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What makes an Integrated Masters in Zoology at Worcester special?

Zoology is the study of the structure, physiology and behaviour of animals.

Our course explores the wonders of the animal kingdom and the natural world in which they live. You'll learn about the fundamentals of biology, from the functioning of a single cell right up to the evolution, behaviour and ecology of animals.

In your final year, you will carry out an independent research project to showcase your development and set you apart from other graduates. Our modules also reflect some of the major challenges facing society today, including the environment, biodiversity and conservation.

Our Zoology degree has a strong practical emphasis, designed to prepare you for an exciting career in this fascinating field. This applied approach alongside our science personal development planning (PDP) scheme is designed to enhance your skills and expertise to boost your graduate employability.

If you have a passion for the subject doing a Masters year  to gain an MBiol qualification gives you the opportunity to explore the subject in greater detail by undertaking an extensive research project which can be used to gain a job at a higher entry level or help towards entry to PhD programmes.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Study for a four-year Integrated Master’s degree in Zoology in a friendly and supportive environment.
  • Explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, including their evolution, taxonomy, physiology, behaviour and conservation.
  • Shape a degree to suit you - build a firm foundation in core principles, whilst selecting from a wide range of optional modules such as Microbiology, Genomics & Bioinformatics, Parasitology, Current Topics in Zoology & Conservation and a residential field trip.
  • Follow your interests and career aspirations by choosing your Research Project. Past studies have looked at genetic diversity in European populations of Eurasian Lynx , identification of Nosema apis fungus from soil moisture and faeces from honey bee hives, a comparison of activity budgets and social behaviours of barbary macaques with and without dependent young, and suitable habitat for recolonisation of wolves in Central Europe.
  • Obtain a valuable postgraduate qualification and enhance your chances when applying for scientific jobs or a PhD degree.

Register your interest

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Zoology

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • 96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A level Biology and A level in another science, maths or statistics.
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A level Biology
  • Other qualifications will be taken into account when considering your application, typical BTEC entry would be DMM.

Language Requirements

Applicants for this course must have a good command of reading, writing and spoken English.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5.

Other information

International Students – Making an Application

If you are applying as an EU or Non-EU student you are strongly advised to apply online through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

If you are using The Common Application, you can add the University of Worcester to your list of colleges via this link and complete the application there. Further information can be found here “Making an International Application”.

Mature Students

We welcome applicants who hold alternative qualifications/experience and mature students who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Although recent preparatory study at an appropriate level (e.g. an Access to Higher Education Diploma) is recommended, students may be considered on the basis of prior evidenced professional/work experience and/or other assessment procedures, and the assessment of personal suitability. University Admissions Office staff can offer information, advice and guidance on this process. Further information can also be found here.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

Your first year will comprise core, mandatory modules that will underpin and prepare you for more advances, subject-specific modules in your second year.

  • Cell Biology
  • Health and Disease
  • Biological Diversity
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative Physiology

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Molecular Genetics and Conservation
  • Project and Career Development
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Plant Biology
  • Surveying Species and Habitats

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • Microbiology
  • Protein Structure and Function

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Physiological Ecology
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Welfare and Ethics in Biology
  • Residential Biology Field Trip

Optional

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Current topics in Zoology and Conservation
  • Parasitology

Year 4

Mandatory

  • Research Methods
  • Applied and Commercial Research
  • Integrated Masters Dissertation in Zoology

In the first year the modules allow you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the key elements of Zoology. In Years 2 and 3 the subjects become more specialised and our modular scheme allows you to focus on the aspects of animal life which you find most interesting, ranging from animal behaviour to eco-physiology. A strong practical emphasis runs throughout the course, complementing a traditional approach to learning and giving you the chance to develop the practical skills which could be of great value in later employment.

In your third year you will undertake a Research Project on a subject of your choice, having been well prepared for this by a Project and Career Development module in Year 2. Past studies have included topics such as genetic diversity in Europoean populations of Eurasian Lynx, identification of Nosema apis fungus from soil moisture and faeces from honey bee hives, a comparison of activity budgets and social behaviours of barbary macaques with and without dependent young, and suitable habitat for recolonisation of wolves in Central Europe.

Year 4 modules are common to a range of Biological Science Integrated master’s courses, but each subject specialisation will be achieved by students varying their selection of topics from within menus of material within each module. For example, a Zoology student will undertake an appropriate research project which will differ from the choices available to a Biochemistry student. Although there will be generic material, the individual skills delivered within the Applied and Commercial Research and Research Methods modules will also be tailored to deliver the individual needs of each Integrated Masters course.

Applied and Commercial Research is a unique aspect of our Integrated Masters programme compared with other institutions. It will offer students valuable insights into applied and commercial rather than just pure research. Most of this module will take advantage of current commercial and applied research expertise in our Charles Darwin Laboratories including the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit.

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. In year 4 you will interact with other students from other disciplines to produce a commercial research proposal which you will 'pitch' to customers. This module will also allow you to reflect on your role. Year 4 will also involve independent learning via a 60 credit dissertation.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, practical work, field work, video presentations, group tutorials, discussions, directed reading, and formative assessments. The first year also includes study skills sessions. The course is very practical and offers you the opportunity to undertake an independent project in your third year. The emphasis on the development of 'hands on' practical skills will provide you with useful skills for your future career.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to take a work experience module in your second or third year, to engage with an Erasmus scheme and spend a semester abroad, or to become involved in staff research through the Vacation Research Assistantship Scheme.

Year 4 will involve much more independent work and group work and the chance to engage in a substantial piece of research.

Contact time

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

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of supervised laboratory practicals
  • 1 hour of group workshops
  • 1 hour of Study Skills (first year only)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 27 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve going over your lecture notes and reading around the topic in order to reinforce the content, completing online activities, 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 will substantially increase in year 4.

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. You will mainly be taught by senior academics, but visiting speakers with specialised expertise may deliver some sessions. Technicians support practical sessions. Research assistants and post doctorial researchers will support pure and applied research in year 4.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy. All lecturers in Biological Sciences are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy or working towards this. Twenty per cent also have Teaching Fellowships from the University of Worcester. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

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 practical reports, presentations, posters, on-line activities, essays and examinations (which may be practical, written, data analysis, seen exams or open book exams).

Feedback

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.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Chris Brown is standing next to a car holding a cup of tea

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.

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-susanne-prankel

Dr Susanna Prankel

Susanna is a vet by training and has spent time in large, small and exotic animal practice in England, Germany and Zimbabwe. Susanna's teaching is very much informed by this practical experience as well as her research experience (particularly from her time at Cambridge University where she completed her PhD on cadmium in the human food chain particularly investigating the accumulation of cadmium in animals).

Susanna's interests are also shaped by her study of philosophy, resulting in a strong interest in animal welfare and ethics.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

For the first three years you will follow the same modules as students on the BSc (Hons) course, which offer excellent practical hands-on experience. This course will prepare you for a number of different career paths including wildlife warden, health services, scientific research, teaching and education, as well as progression to higher degrees such as a PhD.

It is becoming increasing difficult for graduates to obtain PhD positions with only a BSc (Hons) degree. Graduates with an Integrated Masters degree would have significant additional research expertise that would enable them to progress straight to an MPhil/PhD position. There is an increasing need for graduates in the UK economy as skilled researchers for UK PLC. Such graduates have much to offer within the general area of applied biological research but also, critically, to drive forward the innovation that is vital for the UK economy.

There are many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance your CV by carrying out voluntary work. Staff members in the Institute have links with several Wildlife Trusts (including Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) and other environmental and conservation agencies, Sea Life Centres, Safari Parks etc. and can help organise voluntary work (which can feed into Research Projects in the final year of study). There has also been the possibility for students to gain experience by volunteering to work within the Environmental Sustainability Eco Campus initiative.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.
Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £14,700 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 2023/24 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 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 an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Biological Science (Zoology) MBiol (Integrated Masters) - D350

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.

UCAS Code

C1C3

Get in touch

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

Dr Amy Cherry

Admissions tutor

SSE Academic Support Unit