Undergraduate

Zoology

A female Environmental Science student in the tropical aquarium
two students examining a hippo skull
students using microscope in biology lab
students preparing for a diving training course in scuba gear

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Explore all aspects of animal life and develop the skills employers are looking for with this hands-on Zoology degree.
You'll have the flexibility to focus on the species that interest you across a range of contexts – from animal behaviour to conversation – allowing you to build a course to suit your passions and future ambitions.
Whatever you choose to focus on, you'll be part of a small, friendly department and taught by experts in the field, including three winners of the Royal Society of Biology’s Teacher of the Year Awards.
Open up your career options under the water by becoming a PADI-qualified diver as part of your degree.²
Develop practical skills right here on campus by getting hands-on in industry-standard facilities such as our tropical aquarium.
Zoology doesn't just take place in the classroom. With this course, you'll also enjoy a blend of laboratory and field-based practical teaching too.
A female Environmental Science student in the tropical aquarium
two students examining a hippo skull
students using microscope in biology lab
students preparing for a diving training course in scuba gear
Tropical Aquarium
Biological & Marine Science - Zoology

Code

Duration

Mode

Zoology is all about animals, whether you just want to understand them better or work to protect the amazing biodiversity of our planet.

This can’t just be done in a classroom so this course focuses on a blend of laboratory and field-based practical teaching, as we recognise the need to work across disciplinary boundaries to solve global issues.

And you’ll be taught by some of the best experts in the country. Our academics include three winners of the Royal Society of Biology’s Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award. No other university can claim that.

  • Award-winning

    academics teach on this course 1

  • Focus on the species

    that interest you most

  • Dive in

    and train to be a PADI-certified diver 2

  • Field trips

    to places like Brazil, Egypt and Mallorca 3

  • 1st in the UK

    for Value Added 4

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Course overview
Module options

About this course

Explore all aspects of animal life, from subcellular level to ecosystems, in a course designed for 21st-century scientists.

You’ll control the emphasis of your studies with opportunities to focus on species that interest you across a range of contexts including conservation, ecology, behaviour, evolution, environmental management, physiology, cell biology and genetics – allowing you to build a course to suit your passions and ambitions.

Our teaching takes place in a friendly, supportive environment – and is led by award-winning academics – but our degree is also career-focused with lots of opportunities to learn in the field so that you develop the practical experience to complement your theoretical knowledge.

Recent overseas trips have included Mallorca, Malaysia and Brazil, and you’ll also be spending time on residential field trips in the UK.

Plus, our programme is built around skills requested by bioscience employers, including genomic technologies, field survey techniques, GIS, and science communication skills. You can even become a PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver as part of your degree, putting you one step ahead of the competition when you graduate.2

Scheduled study hours and how you’re assessed

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

How you'll be assessed depends on the course you study, and the modules you choose. You may be assessed through a mix of examinations, coursework, presentations and group projects.

Choose your modules

Each year, you’ll study modules worth a certain number of credits, and you need 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits – so you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more. In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120. Some modules are compulsory, some are optional, so you can build a course that’s right for you.

Preparing for Learning in Higher Education

This module is designed to give you the best possible start to your university studies, making sure you have all the essential skills you need to succeed. Through lectures and workshops we will teach you how to write in an academic style, how to find quality sources, how to reference work, culminating in writing up a mini-research project.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Biological Sciences 1

This module covers basic knowledge on cells and biological molecules and how they are connected to the function of major organ systems in animals, plants and humans. The main topics are cell structure, exchange and transport, the genetic code, microbiology and energy processes.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Data Analysis

You'll be introduced to different ways of analysing qualitative and quantitative data, learn how to code qualitative data and use descriptive and inferential statistics to analyse quantitative data.

Core20 credits

Group Challenge (Sciences)

In a group, you'll formulate questions that can be tested by scientific investigations and take part in weekly workshops with academics.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Biological Sciences 2

Explore a range of biological topics relating to whole organism biology, diversity and adaptations. Through lectures, workshops and practical sessions you will delve in to the world of classification and identification, natural selection and evolution, food security, population biology, environmental monitoring and human impacts.

Core20 credits

Foundation Maths Skills

This module delivers core mathematics skills at level two and three to give a solid basis for future studies. You will study the following topics: manipulation of numerical data and converting between different units of measurement; exponentials and logarithms; and standard form and problems involving ratio, proportion and percentages.

Optional20 credits

Foundation Mathematics A

You will study pure mathematics topics, including proof, algebra, trigonometry, differentiation, integration, exponentials, logarithms, sequences and series. The applied topic is probability and statistics.

Optional20 credits

For those who do not have a strong enough academic background for direct entry to the full BSc course, a foundation year provides a foundation of scientific, intellectual and investigative skills and knowledge, while developing a reflective and adaptive approach to study. You learn through a mix of formal study, discussion, and practical experience.

7 Modules

Cells and Organelles

Explore the fascinating inner workings of cells, giving you a foundation in areas such as cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. 

Compulsory20 credits

Diversity of Life

​Through practical workshops, this module introduces you to the diversity of life and the fascinating adaptations that enable organisms to inhabit nearly all conceivable ecological niches.

Compulsory20 credits

Marine Biology: An Introduction

From space, the planet is blue. Marine life has evolved into a myriad of forms living in some of the most extreme habitats on the planet; from great depths to battered coasts. This introduction to marine biology explores the marine environment, the diversity of life within it and how to conserve it.

Compulsory20 credits

Evolution

Why did sex evolve? Why do we die? What is a species? How can evolutionary medicine help us? This module will provide you with an understanding of how life on earth came to be what it is, from genes to species. Without evolution, nothing in Biology makes sense.

Compulsory20 credits

Ecology (with optional Dive Training)

Ecology is the study of interactions among living organisms and their environment, and is the basis for nature conservation and understanding human impact on the planet. Gain an understanding of ecological theory, applied ecology, and the collection and analysis of ecological data. You can choose to complete integrated PADI Advanced Open Water training, with an opportunity to develop specialist diving skills relevant to ecological science.

Compulsory20 credits

Principles of Genetics

Explore core genetic concepts leading to an understanding of how genetics underlies the biological and molecular traits observed in organisms. 

Optional20 credits

Introduction to Environmental Science

Discover the fundamental principles of environmental systems and the interconnectedness of humankind with the environment.

Optional20 credits
7 Modules

Vertebrate Zoology

This module provides an integrated view of vertebrate biology by showing how changes over time and geography drive morphology, physiology, behaviour, and ecology in different vertebrates. Structure-function relationships are presented to appreciate how different animals evolve similar solutions and adaptations to the same ecological challenge while closely-related animals diversify in response to different environmental challenges.

Compulsory20 credits

Behavioural Ecology

Develop your understanding of why wild animals behave the way they do. You’ll study the proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour, and the interactions between animals and their environment.

Compulsory20 credits

Genetic Analysis

You'll take a  problem-based approach to understanding modern molecular genetics and genomics of eukaryotes. 

Optional20 credits

Conservation Biology

Have we entered a new era of mass extinctions? Examine current threats to biodiversity and the characteristics that make some species more vulnerable than others. Learn to use scientific evidence to support biological conservation strategies.

Optional20 credits

Geographical Information Systems

Develop your understanding of the principles and processes behind GIS, the nature and use of spatial data and the application of GIS on this practical module.

Optional20 credits

Environmental Change

Investigate how the environment, especially the climate, changes in the past, present and future through a combination of lectures and practical activities. 

Optional20 credits

Cellular Regulation and Biotechnology

This module will explore the inner workings of the cell, and how our understanding of cell biology can be used in biotechnology. We will consider a range of human, animal, microbial and plant based signalling systems, as well as core techniques. 50% of the module will be based around a lab based project using fluorescent reporter proteins (e.g. GFP). The module will also support you in reading and critically evaluating research papers.

Optional20 credits

Molecular Evolution and Genomics

This module will focus on the big topics in molecular evolution. What do genomes contain and why? How do we build trees from DNA sequences? How can recombination or gene duplication or transposons lead to adaptation? How do we detect selection in the human genome? We’ll cover these in theory and in practice with some fascinating examples from nature.

Optional20 credits

Ecological Monitoring

You'll monitor species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater and marine communities.​

Optional20 credits

Marine Interactions

This module will explore the interactions between marine species, from individual species to marine communities. We will look at individual adaptations, the interactions that structure communities and how species live together.

Optional20 credits
10 Modules

Final Year Projects

Show off what you have learned across your degree! Undertake traditional research-based projects with experts in subjects like climate change, or try something a bit different like creating a documentary on shark attacks. Whatever you choose, it will be something that takes pride of place on your CV. 

Core40 credits

Biology in Education

Gain valuable experience in the professional environment of education via placements at local schools, colleges or other educational organisations. You'll be a role model for science in the classroom while you train your communication and collaborative skills.

Core40 credits

Bacterial Genome Sequencing

Prepare DNA from microorganisms, carry genome sequencing, assemble the sequencing reads into a bacterial genome, detect and catalogue the antibiotic resistance genes present and understand the biological importance of this knowledge. You'll be immersed in intensive hands-on laboratory work that will develop excellent employability skills.

Core40 credits

Invertebrate Zoology

Invertebrates are among the most diverse and awesome creatures on the planet, bursting with weirdness, colour and intrigue. They are also among the most important animals - vital to ecosystems we depend on for survival. On this module you'll meet world-leading experts in their fields and have the chance to get hands-on with live invertebrates (where possible) in practical sessions and field trips.

Compulsory20 credits

Sensory Physiology of Animals

Discover the fascinating world of animal communication to learn how sensory systems control behaviour, and how this is applied to and affected by human activity, including climate change.

Optional20 credits

Field Studies (Biology)

Recent students have selected from destinations including a dive-based trip in Malaysia and an exploration of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil (financial contribution required).

Optional20 credits

Sex and Social Behaviour

You'll develop a deeper understanding of fascinating topics such as the evolution of sex, cryptic female choice, sperm competition, sexual conflict, parental care, brood parasitism, co-operative breeding and much more.

Optional20 credits

Aquatic Resource Management

Learn key elements of aquatic resource management, including status of aquatic resources, exploitation methods, management processes and sustainability.

Optional20 credits

Adapting to Climate Change

Investigate climate change, its impact on us and our adaptions to it, as well as future climate change scenarios. This module uses a combination of lectures, PC practicals and seminars.

Optional20 credits

Animal Welfare and Ethics

Animals are used by humans in various ways. You'll explore animal welfare and ethics questions in the use of animals. What are the conflicts between human needs and animal welfare? What is known about animal suffering? 

Optional20 credits

Practical Conservation

Work in partnership with local environmentally orientated organisations to learn about the day-to-day practicalities of species and habitat management.

Optional20 credits

Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring

Examine the need for and context of field-based environmental monitoring strategies for both habitats and species. By taking part in fieldwork and research, you'll monitor a range of species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater monitoring and monitoring of marine communities.

Optional20 credits

In your final year, you'll secect one module from the core modules.

12 Modules

Playlist

Dr Dom Henri

Course Overview 2 mins

Zoology Close-Up

Course highlight 3 mins

Life Below Water

Research Highlight 2 mins

eDNA Monitoring

Research Highlight 3 mins

Entry requirements

What do I need?

When it comes to applying to university, you'll need a certain number of UCAS points. Different qualifications and grades are worth a different amount of points. For this course, you'll need…

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it's not just about the grades - we'll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

Have questions? Our admissions team will be happy to help.

What do I need?

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull.

If your English currently does not reach the University’s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees & funding

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

Take a look at our facilities

Tropical Aquarium

Home to a vast range of tropical fish and marine species, our on-campus aquarium allows teaching and research to take place side by side.

Marine Biology Laboratory

Get up close with marine life on campus in this laboratory – one of our core facilities for our biological and environmental science teaching and research.

Teaching Labs

You’ll spend a lot of time getting hands on with your subject with one of our many newly-refurbished teaching laboratories on campus.

Molecular Laboratory

Learn and practise all the latest techniques in cell and tissue analysis in the same facilities our academics use for their cutting-edge research.

See more in our virtual tour

Look around

Look around

A male technician in a white coat and protective glasses working on equipment in a science lab
A female scientist in protective clothing looks at data on a computer screen in the Hull Molecular Imaging Centre
Tropical Aquarium
Cohen Building Marine Biology Lab
A male technician in a white coat and protective glasses working on equipment in a science lab
A female scientist in protective clothing looks at data on a computer screen in the Hull Molecular Imaging Centre
A student smiling from the bough of a boat on a marine conservation expedition

Future prospects

Our graduates go on to a wide-range of careers including professional biologists, laboratory officers, environmental consultants and microbiologists working for employers such as Reckitt, the Environment Agency, Natural England, wildlife trusts and conservation agencies.

Students also go into postgraduate study across the world, including enrolling on our taught MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Pollution Monitoring, research Masters programmes, or PhDs.

University of Hull Open Day

Your next steps

Like what you’ve seen? Then it’s time to apply.

The standard way to apply for this course is through UCAS. This will give you the chance to showcase your skill, qualities and passion for the subject, as well as providing your academic qualifications.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our next Open Day, and see all that Hull has to offer for yourself. Talk to our lecturers about your subject, find out what university is really like from our current students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

  1. Three of our friendly, supportive lecturers are winners of the Royal Society of Biology’s 'Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award'.
  2. Module options include PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver training (extra fee may be payable).
  3. Most overseas trips run in the summer between the second and third year. There is an extra charge but the trips are subsidised. Destinations listed are currently included in our list of field trip opportunities but may be subject to change.
  4. (Zoology, Joint 1st) The Guardian University Rankings 2024.

 

All modules presented on this course page are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

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