This degree will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of animal biology, and the ability to apply this knowledge to the rapidly expanding animal industry. You will study topics like anatomy and physiology, behaviour, ecology, welfare, breeding and nutrition. Core scientific study is supported by hands-on animal handling in our specialist unit.
Why choose this course?
- The course is recognised by the Royal Society of Biology.
- You will have access to our modern Animal Unit on campus which houses over 150 animals from 40 different species.
- You'll also have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus eco-library.
- You'll have the opportunity to complete research or a work placement abroad.
How you're taught
You will learn from a combination of seminars, practicals and project work.
Your assessment will be based on coursework and formal examinations. During your studies you will also be encouraged and supported to gain important experience at welfare organisations and government departments throughout the course.
- Year 1 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
- Year 2 coursework (50%), written (33%) and practical (17%).
- Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).
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 (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
- Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%) and placements (0%).
- Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%) and placements (0%).
A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.
Careers and employability
Your future career
This course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in a variety of roles, such as:
- animal health officer
- animal trainer and presenter
- biochemistry technician
- laboratory technician
- medical secretary
- pet behaviour therapist
- reptile house manager
- tropical fish consultant
- unit pet care officer
- veterinary care assistant
- wildlife conservation adviser.
Following successful completion of the course you could work for companies and organisations such as:
The work placement route of study can be included and involves a year working in industry. Previous employers of students selecting a sandwich year include:
You will be given the opportunity to focus your studies/work placements on the species of animal that is of most interest to you.
Housing over 150 animals and more than 40 species on an idyllic 200-hectare woodland estate, there's no better environment for the study of small and larger animals than the animal unit at our Brackenhurst Campus. It's designed to facilitate a range of courses and to give you the knowledge and practical skills you'll need to secure a job in the industry.
You'll get the opportunity to study a diverse range of companion animals, reptiles, birds, fish and other small animals at Brackenhurst, as well as larger animals including donkeys, horses and goats.
Our Animals and Resources
Our rodent room houses a wide variety of species, including rats, hamsters, mice, gerbils, chinchillas and degus.
Reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates
- We house a diverse range of species including:
- African Leopard tortoise
- Bearded dragons
- Panther chameleon
- Leopard geckos and day geckos
- White's Tree frogs
- a variety of snake species including a woma python and corn snakes
- a range of invertebrates including tarantulas
- praying mantis African land snails and giant millipedes.
Rabbit and Guinea Pig Rooms
We have spacious and enrichment filled enclosures housing various breeds of rabbit and guinea pig including Netherland Dwarf, Rex, Silver Fox, Mini Lop, and Lionhead Lop. Our rabbits and guinea pigs are housed in social groups where appropriate.
This large enclosure provides plenty of space for our inquisitive and playful ferrets. We also have an internal house and storage space.
We have a 30-foot flight house for our cockatiels and budgies. This encourages natural flight and behaviour. Our birds have been breeding successfully for several years in this environment.
This room houses our unit cats who are also able to roam freely outside the unit and exhibit natural behaviour. Our cattery makes use of the room's height with lots of sleeping areas for our cats
This room highlights the importance of isolating sick or injured animals away from others to avoid spreading infections, reduce the animals' stress and to closely monitor their food/ water intake, weight and general condition while they convalesce. The animal science and veterinary nursing students make good use of this room in connection with elements of their modules.
Outdoor tortoise enclosure
This houses our African Leopard Tortoise giving access to an outdoor run. This allows for the absorption of vitamin D which is imperative for the welfare of the tortoise.
There are a range of resident poultry, a variety of breeds of chicken, Chinese geese, Aylesbury and duck species, as well as guinea fowl and peafowl.
We have a variety of goats including pygmy, pygmy crosses, Anglo-Nubian, Golden Guernsey and Boer. This paddock includes climbing mounds and scratching posts for environment enrichment for the goats. We also have an all-weather area for the goats for the winter months so they can continue to access range of enrichment.
We have four donkeys, Joseph, one of our original donkeys and three donkeys fostered from the Donkey Sanctuary, Arthur, Guinevere and Gabriel who are a family unit of father, mother and son.
Outdoor Research Arena: Dog agility
We have a variety of agility equipment such as tunnels, jumps, weaves, a seesaw and an A-frame. This paddock is also used for dog obedience practical sessions.
You'll find a variety of equipment available at the Animal Unit to support your research project.
A thermal camera
Digital camcorders with specialist software
Time lapse camera
Digital video recording facilities in some animal rooms
Why not broaden your horizons and give something back by taking part in our animal unit's successful volunteer programme?
The programme is an extra-curricular opportunity open to all students at Nottingham Trent University. You'll get the chance to work closely with our qualified and skilled team of technicians on a variety of tasks such as maintenance, health checks, medical administration and behaviour management such as enrichment and training.
Previous sessions have included taking the goats on harnesses around the estate, foraging walks, positive reinforcement training, and even making ice lollies for the animals and taking the rats swimming.
Sessions take place every day in term time. You can sign up in the Animal Unit corridor for any you wish to take part in.These sessions are recognised and verified by the HEAR report to support your CV and boost your employability.