Skip to content

What makes Animal Biology and Ecology at Worcester special?

Animal Biology and Ecology complement each other and make an excellent combination for students wishing to gain a greater understanding of animals and how they interact with their environment.

Studying at Worcester will allow you to explore key theoretical aspects whilst developing excellent practical skills, invaluable for a rewarding career in this sector.

Key features

  • Enthusiastic and experienced lecturers committed to high-quality research-based teaching.
  • A friendly, supportive learning environment with an open-door policy and support from a personal academic tutor.
  • A strong introduction to species identification, biological surveying and laboratory skills.
  • Numerous fieldwork opportunities, including optional residential field course to Provence in the South of France.
  • The ability to apply the analytical theoretical techniques and knowledge to real-life ecological/biological issues.
  • Opportunity to study abroad or undertake a placement year.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

104 to 120 UCAS Tariff points.

Must include A2 or AS in Biology. Maths and other sciences, including Environmental Science and/or Geography, are accepted as part of these requirements.

Animal Biology and Ecology always consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including Access courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ. Non-standard entries are also accepted.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from   

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1


  • Ecological Diversity and Surveying
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Animal Diversity
  • Cell Biology 


  • Current Environmental Issues
  • Introduction to Climate Change

Year 2


  • Ecology – Individuals to Ecosystems
  • Molecular Genetics & Conservation


  • Research Practice and Professional Development
  • Project and Career Development
  • Field Techniques and Identification Skills
  • Ecology of Fresh Waters
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Work Experience 
  • Soils and the Environment
  • Animal Senses and Survival 
  • Comparative Digestive Anatomy and Physiology 
  • Invertebrate Biology 

Year 3


  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Physiological Ecology
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology


  • Independent Study in Ecology
  • Independent Study in Animal Biology
  • Project Management
  • Residential Environmental Field Trip
  • Zoo-based Conservation
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Mammalian Reproduction 
  • Animal Movement 
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics 
  • Parasitology
  • Genomics & Bioinformatics       

For further information about studying Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Worcester, download a copy of the Applicant's Handbook (2017 version).

Student experiences

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. 

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, field trips, laboratory practicals and interactive workshops. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through computer based activities, discussion and small group activities.  Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures, and laboratory and field practicals are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work.  Talks by environmental practitioners are also an important part of the course relating theory to practice.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first two years of the course and in the third year close contact should be kept with your Independent Study supervisor.

You use industry-standard analytical equipment throughout the course and have access to computer laboratory facilities with the latest software for geographical information systems (GIS), statistical analysis and meteorological modelling. You also use a wide range of field equipment.

You have an opportunity to undertake a semester long work placement module in the second year of the course, and are strongly encouraged to undertake environment-focussed paid or voluntary work during vacations and/or volunteer during semester. We have close links with environmental and wildlife associations which offer opportunities.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 12-16 contact hours of teaching.  The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. 

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 3-5 hours of group lectures
  • 3-5 hours of supervised lab practicals
  • 4 hours of field trips
  • 4 hours of interactive workshops or seminars

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes lecturers who have all had research and teaching experience at University level.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and a number of the course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, laboratory and field reports, presentations and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
3 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours’ duration
2 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
2 x group presentations
1 X reflective diary

Year 2
3 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours’ duration
4 x essays/reports/laboratory reports/critiques
1 x case study
1 x individual presentation

Year 3
1 x formal examinations of 1½ - 2 hours’ duration
4 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
2 x group presentations
1 X independent study report


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Ecology Joint Honours

Dr John Dutton talks about why the University of Worcester is the best place to study Ecology.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • john-dutton-science-university-worcester

    Dr John Dutton

    Has extensive experience of teaching undergraduate students, and has been involved with a wide-range of research topics. These have included the role of rabbits in sand-dune conservation, habitat use by small mammals, habitat restoration, and the ecology and impact of re-emerging wild boar in the Forest of Dean. John has also led ecological research expeditions. With extensive experience of working within the conservation sector as a countryside ranger and running a wide variety of practical habitat management projects, John also has a good knowledge of the management of recreation/ conservation issues.

  • Dr Kate Ashbrook

    Dr Kate Ashbrook

    Kate's background includes four years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Bath and a period as a field researcher for the Canadian Wildlife Service where she contributed to long-term monitoring of a seabird colony in Nunavut, Canada.

    Her research interests focus on using modelling to understand the dynamics of ecological systems and inform conservation management.

  • Dr Chris Brown

    Dr Chris Brown

    Chris studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Following completion of his Honours degree, he joined the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology where he worked on their sub-Antarctic programme for several years, which included over two years carrying out research on the energetics and ecology of penguins, albatrosses and petrels on Marion Island in the sub-Antarctic.

  • duncan-westbury

    Dr Duncan Westbury

    Duncan has extensive research experience in the management of agro-ecosystems to support biodiversity whilst simultaneously supporting ecosystem services within the farmed environment. Key areas of interest include approaches to reduce the use of pesticides in farming, and the promotion of wild pollinators. His undergraduate teaching is strongly influenced by previous and current research activities in agro-ecology. Duncan is the course leader for the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science programme.

  • diana-dine-science-university-worcester

    Dr Diana Dine

    With extensive experience in analytical techniques, Diana has developed an interest in contaminated soils and pollution regulation. To enhance student learning and employability, Diana has produced a variety of field and laboratory investigations for students and has co-authored a textbook on experimental design and statistics. This includes the determination of heavy-metal levels in contaminated soil at industrial sites; the extent of zinc leaching from galvanised structures and the retention of heavy-metals in constructed wetlands. Additional studies include the determination of nutrient concentrations of soils under different management regimes.


Where could it take you?

This joint degree will prepare you for a number of different career paths by equipping you with a range of intellectual, practical and social skills in addition to subject-specific knowledge. Skills much in demand by sector employers and wider graduate careers include technical and IT skills, data analysis and applied statistics.

Past graduates have gone on to jobs in ecological/environmental consultancy, nature and biodiversity conservation, education, health service. Wider careers have also included media, retail management and finance.

Many students continue their education by progressing onto an MSc, MRes, or PhD. Opportunities to pursue research careers at universities or research institutes are also available.

Prospectus cover - students outside our historic City Campus buildings

Request or download a prospectus

Request now


How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £12,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2018/19 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Animal Biology and Ecology BSc (Hons) - CC31


UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.


Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course leaders

Dr John Dutton
Course Leader, Ecology joint
01905 855237

Lorraine Weaver
Head of Biological Sciences
01905 855598