Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Zoology with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Eight year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024

Introduction

In a nutshell

Learn to understand animals, their behaviour, their interactions with each other, and the environment. This course will provide you with a strong foundation in biology and environmental issues, allowing you to progress onto a BSc (Hons) Zoology degree course at the University of Salford, which is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. 

It is ideal if you want to develop your career along a zoological pathway but have a non-scientific background, or if you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an honours degree. This course may also be attractive if you are returning to education or if you wish to change career direction. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full honours degree, where you will continue to build specialised scientific knowledge in the areas. 

Study zoology will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the biology of animals. You will learn about animals, the links between them and their environment, and key aspects of zoological phenomena from molecular to ecological levels.

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying zoology, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Gain a broad, basic knowledge of biological principles to prepare you for more advanced study
  • Increase your knowledge and understanding of basic biology and other aspects of environmental studies
Placement

options available

This is for you if...

1.

You want an excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background

2.

You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

3.

You didn't meet the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) Zoology

Course details

All about the course

Science students

Foundation year  

During the foundation year you will study modules which will increase your knowledge and understanding of basic biology and other aspects of environmental studies. There is an emphasis on both understanding and problem solving in addition to practical and communication skills. These skills will aid and enhance your performance on the honours degree.

With a focus on your progression, you will build knowledge across the breadth of the subject. You will also experience field and laboratory work, develop your study skills and learn to manage field data.

If you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will automatically progress on to the full BSc (Hons) Zoology honours degree.

BSc degree

Course delivery

Pursue for passion for the animal kingdom with our BSc Zoology degree. Taking you from the laboratory to the field, we have shaped a curriculum that will develop your knowledge of concepts at the forefront of zoological science, and provide you with practical and transferable skills to be a success in your future career.

Delivered over three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you will develop and advance your zoology knowledge and field work skills. You will learn about biological processes, animal behaviour and ecosystem interaction.

Learning experience

Fieldwork at the heart of our Zoology course. You'll have plenty of opportunities to get involved in UK based residential courses going to places such as Blencathra in Cumbria and the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland, which includes studies of the zonation and ecology of animals and plants on various rocky sea shores. 

You will also have the option to take specialist modules, where you will travel to tropical locations for fieldwork. In recent years students have been to locations such as Gambia and Brazil.

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.

Previous zoology students have completed placements with public health laboratories, wildlife trust, or research organisations such as the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, MAFF or Central Veterinary Laboratory.

Foundation year

Biological Principles

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.

Scientific Methods

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. 

Data Handling

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.

Professional Communications

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.

Environmental Conservation

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.

Year one

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.

Molecules to Microbes

This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms and their structure, function and importance.

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. 

Biological Skills

This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills employed in biological laboratory practice and relevant to cell, organismal, micro and molecular biology, which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.

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.

Global Distribution of Wildlife

This module will give an overview of the world’s major biomes and, using case studies from around the globe, will explore the principal factors that drive the distribution of species and communities and the way wildlife adapts to these factors. Moreover, the module will provide you with a sound understanding of how the application of biogeographic principles can aid conservation planning.

Year two

Introduction to Parasitology and Infectious Diseases

This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive lecture programme and directed reading, enabling you to gain knowledge and understanding of: the range of infectious diseases that impact on humans; the basic biology and life cycles of protozoa and helminths of medical importance; vectors that transmit infectious agents and the internal and external factors that affect transmission of infectious diseases.

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.

Data Science

The aim of this module is to develop the skills of students in data handling, data analysis and quantitative methods across a broad area within the Biological Sciences, with relevance for transferrable workplace skills and future employability. There will be a focus on developing skills with the statistical programming language R, which is becoming an industry standard and skill often sought by employers. 

Choose one option from:

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.

Animal Evolution

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.

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 

Animal Physiology

Physiology is the science of life! During the Animal Physiology module, you will discover that all animals share the same basic requirements for life. By applying fundamental physiological principles, you will discover how the organs of different animals have adapted to specific environmental and metabolic demands. In other words, how their physiology has evolved in very different ways to meet the same basic requirements for life. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.

Human Physiology

Physiology is the science of life. During the Human Systems Physiology module, you will explore the function of each major organ system. You will discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlay this function, and how organ systems are integrated and regulated to maintain homeostasis, while allowing the human body to adapt to changing metabolic and environmental demands. Laboratory classes use cutting-edge equipment that allow you to see “physiology in action” and develop competence in the techniques used by physiologists to advance the field.  

And one option from: 

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.

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.

Year three

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.

Fisheries Science

This module will give you a broad understanding of the world’s fisheries, their usefulness, their drivers, their controversies; and the ability to assess the conflicts of interests among stakeholders. 

Biology of Parasites

This module looks at the importance of human and animal parasites, in relation to medical, veterinary or wildlife aspects, life-cycle biology, host response and the principles of parasite epidemiology and transmission. You will also study strategies for parasite detection, diagnosis and control. The module includes a unique field course to enable you to see parasites living in their natural environment.

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

Practical Ecology and Conservation

This module aims to equip you with the basic knowledge and skills needed for ecological consultancy. It is designed to promote employability and apply academic qualifications to a growing sector that seeks to provide expertise on ecological and environmental issues to industry, governmental agencies and other organisations. You will be given an overview of consultancy and the ecology of survey methods used for protected species and habitats. The main assessment will involve you proposing surveys for a client wanting to build on a specified site, in addition to carrying out surveys in practical sessions.

Evolution, Development and Adaptation

This module looks at the way evolution has shaped both the development and adaptation of groups of animals to their environments.

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.

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. 

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.

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 zoology 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

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
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations 
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

What is Zoology? 

Zoology the scientific study of animals. On a zoology degree you can expect to study the structure, embryology, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. 

What GCSEs and A-Levels do I need to study zoology? 

Our BSc (Hons) Zoology degree requires GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/Level 4 or above and at least 104 UCAS points including A2 Biology at grade C or above. A foundation year programme requires more relaxed entry requirements. Full details on the entry requirements and alternative qualifications excepted for this programme can be found in the entry requirements section. 

Is Zoology hard? 

At the University of Salford, you will be at the cutting-edge of research and the projects you will undertake will be exciting and inspiring. Despite the challenging and busy nature of the programme, it can also be very rewarding as you’ll be building your knowledge and making an impact in such an important field. By the end of your degree, you will have developed many key skills including teamwork, communication, numerical and data analysis and independent thinking. 

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

What job can you get with a zoology degree? 

Upon graduating from the programme, you will be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to build a career. Many Zoology graduates go on to become: 

  • Zoologists 
  • Environmental Consultants 
  • Ecologists 
  • Zookeepers 
  • Conservation Officers 

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, consultants and leaders.

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

Facilities

As a zoology 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.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of bioscience issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

A bioscientist looking through a microscope

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 specialised knowledge of zoology as well as field work, data interpretation, report writing and team work skills among others.

The animal kingdom and our precarious ecosystems are threatened - both by mankind and nature itself. Studying zoology and building an understanding of animal physiology, evolution, behaviour and ecosystems is the first essential step to finding solutions to these global issues.

Zoology graduates can enter a wide range of vocations in biological or life sciences. These include careers related to zoological sciences training such as science communication and publishing, science administration, zoo work, wildlife conservation and management. Other graduates may go on to work in the pharmaceutical industries, agrochemicals or medical technology as well as research institutes, government agencies and as animal physiologists.

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. 

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

A taste of what you could become

An zoologist

An environmental consultant

An ecologist

A zoo keeper

A conservation officer

and more...

Requirements

What you need to know

Applicant profile

We're looking for applicants interested in animal life and their biological processes. You will have a keen interest in learning more about their behaviour, how they interact with each other and their environment.

International applicants

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

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. 

Standard entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points

A level

64 UCAS points

BTEC National Diploma

MPP

T Level

If applying to start in September 2024, you will need a Pass grade in T Level Science.

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points from Higher Level

Access to Higher Education

64 UCAS points from QAA approved access course

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.

European Baccalaureate

Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification

International Baccalaureate

26 points

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Part-time 2024/25 Part-time costs will be calculated on a pro rata basis
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

Field trips

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

For the international field trip to the tropics (as part of the optional module Tropical Ecology and Conservation) you will also be subsidised by the university, but a major contribution to flights and in-country costs will apply. You will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module.

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID C350

Institution S03