UCAS Code: C300
Typical offer:
Three years


UCAS Code: C309
Typical offer:
Four years

Contact time: 15 hours per week in lectures and labs, tutorials in years 1 and 2, independent projects in year 3

Learn the science behind a wide range of animals, small and large

Study different organisms in our labs and out in the field

How to apply for this course

Other APS courses:
Biology | Ecology and Conservation Biology | Plant Sciences | Environmental Science


About the course

What can our Zoology course do for you?

Zoology is the study of animals from every angle, and this course teaches you as much about the way animals interact with other organisms as it does about the molecules they are made up of. This is a degree which looks at the physiology, behaviour, population, distribution and conservation of animals, in a way that is informed by our understanding of evolution and the latest advances in genetics and DNA technology. Also, because we look at all aspects of animal biology, you will finish the Zoology course with a fantastic overview of modern biology as a whole.

There is a structured programme of core modules on the Zoology course, to ensure students are given a good grounding in the subject. But there is flexibility too as throughout your degree you can pick modules from across APS and the University's two other biology departments, and specialise in the areas that most interest you. Click on the Module List tab at the top of the page to see the variety of modules available to you, including modules that give you essential research training and general career skills.

A degree in Zoology can open many doors, with recent graduates going into areas such as conservation, natural resource management, and medical, veterinary and agricultural research. including agriculture, biotechnology, crop protection and environmental management. Some students stay in academia and do PhDs, while others use the project management, data analysis and communication skills you get from a degree with APS to pursue careers in teaching, journalism and management. Find out more about careers with a Zoology degree.
After your degree

If you choose the four year MBiolSci course, you can spend an additional year conducting your own piece of advanced research which will prepare you well for a professional career in science.
Undergraduate Masters

You can also do a degree with employment experience, where you can spend a year in the world of work, putting your scientific knowledge into practice.
Degrees with employment experience


Teaching and facilities

Inspirational teaching in state-of-the-art facilities

In APS, our courses don't have many core text books. That’s because we teach you the latest science from cutting edge research papers, which won't be in text books until years from now. In other words, we don't just teach science – we do science. We have leading academics who are dedicated to teaching, while working hard every day to make pioneering discoveries in areas such as mating systems, evolution, ecology, pollution and climate change. We have experts on all kinds of crustaceans, insects, fish, birds and mammals, and our staff includes several winners of the University Senate Award for Learning and Teaching, and Professor Tim Birkhead, the UK Bioscience Teacher of the Year.

A lot of your own research is done during field courses we offer in locations including Borneo, Sweden and Portugal, as well as here in the UK. Sheffield has one of the UK's most spectacular and diverse natural ecosystems – the Peak District National Park – on its doorstep for you to study, while on campus we have state-of-the-art facilities for studying insects, birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates, including world-class laboratories for analysing biological materials, molecules and genes.

Typically, you will take between three and five modules each semester, so that in your first and second years you will spend around 15 hours in labs and lectures each week, with small group tutorials every fortnight. The practical classes and tutorials are replaced in the third year by your own piece of lab- or field-based research in the first semester, and a dissertation in the second semester, which can be done either as individual or group projects.


Module list

These are the undergraduate modules currently taught in APS. As we want to keep our courses as up-to-date as possible, the arrangements for next year might be a little bit different. However, if you want to know more about module credits and timetabling, you can visit the webpages for our current undergraduates – just bear in mind that these details can change from year-to-year.

Current undergraduates: Level one | Level two | Level three | Level four

First year

Core modules:

  • Animal Physiology, Reproduction and Development
  • Biodiversity
  • Evolution
  • Genes, Cells and Populations
  • Skills for Biologists

Options include:

Second year

Core modules:

  • Data Analysis
  • Animal Diversity
  • Careers for Biologists
  • Zoology Tutorials
  • Zoology Practicals: options – Animal Diversity, Insect Biology, Biology Project, Ecological Interactions

Options include:

  • Biotechnology and Food Security
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Insects
  • Plant, Cell and Environment
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • World Ecosystems
  • Paleobiology
  • Conservation Principles
  • Population and Community Ecology 2
  • The Molecular Revolution in Biology
  • Symbiosis
  • Modules from Biomedical Science, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, or elsewhere in the University

Third year

Core modules:

  • Research Project
  • Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme or Dissertation

Options include:

  • Trends in Biology
  • Life in Extreme Environments
  • Biology and Ethics
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Topics in Evolutionary Genetics
  • Cooperation and Conflict
  • The Ecology of Landscapes
  • Conservation Issues and Management
  • Field course (UK, Borneo, Portugal or Sweden)


Field courses

Hands-on science, incredible locations

More about field courses


The focus of this course is on rainforest ecology, adaptations of rainforest organisms and some of the specific issues resulting from the exploitation of rainforest environments


With access to a range of habitats characteristic of drier southern European climates, the focus of this course is on insect ecology and behaviour


This course considers the ecological processes in sub-arctic environments, looking in particular at the ecology of plants, plant-animal interactions in arctic/sub-arctic environments and some of the particular threats to such environments


Providing an opportunity to focus on carrying out investigations in the marine environment, this course is a chance to develop sustained research projects involving experimental manipulations and observations over sequential tidal cycles, with a focus on intertidal marine organisms, their adaptations, ecology and behaviour

Sheffield – Peak District

We always have one or more field courses running from the department in Sheffield which take advantage of the range of interesting and important habitats on our doorstep, with the current course focusing on insect-plant interactions and insect ecology and behaviour


The focus of this course is on environmental forms and processes, and their effects on the development and functioning of plant and animal communities – primarily for Environmental Science students, but open to other APS undergraduates where there is availability