You receive a thorough grounding in the evolution and biology of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, vertebrate physiology, cell and plant biology, basic biochemistry, and biometrics and data handling.
You carry out further studies in key aspects of animal biology, building on the knowledge gained during your first year, and have the option to take specific modules on ecology, molecular biology and ethology. The Research Methods module includes the development of a research proposal on a zoological topic of your choice. A residential field course in rural south Wales provides a week-long immersion into field and lab data collection.
In your final year, you undertake an independent research project during which you will collect original data that advances our present understanding of the topic you investigate. You will also read specialist modules that focus on key aspects of zoology which are of particular interest to you, such as animal cognition, aquatic biology, palaeoanthropology, and conservation. You also have the opportunity of going on a field course based in South Africa.
Examples of final-year project titles
- Laterality in elephants.
- An investigation into differences in the behaviour of wild and captive meerkats.
- Inter-group relationships in short-finned pilot whales.
Recommended first year reading
- Campbell, N.A., J.B. Reece & L.G. Mitchell (2005) Biology, 7th edition, New York: Addison-Wesley
- Or: Purves, W.K., D. Sadava, G.H. Orians & H.C. Heller (2004) Life: The Science of Biology, 7th edition, Sunderland, USA: Sinauer
The University’s extensive collection of zoological specimens enhances the learning experience and the laboratories are equipped with facilities for: DNA analysis, scanning electron microscopy, electrophysiology, high-performance liquid chromatography, environmental monitoring.
You will have free access to computer suites equipped with subject specific software, and you will get support for your work from a team of specialist laboratory and IT technicians.
From Roehampton there is easy access to the many world-class facilities in London, including: Natural History Museum, London Zoo, Chessington Zoo, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
We also make good use of the excellent local wildlife areas, which include: Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park National Nature Reserve, WWT Wetlands Centre in Barnes.