The MSci Zoology with Professional studies enables students to develop knowledge and understanding of:
Concepts and theories from the molecular and cellular levels through to the whole-organism.
The principles and study of animals from the molecular to the community level.
The importance of zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases e.g. Covid-19.
Molecular techniques applied to de-extinction and conservation e.g. cloning.
The use of forensics and toxicology in the investigation of wildlife crime.
Practical laboratory skills to investigate and manipulate biological material including relevant physical, chemical and biological measurements and their application in a research project.
Collation, quantitative analysis and interpretation of experimental data, including problem-solving.
Communication and application of knowledge on the biological sciences.
The use of computers for data management and presentation.
The use of remote sensing technologies for the assessment of animal behaviour.
Intellectual, personal and team skills for employment and further study.
How the degree outcomes can be applied to the workplace and career planning.
How to carry out Masters level research.
Programmes with Professional studies undertake a 46 week work placement between stage 2 and 3. The skills and experience obtained are further enhances following the completion of the stage 3 project carried out either in internationally recognised laboratories or at internationally recognised field sites. The experience obtained equips the student with a readily transferable skill set for entry into either employment or future postgraduate study, including research.
Zoology with Professional Studies Degree highlights
Students will spend a full academic year in a research laboratory undertaking a project of their choice from a wide selection of topics ranging from:
- 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, Harnas Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation (Namibia), Wildlife Conservation South Africa (Mopane and Mapesu) as well as many other countries through Operation Wallacea.
Zoology graduates can avail of a wide range of employment opportunities aimed at addressing the major global problems such as emerging infectious diseases, maintenance of animal welfare in intensive farming, maintenance of biodiversity, understanding climate change, conservation of endangered species and the use of remote sensing technologies to monitor populations.
- 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.
- Work placements (year-long) are embedded in these programmes and 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 Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast Zoo, Belfast City Hospital, Castle Espie, National Trust, North Atlantic Whale Foundation, Ulster Wildlife Trust, Harnas Wildlife Foundation Namibia, Mapesu and Mopane Private Game Reserve (South Africa), Turtle Conservancy, Health Service laboratories, local veterinary practices and many more.
Zoologists at QUB have the opportunity to avail of the strong international links with Universities in South Africa, America and Canada to arrange placements. 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 centres in Namibia and South Africa as well as many other countries through Operation Wallacea
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Jonathan Scott – Conservationist, award winning wildlife photographer, author and big cat specialist.
Local expert – Professor Alan Stitt – Dean of Innovation and Impact (QUB) and McCauley Chair of Experimental Ophthalmology RVH (QUB Zoology graduate).
- The research projects undertaken by students in the final year of the programme at international study sites or in laboratories run by world-leading experts presents them with the opportunity to obtain a diverse transferable skill set valued highly by employers and academics seeking PhD students.
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 Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Castle Espie, National Trust, North Atlantic Whale Foundation, Ulster Wildlife Trust, Health Service, Harnas Foundation and many more.
- This five-year programme is designed to equip students with a broad knowledge base of both field and laboratory techniques applicable to the research area e.g.: remote sensing technologies to examine animal behaviour and movement and aid conservation and molecular diagnostic techniques for emerging diseases.
"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 & Co-Founder of Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, Thailand and Queen's Zoology graduate.
|Introduction||The MSci in Zoology with Professional Studies at Queen’s aims to provide students with a broad coverage of the biology of animals and how they interact with other living organisms.|
An integral part of the programme is understanding the impact of climate change, emerging infectious zoonotic diseases and human encroachment into wildlife areas on biodiversity. Students will explore cutting edge technologies to tackle disease control, de-extinction, conservation and the use of remote sensing technologies to monitor animal behaviour.
Students on this pathway will complete a set of compulsory core modules at Stage 1, in common with other bioscience pathways. At Stages 2 and 3 students will select from a range of optional modules. All students undertake a compulsory Research Project module at Stage 3 (either lab or field-based) before spending year four in a research intensive setting (laboratory or field). Students will also complete a 46-week work placement to develop the core transferable skills and employment related experiences valued by future employers.
|Stage 1||This module combination provides students, who may be undecided as to their final specialist degree area, with considerable flexibility as they enter Stage 2; 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 Microbiology, Biological Sciences or Marine Biology or remain on the Zoology pathway to retain a broad focus on the biology of animals , comparable to human biology (including genetics and physiology), their interactions with each other, the environment (ecology), and other living organisms, including humans and disease causing pathogens|
|Stage 2||Work Placement|
• Zoology with Professional Studies students will complete a 46 week 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), Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary (Thailand), Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
|Stage 3||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 and Animal Behaviour. Additionally, it may be carried out during the summer months.|
|Stage 4||MSci 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, the Ecology of Disease, Animal Tracking and Animal Behaviour. Exciting possibilities are also available abroad with our collaborators involved in conservation projects in Africa, South Africa, America, Canada and Thailand. There are no taught modules or examinations in this year, allowing students to concentrate fully on their research activity.
|Year Out (Professional Studies)||All students will spend a minimum of 46 weeks in a work placement during which they will carry out some project type work. Students will begin preparations for the placement in the first semester of Stage 2 and the placement will be assessed within the module Professional Studies.|
People teaching youProfessor Nikki Marks
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Times
|Personal Study||28 (hours maximum)|
For private study and writing assignments each week
|Large Group Teaching||12 (hours maximum)|
Typically around 9 hours teaching [3 hours for each subject/module studied – see later information on course content] and 3 hours practical every 2 weeks for every module at stages 2 and 3.
Learning and Teaching
On the MSci in Zoology with Professional Studies we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning.
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 shown 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.
|A level requirements|
AAB including Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or + GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
AAB including Double Award Applied Science or Double Award Life & Health Sciences + GCSE Biology and Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
AAA including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
It would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.
A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to a grade A at A-level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 and H3 in any order in Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics
H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Biology + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Chemistry and Mathematics.
It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.
Not considered. Applicants should apply for the BSc degree.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
34 points overall including 6,6,5 at Higher Level including Biology and Chemistry (preferred) or Mathematics or Physics or Geography + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
36 points overall including 6,6,6 at Higher Level including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
Standard Level grade 4 would be acceptable in lieu of the GCSE requirement.
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirements are also met.
MSci applicants will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc if they are not eligible for entry to the MSci, both at initial offermaking stage and when results are received.
|Option to transfer|
Transfers between BSc and MSci may be possible at the end of Stage 2.
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
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 application.
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. These decisions can only be made on the basis of the information given and applicants must show due care and diligence when completing their applications. In particular, full details must be included about qualifications completed or still to be completed.
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.
For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account. For last year’s entry applicants for this degree must have had, a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/Merit, 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 Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.
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 offer for repeat applicants 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 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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.
- 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, 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.
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
• The Environment Agency
• The 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
Many students complete higher degrees, either in the UK or overseas, before embarking on a career in medical, agricultural and environmental research. Students can choose from a wide range of Master’s programmes at Queen’s, as well as a comprehensive list of PhD research topics.
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/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,750|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,750|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£9,250|
|EU Other 3||£25,300|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Note that the tuition fees quoted above are for the 2023-24 academic year and are for indicative purposes only as the fees for 2024-25 have not yet been finalised. These fees will be subject to an inflationary increase. All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase for each year of the course, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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.
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.
Zoology with Professional Studies costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10, a dissection kit at a cost of £20 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 £120.
Year 2 Applied Ecology Module has a field trip costing £150 and Coastal and Oceanic Biology has a field course costing £150 . All students may apply to go on a School Workplace Tour at a cost of £100.
Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
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 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 www.qub.ac.uk/Study/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 2024 from 1 September 2023.
Advisory closing date: 31 January 2024 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) 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 2024) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2024. If you apply for 2024 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: 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 2024.
- 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