Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology with Foundation Year
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
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 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.
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
- 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
This is for you if...
You want an excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
You didn't meet the requirements for our BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology
All about the course
The introductory foundation year is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of core biological processes and other aspects of environmental studies.
Following a carefully-designed suite of modules, you will develop communication and study skills, experience field and laboratory work and learn to manage field data.
Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology honours degree.
BSc (Hons) Degree
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.
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.
- 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.
Studying wildlife involves getting close to nature. Through field trips to zoos, animal parks and wetlands, as well as the chance to travel to the Amazon Rainforest, you will have lots of opportunities to apply theory, build your skills and gain real-world context for your wildlife studies.
Small group teaching is another key course benefit, and your tutors can draw on strong links between course content and live research projects in our Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre.
Study in the USA
This course includes the option to 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.
On this course, you will also 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.
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.
This module will help you develop practical skills in the fields of biological, chemical and environmental science. It includes the use of glassware and instrumentation, developing data recording and analysis skills, and foundational laboratory-training. It also aims to train all students on how to write-up experimental work via an interactive learning platform, which includes pre- and post- laboratory training exercises.
Develop skills for the application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective the presentation and communication of data and ideas.
This module will provide students with a structured and supportive environment in which to develop their academic practice and professionalism. This will be achieved through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminars that will equip students with the skills required for successful study in Higher Education.
Science for Health
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.
The Environmental Conservation module provides fundamental introductions to ecology, sustainability, environmental management, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. It also teaches practical approaches to sustainable resource development, conservation techniques and priorities in habitat and wildlife management. Thirdly, it provides essential skills in literature review and report writing that are extremely useful for a career in the environmental sciences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Math (Statistics 1)
Zoo Enrichment and Animal Training
Zoo Management & Conservation Engagement
Optional modules - you can choose 2 from the following:
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 the following:
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.
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.
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?
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 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
- Literature reviews
- Field notebooks
- Data analysis
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.
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.
What about after uni?
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.
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.
- Biomedical Science (MSc)
- Biotechnology (MSc)
- Drug Design and Discovery (MSc)
- Wildlife Conservation (MSc)
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.
What you need to know
This course is not suitable for international students.
If you are an international student, and interested in a foundation year study pathway, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.
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
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.
Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.
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
104 - 112 UCAS points
BTEC National Diploma
Diploma in Foundation Studies
104 - 112 UCAS points, Merit/Distinction
104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate
104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level
Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
Access to HE
104 - 112 points from QAA approved access course
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
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|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||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|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.|
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.
ALL SET? LET'S APPLY
Course ID D4C3
Apply for this course through Clearing to start this September – learn more today.