Not many degrees give you the chance to study animals in their natural habitat or get your hands on a lion’s skull at the University’s own Museum, but with our BSc Zoology with Professional Experience course, that’s just a tiny part of what’s on offer.
Zoology is the science of animals. Whether you’re passionate about one particular group of animals, or love the subject as a whole, our enthusiastic academics will help you get the most out of this degree.
Many other universities offer a one-size-fits-all shared first year to all students from ecologists to biochemists, but at Reading you will study animals from day one. You will have the opportunity to build up field experience and select optional modules to follow your specific interests in this vast and fascinating area of study.
You study animal life at all levels, from the simplest forms through to birds and mammals. You will learn about populations and ecosystems, animal behaviour, evolution, biodiversity and conservation.
In your second year you can undertake field work in a variety of locations including Devon, Sweden, Spain, South Africa and a tropical site, which in the past has included Borneo and Madagascar. The costs of these trips are not included, although all are subsidised.
In your third year you will complete a professional industry placement, allowing you to develop technical expertise and experience that aim to increase your employability and widen your skill set.
In the final year, you can complete a cutting-edge research project under expert supervision, either in the field or the lab – an opportunity that is no longer offered in many universities. We arrange projects on a wide range of animals including urban mammals such as hedgehogs and foxes, red kites, insects and pond or fresh-water animals. We also offer projects on animals in zoos.
In the final year there is also an opportunity to carry out your final-year research project at a European university under the Erasmus+ scheme. Previous students have worked at an overseas institute during the summer such as KL University in Malaysia or have studied leopards in South Africa. We achieved an overall student satisfaction score of 92% in the National Student Survey 2020 in BSc Zoology.
Our new £60m Health and Life Sciences building will open in 2020. As the new home of the School of Biological Sciences, it will offer state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, and plenty of study and social space, including a café. The building will also house the Cole Museum of Zoology. The collection, featuring over 3,500 natural history specimens, provides a fantastic resource for biological scientists and the wider community.
The Museum is used extensively in teaching in Zoology and provides you with unique opportunities to develop hands-on skills in taxonomy and natural history conservation. You can volunteer at the museum and receive training in natural history curation.
All our degrees offer placement opportunities, both as a one year option or as a summer module. Students receive help and training to find the ideal placement for them.
For more information about securing and completing a placement for your placement year, please visit our Important Information page.
For more information, please visit the Zoology website.
Being zoology students at Reading was a fantastic experience. The zoology degree was engaging, challenging and enjoyable.