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The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

Why study zoology?

If you have a natural curiosity for the natural world, and animals, in particular, a zoology degree offers you the chance to indulge your interest. We guide you through what’s involved.

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Have you always had an interest in the natural world and animals in particular? If you have a scientific and biological inclination a zoology degree might be a great fit. Studying a bachelor of zoology can open up many options for you from conservation to veterinary research. It’s time to find out more about this interesting and engaging subject as we take you through everything from what’ll you’ll study to the entry requirements for zoology courses. It’s an A to Z-oology of the degree. 


What is zoology?


There can sometimes be a slight misconception as to what zoology is and what it covers. While zoology does focus on the natural world and living organisms, this does not mean it is exclusively oriented towards zoos or safari parks. Zoology is a science-based discipline that draws on the fields of biology, chemistry, statistics, environmental sciencegeography and psychology


Studying zoology will give you an intimate understanding of the physiology of animals, their behaviour, evolution and the ecosystems in which they live. A course in zoology also gives you the option of exploring different areas of specialisation including evolutionary biology, genetics, marine biology and even biomedical science. 


Explore some of the institutions offering zoology degrees in the UK:



What will you study for a zoology degree?


If you decide to study for a BSc in zoology then you can reasonably expect to cover some core topics during your degree. Remember that it is also possible to study a zoology major alongside another complimentary major subject such as chemistry or biology. Some of the areas that you will cover in a zoology degree include:


  • Animal physiology
  • Biological science
  • Sustainable development 
  • Climate change
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Animal behaviour 
  • Botany and plant physiology
  • Ecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Embryology
  • Animal communication
  • Phylogeny 


Remember that you also have the chance to take elective modules that are more in line with your interests, such as microbiology or marine biology. 


A lot of institutions do offer zoology courses, some that you may not be aware of. Have a look at some of the places where you could study zoology in the USA:



What entry requirements do you need for zoology?


Entry requirements will vary from one institution to another but there will be some pre-requisite entry requirements that you will have to meet if you want to study for a degree in zoology. It is a science-based subject as a qualification in science, physics, mathematics or biology will always stand you in good stead. 


In the UK an A-level result set of AAB* with two science subjects is usually the minimum requirement for automatic entry. If you have taken the International Baccalaureate Diploma you will generally need 34 points, with two science-related subjects rated at 6,5 or above. 


For other international qualifications, you will need a minimum of 70 per cent or B-average to get in and if you have taken an SAT the score would need to be 1350 for the reasoning component and 700 or above for three subject tests.


You also have to be able to demonstrate your English language proficiency either through your academic qualifications or through a recognised test. For a degree in zoology, your IELTS score would need to be 6.5 or above with no section score lower than 6.0. 


It’s always wise to check with your prospective university about entry requirements before applying to see if your qualifications are recognised and if you could benefit from a pre-sessional English course. 


Want to investigate your study options for a zoology course in Australia? Have a look at these options:



How many years is a zoology degree?


A BSc in zoology will take you approximately three to four years to complete on a full-time basis. If you study part-time this can be between five and seven years. A lot will depend on both the institution at which you study and the country in which you study. Generally, a four-year full-time degree will include either a practical placement or a specialisation. 


You also do have the option of continuing to study a postgraduate qualification in zoology with an MSc degree in the subject. To qualify you will need to have achieved well academically at the undergraduate level and have a good idea of an area of zoology in which you want to specialise. 


What to do after a zoology degree


Having taken a look at what a zoology degree looks like and how to qualify to study in the area, we turn our attention to what happens after you graduate. The good news is there are quite a few options and areas in which you could put your degree to work. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that those who have graduated in the subject find jobs across industries and roles including:



According to recent research by Prospects, more than 70 per cent of students graduating in the field are either employed or in further study. 


If you’re still wondering whether this choice of degree would be good for you, you can read our guide to selecting a degree in conjunction with a career path. If you’re interested in finding out how different institutions rank don’t miss our guide to the  Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 and the best universities in the UK


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