MBiol Zoology

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Leopard in the forest

This exciting four year course allows students to integrate three years of undergraduate study with a further year of postgraduate study, leading to the qualification of MBiol (Zoology). 

The course is ideal if you aspire to a career as a research scientist in zoological sciences. 

• Integrated four year course leading to a postgraduate qualification 

• Ideal for students who wish to develop to higher academic levels 

• Individual research project that is a major component of the final year 

• Course allows students to access four years of student finance

Overview

If you are fascinated by the millions of other animal species with which we share the planet, zoology is for you! Here’s why we think Aberystwyth is the very best place to make your journey of discovery… 

Passionate teaching staff who are expert in their field You’ll be taught by expert zoologists who conduct research ranging from the molecular, through organismal, to global scales. Our zoology lecturers are passionate teachers too, and you may already have seen some of them on TV documentaries, or listened in to them on your favourite science radio show. 

Fantastic facilities 

As a budding zoologist, you’ll need access to top-notch research and teaching facilities. We have modern, well-equipped teaching laboratories, lecture theatres, and seminar rooms. You’ll also benefit from other facilities including:

  • A modern aquarium housing cold-water and tropical, marine and freshwater species 
  • An advanced microscopy and bio-imaging laboratory 
  • A wonderful museum full of historic zoological specimens 

 Unrivalled wildlife and countryside 

Perhaps you’ll be the kind of zoologist who likes to do their science in the field rather than the lab, and there’s no better place for that than Aberystwyth. Within a stone’s throw you’ll find: 

  • Beautiful habitats, including marine, moorland, mountain, grassland and coast, providing you with a fabulous variety of fieldwork and recreational opportunities 
  • Charismatic species such as red kites, bottlenose dolphins, beaver, water voles and more! And if you’ve still more appetite for field work, you can take a residential field course away from Aberystwyth too. 

A prize-winning institute that can help you achieve your full potential 

  • Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) received the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' award at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards 
  • Our zoology students have won the “Biology Student of the Year” award at the European Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Awards, the Welsh Ornithologists, and the Society Student Prize’ 
  • Top 10 in the UK for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment (2014).
  • 78% of research assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 REF

Union Student Prize International opportunities 

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take the chance to study abroad during your degree? We have exchange agreements with universities in Europe, USA, Canada, and elsewhere, so you can apply to spend all or part of your 2nd year studying zoology overseas. You’ll miss Aber, but you’ll love the new perspectives international study can bring. 

Want to study in Welsh? 

Students can elect to study a number of IBERS modules in the medium of Welsh. Ask the department for further details.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (70 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Biology Of The Cell BR10310

Genetics BR11310

Animal Diversity BR11500

Biological Molecules And Methods BR11710

Semester 2

Animal Diversity BR11520

Metabolism BR12010

Molecular Laboratory Skills BR12210

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Sgiliau Astudio A Chyfathrebu BG12410

Study And Communication Skills BR12410

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Llystyfiant Ac Ecosystemau BG12920

Vegetation And Ecosystems BR12920

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Amrywiaeth Microbau BG12110

Microbial Diversity BR12110

Year 1 Options Choose 10 credits

Semester 1

Biological Thought And Discovery BR12510

The Biosphere BR13210

Year 2 Core (40 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Advances In Invertebrate Zoology BR22410

Semester 2

Evolution And Molecular Systematics BR21720

Vertebrate Anatomy BR23710

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Profiad Gwaith BG24200

Work Experience BR24200

Semester 2

Profiad Gwaith BG24210

Work Experience BR24210

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23400

Research Methods BR23400

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23420

Research Methods BR23420

Year 2 Options Choose 50 credits. Where modules are offered bilingually: choose your preferred language if applicable.

Semester 1

Ethology BR21620

Marine Biology BR22620

Monitoring The Environment BR22810

Understanding Biological Research BR24410

Semester 2

Ecoleg Microbau Dyfrol A Daearol BG20810

Aquatic And Terrestrial Microbial Ecology BR20810

Freshwater Biology BR22020

Immunology BR22220

Zoo Science BR24310

Year 3 Core (20 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 2

Environmental Animal Physiology BR32420

Year 3 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig BG32300

Dissertation BR32300

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig BG32330

Dissertation BR32330

Year 3 Options Choose 70 credits. Where modules are offered bilingually or in EITHER semester: choose your preferred language or semester if applicable. (Note: due to limited spaces on field courses, attendance must be agreed in advance with the module co-ordinator)

Semester 1

Animal Bioethics BR30510

Behavioural Neurobiology BR31510

Conservation Genetics BR31810

Animal Behaviour Field Course BR32710

Evolution Field Course BR32810

Freshwater Biology Field Course BR32910

Marine Biology Field Course BR33010

Interpretation And Environmental Education BR33510

Parasitology BR33820

Population And Community Ecology BR33920

Semester 2

Biodiversity Of Birds BR31320

Fish Biology, Fisheries And Aquaculture BR33220

Wildlife Conservation BR34520

Both Semesters

Cyfathrebu Ymchwil BG31710

Communicating Research BR31710

Final Year Core (120 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Mbiol Research Project BRM2800

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4800

Frontiers In The Biosciences BRM4920

Research Methods BRM6400

Semester 2

Mbiol Research Project BRM2860

Field And Laboratory Techniques BRM4820

Research Methods BRM6420

Employability

Trained Zoologists are needed to conserve animal life, to understand parasitic diseases of animals and humans and to control economically important pests. Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance employability.  

The MBiol (Zoology) has been created to meet the increasing demand for suitably qualified personal to work at high level in scientific research, development, lecturing, training and education, public and private commercial enterprise, consultancy and advisory work in the UK and throughout the world. The MBiol is also a recognised alternative to MSc for progression to a PhD studentship. 

Key Skills and Competencies 

Study Skills 

You will develop an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the key contemporary topics in Zoology. You will master the research process and contribute to the knowledge base of the subject through your final year research. Throughout this you will encounter many opportunities to develop as a reflective, autonomous researcher. At all times you will have the support of expert academics working at the forefront of their field. 

Self-motivation and discipline 

Studying to postgraduate level requires discipline and self-motivation. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of experienced IBERS staff, you will be responsible for devising and completing a final year research project. This process will strengthen your skills as a self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by all employers. 

Transferable Skills 

The MBiol (Zoology) is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. The course is made up of a number of taught modules plus guided independent student centred study. This provides you with a framework which allows you to develop your subject knowledge, through pursuing specific areas of interest and develop your skills of original thought, analysis, interpretation and reasoning. Regular assessment through reports, essays, seminar presentations, précis and case studies will prepare you for the many demands of the modern workplace.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

How will I be taught? 

The course will be delivered through a balanced programme of lectures, student-led seminars, laboratory practical classes and one-to-one tutoring for the final year research project. In addition, there will be problem-based learning scenarios; case studies; literature based research; computer-assisted learning; and work experience to support the teaching and learning. You will receive thorough training in zoological concepts and practical scientific methods. 

How will I be assessed? 

You will be assessed through numerous methods including essays, practical exercises, oral presentations, worksheets, reports, dossiers, posters, portfolios, reflective diaries, literature reviews, magazine articles, field notebooks and exams. You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: C309

Tariff Required: 320 - 360

Entry Requirements: GCSE: grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics and a science subject. A level: grade B in Biology or Human Biology required. Lower tariff points offers will be given to students studying more science subjects at A level, in addition to Biology or Human Biology.

Course Length: 4 Years