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Zoology

C300 BSc (Hons) 3 years

Overview

QMUL has a strong record of research achievement in understanding the structure, physiology, ecology and behaviour of animals – from microscopic creatures to turtles and bats.  Our programme will give you an overview of modern zoological thinking, including a strong emphasis on the underlying concepts that shape our understanding of animal diversity.  As a zoology student, you will get a thorough grounding in vertebrate and invertebrate biology, including physiology, behaviour, evolution and ecology. Modules in molecular and population genetics, ecology, statistics and immunology are also available.  

We place a strong emphasis on fieldwork, with compulsory and option modules taking students to locations across the UK and internationally, including:

You can view more photos from our recent field trips on our Flickr page.  Details of field trip costs are in the struture tab.

Highlights

  • Hands-on experience from field trips
  • Wide array of second and third year option modules

Important discoveries

On a recent trip to Canada, as part of the option final year module Species and their relationships: dinosaurs to DNA, students made an important dinosaur discovery. The rare hadrosaur skull they unearthed is now housed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Pathology. Watch our video from the trip:

Student projects

Students have the option of taking an investigative or research project in your final year. For many students, this is the highlight of their time with us, giving them an opportunity to work alongside established researchers in the field. The Natural History Museum, London Zoo, Forest Enterprise and London University's Marine Biological Station at Millport in Scotland all provide special opportunities for original investigative work.

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research, who are enthusiastic about their subjects and sharing their knowledge with you. 

You can find out more about our research interests on Organismal Biology department page.

Study abroad

You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).

While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.

Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.

Structure

The programme structure outlined below is indicative of what you will study. It may change slightly from year to year as new topics are introduced and after we have listened to current student feedback on teaching.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees.  For further information on this initiative please contact sbcs-admissions@qmul.ac.uk

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

Elective modules:

Year 3

Compulsory module:

Elective modules:

All third year students must complete one of the following:

Field trips

This programme includes several option modules with a field course component. These modules generally require your attendance at a location away from Queen Mary and outside of the normal teaching semesters.

We do everything we can to minimise any additional costs that may be incurred during your studies.  Compulsory fieldwork will not cost you anything extra. For optional overseas fieldwork, you will need to contribute up to £150, plus the cost of your flight (based on costs in the year 2016/17).  Full and partial bursaries are available. Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and depend on the modules you choose. If you are interested in attending a field trip, you can discuss this with your personal academic advisor (every student is assigned an advisor once they start with us).

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements for 2017 Entry and General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades ABB at A-Level. This must include A-Level Biology.
IBInternational Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 34 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include Biology at Higher Level.
BTEC See our detailed subject and grade requirements
Access HEWe consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma in a science discipline e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis, and we may request an interview. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.
Contextualised admissions We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.

2017 Entry requirements

  • A-levels: Typically ABB and above at A2 level from three subjects including biology
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall including grade 5 in biology (Higher Level)
  • BTEC: We do not accept BTEC qualifications
  • Access to HE Diploma: We will consider applications from students with the Access to HE Diploma (60 credit in a science discipline e.g. biology, chemistry, maths, physics). We take all aspects of your UCAS application into careful consideration; we look at the merits of your personal statement, academic reference, predicted grades and actual grades, and, due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers purely on the basis of meeting the grade requirements. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve an overall Pass, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.

All applications are considered by our admissions tutors on a case-by-case basis, and this may mean we would request an interview.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for answers to our commonly received queries about entry requirements.

Foundation programme

Students may enter this degree programme via admission to the QMUL Science and Engineering Foundation Programme. Students must complete the foundation year and meet the required progression criteria.

 

General Admissions Entry Requirements

English Language Proficiency

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.

Vocational and Other Qualifications

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Combined Qualifications

If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application for individual advice.

If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.

We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.

Non-UK students

European and International Applicants

Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.

Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
Email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk

See our information and guidance on how to apply.

Learning and teaching

All our programmes involve a mixture of classroom activities and laboratory work. A variety of teaching styles are employed, which vary slightly among modules and programmes. Most material is delivered via lectures. These last around 50 minutes each and, typically, you would have two lectures per day.

Lectures are backed up with small-group tutorials and workshops, where you have the opportunity to ask, in a relatively relaxed and small group setting, about material in lectures that you did not understand, to go through problems and practise past exam papers.

In general, lectures, tutorials and workshops take place in the mornings and laboratory classes in the afternoons.

A typical weekly workload would be:

  • 6-8 one-hour lectures
  • 4-5 hours of practical laboratories or workshops
  • 20-25 hours of private study/coursework.

Independent study:

For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment:

For all programmes you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through theory examinations (typically accounting for 75-80 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example, practical reports, field course reports, essays, problem sheets, online exercises and tests).

Examinations normally last two and a half hours for first and second years and three hours for final-year papers. Final-year students undertake a research project/investigative project or equivalent worth 15 or 30 credits; these are assessed with a detailed written report, poster and an interview.

The main examination period is in May/June, with deferred exams and resits in August for first- and second-year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies among programmes and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), extended matching questions (EMQ), short answer questions, problem solving or case-based exercises, and essays.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full-time £17,450

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

Funding

Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Our graduates progress into a range of sectors, including clinical and laboratory work, as well as postgraduate research and study and science communication.  Others transfer their skills into sectors such as marketing and finance.  The latest data show that 95 per cent* of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation. 

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Ecosystem Research Intern
  • Digital Delivery Assistant – advertising company
  • Science Teacher

Recent graduates have gone on to study:

  • Graduate Accelerated BVetMed
  • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation MRes
  • Evolutionary Biology PhD
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology MSc

As a QMUL student, you will have access to our specialist Careers & Enterprise Service who can help prepare you for internships and graduate employment.  Their services include support in choosing a career, CV and application writing, interview techniques and mock interviews, tailored workshops and employer-led events to help you apply for internships, part-time work, a graduate role of further study. You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant and Internships Coordinator for your School who has expert knowledge of recruitment and connections to employers in the field.

QMUL is part of the prestigious Russell Group and our graduates have some of the highest starting salaries of any university in the UK (£24,000 average salary in 2015)*. Your standing among graduate recruiters is also enhanced by our membership of the Russell Group of leading universities. 

*Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015, based on UK-domiciled, full-time students

Profiles

Charlotte Bell, Zoology BSc, class of 2007

Currently working as: Consultant Ecologist at The Environmental Dimension Partnership

  • Why did you choose Queen Mary?

"I was impressed by the School's links with London Zoo, Natural History Museum and the Aquarium. I also wanted to experience living in London."

  • Did you encounter any difficulties securing this job, and how did you get over them?

"It can be an immensely difficult career to get into. I started by sending letters to all the ecological and environmental consultancies asking for work experience. I also did voluntary work for my local wildlife trust and joined my local bat group and reptile and amphibian group. I managed to get some work with a local ecologist helping out with bat surveys, and later on with newt and reptile surveys, and from there, got other part-time and short-term contract work during the survey seasons. I just stuck at it, and two years later I finally landed my first permanent ecological consultant job."

  • What does your current job involve day-to-day?

"The summer months are very busy for ecologists. Any development has to have protected species surveys completed prior to planning permission being granted. So I normally have two or three reptile surveys, bat roost assessments, dusk/dawn bat surveys, great crested newt surveys between March and June, water vole and otter surveys, and dormouse surveys. In addition to the surveys I have to write reports, ecological advice notes and proposals."

  • What can current students do to prepare for getting a job in your area?

"Get as much work experience as you can. Ecologists will always need help in the survey season with field work – particularly with bat, reptile and newt surveys."


Jemma Mary Brett, Zoology BSc, class of 2016

  • What do you enjoy most about your course?

"The modules are diverse, ranging from molecular to organismal, which provides a thorough grounding in the study of the life sciences. All of the lecturers are very knowledgeable and are always happy to answer questions."

  • What's it like being a student in London?

"It's great to be a zoology student in London as you are able to visit places that are close by such as: ZSL London Zoo, Richmond Park and the Natural History Museum, to name but a few."

  • What do you think of the services at QMUL?

"The facilities on campus are excellent; there are quiet study areas within the library and also separate rooms for completing group work. The library stocks a wide range of books both on the shelves and electronically. The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences has several laboratories which are fully equipped and modern which is great for when you have sessions in the lab."

  • How do you think your QMUL qualification will help your future career?

"After I finish my degree at QMUL, my ultimate goal is to study Graduate Veterinary Medicine. I feel confident as QMUL has given me a good grounding in the life sciences. Coming to QMUL has been the best decision that I have ever made."


Constance Flora Chapman, Zoology BSc, class of 2017

  • What do you enjoy most about your course?

"My degree has taught me things that will help me in the future, especially experience of fieldwork that will help me stand out against other candidates.  I feel like QMUL really takes into consideration not just teaching you all the basic science knowledge you need to go into your career, but also gives you the opportunity to really know what your career could involve on a practical level."

  • What's it like being a student in London?

"Everything is on your doorstep; you're surrounded by so many resources that can really help in your degree, from the range of libraries and museums and labs, to simply just experiencing the hustle and bustle of London life."

  • What do you think of the services at QMUL?

"The labs in the SBCS building are all very snazzy; all seem to have very up to date equipment and endless supplies for the experiments that we do."

  • How do you think your QMUL qualification will help your future career?

"QMUL really does give you opportunities and compulsory parts of your degree that are going to make you stand out - the little life lessons that really start making you think about your career path and let you test the waters of different scientific career paths."

  • What do you enjoy most about your course?

"There are a lot of lecturers that really value your opinion and working alongside you. They always take your questions into account and find a way to get the message across. So many of them will go out of their way to help you and guide you and that is so important for young people who are trying find their way in the world."

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