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Undergraduate Study

MSci Zoology - 2025 entry

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code C302
Duration 4 years
Entry year 2025
Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Ecology and Conservation
Contact

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725818

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A-Level: AAB
IB: 34/665
BTEC: DDD

Contextual offers

A-Level: ABC
IB: 30/555
BTEC: DDM

Overview

  • Our MSci provides an opportunity to work on a project focused on a specialised area aligned with one of our leading research groups
  • You will gain expertise in evolution, physiology, animal behaviour, ecology and conservation
  • Focus on an understanding of whole-animal biology, ecology and behaviour, and the evolution of animal life histories
  • Learn from some of the world’s leading biologists, working in evolution, behaviour, ecology and conservation
  • You will be exposed to a wide range of practical and theoretical techniques

View 2024 Entry

Request a prospectus

Open Days and visiting us

How to apply

Contact

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

4th in the UK for Zoology

The Guardian University Guide 2024

Top 20 in the UK for world-leading research in Biological Sciences

REF 2021, based on 4-star research

Top 10 in the world for Ecology

9th in the ShanghaiRankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022

90% of our Biological Sciences research is internationally excellent

Based on research rated 4* and 3* in the Research Excellence Framework 2021

Doing this degree has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I've managed to do so many fantastic things. My favourite is a close call between my dissertation (the effects of aromatherapy on stress in rescue centre dogs) and being part of the Elephants and Bees Project in Kenya for a month, which was a priceless experience.

Lauren

MSci Zoology

Entry requirements (typical offer)

Qualification Typical offer Required subjects
A-Level AAB A in a science subject*
IB 34/665 HL6 in a science subject*
BTEC DDD Applicants studying one of the following BTEC Extended Diplomas will be considered without GCE A-level Science: Applied Science, Animal Management, Agriculture, Countryside Management, Environmental Sustainability, Fish Management, Forestry and Arboriculture, Marine Biology
GCSE C or 4 and B or 5 Grade C or 4 in GCSE English language and grade B or 5 in Mathematics
Access to HE 30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade To include at least 15 L3 credits at Distinction Grade in accepted science subject areas*
T-Level T-Levels not accepted N/A
Contextual Offer

A-Level: ABC
IB: 30/555
BTEC: DDM

Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.

Other accepted qualifications

View other accepted qualifications

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply

*Accepted science subjects: Biology/Human Biology; Chemistry; Environmental Studies, and Environmental Science; Geography; Life and Health Sciences (Double Award only); Marine Science; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Nutrition and Food Science; Physics; Psychology

Course content

The four-year MSci Zoology programme mirrors the BSc Zoology programme during the first three years, and includes an additional fourth year during which you will undertake a research project, an advanced statistical modelling module and a literature review. The research project will focus on a specialised area aligned with one of our leading research groups. The remainder of your time will be spent on a two-week intensive field course in which your scientific field-research, debating, and presentation skills will be further developed.

The programme focuses on an understanding of the biology of animals, with an emphasis on whole animal biology, biodiversity, ecology and behaviour, along with the evolution of the whole spectrum of animal life histories.

This programme will provide you with the skills, concepts and experience to understand all aspects of modern zoology. The programme encourages an interdisciplinary approach and you will be exposed to a wide range of theoretical and practical techniques used to study the biology of animals of all types.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Explore animals in the context of the environments in which they live. You will examine zoology from molecules to ecosystems and get experience with the modern techniques used to generate knowledge about animal systems.

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
BIO1411 Genetics 15
BIO1420 Physiology 15
BIO1427 Zoology 30
BIO1429 Evolution 15
BIO1430 Skills and Careers 15

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
BioP S1 BSc-MSci Zoo opt 2021-2
BIO1425 Microbes 15
BIO1426 Ecology and Conservation 15
BIO1431 Introduction to Human Sciences 15

Explore how animal development relates to the diversity of animal forms and examine animal behaviour as it relates to life history and adaptive evolution. You will experience a residential field course to gain an understanding of habitats and biodiversity.

60 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules.

a You must take either BIO2431 or BIO2437 (you cannot choose more than one module from this group).

b It is compulsory to take a field course in the second year. BIO2454 Bio Penryn 2nd Year Field Course represents your Field Course module, with more information about destination and specific activities available from the department. If you are unable to go on a field course, you will be required to take BIO2450 Biosciences Penryn Virtual Field Course instead; BIO2450 is only available if you are not going on the field course.

c You may take either GEO2449 or LES2002 (you cannot choose more than one module from this group).

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
BIO2426 Analysis of Biological Data 15
BIO2430 Behavioural Ecology 15
BIO2431 The Biology of Mammals [See note a above]15
BIO2437 Biology of Aquatic Vertebrates [See note a above]15
BIO2450 Biosciences Penryn Virtual Field Course [See note b above]15
BIO2454 Bio Penryn 2nd Year Field Course [See note b above]15

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
BioP S2 BSc-MSci Zoo opt 2021-2
BIO2451 Evolution of Human Societies 15
BIO2427 Animal Ecophysiology 15
BIO2439 Biology of Birds 15
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15
BIO2441 Applied Insect Ecology 15
ECM2911 Mathematics of the Environment 15
BIO2432 Exploitation of the Sea 15
BIO2406 Biodiversity and Conservation 15
BIO2407 Population and Community Ecology 15
BIO2414 Evolutionary Ecology 15
BIO2423 Wildlife Disease 15
BIO2428 Development of Behaviour 15
BIO2446 Molecular Ecology 15
CSC2010M Oceans and Human Health 15
BIO2453 Spatial Ecology 15
GEO2441 Remote Sensing for Environmental Management 15
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15
BIO2425 Introduction to Ecological Consultancy 15
BioP Employability opt [See note c above]
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15

Put your analytical and experimental skills to use through your research project with a member of academic staff. Work side-by-side with researchers, developing an independent research project. You will have the opportunity to go on one of our final year field courses.

75 credits of compulsory modules, 45 credits of optional modules.

d It is compulsory to take a field course in the third year. BIO3441 Bio Penryn 3rd Year Field Course represents your Field Course module, with more information about destination and specific activities available from the department. If you are unable to take a field course, you will be required to take BIO3440 Global Research Skills Virtual Field Course plus either BIO3407 Literature Review in Evolution and Ecology or 15 other credits. BIO3440 and BIO3407 are only available if you are not going on the field course.

 

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
BIO3136 Research Project 40
BIO3407 Literature Review in Evolution and Ecology [See note d above]15
BIO3440 Global Research Skills Virtual Field Course [See note d above]15
BIO3441 Penryn 3rd Year Field Course [See note d above]30
LES3001 Preparing to Graduate 5

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
BioP SF BSc-S3 MSci Zoo opt 2021-2
BIO3135 Human Behavioural Ecology 15
BIO3426 Primate Biology and Conservation 15
CSC4011M Living with Environmental Change 15
BIO3433 Ocean Management and Conservation 15
BIO3407 Literature Review in Evolution and Ecology 15
BIO3410 Sensory Ecology 15
BIO3413 Animal Life Histories 15
BIO3415 Ecological Responses to Climate Change 15
BIO3420 Evolutionary Biology of Health and Disease 15
BIO3428 The Complexity of Human Societies 15
BIO3116 Marine Vertebrate Conservation 15
BIO3422 Animal Cognition 15
CSC4013M Frontiers of Global Health 15
BIO3131 Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15
BIO3400 Living in Groups 15
BIO3401 Coevolutionary Interactions 15
BIO3411 Science in Society 15
BIO3421 Animal Migration 15
BIO3434 Major Transitions in Evolutionary History 15
BIO3409 Symbiosis in Marine Systems 15
MTH3045 Mathematics for Environment and Sustainability 15

The fourth year provides an opportunity to work on an advanced literature review and a research project, both focused on a specialised area aligned with one of our leading research groups. You will also spend two weeks on an intensive field course in which your scientific field research, debating and presentation skills will be further developed.

120 credits of compulsory modules.

e You must choose either LESM007 or BIOM4043

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
BIOM052 Academic Research Project 60
BioP LESM007 - BIOM4043 [See note e above]
LESM007 Global Challenges Field Course (MSci) 30
BIOM4043 Rewilding the United Kingdom 30
LESM003 Literature Review in the Life Sciences 15
LESM005 Applied Data Analysis 15

Fees

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £29,700 per year

Fieldwork

Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs. When participating in these optional field courses, you will be expected to cover the cost of travel to some locations, which will be outlined clearly beforehand. However, field courses with no additional travel costs are available to select in each year.

You will also need to provide your own specialist personal equipment appropriate to the field course destination, e.g. walking boots, rucksack, mosquito net, sleeping bag, binoculars. You may incur additional costs dependent upon the specific demands of the research project chosen.

Scholarships

The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Fieldwork

We pride ourselves in offering an extensive range of field courses across our Biosciences degrees with exciting local, national and international destinations.

These field courses not only allow you to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world situations in superb locations, but also provide a fantastic opportunity to forge lasting relationships with fellow students and academics.

The residential field courses are an opportunity to apply your field skills first-hand in environments studied by our world-leading Ecological researchers. They are designed to complement your degree and highlight conservation issues at the forefront of the subject for terrestrial and marine species and habitats.

» Read more about our field courses

Please note, whilst a compulsory field course is included in the tuition fee, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs. Field course destinations are subject to change.

Learning and teaching

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Fieldwork
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Independent study
  • Regular research seminars, by our staff and visiting lecturers

Learn from experts

We believe that every student benefits from being part of a culture that is inspired by research and being taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and be an active member of a research team. Our academics bring their results from the laboratory and the field directly to their teaching, and our students also help to collect this data.

In your final year you will become an active member of our research team. We have very close links with a wide range of conservation organisations in the UK and overseas, such as the British Trust for Ornithology, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Marine Conservation Society. These links mean you will benefit from frequent guest lectures, placement opportunities and project work.

Assessment

Your first year does not count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. All marks after your first year count towards your final classification.

Modules are assessed using a variety of methods including essays, exams, presentations, laboratory reports and a dissertation.

Academic support

  • Personal Tutor: You will have a Personal Tutor available for advice and support throughout your studies.
  • Study skills: Help with essay writing, research skills, time management, presentations and more.

Peer mentoring

All first-years will have the opportunity to join dynamic weekly groups, hosted by both second-year and PhD Biosciences students in Cornwall, which span a range of key areas, such as:

  • Social and pastoral care
  • Key skills
  • Employability
  • Discipline-specific support

These groups allow you to benefit from advice from your more experienced peers, helping ease your transition into university life.

The subject of the inaugural meeting is decided by the group leader, but you can then suggest subsequent session topics, so sessions are tailored to your direct needs.

Social media groups, such as on Facebook and Google, are also used for continued group discussions and communication outside of the weekly meetings.

There are direct links between session content and modules, which immediately follow lectures where possible.

Facilities

Our facilities include:

  • Teaching laboratories
  • Computing suites
  • Field equipment for research projects
  • Library and online resources

Optional modules outside of this course

Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a second subject

If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.

  • A Foreign Language
  • Law
  • Social Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership

Find out more about proficiency options

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The Biosciences staff at the Penryn Campus are extremely helpful and always willing to go above and beyond to make sure we have the correct support. Generally any issues we have can be sorted and the lecturers care about (and can recognise) every individual student. I feel honoured to have studied under such leading scientists.

Biosciences undergraduate student, Penryn Campus

Your future

Employer-valued skills this course develops

A degree in Biosciences will help you to develop a wide range of essential skills such as analytical problem solving, team work and organising and communicating information. Many of our students continue their studies in the subject by following a further degree and research in their chosen area.

Supporting your career in Biosciences

Each year Biosciences students are able to access a huge range of opportunities to support their future career options. Sector related careers and employability sessions are put on for the students over the course of their programme which include: career talks and networking events with visiting alumni and employers from a range of backgrounds, employability seminar series events hosted by employers, ‘Dragons Den’ style assessment days, mock interviews and an annual Careers Fair where students can develop networking skills.

Careers Services

We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.

The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you wish to follow, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.

Career paths

Many of our graduates are employed in discipline-relevant roles in the UK and overseas including laboratory-based positions, conservation management, ecology, teaching and nursing. Others use the skills gained on their course to enter widely different career paths in law, business or management. Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Biosciences degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.

Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates from our Biosciences undergraduate programmes*. 

Recent graduates are now working as:

  • Conservation professionals
  • Biological scientists
  • Environment professionals
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Welfare and housing associate professionals
  • Web design professionals
  • Public relations professionals
  • Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators
  • Archivists and curators

Recent graduates are now working for:

  • AECOM
  • Cornwall Science Community
  • Darwin Ecology
  • Ecology Solutions
  • Fishtek Consulting
  • Harris Lamb Property Consultants
  • Natural England
  • Society for the Protection of Turtles
  • UKSTEM Ltd
  • World Wildlife Fund

Further study

Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation from a Biosciences undergraduate degree. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes*. 

  • MPH/MRes/PhD Biological Sciences
  • MPH Medical Studies
  • MRes Ecosystem and Environmental Change
  • MSc Conservation and Biodiversity
  • MSc Environment and Human Health
  • MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology
  • MSc Immunology
  • MSc Marine Environmental Management
  • MSc Surveying and Land/Environmental Management
  • MSc Toxicology

*This information has been taken from aggregating the responses from full-time, first degree, UK domiciled students who completed 2017/18 and 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes surveys. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

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