University of Nottingham Zoology

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University of Nottingham Zoology

University of Nottingham Zoology

Zoology BSc

Fact file – 2018 entry

Zoology | BSc Hons
UCAS code
3 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
Biology and a second science at A level, preferably from chemistry, physics or maths; geography and psychology are also accepted. A pass is required in science practical tests, if assessed separately. Maths and English GCSE grade 4 or above are also required.
IB score
34 (5/6 in biology and one other science, in any order, at Higher Level)
Course location
University Park Campus and Medical School
Course places
35 (with MSci Zoology)


Join a modern zoology degree which is enriched by cutting-edge research across disciplines ranging from animal behaviour, ecology and parasitology, to neurobiology and toxicology.

Highlights of zoology at Nottingham

  • expand your study through a wide choice of optional modules, including the unique Biological Photography and Imaging modules
  • get hands-on during field courses to Portugal and the Peak District, adding context to your learning
  • benefit from substantial laboratory experience from year one
  • travel while you learn, with opportunities to study abroad in your second year or for the third-year research project
  • work on real research alongside research groups within the school; some students even have work published

Zoology is ideal if you have an interest in biology but would prefer to focus on animals.

You will explore an array of topics with a high degree of choice. If you find a particular area of zoology interesting, there is flexibility (through optional modules and research projects) to tailor the course to learn more about certain areas.

You will graduate with a breadth of knowledge that provides opportunities for a variety of careers in industry, government agencies or research.

Yearly overviews

Year one

In the first year, you will find out more about the biology of animals, plants and microbes and the biochemical, evolutionary and genetic processes that underlie their biology.

You will explore the remarkable diversity of life on Earth, the role that animals and plants play in their environment and learn about the fundamental building blocks of life: genes, molecules and cells. You have the opportunity to learn about the workings of the human body and the ways that living processes in all organisms are regulated by the genome.

The experimental approach forms a key component to the year, with courses teaching practical skills and the principles of experimental design and analysis. Key transferable skills encountered this year include the use of learning resources, essay writing and oral presentations.

Year two

In this year, you will be able to focus on your favourite areas of zoology, with a high degree of choice.

One major theme of modules this year is health and disease in humans and other animals. You can learn about the genetic and developmental basis of disease, the fundamental biology of pathogens and parasites, and what happens when the nervous system doesn’t work properly.

Another major theme is the evolutionary origins and ecological consequences of biodiversity – something you might explore in the wild on one of our field courses.

Alternatively, you might take our unique Biological Photography and Imaging module, where you will learn how to capture images in a range of biological situations, from wildlife photography to microscopy.

Transferable skills that we focus on in year two include researching the primary scientific literature and writing according to the rules of scientific convention. This culminates in you writing an extended essay on a topic of your choosing.

Year three

The main theme of the third year is diversity, and in addition to a compulsory module in science and society you will be able to choose from a wide range of advanced modules to enhance your learning in areas such as neurobiology, genetics, ecology, animal behaviour, conservation, aquatic biology, immunology and developmental biology.

All your learning in previous years culminates in a major practical research project, which allows you to carry out your own biological investigation in a topic area that interests you, either in the laboratory or the field.

See what third year students George and Georgina
say about their projects.

Learning and assessment

Teaching methods

You will learn through a variety of methods depending on the module. This may include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • laboratory classes
  • workshops
  • residential field courses
  • tutorials

Assessment methods

Assessment is a combination of:

  • exams
  • dissertations
  • laboratory reports
  • presentations

Exams happen twice a year at the end of each semester.

Find out more about our teaching on our school website.

Study abroad and placements

We offer the chance to study abroad at an approved partner university through the Universitas 21 programme. This is an exciting opportunity to gain a global perspective of science, boost your communication skills, and to discover a new culture.

There is also the possibility to gain valuable work experience with an optional placement year. Placements are a great opportunity to see what the sector you want to go into is like, try out specific job roles, and to gain the skills that employers want.

Please note that placements have to be organised by the student and approved by the school. The University’s Careers and Employability Service can provide advice on how to find and apply for a placement.

Information on fees for a placement or study abroad year can be found on the fees website.

Student support

All students have a personal tutor. Personal tutors are members of academic staff in the school and they will:
  • monitor your academic progress and check on your wellbeing
  • provide exam marks and help you reflect on feedback
  • act as a first point of contact for any guidance on academic or personal matters

At Nottingham we still offer small group tutorials of around six students. This ensures you have enough time to build a relationship with your tutor and benefit from their support. Your fellow tutees also provide peer support.

Additionally, the school has a dedicated Welfare Officer and a Student Liaison Officer who are available to help you adapt to university life and provide advice on more complex issues.

Peer mentoring

BioSoc is the student-led biology, genetics and zoology society. Alongside organising social, sporting and networking events, BioSoc provide peer mentoring. You will be matched with a senior student who can offer help and support and introduce you to the rest of what the society offers.

Mature applicants

We encourage applications from mature applicants. You should apply in the normal way through UCAS. There is various support available to you including peer mentoring and the Mature Students’ Network which organises social events throughout the year. Find out more on our mature students website.

International applicants

We welcome applications from international applicants.

The University’s International Office can provide advice and support throughout your application and preparation for coming to the UK.

Please see the entry requirements tab for English language requirements.

If you are unable to attend an open day, we can meet you in your country at one of our overseas events or arrange an individual visit to the University. Find out more on the International Office website.

Student profile

Entry requirements

A levels: AAB, including biology and a second science at A level, preferably from chemistry, physics or maths; geography and psychology are also accepted. A pass is required in science practical tests, if assessed separately. Maths and English GCSE grade 4 or above are also required.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

Alternative qualifications

For details please see the alternative qualifications page.

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through The University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our one year science foundation programme. Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.


Typical year one module

Genes, Molecules and Cells
Core Skills in Zoology
Life on Earth
Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour

Optional modules:

You also choose one optional module from the School of Life Sciences or from other schools in the University. Options from within the School of Life Sciences are as follows:

Human Physiology
Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Typical year two modules

Higher Skills in the Biological Sciences

Optional modules:

Behavioural Ecology Field Course
Biodiversity Field Course
Animal Behaviour and Physiology
Bacterial Genes and Development
Evolutionary Biology of Animals
Building Brains
Biological Photography and Imaging I
Evolutionary Biology of Animals
Molecular Imaging
Neurons and Glia
Developmental Biology
From Genotype to Phenotype and Back
Macromolecular Systems: Structure and Interactions
Infection and Immunity
Microbial Biotechnology
Structure, Function and Analysis of Genes
Structure, Function and Analysis of Proteins
The Green Planet
Signalling and Metabolic Regulation
The Genome and Human Disease
Pharmcological Basis of Therapeutics


Typical year three modules

Research Project
Science and Society

Optional modules:

Biological Photography and Imaging II
Evolution and Behaviour
Evolutionary Ecology
Conservation Genetics
Parasite Immunology
Population Genetics
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Aquatic Biology in a Changing Environment

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


You will have a broad understanding of the biology of animals, at both the organismal and the molecular level, and will have had the opportunity to focus on your particular areas of interest.

You will have acquired scientific, analytical and communication skills, and gained experience of a practical zoological investigation.

Find out more about the career options open to zoology graduates, including recent Nottingham graduate destinations by visiting our careers website.

Average starting salary

In 2016, 92% of undergraduates in the school secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,037 with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Careers Support and AdviceStudying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A ‘home’ student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King’s Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
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