Zoology is the study of animals, from the simplest invertebrates to the largest terrestrial or marine mammals. Simple animals often provide models for the study of higher, more complex species (including humans) and help drive basic research that transcends the subject boundaries.
Animals interact with each other and with their environment, forming complex relationships such that zoologists need a broad understanding of the living world, life processes and the animal kingdom. Importantly, zoonotic diseases are an ever growing threat to human health. Exciting progress is being made in animal biology and behaviour, animal health and welfare and in the management of animal communities,emerging infectious diseases, de-extinction and addressing climate change making this the perfect time to study Zoology.
Zoology Degree highlights
Zoologists at QUB have the opportunity to avail of the strong international links with Universities in South Africa, America and Canada.
- Zoologists at QUB have the opportunity to avail of the strong international links with Universities in South Africa, America and Canada. In addition there is the opportunity to volunteer or carry out projects at many international sites including the elephant sanctuary in Thailand, African Wildlife rehabilitation in Namibia and South Africa as well as many other countries.
- Royal Society Accreditation
This course has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Ultimately this award highlights the academic quality of the course and its contribution in ensuring that its graduates meet employer needs by acquiring the necessary skill set of both technical and transferable skills.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Jonathan Scott – Conservationist, award winning wildlife photographer, author and big cat specialist (QUB Zoology graduate).
Local expert – Professor Alan Stitt – Dean of innovation and impact (QUB) and McCauley Chair of Experimental Ophthalmology, RVH (QUB Zoology graduate)
- Work placements on these programmes provide students with the opportunity to utilise the practical skills gained during the teaching of their degree and apply these in a work environment. Past students have gained work placement within organisations such as Belfast City Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Castle Espie, National Trust, North Atlantic Whale Foundation, Ulster Wildlife Trust, Harnas Wildlife Foundation Namibia, Mopane & Mapesu Private Game Reserve, South Africa, Health Service, Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, Turtle Foundation and many more.
"Studying Zoology at Queen’s gives you such a broad variety of options and opens many doors. I now run my very own elephant sanctuary and foundation by working with the local people to bring their elephants away from tourism and home to the forest – Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary. I could not have reached this goal without all the help from QUB and their guidance during my time there and after".
Kerri McCrea Manager and Co-Founder of Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, Thailand and Queen's Zoology graduate.
Introduction The BSc in Zoology at Queen’s aims to provide students with a broad coverage of the biology of animals and how they interact with other living organisms.
Please see below an indicative table of modules taken from 2016-17 which are subject to approval. Students should check on the website for more up to date information on approved modules:
For information a Semester is a twelve week block of teaching and semester dates can be found on
CAT points refers to the amount of work in a module and a 20 CAT modules is equivalent to 200 hours of work and a forty CAT modules should be equivalent to 400 hours of work. A 40 Cat modules will be spread over two Semesters.
This module combination provides students with a core basis for further study in biological sciences.
Stage 1 • Biodiversity
• Molecular Basis of Life
• The World of Microorganisms
This module combination provides students, who may be undecided as to their final specialist degree area, with considerable flexibility as they enter Stage 2; at this stage students enrolled in Zoology can move into Marine Biology or Biological Sciences.
Stage 2 • Coastal and Oceanic Biology
• Animal Biology and Physiology
• Cell Biology 2
• Cell Biology 1
• Invertebrate Biology
• Applied Ecology
• Applied Genetics
• Microorganisms in Action
• Work Placement
• Zoology students can complete a 16 week degree-related work placement
• Zoology with Professional Studies students will complete a one year, degree related work placement
Students undertaking the Professional Studies programmes will spend a minimum of 46 weeks in a work placement. During their placement they will complete project type work and gain a transferable skill set sought
by future employers. Preparations for work placements will begin in the first semester of
Stage 2. Recent placements have included Harnas Wildlife Foundation (Namibia), Mopane & Mapesu Private Game Reserve (South Africa), Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary (Thailand), Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Stage 3 • Conservation Biology
• Behavioural Ecology
• Sustainable Oceans
• Medical Microbiology
• Global Change Biology
• Immunology and Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases
• Farm Animal Health and Welfare
• Research Project
The research project generally involves practical work carried out in the field and laboratory or at Queen’s University Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, or in one of the many active areas of research in the School of Biological Sciences such as Parasitology Animal Physiology and Tracking, Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare and Zoonotic Diseases. Additionally, it may be carried out during summer placement.
People teaching youDr Nikki Marks
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 9 (hours maximum)
Typically 3 hours of teaching for each module studied (9 hours in total) and 3 hours practical every 2 weeks for each subject
Personal Study 2 (hours maximum)
Private study and completion of assignments
Learning and Teaching
On the BSc (Hons) in Zoology we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning. we
We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
- Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
E-Learning technologies, Lectures, Personal tutoring, Practicals, Self-directed study, Seminars/ tutorials, Supervised Projects, Team-working, Work Placements, and Work-related learning through field trips and industrial visits.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning Outcomes of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are outlined in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
- Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.
- Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Biological Sciences. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for programmes in the School of Biological Sciences must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected and all subject requirements must be met.
Applicants offering other qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE (or equivalent) profile is usually expected of those applicants offering other qualifications.
For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, there may be the possibility of advanced entry to Stage 2 depending on relevance of the HND and first year results (at least half of the first year units must be at Merit grade). Where offers are made for entry to Stage 2 students would be required to achieve 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in final year. Those not eligible for entry to Stage 2 would be considered for entry to Stage 1 provided at least one first year unit is at Merit grade. Students would be required to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year.
For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Biological Sciences, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Graduates are qualified to take up both scientific and non-scientific careers. These positions encompass areas of innovative research and development of new products, advisory and consultancy work, particularly in companies or organisations concerned with animal and plant health, environmental management, pharmaceutical products and biotechnology.
Graduates pursue careers in teaching, nature conservation and laboratory-based posts in biomedical, industrial, pharmaceutical, academic and government institutions as well as in universities and colleges of higher education. The remainder undertake further training in areas such as computing, administration and management or medicine (human or veterinary), developing their skills from a sound scientific background. Further training also helps them to find employment in a variety of non-biological careers, including public service administration, industrial management, banking, accountancy and computing.
Employers are looking for graduates with generic skills of communication, problem-solving, data analysis, social skills, a range of interests and a record of success. We believe that a degree in Zoology will help our students to develop these skills. For further information on careers see the Institute of Biology website. . Please note that the same careers are open to both Zoology and Biology graduates.
The School of Biological Sciences employs a dedicated careers adviser who has developed an extensive portfolio of employers, both nationally and internationally, within the science sector. Advice is also provided on CV preparation, interview techniques and securing summer work or longer placements.
Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
• Northern Ireland Water Ltd
• Environment Agency
• Forensic Service
• Moy Park
• North Atlantic Whale Foundation
• National Trust
• Randox Laboratories
• Norbrook Laboratories Ltd
• The Almac Group
• Ulster Wildlife Trust
• Castle Espie
• Belfast Zoo
• Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary
• Harnas Wildlife Foundation
• Mopane and Mapesu Private Game Reserve
• Turtle Foundation
• Wildfowl and Wetland trust
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Prof. William Campbell, Zoologist born in Ulster and recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine
Could you be the next Nobel Prize winning Zoologist?
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £20,800
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10 and an E-Book at a cost of £25.
The following optional modules have a compulsory field trip:
Year 1 Biological Diversity Module has a field trip costing £80.
Year 2 Applied Ecology Module has a field trip costing £125.
All students may apply to go on a School Workplace Tour at a cost of £100.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2020.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS