BSc (Hons)

Key Information


3 years (4 years if taken with the optional sandwich year)

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool



Academic Year

Course Overview

The study of zoology is an exploration of how animals have evolved, how they function, and the ways in which they interact with their environment. The subject integrates anatomy, physiology, behaviour, ecology, evolution, and conservation to provide a comprehensive understanding of species structure and diversity. Humans have created a rapidly-changing world to which animals have had to adapt. Understanding the amazing diversity of animals that share our planet helps us to understand our origins, as well as predict future evolution.

Zoology at Lincoln is taught by research-active staff who specialise in a wide range of disciplines. The degree aims to provide a broad understanding of the subject, encompassing the study of key aspects of modern zoology in a diverse range of invertebrates and vertebrates. Students have opportunities to study animals in their natural habitat at key points during their studies.

Students can participate in a residential field trip in the UK, enabling them to study animals in the wild. For UK-based field trips the University will cover costs of transport, accommodation, and meals at the field site. There is also an optional Overseas Field Course module in the final year.

Why Choose Lincoln

Subject area ranked in the top 10 for student satisfaction*

Optional overseas field trip to locations around the world

Optional placement year

Taught by experienced research-active staff

Fully-funded residential field trip in the UK

Available with a Science Foundation Year

*Complete University Guide 2024 (out of 96 ranking institutions)

Staff undertaking research with insects

How You Study

This degree is designed to develop a broad understanding of the subject, encompassing the study of key aspects of modern zoology in a diverse range of vertebrates and invertebrates. Throughout the course, students have the chance to develop skills in scientific methods and communication. There is also an opportunity for students to gain professional experience by undertaking a placement year, between the second and third year of their studies.

In the first year, students will have the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of biological concepts, including genetics, evolution, ecology, anatomy, and physiology.

During the second year, more specialist modules cover vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, reproduction and development, and plant-animal interactions. Students can choose from a selection of optional modules to align their studies with areas of particular interest.

There is an emphasis on independent research in the final year and students will be expected to undertake a substantial research project, as well as modules that aim to develop critical scientific skills.

Teaching is a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practical sessions in the laboratory or in field situations. Other forms of teaching will include discussions and debates and written tasks. These will vary from module to module.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Animals 2024-25ZOO1001MLevel 42024-25Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Animals is concerned with the principles of the diversity of anatomical form and function in animals using a comparative approach. Anatomical adaptations will be explored across taxa within the animal kingdom in order to show how different types of organisms use their anatomy to solve the similar physiological problems. Through this, an understanding will be developed of how organisms from different taxa address physiological aspects of their life histories.CoreEcology 2024-25BGY1010MLevel 42024-25Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. These interactions can be studied across different levels of biological organisation including individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. This module will examine how these different levels of organisation are interconnected and how the study of ecology allows us to better understand patterns in the natural worldCoreIntroduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare 2024-25BIO1040MLevel 42024-25This module aims to introduce the principles underlying animal behaviour and the welfare of animals in our care. It will adopt approaches derived from Tinbergen’s levels of explanation of behaviour, such as control, lifetime development and adaptive value of behaviour. Students will have the opportunity to be taught how to observe and record the behaviour of animals from a range of taxonomic groups. The module will introduce approaches to animal welfare assessment and their application.CoreIntroduction to Life Sciences 2024-25BIO1043MLevel 42024-25Introduction to the Life Sciences is designed to provide a foundation for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of fundamental cell biology, biochemistry and genetics in the context of life sciences.CorePlant Structure and Function 2024-25BGY1006MLevel 42024-25This module aims to provide a broad overview of plant form and function by reviewing the key structural characteristics of cells, tissues, and organs in a range of plant species. The module investigates the diversity of plant form and the evolutionary history of plant life; emphasis is placed on the adaptations of plants to their environment. It focuses on the relationship between anatomy and the mechanical role of cells, tissues, and organs. On completion of this module students would be expected to have a broad understanding of form and function in plants, key elements of plant-animal and plant-fungal co-evolution / interactions, and an appreciation of the diverse range of structures and tissues utilised by humans.CoreResearch Methods for the Life Sciences 2024-25BGY1012MLevel 42024-25Research methods for the Life Sciences aims to introduce the skills and knowledge necessary for students to assimilate and judge scientific knowledge. Students will be introduced to the tools required to search and evaluate the scientific literature relevant to their studies, and some of the key philosophical constructs around which scientific knowledge is based. They will be taught about hypothesis testing, experimental design, data collection, basic mathematical and statistical concepts, and data presentation, and gain hands-on experience of their application.CoreData Skills for the Life Sciences 2025-26BGY2011MLevel 52025-26Data-centric skills are crucial for any life scientist undertaking any form of data collection, management, visualisation, and/or analysis. This module introduces students to skills in data storage, handling, and manipulation; understanding different data types; visualising data; fitting statistical and analytical models; interpreting and reporting statistical and analytical results; and using these skills in experimental designs. In the age of information, computational skills are becoming ever more relevant, and this module will hone different computational skills. All these skills can aid students in undertaking future research projects, including the third-year honours project.CoreEvolution 2025-26BGY2009MLevel 52025-26The Evolution module aims to introduce the fundamental concepts and theories that explain and predict how biodiversity evolves as a result of multiple factors emerging from both ecological and sexual interactions. The integrative nature of this module guarantees that a broad diversity of the central topics in the field of evolution is covered.CoreInvertebrate and Vertebrate Zoology 2025-26ZOO2002MLevel 52025-26This module is an introduction to the key major taxonomic groups of invertebrates and vertebrates. Major invertebrate groups will include inter alia: sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, nematodes, annelids, molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, and cephalochordates. All major vertebrate classes will be considered in detail.CoreReproduction and Development 2025-26BIO2040MLevel 52025-26This module focuses on reproduction and development in a range of invertebrates and vertebrates. There will be a comparative analysis of anatomy, physiology, behaviour and evolution of reproductive patterns, including the main anatomical features of male and female reproductive tracts. There will be descriptions of the processes of gamete production in males and females. The underlying principles of ontogeny from fertilisation to birth will be described in a variety of taxa with an emphasis on the factors controlling developmental processes. Additional content will focus on factors, e.g. environmental pollution, that affect reproduction and development in animalsCoreAnimal Behaviour 2025-26BIO2033MLevel 52025-26This module is based on the four ethological levels of explanation for animal behaviour as introduced by Nikolaas Tinbergen, one of the fathers of ethology, in the 1960's: mechanism, development, function and evolution. It will deal primarily with the ethological concepts underlying the study of animal behaviour supported by classic experimental studies of domestic and wild animals from a wide range of taxonomic groups. The module will also cover the design, data collection, analyses and interpretation of behavioural studies in a variety of species both in the laboratory and in zooOptionalAnimal Protection 2025-26BIO2037MLevel 52025-26This module explores the regulation and enforcement of animal protection including the background and need for legislation relating to animals, the scientific, political and legal procedures involved in forming legislation and how citizens may become involved in that process. Students develop critical analytical skills through the interpretation and application of legal frameworks as well as the evaluation of the research background underpinning the law. Students also learn to develop and present arguments used in decisions regarding animal protectionOptionalConservation Biology 2025-26BIO2107MLevel 52025-26This module provides a critical insight into the application of the principles of conservation biology. It will give an overview of the nature, value and complex threats to biodiversity and will detail the biological problems faced by small populations of animals, in particular. The module will also deal with the practice of population conservation and management, including methods to assess population size, survival rates and how to use this information to assess the viability of populations.OptionalManaging Ecosystems 2025-26ECL2002MLevel 52025-26This module deals with managing ecosystems in a range of contexts, and includes assessing and addressing the impacts of human activity on ecological systems. It also examines the suitability of different management strategies to deal with a range of environmental problems.OptionalSLS Study Abroad 2025-26BIO2110MLevel 52025-26The School believes that an option to study overseas is a valuable educational opportunity for our students. Provision of this option supports the educational aims of the School of Life Sciences and enhances the distinctiveness of its degrees at Lincoln. The optional year is intended to: - enable students to benefit from studying within a cross cultural environment; - expose students to a wider academic and cultural experience; - enhance their future employment opportunities; - by increasing their cultural and professional mobility. This module is optional for students within the School. Study Abroad is a year long module which enables students to spend a year studying abroad at one of the University's approved partner institutions. Eligible students must have completed their second year of study to a satisfactory standard and successfully completed the application process for the year abroad. During the year spent abroad, students share classes with local students and study on a suite of locally-delivered taught modules which have been approved in advance by the University. Upon their return, as part of the assessment for this module, students are required to critically reflect upon their experience of living and studying in a different cultural environment and the skills acquired.OptionalUK Field Course 2025-26ECL2003MLevel 52025-26This module aims to help students understand theory, develop skills, build tacit knowledge and importantly, integrate and apply know-how and skills acquired from prior learning to novel situations. The module is built around the principle of scientific enquiry and the ownership of that process by students in order to develop cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. Student ownership will be developed throughout the module, culminating in an independent, residential in-situ field study in which they design a study, collect & analyse data and present their findings.OptionalWork Experience 2025-26BMS2014XLevel 52025-26OptionalBehavioural Ecology 2026-27BIO3026MLevel 62026-27Behavioural ecology examines the way in which behavioural repertoires contribute to survival and ultimately reproductive success. The module will focus on key topics including: Optimality Theory, Sexual Selection, Communication and Sensory Ecology, Altruism and Cooperation, Arms Races, Fighting and Assessment, Navigation and Migration, and Human Behaviour.CoreGlobal Change Biology 2026-27ECL3005MLevel 62026-27This module will consider human-caused environmental change that affects a substantial part of the globe and biological systems. Biological responses to these human induced changes will be considered in terms of how organisms, species, and communities may acclimatise, adapt, or change. Specifically, we will consider how organisms can respond genetically and phenotypically, and how and why communities may change in their species and functional composition. After consolidating understanding of the causes of, and biological responses to, global change, we will consider what these impacts mean for ecosystem structure and function, the development of novel ecosystems, and approaches for conservation and ecosystem management under global change. This module will cover a range of differing causes of global change e.g. biological invasions or urbanisation, but content will be flexible to remain relevant to current and emerging challenges.CoreLife Sciences Research Project 2026-27BGY3003MLevel 62026-27In this module, students undertake an independent programme of research under supervision from a member of staff. It provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate original and critical thought, as well as to build discipline-specific research and project-management skills. A wide range of subject expertise exists within the School, and students are expected to work on a project that is relevant to their programme of study. Under the guidance of a supervisor, students will review the literature, identify a research question/aim and objectives, and design a programme of research respectively. Students will be expected to manage the project and work in a safe and ethical manner, which will include undergoing training in and engaging with obtaining relevant ethical approval and risk assessment. Students will collect and analyse data, record their activities and research methodology and results in a “lab book”/ equivalent robust means of recording. We currently offer projects in the laboratory (wet or animal) or field, projects that involve data analysis, literature research, educational research, science communication research and market research. Students may work individually or in groups addressing similar questions, but must write up individually. The findings of the research will be written up and presented orally. The conduct and performance of the student as a research apprentice will be assessed.CorePalaeobiology 2026-27BGY3007MLevel 62026-27At the interface between Earth and Life Sciences, Palaeobiology is the study of all aspects of the biology of extinct biota and their relations to the physical environments in which they lived. The discipline documents and explains patterns and processes governing past Life, and is key to our understanding of evolution in deep time and up to the present. Fossils are the currency of Palaeobiology. Their unique and fundamental contribution is their ability to provide measurable models of anatomical, functional, and ecological change over millions of years of evolution. Natural selection theory predicts that organism diversity results from species interacting with each other and with their environments. Consequently, fossils are the natural “time capsules” preserving the historical record of faunal and floral successions on our planet. This record unravels the pathways through which traits observed in extant organisms are selected for, elucidates models of biodiversity rises and falls, and casts light on the complex relationships between the geosphere and the biosphere. Palaeobiology tackles some of the most challenging and engaging topics of modern biology, including the emergence of biodiversity, patterns of recovery, and expansion of ecosystems and species in the aftermath of profound crises (such as mass extinctions), and the interplay between originations and extinctions in shaping the Tree of Life. This module aims to enable students to comprehend the thrust and scope of fossil-based research, progressing from basic observations to formulation of complex macro-evolutionary inference. Palaeobiology is eminently interdisciplinary, absorbing concepts and methodologies from numerous other fields and providing tools and knowledge of wide use to other biologists, particularly those interested in tempo and mode of evolution and the comparative method.CoreAnimal Cognition and Welfare 2026-27BIO3204MLevel 62026-27This module explores the scientific study of animal cognition and welfare, with particular attention focused on experimental design, methodological considerations, and interpretation. It will cover the objective assessment of animal cognition and welfare with research examples from both wild and captive animals.OptionalOverseas Field Course 2026-27BIO3031MLevel 62026-27This module provides students with the opportunity to investigate biological phenomena in the field at an overseas location. Students work in groups, guided by staff, to develop and test hypotheses allowing them to understand more about biological processes operating within the study area. They are encouraged to view the ecosystem within the wider context of the anthropogenic impacts being imposed on it. This module is optional and courses run subject to sufficient student demand.OptionalPlant and Animal Interactions 2026-27BGY3011MLevel 62026-27In this module students can gain an understanding of, and an appreciation for, the interactions between plants and animals that have been the driving force for the evolution of the world as we know it. Interactions between the flowering plants and vertebrate and invertebrate animals have led to the huge diversity of flowering plants that maintain the essential life support systems of the planet and are the basis of all current agricultural systems. Despite the huge economic costs of agricultural pests that damage plants, the evolutionary arms race between plants and their herbivores has driven the evolution of many of the important plant secondary compounds we use today as stimulants (e.g. caffeine) or drugs (e.g. salicylic acid = aspirin). Other economically, evolutionarily, or ecologically important plant-animal interactions include pollination and seed dispersal. Students can examine the economic, evolutionary, and ecological consequences of plant-animal interactions at scales from ecosystems to molecules. They will have the opportunity to develop their own perspective on this important topic, and will be asked to review and interpret and evaluate the evidence available in the primary literature.OptionalPractical Skills in Conservation 2026-27ECL3002MLevel 62026-27Conservation of plants and animals usually involves interactions between multiple stakeholders including scientists, landowners, communities, government, and NGOs. A range of practical and transferable skills are therefore beneficial for employment in both conservation research and conservation practice. This module will refine certain such skills that students have acquired through their degree, and help them understand how to apply them in a conservation biology setting. Its focus is to provide opportunities for real world and experiential learning, and to progress relevant employability skills.OptionalSoil Biology 2026-27ECL3003MLevel 62026-27This module provides a critical insight into the study of the biological diversity of soils, including their ecological and functional roles, to understand about best management and conservation practices. Students can learn about key issues affecting important soil processes and the methods for measuring and managing soil biodiversity.OptionalVeterinary Parasitology 2026-27BVS3005MLevel 62026-27The impact of parasites to the health, welfare, and productivity of animals remains one of the most important issues in veterinary biology. A detailed understanding of the biology and epidemiology of parasites and the association they have with their hosts is vital in protecting and improving animal’s health and welfare. This module aims to provide a theoretical background for understanding the specialised features that parasites have developed to adapt to their host and transmit between hosts, the diseases which result, and advances in treatment and prevention of infection. Students can also learn analytical laboratory methods for the identification of different types of ecto- and endoparasites. Case studies will be used to illustrate how the current advances in research are applied to understand and inform the epidemiology, control, and prevention of parasite mediated disease in animals and monitor emergent diseases globally and within the UK.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.

Overseas Field Trip

There is an optional overseas field trip in the third year. This will provide the opportunity to do research in a novel environment and to study local plants and animals. Destinations may vary, but have previously included the cloud forests of Ecuador, the Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, and Molise in Italy.

Optional field trips may incur additional costs, including flights. Students may also be required to pay for overnight stays, local travel, and food close to the destination if their flights arrive the day before the team are scheduled to meet.

Students may bring personal items of clothing and travel equipment, some of which may be specialised for the environment they are travelling to, and recommended medicines and travel toiletries such as anti-malaria medication, vaccinations, insect repellent and sunscreen. These costs will depend on what you choose to bring.


Optional Placement Year

All full-time students on this course may take an optional placement year between the second and third year of the programme. While these placements are student-led, you will be continuously supported by academic staff throughout. Placements provide the opportunity to gain workplace experience and a chance to hone your skills in a professional environment. While you are on an optional placement in the UK, you will be required to cover your own transport, accommodation, and meals costs.

I have had the chance to experience things that most people never will. The staff are very passionate about their work and about passing on their knowledge.

What Can I Do with a Zoology Degree?

Career opportunities for Zoology graduates may include teaching, environmental consultancy, conservation, and science journalism. Graduates may choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level or pursue a career in research.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

120 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A Levels or equivalent qualifications to include 40 points from Biology.

A Level: BBB, to include a grade B in Biology.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall to include Higher Level grade 5 in Biology.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Animal Management/Applied Science*: Distinction, Distinction, Merit or equivalent.

*not all modules are accepted. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (

BTEC Diploma Applied Science acceptable with other qualifications. Please contact our Admissions team for further information (

T Level in Science accepted. Health or Health Science NOT accepted: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 120 UCAS Tariff points, including 40 points from 15 credits in Biology.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English, Maths and Science. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications:

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Science Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Find out More at an Open Day

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Visiting us in person is important and will help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

Book Your Place
Three students walking together on campus in the sunshine
The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.