Key Facts

Code C300
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBC-BBB with B in Biology or Human Biology

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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Zoology is the science of animal life, whether it be microscopic or massive, aquatic or terrestrial. Zoologists study animal diversity, evolution, behaviour, anatomy, physiology, and ecology, and develop the scientific and analytical skills demanded in a broad range of professions.

Here’s why we think Aberystwyth is a great place to study a zoology degree:

  • Passionate teaching staff that conduct research in all areas of zoology.
  • Fantastic modern laboratories, microscopy suite, historic specimen collection, and aquarium. 
  • Wonderful local habitats including coastlines, estuaries, woodlands, and hills, allowing access to species such as red kites, chough, grey seals, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises.

Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Zoology (NSS 2016)
92% student satisfaction on our Zoology degree scheme (NSS 2016)

 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from IBERS who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Employability
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Student Views


Why study Zoology at Aberystwyth?

  • You will benefit from fantastic modern laboratories, a microscopy suite, a historic specimen collection and aquaria.
  • Taught by Zoology experts, some you may have already seen them on TV documentaries or listened to them on your favourite science podcast
  •  Unrivalled wildlife and countryside; Aberystwyth is a stone’s throw away from many internationally recognised habitats including the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, two RAMSAR wetlands, two marine Special Areas of Conservation, two National Nature Reserves, several Sites of Special Scientific Interest to name but a few, providing you with fabulous fieldwork and recreational opportunities
  • 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.

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

Tropical Zoology Field Course BR23820

Zoo Science BR24310

Final Year Core (20 Credits) You must take this module

Semester 2

Environmental Animal Physiology BR32420

Final Year 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

Final Year 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

Tropical Rainforest Ecology And Conservation (trec) Field Course BR30120

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


What opportunities are there for me after I graduate?

On graduating you will be qualified for career-paths specifically related to zoology. In addition, your zoology degree will have taught you a broad range of skills such as observation, research, analysis and reflection which are demanded by employers in a variety of graduate professions.

The skills gained include;

  • An in depth understanding of zoology and zoology related disciplines, including animal behaviour, physiology, phylogeny, species conservation, ecology etc.
  • A range of field and laboratory techniques used by zoology professionals
  • The ability to formulate hypotheses, design statistically valid experiments, undertake data collection, data analysis and critically interpret results
  • The ability to communicate effectively and coherently in written and oral form using citations ensuring academic integrity
  • An appreciation of ethical working practices
  • The ability to work as part of a team and independently
  • A variety of skills for independent lifelong working including time management, organisation, knowledge transfer etc.

What work placements can I do whilst studying?

The University participates in the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) and IBERS students have successfully gained placements with a number of employers including West Midlands Safari Park and Chester Zoo. For more information, please click on this link.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This course is designed to enable you to tailor your studies into areas of particular interest. You will be able to focus either on the whole animal, population and conservation biology, or on more applied aspects of Zoology such as parasitolon

In your first year you will cover subjects relating to:

  • The diversity of life on Earth from unicellular organisms to the multicellular invertebrates and vertebrates, relating form to function and the key evolutionary events that have occurred.
  • The fundamental principles of ecology and the relationships between species covering energy transfer, intra and inter-species interactions, resource utilisation etc.
  • The importance of plants as primary producers, their morphology, physiology and ecological adaptations.
  • The principles of genetics from molecules to populations and species.
  • The structure and function of eukaryotic cells and the chemistry of molecules within cells.
  • Wildlife forensics utilising forensic entomology and ecotoxicology, and the use of DNA ‘barcoding’ help solve wildlife crime.
  • You may also undertake subjects related to the major environmental process on Earth that have influenced flora and fauna, the history of our understanding of Biology and how it has developed over time, and the diversity of microbial life and their importance as pathogens, mutualists and within the ecosystem.

In your second year you will explore:

  • Invertebrate and vertebrate biology covering their evolution, physiology, ecology etc.
  • Evolution of organisms including speciation, phylogenetics and population genetics.
  • Animal behaviour including its function, causation, development and evolution.
  • The principles and practice of a range of basic quantitative and qualitative procedures, data analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
  • You may also undertake subjects related to species conservation and habitat management, the role of zoological gardens for animal conservation, and a field trip to Peru.
  • There are also opportunities to enhance your employability skills by taking your second year at a European institution (ERASMUS exchange) or North America. Or you can take a year in employment between your second and third years.

In your third year you will be taught detail on:

  • Behavioural physiology, detailing the mechanisms which underpin behaviour and advance behaviours including orientation and navigation.
  • Population ecology focussing on the models used to account for the distribution and abundance of organisms.
  • A compulsory dissertation under the supervision of a member of the Zoology teaching staff
  • You may also undertake subjects related to wildlife conservation and the importance of genetics in conserving species, parasitology covering the diversity of parasites and their potential to cause disease, the current and future threats to species and ecosystems, and animal welfare including the behavioural and physiological traits associated with pain and stress.

    Student Views

    Studying Zoology at Aberystwyth is one of the best choices I ever made. For starters, you have wildlife right on your doorstep! IBERS has a wide range of courses available and enthusiastic lecturers who bring the course to life (even in a 9am lecture!). It is great being around so many like-minded people and having the ability to gain knowledge in new aspects of Zoology, including lab work, environmental monitoring, dissections and trips to the zoo. Aberystwyth is one of the friendliest places to be at university - I have tried so many new things and learned a lot. Yes, it can be hard work sometimes, but it's definitely worth it. Lucy Inez Witter

    I love learning about all aspects of Zoology. It's not just about the cute cuddly mammals, but everything from the tiny bee hummingbird to the bizzare nudibranchs and the great whales. As zoologists we learn how creatures function inside, how their behaviour contributes to their survival and how each individual ultimately relates to the intricate ecosystem in which it lives. It is this, along with the astounding diversity of animals, that captivates my attention and makes Zoology so exciting to study. Robyn Jade Womack

    Studying Zoology is really interesting and I love that it covers wide range of animal-related topics. In my first year my basic knowledge was improved by studying Animal Diversity and Vegetation and Ecosystems. They are fascinating modules, but the second year is even better! Learning about animal behaviour in Ethology and studying Zoo Science has been fascinating, fun and insightful. I’m glad I came to Aberystwyth to study Zoology. I look forward to what I will learn in the third year and to where my Zoology degree will lead me after Aberystwyth. Sophie Rance

    During my time at Aber I took a wide range of modules from Animal Behaviour to Genetics. I especially enjoyed Invertebrate Zoology and found a special passion for invertebrates. The lecturers were always willing to help and guide me through and this meant my confidence and interest grew in all the subjects I was taking. I loved the atmosphere, it felt calm and relaxed, and as much as I loved the learning. The situation of the University helped: mountains, rivers and the seafront to keep you busy and enjoying nature
    Hannah – currently studying for a PhD

    Studying at Aberystwyth changed my life. I met some amazing friends, colleagues and even my future husband! I now have my dream job and believe undoubtedly that I would not have achieved this without Aberystwyth University
    Lizzie - Ecologist, Darwin Ecology Ltd

    I have an unconditional love for Aberystwyth, I fully enjoyed my 3 years there and I have Aberystwyth University to thank for everything I have succeeded in since. The perfect undergraduate degree is made up of a fabulous course, at an inspirational university, combined with the perfect seaside location and friendly atmosphere – these things together lead to a fulfilling and satisfying university experience
    Lucy– PhD at Royal Veterinary College

    Entry Requirements

    A Levels BBC-BBB with B in Biology or Human Biology

    GCSE requirements (grade C min):
    English or Welsh, Mathematics and a Science subject

    BTEC National Diploma:

    International Students

    International Baccalaureate:
    30 points overall with 5 points in Biology at Higher Level

    European Baccalaureate:
    65-70% overall with 75% in specified subject

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