Available in clearing

 - Call +44 (0)1332 592019

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

72 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Put your zoology career on a firm footing with this distinctive course. The foundation year route is designed to open new doors for people with the ambition and ability to gain this respected BSc (Hons) qualification.

You can also study Zoology as a Joint Honours subject.

Few professions are as fulfilling as zoology. Your future could lie in safeguarding endangered species, improving habitats or promoting a greater understanding of animals in the wild and in captivity. Our BSc (Hons) Zoology with Foundation Year opens up exciting opportunities for you.

A man and a women in aquatic research facilities.

Gain the skills and confidence to move forward

Our foundation year gives you a solid platform for studying Zoology at honours degree level. You’ll build academic, research and data handling skills along with your knowledge of cellular biology, chemistry, geoscience, and organisms and their environment. 

Once you complete the foundation year successfully, you can progress smoothly to the honours degree, without applying again. This means you can achieve the highly regarded BSc (Hons) qualification in four years, benefiting throughout from the excellent student support which is a hallmark of our University.

Taking a foundation year at the start of your course is a wise move for anyone mapping out a new career direction or changing their choice of subject at university. It also provides an alternative route to success for people who may not meet the entry requirements to embark on our three-year honours degree directly.

I feel the biggest impact was the foundation year, it helped me to adjust to university life and the structure, and has definitely helped me to become a better person socially and in my studies.

Jake Holness
Current student, BSc (Hons) Zoology

A fascinating and rewarding subject

This hands-on and wide-ranging degree will equip you with the intellectual, professional and technical abilities that employers expect of graduates. We cover topics such as animal biology, wildlife conservation, ecology and animal behaviour, together with the sciences which underpin zoology including genetics, biochemistry and statistics.

The course entails an engaging combination of lectures, practical laboratory sessions, tutorials and fieldwork. You’ll also have the chance to conduct an independent research project into a zoology-related subject that particularly enthuses you.

Build your practical skills in the field

This is a highly practical degree, so fieldwork will be a cornerstone of your study experience. We introduce you to a broad spectrum of survey techniques for a wide range of species.

Among recent examples, our students have explored animal interaction at Twycross Zoo and contributed to ecological initiatives in Majorca. Those taking our optional Tropical Marine Biology module have even conducted investigations in the Maldives.

an aerial shot of the Maldives.
Maldives Octopus - Image Group

In touch with leading employers

Our thriving employer collaborations will bring you into contact with some of the biggest names in zoology. We count zoos, wildlife parks, museums, conservation organisations, ecological consultancies and government bodies among our partners. In an exciting new development, we have joined forces with the National Sea Life Centre to open a  on campus.

As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to go on a work placement or internship within zoology-related industries. This will create an impressive addition to your CV, showing prospective employers that you have relevant and meaningful professional experience. We provide full support to help you make the most of this opportunity.

Voluntary work in the wider community will also enrich your practical skills. You could get involved in protecting nature reserves or revitalising green spaces for the benefit of the public.

A course underpinned by pioneering research

Our teaching team will engage and inspire you to achieve more. Passionate about their subject and committed to your success, they have an international profile for quality research. They publish influential papers, address global conferences, serve on the editorial boards of scientific journals and are regular media commentators.

The many groundbreaking research studies underway at Derby cover topics such as the evolution of animal mating strategies; disease-causing agents in corals; bioremediation of freshwater ecosystems; the welfare of captive orangutans; and the genetics and conservation of natterjack toads.

We also regularly welcome professionals from the world of zoology and related fields who deliver guest lectures on latest theories and developments.

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research
University of Derby athlete overlaid on neon green chevrons pointing right on a black background

Our Clearing hotline is now open

Worried your exams haven't gone to plan or changed your mind about where you want to study? Call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)1332 592019 to secure your place for 2019.

Contact our Clearing teamContact our Clearing team

What you will study

You’ll study modules such as:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Study Skills in Science
  • Principles of Cellular Biology
  • Principles of Chemistry
  • Foundations in Geoscience
  • Organisms and their Environment
  • Research Methods and Data Handling

If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules.

  • Induction Module
  • Ecology
  • Evolution of Life
  • Genetics
  • Human Biology
  • Invasion of the Land
  • Chemistry of Life
  • Research Methods
  • Invertebrates
  • Vertebrate Biology
  • Independent Research and Professional Development

Optional modules:

  • Biological Basis of Animal Behaviour
  • Field Biology
  • Human Reproduction
  • Microbiology
  • Rainforests, Deserts and Oceans
  • Molecular Biology

This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Independent Studies for Biosciences

Optional modules:

  • Applied Entomology
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Habitat Management
  • Oncology and Immunology
  • Science Communication
  • Vocational Module
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Ecological Consultancy
  • Tropical Marine Biology
  • Advanced Methods in Zoology
  • Student Initiated Module

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Zoology

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

You’ll be taught through lectures and tutorials, supported by hands-on practicals and fieldwork. You could study rutting red deer, or spend a week completing a project in the Mediterranean. You’ll also conduct an independent research project to develop your analytical skills in an area of your choice.


Assessment is varied and includes computer-based assessments, scientific posters and oral presentations, professional reports, essays, making short videos, fieldwork and laboratory reports, as well as traditional written examinations. Many assessments can be tailored to suit your own interests and career goals.

Work placements

We offer full support to you if you decide to do a work placement in year three, which we strongly recommend. Work placement allows you to apply in a working environment the skills and knowledge you have gained on your course. This will give you more desirability in the eyes of potential employers. There is also a vocational module so you can gain credits by doing work related to your degree.

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


This degree provides the ideal preparation for a career as a zoologist, ecologist, marine scientist, environmental consultant or nature conservationist. You could follow in the footsteps of our recent graduates who are now making their mark in zoos, wildlife parks, wildlife trusts, the RSPCA, the Environment Agency, veterinary practices and environmental consultancies.

Because the course combines knowledge of zoology with skills in analysis, data interpretation, communication, report writing and project management, your career scope will be broader still. You could consider roles in research, teaching, the museum sector, the media, the scientific civil service and areas such as biomedical science.

If your ambition lies in postgraduate study – such as medical qualifications, a masters degree or a PhD – this course also provides a firm foundation for success.

You could choose to continue learning at Derby with our MSc Conservation Biology, on which certain combinations of modules will make you eligible for membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

Programme leader

Dr Maren Huck

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.


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