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BSc (Hons)

Zoo Biology

Chameleon
  • UCAS code(s): C303 / C300
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Sandwich / Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 4 / 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • * This course is now closed for entry for 2020, please ring our Clearing Hotline 0115 848 6000 to speak to one of our team to discuss current vacancies. *

This course represents an opportunity for you to study a wider range of species than those covered in traditional animal science degrees. Your learning will focus on the biology of exotic species, namely non-domestic and non-UK wildlife, and how to apply this to all aspects of the management and conservation of captive populations.

Zoo Biology students Saskia, Hollie and Rebecca are available on Unibuddy to answer any questions you may have about this course.

Why choose this course?

  • We have strong links with UK zoos and wildlife parks.
  • 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 have access to our modern Animal Unit on campus which houses around 150 animals of 40 different species.
  • You'll get the opportunity to take part in field trips to animal health, welfare and conservation organisations, zoos, safari parks, aquaria and breeding centres.
  • Teaching is informed by current research undertaken by academic staff in the School.
  • NTU is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). We are also a teaching provider for Species 360s’ animal record keeping system (Zoological Information Management System: ZIMS).

Accredited by:

BIAZA- Zoo-Biology-accreditation-logo

What you'll study

This course will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of animal biology, with a particular focus on zoo species.

Your lectures will cover major scientific principles, including:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • behaviour
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • nutrition.

You will learn to apply these principles to:

  • welfare
  • breeding
  • conservation
  • management.

You will focus on the biology of exotic animals, namely non-domestic and non-UK wildlife and apply this to all aspects of management and species conservation of both captive and non-captive populations.

  • Year One

    Anatomy and Physiology

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

    Zoo Animal Husbandry

    Learn successful approaches to zoo animal husbandry and the constraints imposed by captivity. Animal handling skills are also developed.

    Animal Behaviour

    Study patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do, both in captivity and in the wild.

    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 which are essential to your academic growth. You will undertake work experience and continuing professional development (CPD).

  • 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, and their symptoms, treatment and prevention.

    Management of Reproduction in Zoo Animals

    Understand genetics, reproduction and breeding. You’ll explore the factors affecting reproductive success in captive and endangered species, and how these can be addressed through knowledge of reproductive physiology and anatomy.

    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.

    Biological Basis of Behaviour

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

    Zoo Nutrition

    Explore the issues facing the feeding of captive animal populations, specifically looking at the restrictions placed on dietary provisions in captivity.

    Zoo Conservation and Education

    Understand the role of zoos in the contexts of in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Explore how education within zoos can contribute towards conservation.

  • Year Three

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

    Zoo Animal Science

    Evaluate the complexities and limitations of managing zoo species in captivity. You’ll explore natural behaviours, behaviour management and methods to measure, evaluate and increase these.

    Dissertation

    You’ll 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 exotic species.

    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'll also choose two optional modules.

    Examples include:

    Adaptive Physiology

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

    Anthrozoology

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

    Zoo Conservation Genetics

    Apply the theory of traditional population genetics with the practicalities of captive breeding. You'll look at the goal of retaining long-term evolutionary potential in endangered species.

Course specification

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

100% of students would recommend studying at Nottingham Trent University to others (BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology sandwich, National Student Survey 2020).

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.

Throughout the course, you’ll hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and visits to a range of zoological and wildlife parks. Your assessment will be based on coursework and formal examinations.

Covid-19 Planning

We will be adopting a range of blended teaching and learning techniques including online and face-to-face (where practical) to ensure that students can meet their learning outcomes in full. We will respond proactively to any national or local policy changes (including lock down) to ensure student safety as our primary concern whilst continuing to focus on offering a comprehensive student academic experience and will work flexibly with our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by Covid 19.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (67%), written (33%)
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), written (33%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%)

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 (26%), independent study (74%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

NTU is ranked 7th in the UK for courses in Animal Science (The Times and The Sunday Times League Table, 2021).

Careers and employability

Your future career

Developed in conjunction with representatives from industry, the course is designed to maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers.


These include various roles within zoos both in the UK and abroad, working in areas such as conservation education, research, and zookeeping.

Our graduates have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park
  • London Zoo
  • Department for Conservation for New Zealand
  • Huntingdon Animal Research Life Sciences.

You could also progress on to postgraduate study.

Placement opportunities

You’ll also be encouraged and supported to gain important and relevant industry experience at appropriate organisations throughout the course.. Our students have previously been based at organisations such as welfare organisations or feed manufacturers.

Students have carried out placements at companies such as:

  • Woburn Safari Park
  • Bristol Zoo
  • Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust: Paignton Zoo
  • Dao Tien Endangered Primate Centre (Vietnam)
  • Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Jersey)
  • UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve (South Africa).

This course is recognised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS).

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, maths and science grade C / 4.

Other requirements: 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.

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 Tarrif 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.

Don't meet the entry requirements? If you're 19 or over and would like to study at degree level but haven't got the usual standard qualifications then our Access to Higher Education (Animal Science) Diploma could be the perfect solution. Advanced learner loan available.

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.

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. Remember to mention any 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