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 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. We received an overall student satisfaction score of 92% for BSc Zoology in the National Student Survey, 2020.
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 we run unique field courses to a variety of locations across Europe and beyond. In our Tropical Zoology field course, you can learn first-hand about the amazing wildlife in locations such as the Galapagos Islands, Borneo or Madagascar. The costs of these trips are not included, although all are subsidised.
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.
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.
Our degree offers placement opportunities, either as a one-year option or as a short summer module. You can undertake placements across the UK and also around the world. Previously, students have completed placements in regions as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, the Azores and Iceland. You will receive advice and support to find your ideal placement. Recent placements have included assisting at nature reserves, the RSPCA Reptile Rescue, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Longleat Safari Park. You can also volunteer at the Cole Museum of Zoology and receive training in natural history curation.
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.