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Centre for Biological Sciences

C300 BSc Zoology (3 yrs)

The effects of global warming on animal life, the ecological impact of populations and animals, the development of mammals and their human parallels - these are all challenges that occupy our zoologists and affect the planet today.

BSc Zoology is the study of animal life, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of animals. Here at Southampton, Zoology is a specialist degree programme embedded within the broader Biology degree. You will study Zoology not only as a pure science, but also discover how zoological knowledge is applied to today’s challenges.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for BSc Zoology at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Zoology and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of BSc Zoology.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

BSc Zoology

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

To obtain an in-depth understanding of animals, you will start with a general study of the biosciences, from cell biology and the study of insects, to whole organisms and species, communities and ecosystems. In your third year you will be able to choose a laboratory based or field project, with fieldwork undertaken in the UK or abroad.

Our lecturers are world experts in their areas, researching subjects such as invasive or endangered species, embryonic development in mammals and ageing in social insects. This can lead to advances in medicine to prevent disease amongst both animals and humans.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key Facts

  • Flexible, interdisciplinary programme, with opportunity to choose modules from other disciplines and change degree in year one
  • Field trip to Spain in year one
  • Wide Variety of options for undertaking year three research project (e.g. lab work, field work, communication, education or business)
  • 100 per cent of our research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF2014)

The National Student Survey 2015 (NSS)

  • 90% of our BSc Zoology students were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course
  • 95% of our BSc Zoology students were satisfied or very satisfied that staff were good at explaining things on their course
  • 91% of our BSc Zoology students were satisfied or very satisfied that staff were enthusiastic about what they were teaching
  • 95% of our BSc Zoology students were satisfied or very satisfied that the course was intellectually stimulating
Thumbnail photo of Lisa Jones

“I loved the Spain trips. We flew down to Andalucía and we spent twelve days learning really useful fieldwork skills. We really enjoyed the local wildlife and the diversity that’s there. I got hands on experience with insects, plants and the local marine life. I enjoyed the first year trip so much that I applied to be a demonstrator, going back to help teach the first years as a second year student. ”

Lisa Jones - BSc Zoology, 2015

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEA*-C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for this degree in zoology course will be assessed at interview. International students whose first language is not English must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS
A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB. For zoology degrees, biology must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. A level science subjects considered include chemistry, environmental studies, geography, geology, mathematics, physics, psychology

Applicants only offering A Level Biology will be considered on a case by case basis.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level including two higher level science subjects to include 6 points in Biology at higher level.
Other applicants:

Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications and international applicants should first refer to the general entry requirements.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection for BSc Zoology is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

On this degree you will be able to take certain optional modules in Years 2 or 3, you may need to have passed specified modules previously.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

 A free elective from any other discipline can also be taken as an option.

Semester One

In addition to the modules below, the following must be taken and passed by students without a minimum of Chemistry at A level: CHEM1012 Introduction to Chemistry.

Patterns of Life
Macromolecules of Life
Core Skills in the Life Sciences
Systems Physiology
Introduction to Chemistry
Semester Two

In addition to the modules below, you may also take an additional module, subject to timetabling constraints, from related subjects such as Mathematics, Economics, Archaeology and Modern Languages.

Experimental and field
Ecology and Evolution
Cell Biology & Genetics
Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders
Integrative Mammalian Physiology
Introduction to marine ecology
The living Earth

Year 2

A free elective from any other discipline can also be taken as an option. Subject to time-tabling, up to two modules can be taken outside Biology

Year 3

In addition to the modules listed below, in Year 3 you will also take one of the following compulsory combinations subject to time-tabling up to two modules can be taken outside Biology:

A combination of two 7.5 ECTS modules, taken from Literature research projectBIOL3031/32),Short research project(BIOL3050), Bioscience Communication(BIOL3060/3066, Short field research project (BIOL3062)

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

With a BSc degree in zoology you could be expected to find work in the following areas:

  • Postgraduate study
  • Teacher training
  • Medicine
  • Conservation and the environment
  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Journalism

Learning & Assessment

The academic year

On BSc Zoology eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts 35% towards the degree and the third year 65%.

The tutorial system

Every student on this degree in Zoology is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


As a leading zoology university, our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in their area of research. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly true for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our research laboratories. You will use equipment bought for current research, and do a project designed to further your understanding of your topic.


On BSc Zoology we have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader: Dr Lex Kraaijeveld


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submitted on line. In the majority of cases, though, students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account You will be given a printing allowance of £3 per 7.5 ECTS BIOL module to cover the projected costs of printing lecture handouts. Practical handouts and module guides will be provided by the University. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here:£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory and field equipment and materials: All materials required for laboratory or field work are provided. Where necessary, suitable specialist safety equipment will be provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingOne laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense. The Students Union Shop stock these items.
ClothingYou will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
FieldworkFieldwork logistical costs (accommodation, travel and health insurance, travel costs, immunisation/vaccination costs, other costs): For compulsory residential field courses accommodation and travel are normally provided though where necessary, you will be expected to cover the cost of getting to and from the departure point which may be an airport. You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional field courses, you may be asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs. Undergraduates are automatically covered under the University’s travel insurance whilst on organised and supervised field courses. Those travelling independently in connection with their programme can be included under the University’s travel insurance upon application – there may be a cost attached to this. There are also opportunities to undertake field courses with another organisation, e.g. Operation Wallacea. Students who choose to do this, do so at their own expense – for example, see Where necessary students will need to arrange and pay for any vaccinations. Specific details additional costs are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of the relevant academic unit.
PlacementsStudents who choose to go on an industrial placement at the end of Part 2 can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
OtherParking costs: There may be a requirement to undertake work at Southampton General Hospital (SGH), for example during a Part 3 research project. Students may need to cover costs for transport to travel to SGH or for car parking.
OtherTravel costs: Students who opt to undertake Part 3 research projects at sites other than the University campus will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

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