About your course
The professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Zoology at Liverpool John Moores University offers you exciting opportunities to complete work placements and field trips both in the UK and overseas.
- Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology
- Optional residential fieldwork (self-funded) at level 5 (possible destination Cairngorms National Park, Scotland) and Level 6 (possible destination Białowieża Forest World Heritage site, Poland)
- Option to undertake a 4-6 week placement and/or a 12-month sandwich placement in the UK or overseas
- Easy access to local zoos and diverse habitat sites and ecosystems in North Wales, Lancashire, Snowdonia and the Lake District
- Excellent prospects in a diverse range of animal-related careers, including clinical and veterinary-related science, animal training, ecological consultancy, animal welfare and conservation, wildlife education, teaching and lecturing
- This degree is available to study following a foundation year
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
Zoology is the scientific study of animals, both living and extinct. It encompasses all aspects of biology, from biochemistry and cell biology to ecology and behaviour, and examines animals in the context of their evolution and their environment, allowing you to specialise in your own areas of interest via placements, projects and modules in levels 5 and 6.
Practical hands-on experience is an important aspect of the course and we have a wealth of local facilities and fieldwork sites on our doorstep. These include three major zoological collections (Chester Zoo, Knowsley Safari Park and the Blue Planet Aquarium), as well as the diverse habitat sites of the North Wales and Lancashire coasts and inland ecosystems in Snowdonia and the Lake District.
One of the real bonuses of this course are the opportunities for residential fieldwork at Level 4 (core), Level 5 (optional) and Level 6 (optional). At Level 6 this is normally overseas and a new destination is planned to the Białowieża Forest World Heritage site in Poland. These are in addition to further extended fieldwork opportunities through work placements of 4-6 weeks and/or a 12-month sandwich placement with a relevant organisation in the UK or overseas.
"We’ve had the chance to go on lots of different field trips, including Chester Zoo and Blackpool Zoo to analyse animal behaviour."
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
*Additional course costs
Practical and field activities underpin all programmes in the School. PPE is provided for all necessary practical work. There are no costs for day field trips for core and optional modules. Residential field trips associated with core modules are subsidised and include travel and half-board accommodation costs. Any residential field trips for optional modules will have costs involved. Locations may be subject to change and also subject to national and international travel restrictions.
You will enjoy varied career opportunities both in the UK and overseas with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology.
Some of our students continue on to postgraduate research once they have graduated, while others enter careers as diverse as clinical and veterinary science, animal physiotherapy, animal training, ecological consultancy, animal welfare and conservation or wildlife education. Others choose to go into teaching or lecturing.
Graduates have secured full-time employment in the following roles (some after further study/training):
- Planning and Biodiversity Advisor, Natural England
- Senior Ecologist, United Utilities
- Research and Conservation Officer, Knowsley Safari Park
- Wildlife Consultant, SafeSky
- Team Manager (elephants), Chester Zoo
- Estate Manager, RSPB
- Inspector/Animal Welfare Officer/Rehoming Officer, RSPCA
- Animal Health Officer, Heathrow Animal Reception Centre
- Training Instructor, Dogs for Good
- Lead Conservation Scientist (Behaviour and Welfare), Chester Zoo
- Community Outreach Coordinator (Conservation), Auckland
- Research Assistant, Wellcome Trust, Sanger Institute
- Regulatory Scientist, Health and Safety Executive
- Virology and Stability analyst, AstraZeneca
- Scientist, BAE Systems
- Natural History Documentary Producer/Director, National Geographic
- Research Fellow (Sea Mammal Research Unit), University of St Andrews
- Veterinary Surgeon
- Veterinary Physiotherapist
- Pathology Operations Manager, Medical Research Council
- Project Management, Office for National Statistics
Others have opted for postgraduate study (PGCE, MSc, MPhil, PhD or other competitive undergraduate courses, such as medicine, veterinary science), have set up their own animal-related business or taken non-animal related graduate employment.
Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.
Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study
Please note that your choice of options may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy. Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:Programme specification document (PDF)
Fundamentals of Scientific Research
This module aims to develop your research skills and covers problem solving, scientific writing, data handling and statistical analysis.
Practical Skills For Zoology
This module introduces you to a range of key laboratory and field skills relevant to the study of zoology. You will also be introduced to concepts of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and safe and ethical working practices in the biosciences.
Genetics and Evolution
This module explains fundamental principles in genetics and genomics and describes the evolutionary processes from a genetics/genomics perspective in order to explain the origins of genetic and species diversity.
In this module you will be introduced to the diversity of animal behaviour. You will learn to describe the behaviour of a wide range of animal species in relation to reproduction, foraging and social behaviour and to identify common behaviours in selected species, explaining their purpose.
This module provides you with a basic understanding of ecology and ecological characteristics of a range of habitats. You will study basic concepts, such as species and succession, communities and ecosystems, biotic and abiotic elements, nutrient cycling, populations and diversity and adaptations of organisms to their environment. Part of this will be achieved through field visits to a range of habitats.
This module provides you with an introduction to the major physiological processes and homoeostasis in animals. Adopting an adaptive approach, this module follows the development of animal organ systems according to influential environmental drivers.
Research Skills and Employability
This module covers all aspects of handling and analysing scientific data and the development of employability/graduate skills. You will consider the fundamentals of analysing and interpreting scientific data using examples relevant to all biosciences. Additionally, it will allow you to prepare a better career plan in science, as well as becoming self-aware of your employability skills.
Animal Evolution and Diversity
This module enables you to examine the diversity of animal life and explore the major trends in their evolution and key features in their biology. It also illustrates how many of them have coevolved in partnership with other organisms.
Comparative Animal Physiology
This module enables you to learn about physiological systems across animal phyla. Neurobiology, endocrinology, and the link between genes, proteins and behavioural phenotypes will be taught, reflecting the expertise and research interests of the teaching team. The concept of model organisms will be introduced, and model organisms will be used in the practical activities.
This module enables you to examine how ecological and evolutionary factors affect the survival and reproductive behaviour of animals. The role of ecological and evolutionary selection pressures to maximise inclusive fitness in wild animals is stressed. Particular emphasis is placed on the design and interpretation of a behavioural time budget study on zoo animals.
Genes and Genomes
This module enables you to study how state-of-the-art genetic and genomic tools are used to understand how genes combine with the environment to control organismal phenotypes and disease states. It covers methodologies, practical applications and recent examples of the application of genetics and genomics in the fields of biology, medicine and evolution.
Marine and Freshwater Biology
This module provides a broad introduction to fundamental aspects of marine and freshwater biology, including basic oceanography, limnology and productivity in the marine and freshwater environment. Different marine and freshwater habitat types found in various parts of the world are introduced, and their biological (e.g. ecology, animal behaviour) and physical characteristics are discussed. The exploitation and conservation of these ecosystems are also considered.
This module is designed to make you aware of the applications of forensic techniques to the identification and combating of wildlife crime. By the end of the module you should be able to use data obtained by these techniques in forensic interpretation.
Animal Field Skills
This module enables you to examine different methods used for animal censuses and surveys, including sampling techniques.
This module enables you to learn how state-of-the-art molecular and genetic tools are used to understand mechanisms that regulate the growth and development of organisms. It covers methodology and practical experiments that illuminate the molecular mechanisms that underpin developmental processes.
The research project will be in any area appropriate to your programme of study on a topic of your choice. The module provides an opportunity for you to independently develop and demonstrate project planning, time-management and organisational inter-personal skills, along with scientific and practical working methods in a research or applied context.
Current Topics In Zoology
This module enables you to learn about various key graduate skills, including practical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills and critical evaluation. The taught content will include aspects of zoology relevant to the research expertise of the teaching team, which may include pharmacology/neurobiology, animal behaviour, and utilising model organisms.
Applications of Genetics in Health and Disease
This module provides you with an appreciation of some modern genetic and genomic techniques that are regularly used in studies of health and disease. It is recommended that students complete the level 5 module Genes and Genomes before taking this module.
Advanced Field Skills Expedition
This module provides an introduction to biological issues in ecosystems during a residential field trip abroad. You will critically evaluate biological issues in selected habitats and design and carry out field-based studies to investigate biological questions.
Animal Learning and Cognition
This module enables you to investigate learning and cognition in animals and link these abilities to the ecological and social environment of an individual and species. Animal learning and cognition is discussed with respect to current (proximate factors) and evolutionary conditions (ultimate factors).
This module builds on neurobiology-related concepts taught during the level 5 Physiology of Life module. The module provides you with an insight into how molecular, cellular and organ components contribute to form the body's most complex system and how different factors can produce dysregulation of the nervous system.
This module enables you to study the biology, diagnosis, treatment and control of some of the most important protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites of humans and domestic livestock.
Applied Marine Biology
This module enables you to form an advanced understanding of major biological features of the marine environment, the impacts of man and the exploitation of marine resources. You will develop an understanding of many practical skills required within the marine science sector and develop an understanding of the physiology, ecology, genetics and behaviour of marine organisms in a number of taxonomic groups.
This module enables you to understand the importance of behaviour and welfare to the effective management of a range of captive animals (wild and domestic). Behavioural problems are identified and possible methods of solving or ameliorating are considered.
This module provides relevant, stimulating and career-orientated experiential learning to encourage you to develop transferable skills relevant to the work environment and to foster initiative and independence of thought.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching is primarily via lectures, workshops, tutorials, online activities, laboratory practicals and fieldwork, with over 50% of the delivery of the programme through non lecture-based methods. Lecture material can be found in our library and on our virtual learning environment, Canvas.
Fieldwork and laboratory sessions give you a chance to observe animals and plants first-hand and develop your practical skills, while small tutorial groups provide a forum for discussing course material more informally.
Formal teaching accounts for approximately 15-16 hours of your study time each week; the rest should be spent in private study.
As part of your work-related learning, you have the opportunity to undertake a short (4-6 week) work-based placement or a 12-month placement with a relevant organisation in the UK or abroad. This work experience will not only give you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt in the first two years, it will also help you develop your personal skills, give you a year’s break from formal study and add real value to your CV. Many students who undertake placements have gone on to work for the same organisation or have gained employment through the contacts made on their placement, once they have graduated.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Throughout your course you will have the support of a personal tutor who will be available to discuss course-related matters in both tutorial sessions and one-to-one progress review meetings. These meetings are to monitor your performance and identify action plans for improvement. A dedicated supervisor will also provide support during your research project and/or work-based learning.
The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has an Enabling (Disability) Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
All students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Exams may therefore include a range of question types e.g. multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay. Coursework assessment could be in the form of online phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or the evaluation of your practical skills. Most are based on individual assignments though some require group work.
Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas, face-to-face or as written comments. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Penny Oakland
Penny studied BSc (Hons) Biology and completed a PhD in the structure and complexity of bird song: an evaluation of the ‘Territorial Alliance Hypothesis'. She is a member of the Association of the Study of Animal Behaviour and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her interests cover all aspects of behavioural ecology – wild, captive and domesticated animals, with a particular interest in behaviour, behaviour modification and the welfare of dogs, cats and horses.
"I find overseeing the progress of students and offering the necessary support and advice very rewarding. When graduates keep in touch to tell us about their exciting jobs working with animals it makes me feel proud to have played a part in their future career"
What you can expect from your School
You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university’s City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. You will have access to first class teaching facilities, laboratories and study areas. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 112
GCSE and equivalents
Applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English Prior to starting the programme
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Subject specific requirements: A Level Grade C or above in Biology and preferably one further science.
- Is general studies acceptable? No
- Average A Level offer: BBC
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM. Must include a significant number of science-based modules, usually a minimum of six.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: Access programme must have been taken in a relevant subject area. Overall Merit required.
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Alternative qualifications considered
Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.
No interview required (UCAS application form only)IELTS
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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