behave and evolve. However, the study of zoology is more important in the 21st century than ever. As a Zoologist you will have the opportunity to play a part in understanding how animals interact with their environment, how organisms play a part in various ecosystems, and how we as humans can try and avoid damaging the wildlife of the world.

MBiol, BSc Zoology (Integrated Masters) has received interim accreditation by the Society of Biology. Find out more about MBiol BSc Accreditation (pdf download).

This programme is also available part time. Please contact the Lifelong learning centre for more information.

See also: Ecology and Environmental Biology

Course Overview

Our Zoology course will give you a deep and broad understanding of whole organism Zoology. Working with some of the leading experts in the field, you will undertake field work, practicals, and theoretical study to become a zoologist in your own right. A highlight for many students are the field courses we offer throughout the degree. There is also the option to visit the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya in your fourth year of the MBiol. Visit Mpala Live! to see round-the-clock views of hippos, elephants, and other incredible species in Kenya’s Laikipia County, the area that surrounds the Mpala Research Centre and see where you could be studying.

Year 1 BSc Year 2 BSc Year 3 BSc
Programme modules
  • Biology Practicals and Data Analysis
  • Cell Biology
  • Diversity of Life
  • Introduction to Genetics
All students take the programme-specified modules as shown below. In addition, students can take modules specified for other biology programmes, optional modules or an elective module. All students undertake a research project and choose modules from amongst those identified as appropriate to their programme. Illustrative examples of the wide choice available are provided below

Programme Options

  • Ecology in a Changing World
  • Coastal & Upland Habitats Field Course
  • Research Experience & Skills Level 1
  • Lives of Carnivores; Tutorials for Zoology

Programme Options

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Organismal Evolution
  • Population & Community Ecology
  • Animal Physiology: from Ants to Whales
  • Animal Developmental Biology
  • Experimental Design & Analysis
  • Research Experience & Skills
  • Marine Zoology Field Course

Programme Options

  • Bats: From Ecology to Conservation
  • Advanced Topics in Evolution
  • Advanced Topics in Zoology
  • Social Insect Biology
  • Animal Metabolism & Nutrition
  • Applied Animal Science
  • Behavioural Ecology, Sex & Parasites

Total Credits: 120

Total Credits: 120

Total Credits: 120

Course changes may occur given the fast-moving nature of the field and above is an indicative list only.

BSc year one

Year one is a fantastic introduction to Zoology, familiarising you with everything from genetics and whole organism biology to ecology. Not only will you begin field work right from your first year, but you will also carry out short research projects during your first year, giving you the chance to get immersed into the world of scientific research right from the beginning.

BSc year two

In year two you will begin to specialise in the core topics of Zoology, including animal behaviour and animal physiology. Whilst continuing to develop your laboratory skills and zoological understanding, you will also have the chance, at the end of the year, to undertake a year in industry or a study year abroad, a great opportunity to broaden your skills and experiences.

BSc year three

In year three you will use the skills and knowledge you have developed in your first two years to study topics that are at the cutting edge of zoological research, such as animal science and bat behaviour. Under the supervision of one of our field leading experts you will also undertake your own independent research project in a topic that interests you.

MBiol year three and four

Year three of the MBiol will help prepare you for the step up to Masters of year four, through literature review projects and preparation modules, undertaken alongside other compulsory and optional modules.

Year 4 will offers an optional field course to Africa. The African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. It provides 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.

In year four you will not only study Masters level modules in topics such as conservation genetics, but you will also undertake an extended research project, working alongside professional researchers in a unique and thriving research environment.

Please note that year one and two are the same as the BSc for the MBiol.

To find out more about this MBiol degree programme download our guide and our overview on MBiol programmes

Teaching

Our degrees are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The first and second year will see a focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge for your final year research project, which will see independent research and learning complemented with the guidance of leading experts.

Typical timetable (3 year BSc)

  • A typical week in year one includes twelve hours of lectures, a three hour practical session in the lab, additional workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
  • Year two includes nine hours of lectures and nine hours of practicals, with a one hour tutorial or workshop, plus private study.
  • Year three week includes nine hours of lectures and extended time in a research laboratory, plus private study.

Discover more about our teaching.

The structure of your course will depend on the pathway that you choose:

Qualification

Course Title

Duration

BSc

Zoology

3 years

BSc

Zoology with industrial placement year

4 years

BSc

Zoology with a study year abroad

4 years

MBiol, BSc

Zoology

4 years

MBiol, BSc

Zoology with industrial placement year

5 years

MBiol, BSc

Zoology with a study year abroad

5 years

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Key Information Set (KIS)

Zoology

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