Zoology is the study of animals, their behaviour, anatomy and evolution. A degree in this area could lead to a career in veterinary science, medicine, ecology, conservation and research. It is ideal for individuals who hold a love for animals, have a natural flair for biology and science, and who are equally as comfortable out in the field as they are in a lecture theatre, or in a lab.
Zoology is a science-based subject, and the majority of programmes ask for candidates to hold biology at A-level, and at least one other science subject too. A-levels in chemistry, environmental science or maths is also preferred. However, when it comes to university entry requirements it can be more flexible with a range of grades being listed, from BCC to AAB. Each university will have different UCAS tariff points and students are advised to check with their chosen institution and degree courses to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission.
This degree is typically three years in length, although some universities may offer a four-year Bachelors of Science (BSc) course that includes a placement year. (Learn more – What if my course has a placement). However, students may also choose to study Zoology part-time which usually lasts six years. Candidates can study zoology as a joint degree alongside a similar subject such as biology, chemistry and geography.
Individuals will study a variety of animals, plants and humans over the three years and a very broad range of topics, which helps to determine what area interests them, and what areas to specialise in towards the end of the degree.
The degree will feature great practical experience, in both the lab and the field. Individuals will be able to apply what they have learned in the lecture hall into real-life scenarios and help to put perspective into studying (Learn more – University terms glossary).
Most degree programmes ask students to complete a final project, which allows them to follow their interests and puts into practice all the knowledge and skills that have acquired throughout the course.
Candidates will learn a variety of theories, methods and information throughout the course. Each course will feature different modules, but some may include: key skills in biosciences, evolutionary ecology, genetics, invertebrate zoology, introduction to conservation and ecology and vertebrate zoology, as well as physiology and lab techniques and evolution and behaviour.
Individuals will meet like-minded people throughout the course that holds the similar passions, as well as being able to study something that they hold a strong passion for.
Students will be assessed through a mixture of methods, from written coursework and examinations as well as practical and laboratory assessments.
Individuals will become independent thinkers and learners, as well as gaining confidence in their ability to work on the practical elements of the course. The course will increase skills in critical thinking, ask questions, problem solving and networking.
Students who attend university gain transferable skills that they can implement in many areas of their life, such as time-management and organisation from working on deadlines, practical skills from lab and field work as well as social skills from working on presentations and group projects.
A degree in zoology is an opportunity for animal lovers to get up close and personal with all breeds of animals, as well as studying an area within their passion. Many universities work with local wildlife trusts which offer individuals opportunities to take part in conservation and research work, as well as trips abroad to study more exotic plant and wildlife, which would be part of a gap year with some volunteering work.
Some graduates choose to become a zookeeper, while others train in veterinary medicine, or choose to pursue a career in conservation. There are plenty of options to retrain, study and work after graduating.
Science degrees are handy for graduates in the job market as they showcase skills and expertise which employers value. Both theoretical and practical parts of the course will aid any student’s quest for employment.
Particular job areas include conservation, plant and wildlife consultant, zookeeper, a vet or to enter the world of research.
Students who wish to study after graduating can obtain a Masters of Science (MSc) in the following degrees: Biological Science, Biodiversity, evolution and conservation, zoology and ecology, evolutionary psychology, human anatomy and evolution, evolutionary conservation and conservation science.
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