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BSc Zoology - What you'll learn – University of Reading

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  • Animal magic

    Prepare for a career working around the animal world

BSc Zoology - What you'll learn

Get to grips with the animal world in a unique course which puts you in contact with the subject from the very beginning.

Zoology is a rich and rewarding subject and the gateway to fascinating careers. At Reading, you'll have the opportunity to study Zoology right from the beginning of your degree - you don't need to spend your whole first year on more general biology, but instead will be able to focus and specialise in learning about life at the whole-animal level. You will learn in different contexts, receiving lectures from leading zoologists, and work in small groups and individually on practical work and research projects. You will work in our state-of-the-art laboratories, in the Cole Museum of Zoology, on field trips and on the campus. You will graduate with an excellent knowledge of zoology, which will make you stand out to employers at the beginning of your career. As well as core modules on essential zoology concepts and animals groups, we offer a range of optional modules to allow you to customise your degree.

"What I enjoyed most about the Zoology course at Reading was the range of interesting modules available. Even from my first year, I studied Zoology-specific modules. The course was therefore more engaging and felt specialised. The modules covered the entire animal kingdom, from sponges to dinosaurs to mammals. We learnt about their anatomy, their behaviour, their ecology and their evolution. You truly leave the course feeling like a well-rounded zoologist."

Rochelle Neve Edwards

BSc Zoology graduate

Below are three of our most popular modules to give you an idea of what we offer.

Examples of our modules

Mammals: diversity, behaviour and conservation

MSC Wildlife Management - Mammal ConservationMammals are a hugely successful and adaptable animal group, thriving in a vast range of environments and exhibiting some of the most complex social behaviours we see in nature. However, many species are threatened by habitat loss, climate change or overexploitation. In this first year module, you will learn how mammals function, how they communicate, and how the major mammalian groups differ from one another and are specialised to their environment.

You will also design and present a scientific poster on a relevant topic such as bushmeat hunting. There will be a particular emphasis on Carnivora, as these are the main study species of the module convenor Dr Phil Baker.


Vertebrate Zoology

cole museumThis second year module, convened by Dr Graham Luke, involves in-depth study of the major groups of vertebrates, including birds, reptiles and mammals. It combines palaeontology, anatomy, physiology, biogeography and developmental biology to give students a multifaceted understanding of vertebrate life: how they vary, how they evolved and diversified, and their adaptations to life in water, on land or in the air. You will develop skills in observation and communication through coursework assessment, which is based on lab reports from practical classes, some of which use specimens from our unique Cole Museum of Zoology.


Tropical Biology Field Course

Tropical fieldwork in Madagascar

The Galapagos Islands inspired Charles Darwin and continue to inspire evolutionary biologists today. Students on this field course, held in the summer between first and second year, will visit Ecuador and Galapagos to experience the amazing biodiversity of the area, guided by evolutionary ecologist Professor Mark Fellowes. You will visit a range of tropical habitats from cloud forests to mangroves, use field guides and keys to identify and record animals, and write and illustrate a field diary for assessment.

Places on this course are limited, but we offer a range of alternative field courses around Europe and beyond.


Find out more about BSc Zoology

For information about this course, entry requirements and funding, take a look at our course specifications page.

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