The Student Room Group

General Zoology/Ecology FAQs

Hey everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers or tips to any of the following questions please as I'm super stuck on where to start with the whole university application process - all I really know is the course area I want to do!
- Which unis are good for the course area I want to go into? (for quality of teaching, student life, future prospects)
- Any tips for what I can do to strengthen my application?
- Anything else I should know really...

I study maths, bio, chem and spanish and am only interested in integrated masters courses. thanks !!!!!!
perhaps go into zoology or ecology based jobs since yo are interested in biological science or perhaps biology teaching?

Manchester metropolitan university do great courses for this
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by tmbnty
Hey everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers or tips to any of the following questions please as I'm super stuck on where to start with the whole university application process - all I really know is the course area I want to do!
- Which unis are good for the course area I want to go into? (for quality of teaching, student life, future prospects)
- Any tips for what I can do to strengthen my application?
- Anything else I should know really...
I study maths, bio, chem and spanish and am only interested in integrated masters courses. thanks !!!!!!

I think these are the best tips I can give you (I'm also an applicant for zoology, did lots of research including calling Ecological Consultancies for advice lol):

Check top unis that offer Biological Sciences, they usually let you specialise into Zoology in 2nd year (this is if you're more interested in the biology side of things as it will be less field work and more lab work).

Get some experience volunteering, if you do prefer ecology then to get a job you will need good species identification skills (mostly birds), and need to learn how to conduct bat surveys. There should be some bat survey groups near you if you search. Most Zoology courses do include ecology modules, so you can have the best of both worlds.

I'd recommend looking at jobs you like and looking at what qualifications they require, so that you know what degree and other certifications you need to achieve to get where you want to be in the future.


For me personally, the only science I did at A-Levels was Bio, which heavily limited the unis I could apply to, but I applied to University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Reading and Royal Holloway. I think Leeds and Exeter both offer incorporated masters. Your A-Levels will allow you to apply to most unis that offer those courses like Lancaster, UCL, Bath, Durham, Southampton etc, so make sure you work hard to get the grades you need first and foremost, then google universities and volunteering opportunities in the cities of those unis (make sure the modules include field work for whichever course you do if you want to become an ecologist). Then finally, visit the ones you like best, and work hard so that you'll get in!

Here's some links I found helpful (these are more ecology-focused):
https://bsg-ecology.com/what-do-we-look-for-in-graduate-and-early-career-ecologists/
https://ecologytraining.co.uk/careers/getting-a-career-in-ecology/
https://cieem.net/i-want-to-be/

I hope this was helpful, good luck :smile:
Original post by jrodr25
I think these are the best tips I can give you (I'm also an applicant for zoology, did lots of research including calling Ecological Consultancies for advice lol):

Check top unis that offer Biological Sciences, they usually let you specialise into Zoology in 2nd year (this is if you're more interested in the biology side of things as it will be less field work and more lab work).

Get some experience volunteering, if you do prefer ecology then to get a job you will need good species identification skills (mostly birds), and need to learn how to conduct bat surveys. There should be some bat survey groups near you if you search. Most Zoology courses do include ecology modules, so you can have the best of both worlds.

I'd recommend looking at jobs you like and looking at what qualifications they require, so that you know what degree and other certifications you need to achieve to get where you want to be in the future.


For me personally, the only science I did at A-Levels was Bio, which heavily limited the unis I could apply to, but I applied to University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Reading and Royal Holloway. I think Leeds and Exeter both offer incorporated masters. Your A-Levels will allow you to apply to most unis that offer those courses like Lancaster, UCL, Bath, Durham, Southampton etc, so make sure you work hard to get the grades you need first and foremost, then google universities and volunteering opportunities in the cities of those unis (make sure the modules include field work for whichever course you do if you want to become an ecologist). Then finally, visit the ones you like best, and work hard so that you'll get in!
Here's some links I found helpful (these are more ecology-focused):
https://bsg-ecology.com/what-do-we-look-for-in-graduate-and-early-career-ecologists/
https://ecologytraining.co.uk/careers/getting-a-career-in-ecology/
https://cieem.net/i-want-to-be/
I hope this was helpful, good luck :smile:

hey i was wondering if you knew any conservation societies or wildlife biology jobs i could possibly look into (i want to be a zoologist)

ive already looked at ZSL and WWF and i want to broaden my horizons
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by tmbnty
Hey everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers or tips to any of the following questions please as I'm super stuck on where to start with the whole university application process - all I really know is the course area I want to do!
- Which unis are good for the course area I want to go into? (for quality of teaching, student life, future prospects)
- Any tips for what I can do to strengthen my application?
- Anything else I should know really...
I study maths, bio, chem and spanish and am only interested in integrated masters courses. thanks !!!!!!

Hi there! 🙂

Glad to hear you're hoping to study in the same subject area as me! I study Zoology BSc here at the University of Plymouth and absolutely love the course and university, and plan to study a ResM masters and PhD here after graduating.

From my experience at Plymouth, Zoology is a great course with a broad subject area looking at all aspects of ecology, physiology, behaviour, global systems, anatomy, field skills, lab practicals, and more with plenty of hands-on work. Plymouth is well-equipped for the subject with many teaching and research laboratories, specialist facilities, local natures spots that are great for field work, and a marine station with plenty of boats and lab space there too. I would definitely recommend the university across all of those aspects (student life, teaching quality, and future prospects).

For your application, I would suggest you simply show how passionate you are about the course, and highlight any specific experience you have or any ways you can show your enthusiasm beyond current studies (e.g. books you have read, places that have inspired you, podcasts, studies, etc.) It's great to link these experiences to how this has developed your personal and professional skills and how they have equipped you to be a good candidate for that course. Your subjects sound great too (a good match for a zoology course and meeting Plymouth's entry requirements).

If you have any specific questions or want to know anything else about the course or university, feel free to reach out! 😊

Best of luck!

-Alfie, University of Plymouth Undergraduate Student Rep
Original post by tmbnty
Hey everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers or tips to any of the following questions please as I'm super stuck on where to start with the whole university application process - all I really know is the course area I want to do!
- Which unis are good for the course area I want to go into? (for quality of teaching, student life, future prospects)
- Any tips for what I can do to strengthen my application?
- Anything else I should know really...
I study maths, bio, chem and spanish and am only interested in integrated masters courses. thanks !!!!!!

Good evening @tmbnty ,

It's great you are thinking about studying Ecology or Zoology!

There are so many great universities that offer these courses. When selecting my university, I found searching through the courses on the UCAS website very helpful. Using the website, you can narrow down the results by using the filters, which is a great way to look at your options.

The University of Reading offers Zoology and Ecology courses. However, they are not currently offering integrated master's courses. However, there are separate master's courses available for which I am going to apply, so this could be an alternative option.
In terms of stretching your application, I highly suggest you talk about any experiences that have led you to your love of wildlife and zoology, as this will show you have actively decided through experiences rather than just liking the idea of the course. For example, experience at a local farm, animal shelter, museum, or even a holiday which had a significant impact on your choice of course. You want to be able to connect to the course on a deeper level and say why you want to be able to pursue this course. This might be able to magnify your application, and more importantly, be yourself!

When choosing the right university for you, look at the lecture hours vs the field and lab hours, as certain courses have more field-based teaching, whereas some universities only teach in lectures. I recommend thinking about the best way you learn and choosing an appropriate course depending on this factor. Also, some universities have examinations, whereas others do not, so this is an important factor when exploring the courses. This information will be found on the course pages. Also, when choosing a university, ensure the university has outdoor spaces, e.g., local farms, botanical gardens, or woodlands on campus, as these will be excellent places for learning.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Many thanks
Ella 😀

1st year Ecology and Wildlife conservation.

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