University Centre Sparsholt

Degree level: Postgraduate
Awarded by: University of Portsmouth

Applied Zoo Biology (Taught)

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Gold

University Centre Sparsholt has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.


  • Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links
  • Benefit from one of the largest collections of animals in our BIAZA-member centre
  • Possibility to undertake a six-month industry placement and research project
What will I learn? Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and off-site visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects. Where can I go from here? Career pathways include zoo or conservation research, environmental education or zoo management. Alternatively you may choose to study a doctorate or a career in lecturing.

Course details


• Research Project and Research Methods - The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community. • Evidence-based Husbandry - Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition. • Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology - This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery. • Visitor Studies and Interpretation - Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision a key theme.

Assessment method

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

How to apply

International applicants

We welcome applications from international students. For further details on the English language requirements, visa requirements and student life, please see our website

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) in Animal Management, Animal Science or a related subject at 2:2 or above

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5Overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in any band
PTE Academic61
Cambridge English AdvancedAScore 176-185 (FCE grade A; CAE level B2)

We will also accept the following qualifications from EU students: GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above; IGCSE English (as a first or second language) at grade C/4 or above; AS or A level English Language or English Literature; International Baccalaureate (English A or B syllabus or English Literature Standard or Higher level) grade 4.

Further information

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £3350 Year 1
Northern Ireland £3350 Year 1
Scotland £3350 Year 1
Wales £3350 Year 1
Channel Islands £4600* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

10% discount for Sparsholt undergraduate students progressing directly from their BSc

Sponsorship information

Sparsholt offers a College Bursary for financial support to eligible students. Degree students can also apply for a grant to help cover non-travel costs associated with dissertations/ research projects, and subscriptions. For further details, plus information on the loans available to both postgraduate and undergraduate students, please see our website

Provider information

Visit our website

Our COVID-19 information

University Centre Sparsholt
SO21 2NF

Clearing contact details

Clearing 2021 – Get in touch!
Clearing Contact Details

01962 797269

Course Clearing information

Additional information

There is still time to join us at University Centre Sparsholt this September through clearing. Every year, students find their ideal course in UCAS Clearing or Adjustment. It gives you another opportunity to find the best course for you – whether you’ve changed your mind, your results surprised you or you’re just starting to think about starting university this year. Our courses range from Applied Animal Science, Zoo Biology and Equine to Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Aquaculture and Fishery Management, Marine Ecology and Conservation and Veterinary Nursing Science. Why choose University Centre Sparsholt? Excellent industry links; Outstanding facilities; Expert lecturers; Specialised degrees; TEF Gold award; Accredited by University of Portsmouth; and a Hampshire countryside campus or city living in Winchester

Course contact details

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Main Contact
Applied Zoo Biology at University Centre Sparsholt - UCAS