Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2022

Introduction

In a nutshell

Human impact on the natural world has left devastating effects on wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Our BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology degree explores conservation theory and practice both in zoos and in the wild.

Accredited learning

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, our course focuses on conservation, both in zoos and in the wild - ideal if you wish to pursue a career involving wildlife, working in either of those environments. The course team also has close links with local zoos and aquariums that can provide you with a wide range of experiences throughout your studies.

Hands-on experience

One of the key features of this course is our strong emphasis on field trips – these include day trips as well as national and overseas residential trips with the majority of these trips being free. 

Learn more about studying wildlife conservation, explore course modules, tour our labs and speak to the course team, by attending our next Open Day

You will:
  • Develop awareness and use of practical skills that are used in wildlife conservation and zoos
  • Gain real-world perspectives with opportunity to go on a variety of UK and international field trips
  • Prepare for your graduate career as you combine scientific knowledge with practical skills
  • Have the option to take your studies to the USA with our partner Otterbein University
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

Course accreditations
Royal Society of Biology accreditation logo
Course details

All about the course

Students holding a snake

Course Delivery

Loss of biodiversity is an increasing concern at national, European and global levels. To work as a professional with wildlife and in conservation, you will need both practical skills and strong theoretical knowledge to meet the challenge of saving our wildlife and wild places. 

This course is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of wildlife, biodiversity and conservation of the physical environment, while also offering more specialist knowledge in areas such as monitoring environmental change and habitat conservation and restoration.

  • In your first year you will study a range of topics across several modules covering both theory and practice across the biological and environmental sciences
  • As you progress into year two, you will expand your subject knowledge and take specialist modules in wildlife behavioural ecology, conservation biology and zoo animal management.You can also choose to spend your second year studying with our partner Otterbein University in the USA
  • In your final year, you will undertake a research project based on a subject topic of your choice as well as taking core and optional modules, including zoo organisation and regulation
Learning Experience

Through a number of field trips to zoos, animal parks and wetlands, as well as the chance to travel to the Amazon Rainforest as part of your course, you will have the opportunity to apply your skills and gain real-world context for your studies and begin your journey in conservation in an unforgettable way.

Small group teaching is another key course benefit, and there are strong links between course content and University research projects. 

USA flag

Study in the USA

This course includes the option gain international experience by spending your second year studying at our partner Otterbein University in the USA. You will choose from a range of interesting modules and benefit from Otterbein's close links with local zoos and aquariums.

Industry Placement

On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Year one

Introduction to Zoo Biology

This module provides an integrative approach to understand basic concepts of zoo biology. It is largely lecture-based, and also includes day trips to local zoos.

Biodiversity

Life arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Today, Earth hosts an extraordinary diversity of organisms, with recent study estimating that there are between 2 and 20 million eukaryote species alive today (the vast majority of which have still not been identified and described by scientists). However, this is a small fraction of all the species that have ever lived, >99.9% of which are extinct. This module will give you an overview of this remarkable biodiversity, focusing on the major groups, their characteristics, their diversity, and their evolutionary relationships.

Global Distribution Wildlife

The module provides you an overview of the world’s major biomes. You learn about the importance of biogeography and the principal factors that drive the distribution of species and communities and how wildlife adapts to these factors.

Field Biology

This module will introduce students to field techniques required for ecological surveys of land and aquatic habitats. Learning will be delivered by lectures, non-residential fieldwork, computer and practical classes. The module will develop students to identification and taxonomy skills, and introduce GIS and its uses within fieldwork.

Genes to Ecosystems

In the first trimester, this module provides a systems-led approach to understand basic concepts of genetics. In the second trimester, this approach is extended to understand basic concepts of ecosystems. 

Study Skills

In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year one and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Year two - University of Salford

Conservation Biology

This module will introduce you to the modern concepts of conservation biology at the level of species and populations, the existing tensions between theory and practice in species conservation planning, and an overview of the interdisciplinary toolbox used by conservation biologists (for example IT packages and DNA fingerprints). You will also be given the chance to design an appropriate conservation programme for a species or population, including the projection of future survival under varying scenarios.

Wildlife Behavioural Ecology

This module focuses on the principles of wildlife ecology and animal behaviour with particular reference to mammal and bird species. It also introduces scientific methods in the study of ecology and behaviour.

Conservation in Zoos

On this module you will gain a critical awareness of zoo conservation programmes and the role of zoo professionals. Additionally, you will learn about reproductive biology, genetics, and disease in zoos and zoo animals and how to manage these.

Research Skills

The aim of this module is to show you how to learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and to develop your practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during the rest of the course and beyond.

Choose one option from the following:

Animal Welfare: Science and Practice

The aim is to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of animal welfare science whereby students get to critically assess the outcomes of different solutions to real-world animal welfare problems.

Primate Behaviour and Conservation

This module aims to provide you with knowledge of the structure and evolution of primate societies. You will look at the Primate Order, its distribution and the conservation priorities for primate species. You will gain an understanding of the ecological and demographic processes that underlie different types of social systems and an insight into the way in which evolutionary ecological, genetic and physiological analyses can facilitate this understanding.

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

Ocean Challenges

In this module you will learn about the challenges faced by the marine ecosystems and marine organisms. The module provides the you with the opportunity to engage in actual data collection and data analysis during a residential course (compulsory to the module). You will also look at contemporary environmental issues in marine biology. The module encourages you to adopt an investigative approach to ecological studies.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Plus one option from the following:

Animal Evolution (Marine and Wildlife)

This module provides an overview of how diversity in the animal kingdom has evolved. It also illustrates the basic principles of evolution as a force to create biodiversity.

Ecology in Action

You will study the fundamental principles of population and community ecology, including the impact that factors such as competition, predation and parasitism may have on population size and community structure. This module also has a residential field course where students put theory into practice and conduct their own ecological studies.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Year Two - Otterbein University, USA

Otterbein University

This course includes the option to spend your second year studying with our partner Otterbein University in the USA.

In year 2 at Otterbein University you will study a range of core and optional modules. Throughout the year you will be supported by a tutor based in Salford whom you will have had as your first year tutor and also by a local tutor at Otterbein.   

Core modules:

Conservation Biology

Math (Statistics 1)

Animal Behavior

Zoo Enrichment and Animal Training

Zoo Management & Conservation Engagement

Optional modules - you can choose 2 from the following:

Genetics

Ecology

Marine Science

Evolution

Wildlife Rehabilitation 

Year three

Frontiers in Zoo Biology

On this module you will integrate knowledge from previous zoo biology modules into a practical application. You will gain an understanding of how zoos achieve their stated aims from an economic, practical and scientific view-point and the strategies they use to advance their stated goals.

Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

This module looks at the maintenance and transmission of infectious diseases of veterinary or zoonotic interest. Particular interest is focused on the role of wildlife species in the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. The role of arthropod-vectors in transmitting infections, and how this influences the ecology of such infections, is also studied. 

Choose one option from

 

Final Year Project and Professional Skills (HANS)

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including both data collection/generation (for example, via lab-based research or fieldwork) and analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Final Year Project with Science Communication and Professional Skills

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including data analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will learn about science communication and the variety of methods in which science can be disseminated and communicated, and then put these methods into practice. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Plus one option from

 

Animal Cognition and Social Complexity

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the cognitive abilities and limitations of nonhuman animals, with a particular focus on nonhuman primates. The course also develops your understanding of the cognitive challenges associated with living in complex social groups.

Environmental Geographical Information Systems

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

This module is based round a 2-week field trip to a tropical biology field station. Students will learn concepts in, and approaches to, tropical ecology and conservation and biodiversity in tropical ecosystems. The module involves an independent research project in the field that will be written up as a scientific report.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

And one option from

Applied Freshwater Biology

This module aims to enable you to gain a knowledge and critical understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater systems relevant to the water industry and related organisations which regulate and control pollution of the aquatic environment.

It also provides you with the necessary skills and techniques to undertake biological and chemical evaluation of water quality ecology, fish population and condition to apply these in novel situations to generate data for interpretation. In particular, you will be provided with the necessary laboratory skills to test water quality to the standards of the Water Framework Directive UK.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

This module is based round a 2-week field trip to a tropical biology field station. Students will learn concepts in, and approaches to, tropical ecology and conservation and biodiversity in tropical ecosystems. The module involves an independent research project in the field that will be written up as a scientific report.

Habitat Conservation and Restoration

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of conservation science at the habitat level, including the restoration of ecosystems which underwent human-induced deterioration in the past.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

The co-creation of knowledge is an overarching learning and teaching strategy at Salford. We encourage you to see yourself as a producer of knowledge and a collaborator in your learning experience.

Learning methods are designed to train you to assess real-life situations and provide measures that would lead to improved professional practice.Typical methods include:

  • Lectures which will introduce you to core wildlife conservation topics 
  • Seminars and tutorials where you can discuss topics in more detail with your tutors and other students in smaller groups 
  • Laboratory practicals delivered in our Bodmer Laboratories where you can test and apply your knowledge and build proficiency using scientific equipment
  • Field trips, including residential field courses and day visits to sites of conservation interest, that bring classroom theory to life

ASSESSMENT

Assessment strategies are designed to develop your skills for future employability and assessment success. We regularly provide you with feedback via written communication, online notes, and group activities.

Typical assessment combines coursework and examination, and this will vary depending on your level of study. We also use other formal, informal and continuous assessment methods that could include:

  • Research projects
  • Laboratory reports
  • Essays
  • Literature reviews
  • Field notebooks
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.

Facilities

Experience a modern learning environment at our Peel Park campus, featuring accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a wildlife conservation student, you will be based in our advanced, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. This specialist, purpose built facility ensures that you benefit from the latest technologies to keep teaching and learning apace with cutting-edge innovation and discovery.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Conservation monitoring

EMPLOYMENT

The course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. These include building specialised wildlife conservation knowledge, as well as report writing, data interpretation, teamwork and project management skills.

Zoos hold an important role in the conservation of biodiversity, with many species now bred in captivity as part of national, regional and international breeding programmes. As a result, it is likely that zoos will increase their breeding, scientific and education activities in the future. Equipped with this degree, you will be well placed to pursue these career opportunities.

You have many opportunities to work in voluntary and government conservation organisations operating at local, national and international levels. Opportunities also exist for you to work in environmental consultancies, environmental education and in zoos. Previous students have gained employment in zoos, country parks, animal sanctuaries and environmental consultancies.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about biosciences. Building on our scientific expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a generous fees discount. 

Wildlife Conservation graduates can also choose to follow a research programme with our Biomedical Research Centre or our Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre to further their knowledge in topics such as microbiology, parasitology and conservation. Some of our graduates have completed PhD research studying orangutans in Borneo, large animals in Tanzania.

Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.

A taste of what you could become

a wildlife reserve manager

a wildlife ranger

an environmental consultant

a zoo keeper

an education officer

AND MORE...

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

You will have a genuine broad interest in wildlife and conservation, enjoy working outdoors in all weathers, as well as collecting and analyzing data. We expect you to be interested in biology and the environment.

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not have academic qualifications in relevant subjects, but have experience working in zoos or with conservation organisations.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications.

If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 UCAS points

A level

104 - 112 UCAS points

BTEC National Diploma

DMM

Diploma in Foundation Studies

104 - 112 UCAS points, Merit/Distinction

Scottish Highers

104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject

International Baccalaureate

30 points

Access to HE

104 - 112 points from QAA approved access course

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15,900per year
Part-time 2022/23 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home 2023/24 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2023/24 £16380per year
Part-time 2023/24 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the university but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the university but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the university) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. For the trip to the tropics (as part of the optional Tropical Ecology and Conservation module) there is a fee of about £600 and students need to pay for their own flights and visa.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

International Student Scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

ALL SET? LET'S APPLY

Enrolment dates

September 2022

September 2023

UCAS information

Course ID D4C3

Institution S03