(Full time) 2023 start
Zoology MBiol, BSc
As a Zoology student at the University of Leeds you’ll study everything from animal physiology and behaviour, to how they are shaped by evolution and their environment. With the modern world encountering a series of global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and biodiversity conservation, knowledge and practical skills in Zoology are in high demand. Explore the effects of climate change on organisms, how they adapt, and develop methods for sustainable livestock production.
Your field courses will build on your practical lab and experimental design skills. In your final year you will be tasked with completing your own fully independent research project.
This integrated Masters (MBiol) gives you an additional year of specialist training, to study advanced research topics, with the option to study savannah ecology and conservation in Kenya. You may also choose to apply for our 3 year BSc and transfer to an MBiol up until the end of your second year, subject to suitable academic performance.
- Compulsory field courses comprise terrestrial zoology in the Yorkshire Dales and marine zoology in Pembrokeshire.
- You may also choose optional field courses to study sustainable urban ecology and African ecology in South Africa.
- Conduct a research project in the final year of your degree.
- You will experience extensive practical work from the lab to the field, from the use of cutting-edge molecular techniques in science, to animal physiology and sustainable livestock farming. Confront fundamental questions from adaptation to conservation.
- Research-led advanced topic modules in your final year cover diverse topics such as human genetics, conservation science, evolution and animal behaviour.
- One year of additional specialist training culminating in an extended research project.
Zoology is a degree within the School of Biology which offers you flexibility throughout your time studying at Leeds.
All of our biology degree courses share the same set of compulsory modules in the first year. A key benefit of having a common first year is that at the end of year 1, there are opportunities to transfer onto degree courses in Biology, Ecology and Conservation Biology and Genetics, subject to approval. Additional degree courses may be available depending on your academic background.
Ecology and Wildlife Conservation online course
Get a taste of Zoology MBiol with our exceptional online course, Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. Designed for anyone with an interest in the subject matter, this short course is particularly useful for high school students who would like to study Biology, Zoology, or Ecology and Conservation at University level.
With this two-week programme, you will discover how conservation biologists and the study of ecosystems can help protect wildlife and conserve the natural world. You’ll have the chance to explore the impact of wind farms on populations of seabirds, and investigate highly diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs.
Are you ready to take your first steps towards protecting our world’s incredible biodiversity?
Click here for a full list of our online courses.
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.
This accreditation is applicable to the following course variants: BSc Zoology (Industrial); MBiol Zoology; MBiol Zoology (Industrial); MBiol Zoology (International).
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Study zoology through core modules covering the basis of life, diversity, and evolution. Utilise multi-disciplinary approaches ranging from genetics to whole-organism biology and fieldwork. You will also be able to broaden your zoology perspectives by choosing optional modules, such as vertebrate evolution and the biology of the mind.
Year 1 compulsory field course: terrestrial zoology, Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.
Develop and strengthen your practical, experimental and analytical skills as you specialise in the core topics of zoology, including animal behaviour, development, evolution and physiology.
Year 2 compulsory field course: marine zoology in Pembrokeshire
Year 2 optional field courses: Urban ecology and conservation. This low carbon, accessible field course will introduce you to sustainable cities.
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
In your third year you will be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules at the cutting edge of zoological research. Advanced topics in conservation will give you an understanding of recent developments in conservation science and how this can be applied in practical scenarios.
In advanced topics in animal science you will examine the challenges of sustainable livestock production and discover the solutions emerging from new technologies and innovations. You will also undertake research preparation modules, complete a literature review and research proposal, with both components carrying over to Year 4 and forming the foundation of your independent research project. You will benefit from joining the research group of your supervisor in year 3.
You will carry out your independent project by joining a lab/research group at the cutting-edge of the relevant field. This helps to develop the high-level research and professional skills that will serve you well in your future career. You’ll also choose cutting edge Masters-level modules, such as bioinformatics, infectious diseases, and conservation genetics, enabling you enhance your key research skills.
Year 4 field course option: The African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. It will provide you with a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Zoology MBiol, BSc in the course catalogue
- Living Planet 20 credits
- Introduction to Genetics 10 credits
- Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field 10 credits
- Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course 10 credits
- Research and Study Skills Level 1 10 credits
- Biology Practicals and Data Analysis 20 credits
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
- Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues 10 credits
- Applied Biology and Agriculture 10 credits
- Biology of the Mind 10 credits
- The Basis of Life 20 credits
- Vertebrate Evolution 10 credits
- Animal Physiology 20 credits
- Experimental Design and Analysis 10 credits
- Animal Behaviour 10 credits
- Organismal Evolution 10 credits
- Animal Developmental Biology 10 credits
- Research and Study Skills Level 2 10 credits
- Marine Zoology Field Course 10 credits
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
- Population, Community and Conservation Ecology 20 credits
- Human Populations 10 credits
- Introduction to Bioinformatics 10 credits
- Parasitology 10 credits
- Urban Ecology and Conservation Field Course 20 credits
- Human Genetics 10 credits
- Skills in Communicating Research beyond the University 10 credits
- Advanced Research Skills and Experience 40 credits
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
- Social Insect Biology 10 credits
- Advanced Topics in Ecology 20 credits
- Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death 20 credits
- Advanced Topics in Human Genetics 20 credits
- Advanced Topics in Animal Science 20 credits
- Advanced Topics in Evolution 20 credits
- Evolution and Population Genetics 10 credits
- Advanced Topics in Conservation Science 20 credits
- Level 3 Field Course (South Africa) 20 credits
- Extended Research Project 80 credits
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
- Infectious & Non-infectious Diseases 10 credits
- Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
- Community Ecology 15 credits
- Conservation Genetics 15 credits
- Advanced Statistics 10 credits
- Introduction to GIS 15 credits
- African Field Ecology 20 credits
- Population Dynamics 15 credits
- Conservation Decision Science 15 credits
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, practicals and field research. Your first and second years will focus on these teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures, lab practicals, and private study.
Residential field courses provide an opportunity to study animals in their natural environment, with small group teaching and projects in animal development, behaviour, ecology and conservation.
A typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers comprehensive training.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
Including biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If biology is the only science subject then an A grade is required. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.
We accept the following:
Science: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
Science-related: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, statistics.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
When an applicant is taking any of the following:
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ)
Core Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)
AS Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
It will be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be a 1 grade drop from the standard offer. For example an A in one of the above qualifications with AAB at A-level (MBiol applicants).
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
D3/D3/M1 including biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If biology is the only science subject then a D3 grade will be required. Global Perspectives excluded.
D3/D3/D3 including biology and preferably another science subject. Global Perspectives excluded.
When an applicant is taking Global Perspectives this can be considered alongside Pre-U subjects and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. This would be D3/M1/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (BSc applicants) or D3/D3/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (MBiol applicants).
BSc: 6,6,5 at higher level including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If Biology is the only science at higher level, a 6 will be required.
MBiol: 6,6,6 at higher level including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If Biology is the only science at higher level, a 6 will be required.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
BSc: H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 in biology and preferably another science or science-related subject at higher level.
MBiol: H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including biology and preferably another science or science-related subject at higher level
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AB in 2 Advanced Highers including biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. General studies and critical thinking excluded. If biology is the only science subject then an A grade is required.
Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers including biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. General studies and critical thinking excluded.
Science subjects include: biology, human biology, chemistry, maths and physics.
Science- related subjects include: computing, environmental science, geography, geology, P.E, psychology, science in society, statistics, food science and use of maths.
Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Specific A Level subjects required – see entry requirement section above.
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
Access to Leeds: Pass
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. . For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
How to apply
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our admissions guidance page for more information about applying to undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed by UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants
As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Biological Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre, who will advise the applicant further.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships.
As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.
Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the faculty student opportunity team, Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.
Your zoology degree will prepare you for a wide range of roles in many sectors such as conservation, environmental, agricultural and pharma be they lab, office or field based. The skills and knowledge you develop will be relevant to zoology-related careers as well as broader opportunities after graduation.
Typical graduate careers include:
- Academic Researcher
- Environmental Consultant
- Science Writer
- Nature Conservation Officer
Examples of recent graduate destinations include:
- MSc Primate Behaviour and Conservation
- MSc Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology
- Herpetological Husbandry
- Data Analyst
- Nature Reserves Officer
We have a dedicated student opportunity team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.
We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual student-alumni networking event, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Labcorp, GSK, Nuffield NHS Ecological consultancies, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of your course studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Industrial placements are taken after your second year. This will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, the staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and recruitment process and provide details of organisations.
Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.
Combined study and working abroad
Our new module allows you to combine both a study abroad and industrial work placement into one additional year of study. Over the year you will study for a semester at one of our partner universities and complete an industrial work placement for 6 months abroad or in the UK.
Find out more about Combined study and work abroad.
One of the most exciting aspects of our degrees is the range of opportunities for fieldwork on offer. Field courses offer valuable opportunities to apply your knowledge and practical research skills outside of the lab, so we offer at least the option of a field course in every year.
Year 1: Coastal & Upland Habitats, Millport / Malham Tarn
Compulsory module: A week’s in-depth study of animals and plants in their natural habitats. Students are allocated to a group and each group has its specialist topic. For example, you may explore diurnal rhythms in insects, rocky shore diversity, seaweed ecology or how parasitic disease affects animal distribution.
Zoology students will visit and explore Malham Tarn, an internationally important reserve in a spectacular limestone landscape with a huge variety of terrestrial and freshwater habitats. Projects may include territoriality and habitat preferences of woodland birds, the ecology of carnivorous plants, cave spiders and limestone pavement ecology.
Year 2: Marine Zoology Field Course, Dale Fort, Pembrokeshire
Compulsory module: The beautiful Pembrokeshire coast offers us unparalleled biodiversity on sandy shores, rocky shores and mudflats. A key feature is that we use a range of disciplines. We explore the developmental biology of marine animals, their evolution and adaptations to the challenges of marine life, their behavioural interactions and community ecology. Students also design group projects: examples include in vitro fertilisation in limpets, sea squirt development, vigilance behaviour in shorebirds, antipredator jumping in shrimps and aggression in crabs.
Year 2: Urban Ecology and Conservation Field Course
Optional module: This interactive field course is designed to build upon your knowledge of ecology and conservation, in addition to exploring the value of biodiversity in a stimulating urban context. You will focus on the biodiversity, sustainability and reduced carbon emissions commitments around the University of Leeds.
Year 3: South Africa Field Course
Optional module: Based at the Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The area is rich in plants, birds and mammals (including the ‘big five’ – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard). Group projects designed by the students centre on the theme of a ‘landscape of fear’, and there are also guest lectures by local experts, a bird diary to complete, night drives in safari vehicles and a boat trip to watch birds and sometimes even whales.
Year 4: (MBiol) African Field Course
Our MBiol also offers you the chance to go to Kenya in your final year to conduct research at the Mpala Research Centre with a focus on ecological, conservation and wildlife management challenges in a semi-arid savannah environment. The course will be based primarily around small-group projects that are of ecological or conservation relevance to the region. This will reinforce and broaden your knowledge and understanding of the area and build upon aspects of the ecological training received at Leeds.