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BSc (Hons)

Zoology

Snake
  • UCAS code(s): C304 / C305
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Three years full-time or four years with placement

Zoology is a fundamental biological discipline that forms the basis of many applied animal science subjects. You will explore the animal kingdom and study a range of topics such as physiology, genetics, evolution, ecology, animal behaviour and data interpretation along with animal taxonomy and phylogenetics.

If you have any questions about our Zoology course, you can now chat to our experienced lecturers and course leaders through Unibuddy.

Why choose this course?

  • We're ranked in the top ten in the UK for our animal science courses (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021).
  • You will be based at our Brackenhurst Campus and have access to our modern Animal Unit, which houses over 250 animals from 70 different species, as well as a range of laboratories.
  • You'll also have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus eco-library.
  • You will engage in field trips and practical sessions throughout the course. In your final year there is a core residential field course, as well as an additional optional residential field course within the Aquatic Zoology module.

Which course is right for you?

We offer four animal science degrees, each with a different focus:

  • BSc (Hons) Zoology (this course) - covers a diverse range of invertebrate and vertebrate species in relation to their biology, evolution, taxonomy and identification.
  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology - focuses on managed domestic species such as companion, working and farm animals.
  • BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology - focuses on captive housed zoo animals and exotic species.
  • FdSc Animal Science - is more vocational, with greater emphasis on practical and applied skills.

What you'll study

You will explore evolutionary processes and adaptations, including natural selection and the associated DNA coding. This is used to support the study of taxonomy and classification, animal form and function, ecology and environmental impact.

You will look at hierarchical organisation, from molecules to cells, to tissues to organisms, to populations to ecosystems. You will also be trained in the identification of a significant range of species using a variety of methods. Furthermore, you will learn to manage and handle taxonomic data and apply your findings to the broader issues of conservation.

  • Year One

    Animal Behaviour

    Study patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do in managed housing systems.

    Animal Reproduction and Genetics

    Learn the underpinning principles of animal genetics and how these link with reproductive physiology. Practical sessions will investigate assisted reproductive technologies and how these increase an animal’s reproductive success in captivity.

    Anatomy and Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species. Practicals will teach you to identify the different tissues associated with major organs and body functions.

    Pathogen Biology

    Learn about the biology of the different microorganisms and common pathogens in animals. This module will mix practicals and theory to establish pathogen classification, structure and reproduction.

    Principles of Ecology

    Study the interaction of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors in relation to the distribution of populations and communities within ecosystems.

    Fundamentals of Taxonomy

    Study the principles of taxonomy and evolution and develop the skills needed to identify extant animal species across a range of familiar and some unfamiliar taxa. You will also be introduced to ethical, legal and sustainability concepts relevant to zoology.

  • Year Two

    Animal Genetics

    Learn the principles and techniques of molecular genetics in relation to animal science. Explore the mechanisms of change within a genome. Develop an awareness of genetic applications and associated ethics within modern society.

    Physiology of Behaviour

    Explore the way in which animals behave in relation to their environment. Learn and understand key areas of mammalian physiology and pharmacology, and how this relates to behaviour.

    Research Skills

    Explore the principles of scientific investigation in relation to animal science. Topics covered include experimental design, data generation and collection, and data analysis. You'll also explore commonly used statistical packages.

    Vertebrate Zoology

    Explore, from an evolutionary perspective, the biology of a range of chordate and vertebrate taxa. You will analyse the factors that have driven evolution and extinction, and engage in discussion of the evolutionary processes, phylogeny and the science (including genetics) used to investigate these concepts.

    Invertebrate Zoology

    You will evaluate, through a series of lab and fieldtrip based practical exercises, the form and function of a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate species and their adaptations to the environment. Investigate the effectiveness of these adaptations for survival and the mechanisms involved in their evolution and the phylogenetic tracing of this.

    Biology of Host Parasite Relationships

    Become immersed in the fascinating and sometimes gruesome world of parasites. Parasites have evolved diverse and complex mechanisms in order to successfully parasitise their hosts and to adapt to both the micro and macro habitats that they inhabit. Within this module you will investigate these relationships and explore the evolutionary processes that have led to them, alongside further development of classification and reflective skills.

  • Year Three

    This is a placement year for students on the four-year course.

  • Final year

    Dissertation

    You will undertake an independent research project. This is an opportunity to take an in-depth look at a subject of personal interest to you within the field of zoology.

    Zoology in the Field

    You will attend a residential field course as a major part of this module. The module brings together the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course and supports you in applying these concepts and skills within the context of field work. You will further develop your ability to apply reflective practice, provide feedback, collaborate and think critically.

    Animal Cognition and Behaviour

    Apply zoological concepts studied during the first and second year (behaviour, physiology, genetics, evolution and phylogeny) to investigate contemporary issues within animal behaviour and cognition across a range of invertebrate and vertebrate taxa, including humans. Active collaborative learning will support you in developing your critical thinking, communication and feedback skills.

    Zoology Applications and Advances

    Integrate the knowledge and skills gained in earlier stages of the course and explore their applications within industry and research. Both well established and contemporary applications of the zoological sciences (e.g. genetics, physiology, taxonomy, ecology and behaviour) will be explored using a collaborative learning and solutions-based approach. Further develop essential graduate skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

    You'll also choose one optional module:

    Anthrozoology

    Explore all facets of human-animal interaction, including implications on wild animal behaviour and conservation, the use of zoo animal ambassadors, human-animal relationships and the human-animal bond.

    Aquatic Zoology

    Discuss and evaluate a range of issues such as overfishing, climate change, and pollution, including current focuses on noise pollution, microplastics, agricultural runoff, and endocrine-disruptors. Learning is supported by a residential field course that allows students to engage with an aquatic environment and the anthropogenic and community factors that influence it.

How you’re taught

You will learn through a combination of interactive team based learning, workshops, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and fieldwork on our rural campus. Core scientific study is complemented by our Animal Unit.

Throughout the course you will be assessed using a range of assessment types. These include; practical assessments, portfolios, assignments, project work, presentations, posters, web sites, video presentations, case studies, examinations and a final year dissertation.

The course uses a combination of delivery methods, including fully online, on-campus learning and blended learning (a combination of on-campus learning and online learning).

Careers and employability

Your future career

A degree in zoology provides you with a widely recognised science qualification, in addition to a range of highly valuable transferable skills. It is common for students to continue their studies in a further degree or research.

Your potential areas for employment include:

  • environmental consultancy
  • government agencies
  • research laboratories
  • museums
  • field science and conservation agencies
  • data analysis
  • science communications across a variety of media.

Placement opportunities

We will support you to undertake work experience opportunities throughout your course. You can also take an optional placement year. We have links with zoos and safari parks, nature reserves, animal research organisations and conservation groups across the UK and internationally.

Teaching on this course is supported by our purpose built Animal Unit - home to around 250 animals from 70 different species.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB, including Biology grade C and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in Biology and excluding General Studies; and
  • GCSEs – English, maths and science grade C / 4.

Applicants without A-levels will have their applications assessed for subject compatibility.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Please remember to include any information about relevant work experience.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK, and a maximum of £300 for compulsory overseas residential field courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee and other non-compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at full cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons and waterproof trousers and coat and overalls for working on the animal unit.

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK, and a maximum of £300 for compulsory overseas residential field courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee and other non-compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at full cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons and waterproof trousers and coat and overalls for working on the animal unit.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418