Edinburgh Napier University Zoology

Edinburgh Napier University Zoology


Gain hands-on experience and prepare for a career in wildlife conservation by exploring how animals adapt to their environment and interact with each other.

BSc (Hons)Animal Biology

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Course introduction

Please note this course is now only available for direct entry from year 2 onwards. 

Animal Biology introduces the diversity of animals, their form and function. You’ll study how animals have evolved and adapted to different environments in terms of their ecology, behaviour and physiology. You’ll learn how this knowledge can be put to use to guide conservation and understand the impacts of pollution and climate change on animals.

Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside is rich in biodiversity and you’ll visit local sites of scientific interest gaining valuable fieldwork experience, as well as going on a residential trips including to the Algarve.

You’ll leave equipped with a range of skills for a career in animal conservation or management, including species identification, field surveying techniques and collection and analysis of biological data or you could continue on to postgraduate stud

Edinburgh Napier University Zoology

What you’ll learn

You’ll gain a solid foundation in the biological sciences but specialise in the study of the rich diversity of animals, from species on the bottom of the ocean to those in your back garden.

You’ll discover how studies in animal behaviour, ecology, physiology and evolution help us to understand animals in their natural environment. You’ll explore the main environmental threats faced by animals, how to assess their habitats and appreciate the many ways to enact effective conservation.

You’ll get hands-on fieldwork experience, including residential field trips to the Isle of Cumbrae and the Algarve. Your learning is also supported by internationally recognised research and you’ll get the opportunity to conduct your own research project, benefitting from the knowledge of our diverse staff and links with external organisations.

You’ll develop a range of specialist skills relevant to future career paths such as:

  • species identification
  • field surveys in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments
  • collection and analysis of behavioural data
  • laboratory-based investigations

The applied nature of this course develops skills that enhance your employability, including team working, problem solving, research, communication and IT. You’ll also acquire specialist analytical and numerical skills, be able to collect a range of biological data and communicate scientific information effectively.

Local industry links help you with gaining work-related experience and project opportunities which will enhance your ability to compete for jobs after graduation.

The emphasis on research also equips you with the knowledge and skills to continue on to postgraduate study, including possible PhD study within Edinburgh Napier University.

Edinburgh Napier University Zoology

What you study

2017 Direct Entry Programme (second, third and fourth year)

Year 2

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology and the Environment
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Practical Module

One optional module from:

  • Valuing the Earth
  • Biology of Disease
  • Clinical Care of Exotic Species
  • Microbes and Man

Year 3

  • Scientific Communication: Dissertation and Statistics
  • Freshwater Biology
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Marine Biology
  • Life of Mammals
  • Applied Terrestrial Ecology

Year 4

  • Biodiversity Pattern & Process
  • Advances in Animal Behaviour
  • Environmental Management
  • Honours project

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Edinburgh Napier University Zoology


Graduate opportunities are diverse and you will leave the course prepared for employment in a range of sectors including:

  • species conservation and habitat protection
  • ecology and environmental management
  • field surveying
  • environmental charities
  • consultancies and government agencies

You may also continue on to postgraduate study, including MSc courses in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Conservation and Management of Protected Area, Ecotourism or PhD research.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,000
Overseas £13,740 £13,900