Best Uni for zoology?

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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    I want to stay close to home and have narrowed it down to Nottingham, Sheffield or Manchester. I am interested in and want to study marine mammals(I know marine biology would be better but there isn't a course close to home), which one would be best?
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    Have you looked at course structures? They should give you an idea of what will be taught and in what depth.
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    Hello! I'm planning to work with cetaceans so you can ask me anything! The tip regarding marine mammals is that you will want to go for the uni that at least offers a module on a related topic. Additionally try to make any papers, essays, research projects, etc about marine mammals. For example I've done one paper on the jellyfish population problem and one essay on sperm whales and have done some zoology modules that included stuff about marine wildlife.

    I'm actually studying Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. I decided against doing marine biology because it's mostly biochemistry and studying plankton and algae. My course has allowed me to study general animal biology as well as examine conservation and ecological issues.

    However experience is key - you need to start getting experience in the marine sector. I'd highly recommend doing an aquarium placement and doing an ORCA or Marine LIFE course - it's one day and you learn how to identify cetaceans and how to survey them. Once you've done that you can volunteer with them on ferries and cruise ship to conduct cetacean surveys and contribute directly to research! Also there are a huge amount of whale-watching and research companies worldwide that offer internships. If you have any questions regarding how to apply for these, etc, let me know!
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    Hi, thanks for that! What unis do you recommend and which did you study at? Also would you say I would be better off doing a conservation degree instead? (BTW im same guy just made new account)
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    (Original post by Crabb1ey)
    Hello! I'm planning to work with cetaceans so you can ask me anything! The tip regarding marine mammals is that you will want to go for the uni that at least offers a module on a related topic. Additionally try to make any papers, essays, research projects, etc about marine mammals. For example I've done one paper on the jellyfish population problem and one essay on sperm whales and have done some zoology modules that included stuff about marine wildlife.

    I'm actually studying Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. I decided against doing marine biology because it's mostly biochemistry and studying plankton and algae. My course has allowed me to study general animal biology as well as examine conservation and ecological issues.

    However experience is key - you need to start getting experience in the marine sector. I'd highly recommend doing an aquarium placement and doing an ORCA or Marine LIFE course - it's one day and you learn how to identify cetaceans and how to survey them. Once you've done that you can volunteer with them on ferries and cruise ship to conduct cetacean surveys and contribute directly to research! Also there are a huge amount of whale-watching and research companies worldwide that offer internships. If you have any questions regarding how to apply for these, etc, let me know!
    Hi, thanks for that! What unis do you recommend and which did you study at? Also would you say I would be better off doing a conservation degree instead? (BTW im same guy just made new account)
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    (Original post by RWhyles1)
    Hi, thanks for that! What unis do you recommend and which did you study at? Also would you say I would be better off doing a conservation degree instead? (BTW im same guy just made new account)
    I'm currently at the University of Reading (great campus - you can go and bird watching at anytime. I've seen a lot of foxes and once came across a hedgehog. We also have bats on campus.). My sister did look at Hull, which appears to have a very good marine biology and ecology department and includes diving as part of the course. Those courses are run at their Scarborough campus and I believe they do a lot of rock-pooling to help you learn.

    Conservation degrees can be less competitive and I've covered many things - I've done zoology modules but avoided cellular stuff. I've done environmental management modules and covered various issues. If you'd be interested in studying algae, plankton and doing a lot of fish then you'll probably like Marine Biology. You want a course that gives you plenty of hours doing practical stuff and doing ID stuff. Many people are graduating biology courses and cannot ID simple things. And the one thing all employers demand is ID skills in the biology field. (because of my course I am allowed to sit in a lab and ID freshwater invertebrates I catch from the uni lake)

    Zoology involves a lot of anatomy and taxonomy, and has far more students - my course has about 20 students so we all know each other. The Zoology course has over 100 students. Whilst there is a fair amount of overlap, my compulsory modules are environmental modules, the zoologists have to do all the zoology modules plus some biology modules such as cellular functions. I've done a lot of surveying as well.

    I picked an Ecology course because I'm very interested in Conservation. Reading offered a course that I liked the sound of (Exeter was literally the only other uni to offer an Ecology course I was interested in).

    I did visit Plymouth uni for their ecology course - lots of emphasis on trees I remember. I asked about the marine biology and he said it was a lot of biochemistry and looking at plankton, etc with all the marine megafauna tacked onto the end of final year. I've done a lot on fish and a bit on marine mammals on my course. My friend did Marine Biology at St. Andrews - a place you expect would place a huge emphasis on cetaceans, she was disappointed in that cetaceans barely made up the course!

    It all depends on what you wish to do for a career but I'd recommend comparing and contrasting course content. But if you're aiming to help in cetacean conservation I'd recommend doing a conservation degree and make any essays, research projects, etc about cetaceans and marine conservation.
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    (Original post by Crabb1ey)
    I'm currently at the University of Reading (great campus - you can go and bird watching at anytime. I've seen a lot of foxes and once came across a hedgehog. We also have bats on campus.). My sister did look at Hull, which appears to have a very good marine biology and ecology department and includes diving as part of the course. Those courses are run at their Scarborough campus and I believe they do a lot of rock-pooling to help you learn.

    Conservation degrees can be less competitive and I've covered many things - I've done zoology modules but avoided cellular stuff. I've done environmental management modules and covered various issues. If you'd be interested in studying algae, plankton and doing a lot of fish then you'll probably like Marine Biology. You want a course that gives you plenty of hours doing practical stuff and doing ID stuff. Many people are graduating biology courses and cannot ID simple things. And the one thing all employers demand is ID skills in the biology field. (because of my course I am allowed to sit in a lab and ID freshwater invertebrates I catch from the uni lake)

    Zoology involves a lot of anatomy and taxonomy, and has far more students - my course has about 20 students so we all know each other. The Zoology course has over 100 students. Whilst there is a fair amount of overlap, my compulsory modules are environmental modules, the zoologists have to do all the zoology modules plus some biology modules such as cellular functions. I've done a lot of surveying as well.

    I picked an Ecology course because I'm very interested in Conservation. Reading offered a course that I liked the sound of (Exeter was literally the only other uni to offer an Ecology course I was interested in).

    I did visit Plymouth uni for their ecology course - lots of emphasis on trees I remember. I asked about the marine biology and he said it was a lot of biochemistry and looking at plankton, etc with all the marine megafauna tacked onto the end of final year. I've done a lot on fish and a bit on marine mammals on my course. My friend did Marine Biology at St. Andrews - a place you expect would place a huge emphasis on cetaceans, she was disappointed in that cetaceans barely made up the course!

    It all depends on what you wish to do for a career but I'd recommend comparing and contrasting course content. But if you're aiming to help in cetacean conservation I'd recommend doing a conservation degree and make any essays, research projects, etc about cetaceans and marine conservation.
    Thanks! Think im gonna apply for Exeter, Bangor, Hull and Reading, doing zoology or ecology.
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    I can't offer much input because I'm only an applicant myself.
    But I think an important thing to take note of is how courses in different unis can vary significantly.
    By the way, I considered ecology/conservation/biodiversity courses as well but decided on zoology because I think it gives more flexibility for future career choices? I'm not sure though, that's just how I made my decision.
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    (Original post by RWhyles1)
    Thanks! Think im gonna apply for Exeter, Bangor, Hull and Reading, doing zoology or ecology.
    No problem! Hull is excellent from what I've heard - it's less academic and so has more student support. Russel Groups don't have as much student support. A warning, Exeter makes you do an A-Level Maths module in first year.

    For Reading, if you do Ecology you'll have access to the CWAC lab (Conservation and Wildlife Assessment Centre), so you can go in and learn to ID a group of inverts of your choice. You can also volunteer in the Herbarium if you wish and learn plant ID. For Zoology you can volunteer in the zoology museum.

    And you've still got one choice left so you're all good. Definitly try and visit before applying to get a feel for the campus and check all course online.
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    (Original post by JessicaApple)
    I can't offer much input because I'm only an applicant myself.
    But I think an important thing to take note of is how courses in different unis can vary significantly.
    By the way, I considered ecology/conservation/biodiversity courses as well but decided on zoology because I think it gives more flexibility for future career choices? I'm not sure though, that's just how I made my decision.
    Not sure, there's a lot of overlap and both can give you a huge amount of flexibility. More people do pick Zoology. The key to employability is ID skills (you can self-teach yourself, and see if there's a bird-ringer willing to take you on their trips. As bird-ringing is an excellent way to see birds up close and learn their identifying features. Because I had a bird club at primary school, I learnt to ID many birds this way) and taxonomy is a field that is always in search of graduates, but as it's so dry no one wants to do it. However I wouldn't worry, you should be able to choose some conservation modules. And again, practical stuff and conducting surveys are invaluable.

    When I was applying I remember doing a lot of comparing and contrasting of course content it drove me bonkers.
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    (Original post by Crabb1ey)
    Not sure, there's a lot of overlap and both can give you a huge amount of flexibility. More people do pick Zoology. The key to employability is ID skills (you can self-teach yourself, and see if there's a bird-ringer willing to take you on their trips. As bird-ringing is an excellent way to see birds up close and learn their identifying features. Because I had a bird club at primary school, I learnt to ID many birds this way) and taxonomy is a field that is always in search of graduates, but as it's so dry no one wants to do it. However I wouldn't worry, you should be able to choose some conservation modules. And again, practical stuff and conducting surveys are invaluable.

    When I was applying I remember doing a lot of comparing and contrasting of course content it drove me bonkers.
    Tbh that sounds more like fun than work haha
    I absolutely adore conducting ecological surveys and IDing species, especially birds. Unfortunately, I've been doing all that in Hong Kong so I'll have to start from scratch in the UK.
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    (Original post by JessicaApple)
    Tbh that sounds more like fun than work haha
    I absolutely adore conducting ecological surveys and IDing species, especially birds. Unfortunately, I've been doing all that in Hong Kong so I'll have to start from scratch in the UK.
    Yup doing surveys and IDing is great fun! If it's of interest, some people are employed as Marine Mammal Observers to assess cetaceans, etc to help with conservation.

    Here in the UK we have a bat conservation society you can volunteer with, the UK reptile and amphibian society, the BTO is the one you'll want to look up for bird-ringing. If you're interested in becoming a ringer it takes 2 years to train. You can volunteer with the wildlife trusts and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust. Of course there's the RSPB and various marine societies.

    You probably already know but we have a huge bird-watching community in the UK so you'll definitely be able to find a bird club and go out bird-watching and they can help you learn our birds!

    Our Wildlife Trusts run a lot of pond-dipping events, etc and I enjoy volunteering with my local one - you can do anything from site management to environmental education.

    For Scotland there is the Scottish Wildlife Trust - you can volunteer with them on Handa Island which is the UK's largest bird reserve.

    By the way, whilst you're in the UK try and get out to one of our marine bird reserves to see the auks and gannets! Gannets are spectacular birds - they have a 2m wingspan, bright white with yellow heads and blue eyes. They have excellent eyesight - once they spot fish they fly up to 30m, then go into a freefall, and enter the water at 62mph/100km an hour, sending up a plume of water about 1m into the air! I can recommend a whale-watching company you can volunteer with in Scotland if you fancy spending 2 weeks on a boat watching whales, dolphins, sharks, porpoise and pelagic birds.
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    (Original post by Crabb1ey)
    Yup doing surveys and IDing is great fun! If it's of interest, some people are employed as Marine Mammal Observers to assess cetaceans, etc to help with conservation.

    Here in the UK we have a bat conservation society you can volunteer with, the UK reptile and amphibian society, the BTO is the one you'll want to look up for bird-ringing. If you're interested in becoming a ringer it takes 2 years to train. You can volunteer with the wildlife trusts and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust. Of course there's the RSPB and various marine societies.

    You probably already know but we have a huge bird-watching community in the UK so you'll definitely be able to find a bird club and go out bird-watching and they can help you learn our birds!

    Our Wildlife Trusts run a lot of pond-dipping events, etc and I enjoy volunteering with my local one - you can do anything from site management to environmental education.

    For Scotland there is the Scottish Wildlife Trust - you can volunteer with them on Handa Island which is the UK's largest bird reserve.

    By the way, whilst you're in the UK try and get out to one of our marine bird reserves to see the auks and gannets! Gannets are spectacular birds - they have a 2m wingspan, bright white with yellow heads and blue eyes. They have excellent eyesight - once they spot fish they fly up to 30m, then go into a freefall, and enter the water at 62mph/100km an hour, sending up a plume of water about 1m into the air! I can recommend a whale-watching company you can volunteer with in Scotland if you fancy spending 2 weeks on a boat watching whales, dolphins, sharks, porpoise and pelagic birds.
    Wow this is amazing advice!!! Thanks so much!
    The bat conservation society sounds especially interesting. I'll definitely give birdwatching a go too when I come to the UK

    Thanks again!! I will definitely save this somewhere for future reference
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    (Original post by JessicaApple)
    Wow this is amazing advice!!! Thanks so much!
    The bat conservation society sounds especially interesting. I'll definitely give birdwatching a go too when I come to the UK

    Thanks again!! I will definitely save this somewhere for future reference
    No problem! Feel free to message me in future if you need any extra help! The bat conservation society does run bat-ringing sessions. The BTO does run bird-ringing workshops where you can watch a number of ringers do ringing for a day. We also get a lot of interesting duck species in the winter.

    I'll also be more than happy to send you my cover letter that got my placements with whale-watching companies. Doing these placements also helped hugely with my pelagic bird ID.

    And if you're going to be near an AONB or park there will be a group of park rangers, or work party that always take volunteers.
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    Hey I've just seen this and I'm applying for an environmental science degree but I'm also interested in zoology anyone got tips on the best universities and if there are jobs out there if I graduate in zoology or environmental science?
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    I know this is a stupid question but what's the race ratio not many Asian guys like ecology r the environment so don't really wanna be an outcast
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    (Original post by Crabb1ey)
    No problem! Feel free to message me in future if you need any extra help! The bat conservation society does run bat-ringing sessions. The BTO does run bird-ringing workshops where you can watch a number of ringers do ringing for a day. We also get a lot of interesting duck species in the winter.

    I'll also be more than happy to send you my cover letter that got my placements with whale-watching companies. Doing these placements also helped hugely with my pelagic bird ID.

    And if you're going to be near an AONB or park there will be a group of park rangers, or work party that always take volunteers.
    Any advice ?
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    (Original post by Uniguyhopefully)
    Any advice ?
    Hi! Don't worry about being an outcast - at uni you are all united by your passion! There is a skew in that there fewer Asians but honestly there's more than you think you who do these degrees. The greatest skew is male:female. Zoology, Ecology, Environmental Science and Biology is a female-dominated field. But don't worry, a lot of guys still do Ecology, etc! Just don't be surprised if the majority of your coursemates are female!

    And there are a lot of jobs! From surveying to research to museum work to zoos. A popular route is ranger/warden. If you're more into Environmental Science you'll probably be interested in being a ranger or warden for a nature reserve. Again, it's all down to experience and ID skills that determines if you get that job or not. My aim is to be a wildlife guide on whale-watching boats so another option is Eco-tourism.

    For uni, do you want an academic uni or a more practical uni that will give you more time to carry out practicals, etc? Because Russell Group unis do actually give you less time for practicals. Exeter is an excellent uni for Ecology, etc but it's an incredibly hard course to get onto.

    Do you want lots of student support, etc? Because again, Russell Groups and high-ranking unis have less Student support whereas a uni like Hull or Nottingham Trent has a lot.
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    Hey again I'm from Manchester but I'm looking at degrees in a skew of places like Nottingham and Leeds don't think I'm gonna get into Exeter my predicted grades are BBB, I would love a bit of both practical and lectures, I'm also looking for a decent student life like socializing etc , thanks for your help !!
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    Is there a particular reason to wanting to stay around home? because St Andrews is only 5 hours on the train from Manchester and offers exceptional marine biology/zoology/ecology and conservation courses!
 
 
 
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