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Ecology or Zoology

I'm about to go to university this September and am currently signed up to do Ecology and Conservation Biology but I am tempted to switch to Zoology because I have a specific interest in animals. However, I recently heard that Zoology is considered 'less of a science' in the biology world. Has anyone done either of these courses at university or have any advice on the matter?
Original post by babbles456
I'm about to go to university this September and am currently signed up to do Ecology and Conservation Biology but I am tempted to switch to Zoology because I have a specific interest in animals. However, I recently heard that Zoology is considered 'less of a science' in the biology world. Has anyone done either of these courses at university or have any advice on the matter?

Good evening @babbles456 ,

I am currently studying Bsc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. So far, we have learned various materials, such as genetics, statistics, graph making, surveying techniques, identifying conifers, reintroducing species, and local pollarding management techniques.

The Ecology and Wildlife Conservation degree includes a range of laboratory sessions, field trips, lectures, guest speakers, career fairs, and more. This all aids our learning and makes the degree accessible to everyone. Each student has a different way of learning, and at Reading University, everybody is included and accommodated.

The course must have 120 credits; this year, the credits had 10 credit modules, such as the Animal Diversity module. However, from the 2024-2025 academic year, the University of Reading is moving to a semester system, so all modules will be 20 credits.

The great thing about credit systems is that your modules are usually flexible. At Reading, there are three core modules and three option modules ( for Zoology or Ecology). Students can choose optional modules from across the biological sciences subject. For example, an ecology student can select 2nd-year Zoology modules such as invertebrate zoology.

Overall, zoology is more animal-based, but it isn't where you learn how to handle animals or specifics about the organisms. I would personally say it focuses more on the anatomical and behavioural elements of animals. Ecology is more based on the environment that the animals live in.

Both courses are classified as Biological Sciences, and you will use the biological sciences building at the university. Here is a link to the Ecology and Wildlife Conservation course page. For the Zoology webpage, here is the link.

If you would like to find out more about Ecology and Wildlife conservation, please contact me via the Unibuddie app here.

I hope this helps!

Ella
2nd year Ecology and Wildlife Conservation.
Original post by babbles456
I'm about to go to university this September and am currently signed up to do Ecology and Conservation Biology but I am tempted to switch to Zoology because I have a specific interest in animals. However, I recently heard that Zoology is considered 'less of a science' in the biology world. Has anyone done either of these courses at university or have any advice on the matter?

Hi @babbles456,

I studied a BSc in Zoology last year and am now doing an MRes in Wildlife Conservation. I too have an interest in animals and really enjoyed my zoology degree. Whilst 1st year is quite generalised and includes modules like biochemistry (which may not be of interest to you), year 2 and 3 are really flexible as we also use the credit system. For example, in my 3rd year I got to choose all 8 of my modules and so I included some from outside of my degree. I took a module from the Environmental Science degree and it was so nice to meet different students and lecturers.

The University of Southampton used to run an Ecology and Conservation course but it had so many of the same modules as zoology and biology that there was hardly any difference so the degree was stopped. I had a friend in the old ecology degree and over 3 years we almost did all the exact same modules. Therefore, module/content wise I really do not see a difference. In terms of its view in the biology world all of our biological sciences course use the same building and are offered the same opportunities.

Here is the link to our Zoology degree: University of Southampton - Zoology BSc

I hope this helps to inform your decision and if you have any questions please let me know.

Abby
Mres Wildlife Conservation - 4th year

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