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Myerscough - 30-05-17 (187 of 306).jpg

BSc (Hons) Zoology

BSc (Hons) Zoology

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. The course will explore a wide range of zoology and animal science topics with an applied focus on broad themes around species ecology and biology, genetics, evolution and the latest global research. The course will prepare students for a wide range of careers throughout the zoological and animal industries.

The first year of the course provides an introduction to animal anatomy and physiology, behaviour, species ecology and evolution and biodiversity. The themes of species biology, wildlife legislation and policy, genetics and evolution and field research are further developed in the second year of the course. Students will also have the option to choose one module from animal population dynamics, global wildlife conservation, international zoo management or ecological survey techniques. In the final year of the course, students will complete a fieldwork module and a comprehensive research project alongside studying modules on zoological research and applied ecology.

Course modules

Year 1

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

The module aims to enable the students to describe the natural anatomical and physiological mechanisms that control behaviour, reproduction and defence against disease and impact on an animal’s welfare.

Introduction to Animal Behaviour

This module aims to develop an appreciation of the natural behavioural patterns of animals and how they are of key relevance when determining an animal’s captive requirements. This module will explore the factors that can influence animal behaviour and examine how these may be adapted, so that the animal can meet the needs of various roles including companion or working animals. The module will outline the biological principles of animal behaviour and develop an appreciation of current animal behaviour and welfare issues. Current applied research will be used to develop scientific knowledge in animal behaviour and will allow students to apply this knowledge to the diverse roles of animals in society and the role of the animal caretaker in forming behavioural responses in the animal.

Academic and Professional Skills

This module aims to develop student academic, cognitive, professional and transferable skills in order to help the transition from further to higher education and from dependent to independent learning. These skills will be developed in the subject specific context in conjunction with other modules and will underpin subsequent years of study. Through personal development, the module also aims to aid future graduate employability potential.

Species Ecology

This module will explore the ecology of living systems together with an introduction to ecological theory. Students will develop an overview of how organisms interact with their environment and one another, and how changes may affect these interactions. The module will explore the main ecological processes in terms of individuals, populations and communities and examine some of the main areas where human activity interacts with the environment. The module will also introduce students to elements of practical ecological surveying, identification and analysis of data collected.

Evolution and Biodiversity

This module aims to give students an overview of the range of life on earth, including plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms whilst distinguishing between levels of Linnaean classification. The module will explore the characteristics of selected diverse organismal groups whilst identifying and examining key evolutionary innovations leading to diversity of modern life and organism response to a changing environment.

Year 2

Ecological Survey Techniques (Option)

This module aims to explore the role of environmental impact assessments in the protection and sustainability of biodiversity. The module will investigate the use appropriate techniques to survey and monitor plant and animal populations and their biotopes effectively. The module will also develop techniques of evaluating animal and plant ecological survey data.

Wildlife Legislation and policy

Wildlife protection and the sustainable management of our natural heritage have become increasingly regarded as key policy aims for Government. However, the legal framework for wildlife management is complicated, frequently contradictory and criticised as overly prescriptive. Consequently, the law can actually create barriers to effective wildlife management, including the efficient implementation and enforcement of Government policy. This module will explore this vital and fascinating subject and equip students with the learning tools to help shape future wildlife policy and legislation.

Field Research and Analysis

The module examines experimental design and the validity of the findings. Students will explore how to design experiments so that the data collected can be assessed for accuracy and reliability. The appropriateness of a range of investigational methods will be explored together with suitable data analysis techniques. The module will enable students to develop a scientific approach to problem solving, which can act as a firm foundation for appraising research throughout their careers. They will gain an understanding of appropriate and inappropriate experimental design and this will enable a critical evaluation of investigational methodology and so enable the student to both conduct, and evaluate the quality of, investigations in their area of study.

Species Biology

This module will provide students with a general understanding of the biology of different living taxa, together with an introduction to major biological theories. The module will introduce the main themes and theories of biology, and examine the different evidence for evolution and natural selection. Students will examine the biology of the major groups of organisms. The module will also give students an overview of how organisms adapt to their environment and evidence of this having occurred.

Genetics and Evolution

The module will explore evolutionary theories and mechanisms of inheritance in the context of Mendelian inheritance patterns, cytogenetics and molecular genetics. Interspecies, intra-species and environmental interactions will be discussed in relation to the evolution of an ecosystem. Students will develop an appreciation of the application of the above theories to species conservation.

Animal Population Dynamics (Option)

The module will explore animal population dynamics building on knowledge and understanding from previous modules. Population dynamics will be discussed in the context of interspecies, intra-species and environmental interactions. Students will develop an appreciation of the complexity of establishing models for the assessment of animal population dynamics. Strategies will be explored to develop understanding of the necessity yet implausibility of generalisation in relation to successful planning and prediction of animal population dynamics.

Global Wildlife Conservation (Option)

This module aims to develop knowledge of global conservation initiatives and techniques to monitor and conserve wild species. The module will encourage the development of a critical understanding of the impact of conservation threats for endangered species and how these threats are controlled or minimised. Appreciation of anthropogenic threats and the practicality of implementing conservation strategies will be considered allowing for the development of critical thinking. This module will introduce national and international conservation conventions and legislation including the protection and harvesting of legal and illegal trade on endangered species and the implications for in situ conservation programmes.

International Zoo Management (Option)

This module aims to explore the issues related to the role of global zoos and aquariums. These issues are varied and will include the role of animal collections in education, conservation, research and recreation particularly in relation to endangered species.

Year 3

Research Project (Double module)

The aims of this double-weighted module is to equip students with the ability to understand and define clearly a problem to be solved and extract relevant material from a literature survey. Also to develop the ability to design and undertake an original investigation and to further develop the ability to present, analyse and interpret results. Students should also develop the ability to present a coherent, critical account of the work and how it relates to that of others; develop management skills; achieve a measure of independence and integrate the different aspects of the course and will be provided with e an opportunity to develop a programme of supervised independent research leading to the presentation of a substantial written Project.

Behavioural Ecology

This module examines the adaptive value of behaviour to enhance survival by exploiting resources, avoiding predators and maximising reproductive success. This module aims to explore the idea that behaviours are part of strategies to maximise reproductive success. The costs and benefits of alternative strategies to predict optimal strategies will be evaluated. The module will examine various life history strategies in a fluctuating environment and discuss the implausibility of the concept of group selection.

Frontiers in Zoology

This module aims to examine and address zoological research developments and to understand recent theoretical progression within the field of zoology. The module will address modern day frontiers in zoology including advancing adaptive behaviour in response to adverse environments and anthropogenic factors including human-animal inference. Through the critical evaluation of zoological research, this module will investigate methods to observe behavioural adaptations including social behaviour for a range of taxa whilst developing skills for effective implementation of a range of research methods.

Applied Ecology

This module provides students with a working knowledge of how ecological principles affect the lives of all, using examples drawn from industries and practices. These demonstrate how fundamental concepts of ecology are utilised to promote production and profit, often at the detriment of the environment.

Field Work

This module is based entirely around a residential field visit where students will study a number of ecosystems in detail and explore some of the techniques used to understand and investigate the animal world.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 104 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

  • 3 A Levels (A2) at C or above
  • BTEC/C&G Level 3
  • 4 Scottish Highers at C or above
  • 4 Irish Highers at C or above
  • International Baccalaureate at 24 points

AS Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview.

Learning and assessment

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops. Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.

Students will complete a variety of assessments including examinations and tests, practical assessments, essays, presentations, reports and group work.

There is no formal professional accreditation for this course. All students are encouraged to pursue membership of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and British Society of Animal Science (BSAS).


On successful completion of the course, students may apply for our MSc Animal Science programme here at University Centre Myerscough or other postgraduate study programmes such as MSc, M Phil, PhD or PGCE.


Graduates will be in a position to apply for posts in the animal and related industries with examples of possible careers including:

  • Zoologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Field trials officer
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Zookeeper
  • Research and development

Professional accreditations

There is no formal professional accreditation for this course. All students are encouraged to pursue membership of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and British Society of Animal Science (BSAS).

Special requirements

Laboratory coats are required for practical laboratory sessions. Waterproof clothing for field and outdoor visits. A black warehouse coat is essential for working on the Animal Centre and can be purchased from the on-line Myerscough Shop.

Costs that are mandatory for the course:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

  • Black Warehouse Coat - £15
  • Laboratory Coat - £12
  • Waterproofs and boots £50

Costs that are optional for the course:

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

  • Field Study trip to Shamwari Game Reserve (S. Africa) £3,500
  • Binoculars £30