BSc Zoology with Foundation
Study animals in their natural habitat – gaining expertise in evolution, physiology, behaviour and conservation – and develop core academic skills with our BSc Zoology with Foundation degree.
This four-year programme includes a foundation year that leads directly into the three-year BSc Zoology course.
The foundation year will provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed at university. You’ll develop core skills in academic study, writing and research.
Your subject-specific studies will focus on basic principles in:
Your learning will be delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.
A foundation year is more than just a stepping-stone to a degree. You will also benefit from:
- access to our full range of facilities and resources
- full integration into university life, before your degree year begins
- experience of an academic environment, and the ability to work independently
- specialist support and guidance.
After successful completion of your foundation year, you’ll progress onto our three-year BSc Zoology degree.
Not many degrees give you the opportunity to get your hands on a lion’s skull at the University’s own museum, but with our BSc Zoology 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 interested in the subject as a whole, we’ll help you get the most out of your degree.
Choose BSc Zoology at the University of Reading
- 93% of graduates from Biological Sciences are in work or further study within 15 months of graduation (based on HESA data, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20; includes all Biological Sciences responders).
- All graduates are eligible for membership of The Royal Society of Biology and can apply for Chartered Biologist status.
- In the National Student Survey 2023, 91.67% of our students said that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (91.67% of respondents studying BSc Zoology with Foundation).
Many other universities offer a one-size-fits-all, shared first year to all students – from ecologists to biochemists – but, at Reading, you’ll study animals from day one.
Enthusiastic academics from the School of Biological Sciences will teach you about animal life at all levels, from the simplest forms through to birds and mammals.
Your zoology studies will explore the breadth of the animal world, including:
- animal behaviour
Our wide range of optional modules enables you to follow your specific interests in this vast, fascinating area of study.
Field coursesField courses are one of the most popular aspects of our degree, offering unique opportunities for real-world, experiential learning.
You’ll develop practical experience of lab and field research techniques, equipping you with essential skills and confidence and boosting your employability.
In your second year, our field courses could take you to a variety of locations across Europe and beyond. For example, our Tropical Zoology Field Course module has allowed students to learn first-hand about the amazing wildlife, biodiversity, and conservation efforts in locations such as:
- the Galapagos Islands
- South Africa
The costs of these trips are not included, although all are subsidised.
In your final year, you can complete a field or lab-based research project under expert supervision – an opportunity no longer offered in many universities. Our projects have ranged from studying urban mammals such as hedgehogs, foxes and red kites, to insects and pond or fresh-water animals, to animals in zoos.
Your studies will be based in our £60m Health and Life Sciences building. This space features:
- research and teaching laboratories
- seminar rooms
- study and social space
- a cafe.
The building is also home to the Cole Museum of Zoology. The collection, comprising more than 3,500 natural specimens, provides a fantastic resource for biological scientists and the wider community.
The Museum will feature extensively in your zoology studies, offering unique opportunities to develop hands-on skills in taxonomy and natural history conservation. As a student, you can also volunteer at the museum and receive training in curation.
Placements with BSc Zoology
Our degree offers placement opportunities, either as a one-year option with our BSc Zoology with Professional Experience, or as a short summer module.
Placements are available across the UK and around the world – past students have travelled to regions as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, the Azores, and Iceland.
Recent placements have included:
- Bristol Zoo
- Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
- Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
- Quantock Ecology
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
- Environment Agency.
You’ll receive advice and support to find your ideal placement. For more information, visit our Zoology placement webpages.
- Luke Forrest completed a one-year placement at Dstl, enhancing the behaviour and training of operational search dogs, and acquired the skills and experience to land a job with them after he graduated.
As part of your degree, you can apply to study for a year abroad at one of our partner universities across the world.
All classes are conducted in English and bursaries are available to help with travel and accommodation costs.
Visit the Study Abroad website for more information.