Zoology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)

Cambridge

September

Intermediate awards: BSc (without honours), CertHE, DipHE

code: C301

Discuss your options, call 01245 686868

Overview

Our four-year Society of Biology-recognised course is ideal if you don’t have the qualifications for our BSc (Hons) in Zoology. The foundation year gives you a really good grounding in science, and then you’ll join our BSc course. After that, the world’s your oyster (or zebra, lynx or yak).

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Full description

Careers

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Our course will open up a world of professional careers relating to the biology of animals. You’ll have good general training as a scientist, so you could choose to work in the field, in the laboratory, or both – and anywhere in the world.

After graduating, you might work for a zoo, a government agency, an environmental consultancy, a wildlife conservation organisation, or an education or research establishment. Graduates of this course have gone to work for leading zoos, the RSPB, local wildlife trusts, the BBC Natural History Unit, and fieldwork and research teams in exciting places from Costa Rica to Africa.

We’ll encourage you to do voluntary or paid work at every opportunity which will build your practical experience and help to attract employers. For example, you could support your local wildlife trust.

As a graduate of this course, you’ll be able to apply for membership of the Zoological Society of London, the Society of Biology, and other professional organisations.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses including MSc Animal Behaviour: Applications for Conservation and MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Biological Principles
    This module will provide you with an introduction to key processes operating within living organisms; including energy provision, transport, control and co-ordination.
  • Chemical Principles 1
    This module is for you, if you've little or no experience of the subject. You'll get an introduction to chemical science, discuss the study of materials and the undergoing chemical changes, and investigate them through laboratory sessions, tutorials and lectures.
  • Chemical Principles 2
    Building on your learning from 'Chemical Principles I', you'll learn about quantitative chemical analysis, including; colorimetry and UV/Vis spectrophotometry, chemical equilibria, pH, pKa, buffers; inorganic and organic chemistry.
  • Foundation Biology
    You’ll develop your scientific skills and gain an understanding of some key biological principles. The fundamental themes of the structure and function of biological molecules and their importance to cell structure and function are core to our module.

Year two, core modules

  • Animal Form and Function
    The ways in which animals cope with the demands of everyday life, from feeding, moving and respiring to sensing the outside world and each other are as diverse as the animals themselves. This module will examine the variety of ways in which an animal's form and physiology are adaptations to the many tasks it faces to survive.
  • Biomeasurement
    This module will introduce you to the use of statistics and computing software in the study of the biosciences. We'll focus on bioscience, however the quantitative and IT skills you'll gain will benefit you in a number of graduate employment roles. You'll be shown how to use information, or data, to answer questions about biological systems and learn a range of visual and statistical techniques. We'll also show you how to choose the appropriate technique for a range of data types and circumstances; perform and interpret analyses correctly and communicate the results honestly and clearly.
  • British Wildlife and Conservation
    The ways in which animals cope with the demands of everyday life, from feeding, moving and respiring to sensing the outside world and each other are as diverse as the animals themselves. In this module we'll examine the variety of ways in which an animal's form and physiology are adaptations to the many tasks it faces to survive.
  • Core Biology
    You’ll address key biological concepts, knowledge and techniques and cover a range of topics within cellular biology, genetics, animal and plant biology and evolution. At the same time, you’ll develop key scientific skills such as the ability to design experiments and to carry them out competently, both in the field and in the laboratory, and to efficiently present and describe your data.
  • Ecology
    You’ll be provided with a broad introduction to animal and plant ecology and facilitate the study of ecological modules at higher levels. You’ll be introduced to ecological terminology, the scope of ecology and the potential role of ecological science in providing guidance on the sustainable use of the biosphere.
  • Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare
    In this module the philosophy and multidisciplinary origins of the scientific study of behaviour are reviewed. The ethically sound use of the scientific study of animal behaviour in pure and applied disciplines will be considered, especially in the context of the assessment of animal welfare. Through this module you'll gain foundation knowledge in the scientific study of animal behaviour and its potential applications and the principles of sound experimental design. Such skills will be developed in subsequent modules and will prove useful in a wide range of scientific and animal management careers.

Year two, optional modules

  • Introduction to Marine Biology
    This module introduces you to the range of marine environments and marine life within the biosphere - and the factors which generate this variety. It provides the basis for studying other 'marine' modules at Levels 2 and 3. You'll cover aspects of the biology, ecology and environmental physiology of selected marine organisms around the UK shores and beyond. A range of marine habitats will be illustrated through the use of video (Blue Planet) while marine biodiversity will be covered 'practically' by a visit to a marine aquarium. The module will also involve a full day (weekend) field trip to a coast in East Anglia to study plant and animal life at the interface of land and sea. This field trip will require a certain amount of walking over rough terrain.
  • Animal Behaviour in Context
    You’ll develop your practical understanding of the study of animal behaviour in this module. You’ll investigate psychological concepts such as learning, memory, motivation, emotion, personality, perception and sociality through a variety of exercises. This will include those that have been developed by comparative psychologists with the aim of improving our understanding of human behaviour. You’ll also learn how research devoted to humans is being used to inform research on non-human animal behaviour.

Year three, core modules

  • Invertebrate Biology
    Invertebrates account for over 99 % of all animal species. It is estimated that the total number of animal species on Earth may exceed 30 million although only around 1 million have been named. we'll introduce you to the diverse world of invertebrates and focus on aspects of their biology, ecology and behaviour.
  • Biological Oceanography
    In this module we'll study oceanic ecosystems, focussing on factors which determine the distribution of organisms and productivity of the seas. We'll also explore the less familiar realms of the ocean; the pelagic zone, the deep sea and the polar zones.
  • Practical Biology
    Because we know that knowledge and experience of relevant practical skills are what potential employers look for, we focus highly on practical skills as part of your training in biology. You’ll gain practical field and laboratory skills through a range of Animal and Environmental Biology themes.
  • Preparation for Research
    Here, you’ll learn a range of relevant analytical techniques and tools of relevance to employment in science and vital for your final year student-led research project. You’ll learn the information and skills you need to conduct successful research, including: defining and developing a conceptual framework; finding and reviewing relevant literature; identifying and understanding appropriate methods of data collection and analyses; presenting your work orally and in writing; ethical considerations and health and safety issues.
  • Vertebrate Biology
    Vertebrates account for fewer than 1% of known species of animal life. Yet vertebrates (including humans) are some of the most successful and widely adapted animals on Earth. Vertebrates inhabit almost all corners of our planet, except the deepest parts of the oceans, close to the poles and on top of the highest mountain peaks. Vertebrate species may be terrestrial, arboreal or marine; they burrow, swim, run, climb, fly or glide. They include the so called "charismatic megafauna" such as tigers, eagles, elephants and pandas, as well as top predators such as sharks and crocodiles. You’ll study how these animals came to occupy their current dominant position among animal life on Earth.

Year three, optional modules

  • BioGIS
    In this module you'll learn to use a widely available commercial desktop GIS software package. We'll also explore the range of data input and sources used by GIS so you can create and manage spatial data for a broad range of applications. We'll explore primary data sources for GIS, including: aerial photographs and satellite imagery, GPS surveying and field data collection, metadata and the creation of maps.
  • Concepts in Animal Behaviour
    This module will provide you with a detailed overview of the study of animal behaviour. We'll review the application of hypothesis testing to questions about behaviour, and use it as a basis for illustrating recent advances in the scientific understanding of animal behaviour. You'll review the genetic basis of behaviour by examining innate and acquired behaviours. We'll also consider how behaviour develops in individuals and is modified over time as a process of conditioning and learning interacting with genetic, social and environmental constraints.
  • Tropical Ecology and Management
    Take part in a field course in tropical ecology, biodiversity and conservation and discover the complex habitats and ecosystems within the tropics, with particular reference to South/East Africa. Your field course activities will be a mix of group project work on a specific aspect of tropical ecology and visits to a range of locations to observe and record and interpret various aspects of tropical fauna, flora and habitats. Through your experience of the country where the field course takes place, you’ll discover a range of anthropogenic influences and pressures on tropical habitats, such as effects of population growth, tourism and economic development, and how these relate to conservation.
  • Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare
    This module addresses applied aspects of the science of animal behaviour and shows how behavioural theory and research can be applied to a wide range of practical problems, from pest control to captive breeding and the management of wild populations. We’ll cover the application of behavioural research to vertebrate and invertebrate husbandry, and the history, philosophy and development of the relatively recent science of animal welfare. You’ll consider the variety of ethical approaches to the use of animals by humans for varying purposes and the controversial issue of how to assess animal welfare through behavioural and physiological indicators. We’ll also introduce you to the specialist techniques that support these assessments.
  • Parasitology
    Parasitism is the most prevalent lifestyle among organisms. It's estimated that at least every plant and animal possesses at least one parasite. You'll explore the unique relationship between a parasite and its host from a number of perspectives.

Year four, core modules

  • Wildlife Conservation
    Advance your skills in conservation and critically evaluate the science underlying conservation biology as well as exploring the multi-dimensional issues faced by working wildlife biologists. You’ll examine current conservation problems including socio-political dimensions, and an explore the ways in which conservationists set out to find solutions.
  • Mammalogy
    Although relatively few in number, the 4,600 or so known species of extant mammal are of considerable economic and cultural importance. As a vertebrate Class, the mammals are important to us as a food source (most domesticated animals are mammals), as companion animal, in medical and other scientific research, for transport and as pests and vectors of disease. You'll study the biology of the mammals and considers mammalian taxonomy, morphology, physiology, ecology, distribution, evolution and behaviour.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You’ll create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could chose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you’re specifically interested in. You’ll identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year four, optional modules

  • Behavioural Ecology
    Behavioural Ecology has been an established discipline within the natural sciences since at least the late 1970s. It brings together the theoretical understanding of evolution and ecology with the observational practices of early ethologists. In this module we'll explore this across four major themes: communication; finding resources and avoiding being eaten; living with others of the same species and producing the next generation.
  • Population Ecology and Wildlife Management
    You'll focus on the first principles of population ecology, and the ways this body of theory is applied practically in wildlife management. An important focus is the demography and dynamics of natural populations of both plants and animals.
  • Behaviour and Management of Zoo Animals
    In this module we'll address the question 'What are zoos for?' and consider the current and historical role of zoos under the broad headings of recreation, education, conservation and research. Starting with an overview of the history and philosophy of wild animal collections, we'll move on to consider the various roles of zoos in modern society. Zoos today face both biological (e.g. captive breeding) and non-biological (e.g. finance and public relations) problems relating to the management of collections of wild animals in captivity. We'll consider zoo management problems from a number of perspectives, ranging from the welfare of the animals themselves to the perceptions of the general public when visiting zoos. We'll also present the complexity of political, ethical and legal aspects of keeping wild animals in captivity.
  • Practical Marine Biology
    Ahead of your residential field course at a UK marine biology field station, you’ll take advantage of lectures and practical workshops to equip you with the skills necessary to make the most of your practical experience.
  • Countryside Management
    You’ll gain knowledge and skills appropriate for working in practical ecology or conservation in the UK countryside or for continuing to a higher degree in this area. You’ll cover aspects of the following areas: woodlands and forestry in the countryside, agriculture in the countryside, urbanisation of the countryside, management of rivers and wetlands, legislation relevant to managing the countryside, habitat restoration, national parks and upland management.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you and your tutors measure your progress. Besides exams, these include essays, practical reports, computer-based assessments, presentations, debates, classroom- or laboratory-based tests, and reviews of scientific papers.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students (per year)

£9,000

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email admissions@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

Entry requirements are for September 2015 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online