This course will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of animal biology and the ability to apply this to the rapidly expanding animal industry. Lectures cover the major scientific principles of:
You will learn to apply these principles to:
The Zoo Biology route focuses on the biology of exotic animals, namely non-domestic and non-UK wildlife and applies this to all aspects of management and species conservation of both captive and non-captive populations.
Why choose this course?
- This course is recognised by the Society of Biology.
- We have strong links with UK zoos and wildlife parks.
- You will have access to our modern animal unit on campus which houses over 200 animals.
- Field trips include zoo visits and an optional conservation projects trip in Mauritius.
- Teaching is informed by current research undertaken by academics in the School.
- Our brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus library opened in 2013.
- You can spend six months on international exchange with a partner university in Australia, Canada or Hungary during your second year of study.
Want to find out more?
UCAS code: C300 BSc/Zoo (FT) C303 (Sandwich)
Please see the Applying
Course length: Three years full-time or four years with placement
Study location: Brackenhurst campus
Fees and funding:Please see our applying and fees section.
How many places are available on the course?
There are approximately 45 places.
When does the course start?
Please see the academic calendar for course dates.
Where will I study?
Brackenhurst campus has a number of specialist units for:
- farm studies.
These include an Animal Unit housing over 200 animals and representing over 60 different species. The campus also includes a range of semi-natural and constructed habitats which provide a valuable resource for you.
What will I study?
- Anatomy and Physiology will give you a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species.
- Animal Practice Relating to Exotics gives students a fundamental working knowledge of the legal framework relating to ex situ and in situ conservation. You will gain a global perspective and understanding of the issues which influence the management of exotic species.
- Exotic Animal Management covers successful approaches to management. You will also find out about the constraints imposed by captivity. Your handling skills will be developed.
- Animal Behaviour and Legislation looks at patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do, both in captivity and in the wild.
- Biodiversity and Ecology refers to the diversity of life on Earth. Major topics covered include:
- measurements of biodiversity
- conservation of species and ecology
- the relationship between animals and their environment.
- Principles of Animal Science will develop your understanding of key biological and chemical principles of relevance to Animal Science. You will also develop a range of practical laboratory skills necessary for your future study of social, nutritional and environmental needs.
- Zoo Animal Health and Disease introduces the principles of animal health and disease, including pathogenic organisms, a range of common diseases, and their symptoms and treatments.
- Management of Reproduction in Exotics will provide you with an overall understanding of genetics, reproduction and breeding. You will also look at the factors influencing reproductive success in captive and endangered species. You will examine how these can be addressed through knowledge of reproductive physiology and anatomy.
- Research Skills explores the principles of scientific investigation in relation to Animal Science. You will cover topics including:
- experimental design
- data generation and collection
- data analysis.
Teaching is supported in the laboratories and Animal Unit.
- Biological Basis of Behaviour will advance your knowledge and understanding of key areas of mammalian physiology, including cardiovascular, respiratory and excretory physiology and pharmacology.
- Zoo Nutrition aims to address issues facing the feeding of captive animal populations, specifically restrictions placed on diet provision in captivity.
- Zoo Organisation evaluates the role of zoological collections, and the implementation of legislative and non-legislative frameworks.
- Adaptive Physiology studies the physiological challenges presented by different environments and the adaptations that enable animals to overcome them.
- Issues Relating to Exotics will enable you to consolidate previous and concurrent areas of study and relate this knowledge to current animal issues. This module specifically focuses on those issues pertinent to exotic species and provides a forum for discussion and debate.
- The Dissertation module is an independent research project which provides an opportunity for an in-depth look at a subject of personal interest within the field of exotic species.
- Zoo Animal Management looks at the role of zoos and wildlife parks in the contexts of conservation, education and research, and at the reproduction of wild animal populations.
- Behaviour Management looks at the effects of captivity and domestication on animal behaviour and how these can be managed effectively in these animals. This module also addresses the effect of captivity on exotic species and aims to provide solutions from knowledge
You will have 13 hours of scheduled contact time per week, of which approximately two and a half hours will be practical work.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed using a variety of methods including the following.
- Assignments - 30%
- Portfolio - 33%
What do the course fees cover?
The annual fee for your undergraduate degree course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition.
- You will be given a pre-paid printing allowance of £20 (which currently equates to up to 400 sides of A4 black and white printing) for use in NTU Print Shops.
- We will supply you with laboratory equipment, coats and safety equipment, where required.
- Your tuition fees cover any additional administration fees for International Exchange.
What is not included in the fee?
You will need to budget for the following:
- general printing of coursework in addition to the printing allowance
- books and texts
- accommodation and travel costs
- travel and accommodation costs involved in year abroad, sandwich year or any placements you take
- graduation social events
- additional field trip or field work costs where not borne by the School.
Language classes are available via the University Language Programme at a very reasonable additional fee, alongside your chosen course. These do not bear credit towards your course.
Are you an international student?
Find out more about our entry requirements, fees and accommodation.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Investment in facilities
We have invested over £20 million in our facilities at Brackenhurst campus in the last eight years.
Our beautiful 200 hectare estate acts as an outdoor classroom for fieldwork and research.
The estate is home to a diverse range of species including kestrels, yellowhammers, hedgehogs, badgers and great crested newts.
You can take look at the facilities available on campus. These include the:
Our brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus library opened in 2013. The library building uses energy-efficient and low-carbon initiatives such as photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, intelligent lighting control, heat-reclaim ventilation during winter, renewable cladding materials, locally sourced materials and water-leak detection systems.
Our biodiversity analysis of the library site highlighted the need to check for protected species such as bats and great crested newts. We've created new ponds, fence-ringed areas and bespoke habitats as part of our mitigation strategy.
Peregrine falcons - live streaming
The Newton building at Nottingham Trent University has, for the last decade, been home to a breeding pair of peregrine falcons, who nest on an outside ledge near the top. Watch live footage or archive video of them nesting, laying eggs and rearing their chicks.
Green Flag status
Brackenhurst campus has been awarded the Green Flag status, a national award recognising green spaces throughout the country. We received the award along with other notable green spaces such as Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park and St James’s Park.
Your career development
Graduates from this course could potentially become a:
- Animal Health Officer
- Animal Trainer and Presenter
- Biochemistry Technician
- Education Officer
- Laboratory Technician
- Tropical Fish Consultant
- Veterinary Care Assistant
- Veterinary Receptionist
- Wildlife Conservation Advisor
- Zoo Keeper
You could work for companies such as:
- Department of Conservation for New Zealand
- Hôpital du Bocage
- Huntingdon Animal Research Life Sciences
- London Zoo
- Natural England
- Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
- Yorkshire Wildlife Park
What our students say
“My career aspirations have undoubtedly swayed towards the agricultural sector, with the aim to ultimately run a successful suckler herd and contribute to the beef industry with yearling calves. Currently the ability or opportunity to further advance my knowledge within the agricultural industry is of foremost importance, and the cattle farm at Brackenhurst is allowing me to understand differential techniques and business concepts. My dissertation entitled ‘Lincoln Red Young Bull Performance Scheme’ in conjunction with the Lincoln Red Cattle Society, recorded the performance of six young bulls for sire potential, aiding the growing demand on Lincoln Red genetics. The study also conveys findings about the introduction of European genetics into a native breed.”
BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology
Excellent placement opportunities
We will support you to undertake work experience placement opportunities where possible or a full sandwich year placement during your third year.
Links with industry enable you to gain valuable experience at zoological and wildlife parks throughout the course. Students have also gained valuable experience through placements at companies such as:
- Animal Health Trust
- Blackpool Zoo
- Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation
- Chester Zoo
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida, USA
- Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
- Endangered Primate Species Centre, Southern Vietnam
- Mauritius Wildlife Foundation
- Paignton Zoo
- West Midland Safari Park
The flexibility of these courses provides you with the opportunity to focus throughout your studies on the species of most interest to you.
What our students say
BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology
"I undertook a project placement in the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, South Africa. My research was on White Rhinos preferred home-range in relation to terrain type, habitat, co-specific conflict, affinity to water, grass species and size of range. The project was led by Operation Wallacea and took six weeks between June and August. My research found White Rhino on this reserve had no preference to grass species but had a significant preference towards the habitat grasslands and the terrain of the old lands and plateau."
BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology
"I applied for the BSc Zoo Biology course after reading the course description on the UCAS website and after I visited the campus on an open day I just loved the look and feel of the campus and was sold on coming to study at Brackenhurst.
"For me, a highlight of the course was having the opportunity to be taught by a range of lecturers with vast experience in the field – there has also been guest lecturers from the industry. The field trips to various zoos throughout the three years were also a highlight (and great fun!).
"During my course I took part in several small placements over the summer breaks, one being at Twycross Zoo. It has also enabled me to get an internship at Chester Zoo – they required me to have a degree in a biology related subject. Furthermore, the knowledge I gained on the course from the modules such as Zoo Animal Management, almost certainly helped me with the interview process for the internship.
"Studying at Brackenhurst has been an amazing experience because of the community feel the campus creates. Although it's small and out in the countryside it really is a great place to study."
You will need:
- 260 UCAS tariff points from three A-Levels or two A-Levels and two AS-Levels or equivalent (excluding General Studies)
- To include A-level Biology at grade C or above
- or a BTEC National Diploma or equivalent qualification in any science related subject with two merits and a distinction
- GCSE English, Maths and Science are required at grade C or above
- work experience in the animal sector.
International students please see the full list of alternative qualifications.
UCAS code: C300 BSc/Zoo
You can follow our step-by-step instructions when applying through UCAS.
Also ensure that you check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder, when you have applied. We may need to contact you during this time.
Writing a personal statement
Take a look at our guide to writing an effective personal statement. Use it when you start writing your UCAS application.
If you want to speak to us about this course, open days or how to apply, please get in touch using the following details.
Telephone: +44 (0)1636 817099 (Course and Open days)
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200 (How to apply)
Good luck with your application.
Please note the following information for applicants
Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200
or Ask us a question
"I would say that from attending Nottingham Trent University my greatest achievement would be my improved people skills, the degree course has really improved my confidence, it has made me so much more outgoing.
"The degree has also increased my confidence in handling and interacting with animals on the unit and on field trips.
"I found out about my course from UCAS and the Nottingham Trent University website, and attended an Open Day to get a real feel for the campus and University in general.
"The best thing about Brackenhurst campus are its location and facilities. I really value these and believe it aided my study no-end. The practical modules on the degree really added to the taught theory. The number of species that are available to handle on the unit and the labs available for more scientific procedures have deepened my understanding of the subject.
"I would like to undertake a master degree in a zoo subject and then hopefully work as a wildlife physiotherapist abroad with exotic animals."
Read more student profiles