BSc (Hons)

Animal Biology

Yellow snake
  • UCAS code(s): C301 / C302
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This degree will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of animal biology, and the ability to apply this knowledge to the rapidly expanding animal industry. You will study topics like anatomy and physiology, behaviour, ecology, welfare, breeding and nutrition. Core scientific study is supported by hands-on animal handling in our specialist unit.

Why choose this course?

  • The course is recognised by the Royal Society of Biology.
  • You will have access to our modern Animal Unit on campus which houses over 150 animals from 40 different species.
  • You'll also have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus eco-library.
  • You'll have the opportunity to complete research or a work placement abroad.

What you'll study

You will learn about all aspects of welfare, breeding, conservation and management whilst combining the study of wild animal populations with that of captive, both domestic and exotic. Lectures will cover major scientific principles such as:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • behaviour
  • ecology
  • nutrition.
  • Year One

    Anatomy and Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species.

    Animal Management

    Successfully manage animal collections and develop practical handling skills across a range of species.

    Animal Behaviour and Welfare

    Study patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do in managed housing systems. This module encompasses the application of behavioural science to welfare.

    Principles of Animal Science

    Understand key biological and chemical principles of relevance to Animal Science including growth, nutrition, reproduction and animal health and welfare. You will also develop a range of practical laboratory skills necessary to underpin your future studies.

    Introduction to Zoology

    An introduction to the study of animal life. You will study topics including evolution, species diversity, biodiversity and ecology.

    Professional Development for Animal Scientists

    Enhance transferable and professional development skills that are essential to your academic growth. You'll undertake work experience and continuing professional development (CPD) hours, and receive guidance on writing CVs and covering letters.

  • Year Two

    Animal Health and Disease

    Learn the principles of animal health and disease. The module covers a range of pathogenic organisms and looks at a variety of common diseases, their symptoms, treatment and prevention.

    Animal Reproduction and Breeding

    Study reproductive physiology, the principles of inheritance, and the application of these principles in animal breeding programmes.

    Biological Basis 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. Teaching is supported in the laboratories and Animal Unit.

    Nutritional Biochemistry

    Study the principles of nutrient metabolism and the importance of enzymes.

    Professional Skills for Animal Biologists

    Develop skills relevant to the animal industry and captive animal management, including the implementation of sustainable practice, and an understanding of ethics in animal science.

  • Year Three

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

  • Final year

    Applied Animal Nutrition

    Study how nutrition impacts upon health and reproduction in a variety of settings, including farm animal production and companion animal welfare.

    Animal Genetics

    Learn the principles and techniques of molecular genetics and consider how that knowledge is applied to animal selection and breeding. You will also develop practical laboratory skills.

    Welfare Science

    Evaluate methods of assessing and monitoring animal welfare, including physiological and behavioural indicators of good and poor welfare. You'll apply your knowledge to a variety of situations in various management systems and levels of confinement, and across a range of species.


    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 Animal Biology.

    You'll also choose one optional module.

    Examples include:

    Adaptive Physiology

    Study the physiological challenges presented by different environments and the adaptations that enable animals to overcome them.


    Explore all facets of human-animal interaction, including animal-assisted interventions, the role of animals in society and the human-animal bond.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

This course is recognised by the Royal Society of Biology.

How you’re taught

You will learn from a combination of seminars, practicals and project work.

Your assessment will be based on coursework and formal examinations. During your studies you will also be encouraged and supported to gain important experience at welfare organisations and government departments throughout the course.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
  • Year 2 coursework (50%), written (33%) and practical (17%).
  • Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%) and placements (0%).

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.

You'll hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and visits to a range of animal establishments.

Careers and employability

Your future career

This course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in a variety of roles, such as:

  • animal health officer
  • animal trainer and presenter
  • biochemistry technician
  • laboratory technician
  • medical secretary
  • pet behaviour therapist
  • reptile house manager
  • toxicologist
  • tropical fish consultant
  • unit pet care officer
  • veterinary care assistant
  • wildlife conservation adviser.

Following successful completion of the course you could work for companies and organisations such as:

Placement opportunities

The work placement route of study can be included and involves a year working in industry. Previous employers of students selecting a sandwich year include:

You will be given the opportunity to focus your studies/work placements on the species of animal that is of most interest to you.

Teaching on this course is supported by our purpose built Animal Unit - home to around 150 animals from 40 different species.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC, including Biology grade C and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 112 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 and maths grade C / 4.

Other requirements: Work experience in the animal sector is highly desirable – examples include pet shops, zoos, animal conservation projects, wildlife sanctuaries, stables, veterinary practices, kennels, the RSPCA and similar.

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

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

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.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created a UCAS Tariff calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions 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.

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.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418