Zoology is the study of animal life and the vital role that animal behaviour and species interactions play in conservation, biodiversity and tackling disease.
Courses with a placement year
Courses with a foundation year
Our Zoology courses are about animals, their evolution, and their interactions with each other, the environment and biodiversity conservation. They span microbes, invertebrates, birds, fish, mammals and humans.
You’ll learn how they evolved, how their physiology works, how they behave, and how they respond to global change. You’ll discover how their biodiversity is maintained and lost, and use this knowledge to help us to address important issues such as tropical wildlife conservation, disease outbreaks and maintaining functioning ecosystems.
1st in the Russell Group for Student Satisfaction in Zoology
National Student Survey 2021
You'll cover three main themes at Sheffield: their comparative physiology - the functional characteristics of animals; their evolutionary biology - how animals adapt to their environment, and their behaviour, ecology and conservation - how animals interact with their environment and each other to support biodiversity on the planet.
As a zoology student you'll learn in lots of different ways, from lectures and small group tutorials to learning by doing during field work, practical lab sessions and research projects.
Alongside your specialist zoology modules, from your first year you’ll have the flexibility to study topics across the breadth of biology to complement your knowledge. Topics range from ecology and molecular genetics that underpin conservation, to pharmacology, neuroscience and even human physiology.
Our staff are committed to great teaching and you'll have lots of opportunities throughout your degree to be creative, think independently, and express your ideas. You’ll be in the lab completing in-depth practicals, out in the Peak District conducting your own research projects, visiting zoos, aquariums and other scientific spots around the country and embarking on a once-in a lifetime field course in the UK or abroad. All giving you plenty of chances to gain new transferrable skills and experience to put on your CV.
Project work is built into our degrees from the beginning, from field courses, to research projects based around first and second year modules on genetics, computer modelling, behaviour, species interactions, conservation and climate change.
In your third year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major research project and dissertation in an area of zoology that interests you. Conducted under the supervision of one of our world experts, you'll work in a small group to define questions, develop experimental protocols, conduct the research, analyse the data and ultimately produce a written report in the form of a scientific publication. Example research projects include:
- The ecological genetics of colour in tropical butterflies;
- Abundance, species richness and mass of earthworms along an urban-rural gradient;
- How does familiarity and conspecificity influence alarm call responsivity in the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos).
Our integrated masters courses allow you to complete a further in-depth research project whilst embedded in one of our specialist research groups.
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