Zoology is the scientific study of animals. The discipline studies both living and extinct animals, looking at their biological make-up, habits, and habitats, among other things. Studying a zoology degree will allow you to explore the development of animals, discovering the work of evolution, and how this will continue to affect animal species.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Zoology
An undergraduate degree in zoology will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You will develop your understanding of the anatomy and physiology of different species, genetics, behaviour, classification, animal behaviour, as well as the general biology and chemistry of all species.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and laboratory sessions. Your course may also incorporate field trips.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:
If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation, or submit a major research project in your final year, this will give you an opportunity to further research a favoured area of zoology.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on your choice of institution. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), an integrated Master of Biology (MBiol), or an integrated Master of Zoology (MZool).
Depending on your choice of career path post-graduation, you may be presented with opportunities to gain further academic and professional certifications and qualifications.
Generally, an undergraduate degree in zoology will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
On successful completion of your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen field, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a masters or PhD, or a graduate certificate or diploma.
The entry requirements for a zoology degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities might prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their zoology programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.
Zoology graduates will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. As our understanding of the world around us increases, the need for people with advanced knowledge of animal species is higher. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, this might include jobs such as an ecologist, a marine scientist, a zookeeper, or a nature conservation officer. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to your degree, this could include jobs such as a veterinary nurse, a biomedical scientist, or an animal physiotherapist.
You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills throughout your degree. These skills will include project management, data analysis, good oral and written communication, and use of geographical information systems (GIS).
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