BSc

Zoology

Aberystwyth is a superb place to study your BSc Zoology degree. Situated in a stunning location, an array of coastlines, estuaries, woodlands and hills provide outstanding habitats for the study of wildlife. The wildlife includes rare insects, red kites, ospreys, pine martens, red squirrels, seabirds, Atlantic grey seals, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises.

Course Overview

This four-year course includes an integrated foundation year, after which the syllabus follows that of the standard three-year course, BSc Zoology (C300).

On this course you will develop your knowledge of animal diversity, behaviour, evolution, anatomy, physiology, conservation and ecology.  

Fieldwork and practical classes form an integral part of the course throughout. Aberystwyth’s array of interesting and important habitats, including marine, moorland, mountain, grassland and coast, provides the ideal natural classroom for the teaching of practical skills. 

You will also have the option to learn field skills in tropical zoology, tropical ecology and animal behaviour, locally and overseas in hyperdiverse tropical rainforest environments such as the Amazon basin or Costa Rica, depending on module choice. 

Aberystwyth is a stone’s throw away from many internationally recognised habitats, including UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, two RAMSAR wetlands, two marine special areas of conservation, two National Nature reserves, and several sites of special scientific interest to name but a few, providing you with fabulous fieldwork and recreational opportunities.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff in the Department of Life Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Department has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Modules September start - 2023

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.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Communication Skills BR01520 20
Molecules and Cells BR01340 40
Organisms and the Environment BR01440 40
Practical Skills for Biologists BR01220 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biochemistry and the Cellular Basis of Life BR15320 20
Comparative Animal Physiology BR14110 10
Evolution and the Diversity of Life BR14310 10
Exploring Genetics BR14410 10
Wildlife Forensics BR15720 20
Ecology BR13510 10
Study and Communication Skills BR12410 10
The Green Planet BR13610 10

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biological Thought and Discovery BR12510 10
Microbial Diversity BR12110 10
The Biosphere BR13210 10
The Development and Management of British Habitats BR10810 10

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Research Methods BR27520 20
Invertebrate Zoology BR25420 20
Vertebrate Zoology BR26820 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Behaviour BR21620 20
Behavioural Ecology BR23920 20
Evolution and Molecular Systematics BR21720 20
Tropical Zoology Field Course BR23820 20
Veterinary Health BR27120 20
Wildlife Management BR27220 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Research Project BR36440 40

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Behaviour Field Course BR34920 20
Anthropogenic threats to the Biosphere BR36720 20
Behaviour and Welfare of Domesticated Animals BR35120 20
Behavioural Neurobiology BR35320 20
Conservation Genetics and Evolution Field Course BR36220 20
Parasitology BR33820 20
Population and Community Ecology BR33920 20
Wildlife Conservation BR34520 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

Our graduates have developed exciting careers with a wide range of employers including zoos, education authorities, conservation and animal welfare organisations, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Veterinary Laboratory Agency, and as wildlife documentary producers. Other zoology graduates have continued into veterinary school or pursued further study at Masters or PhD level. 

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 and ecology 
  • 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, and knowledge transfer. 

What work experience opportunities are available to me while I study? 

Find out about the various opportunities that our Careers Service offers. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and our Year in Employment Scheme.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

In the first year you will study foundation modules which will develop your knowledge of biology and prepare you for the study of zoology during the next three years of your degree.

In the second year you will explore the amazing 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. You will study the biology essential to understand animal life, including animal physiology, genetics, cell biology and ecology. You will look at the fundamental principles of ecology and the relationships between species, covering energy transfer, intra- and inter-species interactions and resource utilisation. You will consider future challenges such as responding to global climate and conserving biodiversity. You will learn practical skills in wildlife forensics, utilising forensic entomology and ecotoxicology, and DNA ‘barcoding’ to help solve wildlife crime. 

In the third year you will study key aspects of vertebrate and invertebrate life, including classification, adaptation, behaviour, life histories and physiology, and you will have access to the extensive collection of zoological specimens housed within our museum. Optional modules enable you to undertake subjects related to species conservation and habitat management, causes and diagnosis of disease in sick animals, and evolutionary biology, amongst others and there is the option of a field trip to Peru or Costa Rica. 

In the final year you will choose from a diverse range of optional modules, ranging from behavioural neurobiology to parasitology and anthropogenic threats to natural systems. Residential field courses to varied locations including tropical rainforests are available to you. A compulsory research project will allow you to perform in-depth research under the guidance of a supervisor. Your project may be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises, comprise a computer modelling exercise or involve data analysis. 

How will I be taught? 

You will be taught in the format of lectures and seminars, tutorials, laboratory practicals and fieldwork. 

Assessment 

You will be assessed through essays, exams, presentations, posters, portfolios, reports, practical exercises and data analysis. 

Personal Tutor   

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will be your main contact throughout the duration of your studies. Your personal tutor can help you to settle in when you first arrive and will be available to help you with academic or personal matters.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff

A Levels

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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