Why study Zoology with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- 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 Doñana National Park, Spain)
- 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
About your course
The professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Zoology with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.
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 is the opportunity for residential fieldwork at Level 4 (core), Level 5 (optional) and Level 6 (optional). At Level 6 this is normally overseas and the possible destination is the Doñana National Park, Spain where you can learn ecological and behavioural field work skills.
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.
About the Foundation Year
The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but don't have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Zoology honours degree programme. Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).
"I have just completed the Zoology degree and have been successful in securing a 12 month internship at Chester Zoo with the Birds Team! I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now, nor would I have had the confidence to even apply for the internship, if it wasn’t for my time at LJMU. The support I have received from my lecturers and mentors has enabled me to follow my passion and ultimately achieve my dream of working with animals! I will be forever grateful for the unconditional support and guidance given to me."
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.
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 the Level 4 core module include all travel and 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.
A DBS check is not required for your application, however a DBS may be required for modules where there is a work based learning placement option. Work based learning placements that do not require a DBS check are available.
Some of our students continue on to postgraduate research degrees after graduation while others enter careers as diverse as embryology, clinical and veterinary science and wildlife conservation. 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.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below 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 optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Skills and Perspectives in Science 1
This module aims to develop your basic knowledge and research skills and covers scientific perspectives, writing, data handling and statistical analysis.
This module provides you with a broad overview of the diverse range of disciplines comprising wildlife studies.
Skills and Perspectives in Science 2
This module provides you with an appreciation of some modern scientific issues that are commonly discussed in the press. You will also cover a selection of topical subjects in biology, chemistry and related areas, alongside developing a range of academic, research and transferable skills related to your programme of study.
Anatomy and Physiology
This module enables you to examine the concepts of homeostasis, communication and transport within organisms. It also provides an introduction to human functional anatomy using a systemic approach to the organisation and function of organs and tissues in the human body.
Understanding the Environment
This module provides you with an understanding of the earths natural systems. You will study the global environment and characterisation of the Earths main biomes, atmosphere and climate, the hydrological cycle, the rock cycle, formation of soils, biodiversity, human environments and human-environment interactions.
Building Blocks of Life
This module provides you with an overview of key concepts in cell biology, including the chemical basis of the biosciences. Throughout the module you will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of cell biology and chemistry for the natural sciences, which you will learn through a series of lectures, workshops and practical laboratory sessions.
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 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.
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.
Animals in Motion
This module aims to provide a comprehensive background and understanding of animal locomotion and movement. You will investigate the process and mechanisms of motion from its physiological bases through whole animal mechanics, and group level migrations. This module will investigate animal motion in all its forms and at all scales. You will also study the fundamental physiology and anatomy of movement and use these to explore the full range of animal motion and its purposes.
Sandwich Year - Zoology
The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.
Animal Health and Disease
This module aims to provide applied knowledge and skills in many areas of animal health and disease that are directly relevant to popular careers in the sector of wildlife conservation. The module covers aspects of bioveterinary science, behaviour, welfare, physiology, disease processes, and animal rescue and rehabilitation.
Study Year Abroad - Zoology
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Semester Abroad - Zoology
The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.
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 develop subject specific and employability skills e.g. interpersonal, communication, problem-solving and critical evaluation.
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).
Zoo Conservation and Genebanks
This module provides you with an understanding of the role of ex situ conservation in maintaining global biodiversity and the methods used in maintaining ex situ collections of animals and plants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Teaching is mostly via lectures, in-person laboratory practicals and field trips. Additionally, small tutorial sessions provide a forum for discussing course material more informally. You will also have progress review meetings with your personal tutor. 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.
Formal teaching accounts for approximately 14-18 hours of your study time each week; you will be expected to spend the rest of your time 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 at LJMU, it will also help you develop your personal skills, give you a years 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 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, including visits to your workplace if you opt for the 12-month work placement.
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
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
Where you will study
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
Grades/points required from qualifications: CDD (80)
GCSEs and equivalents
Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.
GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• 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
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
CDD-BCC Minimum Number of A Levels: 2
Maximum AS UCAS Points: 20
Subject requirements: Preferably one A2 Level in a relevant science subject
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications From a relevant subject
OCR Cambridge Technical
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications From a relevant subject
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.
You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.
6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
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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