Why choose this course?
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.
- 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.
Want to find out more?
What will I study?
Course modules will cover areas such as:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Exotic Animal Management
- Animal Behaviour
- Biodiversity and Ecology
- Principles of Animal Science
- Zoo Animal Health and Disease
- Management of Reproduction in Exotics
- Research Skills
- Biological Basis of Behaviour
- Zoo Nutrition
- Zoo Organisation
- Placement year for students on a sandwich course
- Adaptive Physiology
- Issues Relating to Exotics
- Zoo Animal Management
- Behaviour Management
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed using a variety of methods including the following.
- Assignments - 30%
- Portfolio - 33%
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."
For 2016 entry you will need one of the following:
- 280 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels (or two As-levels and two A-levels) including A-level Biology grade C or above, excluding General Studies)
- a BTEC Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (including relevant Biology modules).
You will also need GCSE Maths, English and Science at grade C or above.
Work experience in the animal sector is highly desirable - sectors include pet shops, zoos, animal conservation projects, wildlife sanctuaries, stables, veterinary practices, kennels, RSPCA and similar.
If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.
International and EU students also need to meet the English language requirements. Also see the full list of alternative qualifications for EU and international students.
How to apply
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.
Take a look at our guide to writing an effective personal statement. Use it when you start writing your UCAS application. Good luck with your application.
General course enquiries/open day information:
Telephone: +44 (0)1636 817099
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."
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