The Student Room Group
Inside University of Bristol
University of Bristol
Bristol

This discussion is no longer active so you won't be able to reply.Check out other Related discussions

Difference between Zoology/Animal Behaviour at Bristol?

Can anyone gloss over the main differences of these courses for me?

I love the sound of both, but am learning more towards Zoology because it sounds a bit more academic with more kudos. Yes/no?

But I don't want dismiss Animal Behaviour out of hand because I bet it is a great course too and very interesting. I am going to the Open Day but, whilst I wait, anyone study either of these or know about either? Can you give me a quick overview on the difference so I can get an idea of which to aim for? The website doesn't say a fat lot.

Obviously Animal Behaviour will be what it says on the tin but I'm sure Zoology also covers the subject of Animal Behaviour. I would just like more detail to help me make up my mind.

(Can I apply for both in UCAS anyway? I think this is a stupid question but what the heck).

Thanks. x
Nambi
Can anyone gloss over the main differences of these courses for me?

I love the sound of both, but am learning more towards Zoology because it sounds a bit more academic with more kudos. Yes/no?

But I don't want dismiss Animal Behaviour out of hand because I bet it is a great course too and very interesting. I am going to the Open Day but, whilst I wait, anyone study either of these or know about either? Can you give me a quick overview on the difference so I can get an idea of which to aim for? The website doesn't say a fat lot.

Obviously Animal Behaviour will be what it says on the tin but I'm sure Zoology also covers the subject of Animal Behaviour. I would just like more detail to help me make up my mind.

(Can I apply for both in UCAS anyway? I think this is a stupid question but what the heck).

Thanks. x



Hi Nambi

I've just finished the Animal Behaviour and Welfare degree at Bristol, and have plenty of Zoology friends so hopefully can help. Despite sounding similar the degrees are very very different in years 2 and 3. Both have a common biology first year, where all biological scientists (bio/zoo/botany etc etc) are together and have to do 2 compulsory biology modules. After this however, the courses are rather different.

-Animal Behaviour and Welfare is based in the research group out at Langford (the vet school) 30 mins from Bristol, where Zoology is in the school of biological sciences on the main campus.

-Zoology is more fundamental biology, and is concerned mainly with wild animals behaviour in a more evoultionary context. ABW is more concerned with domestic animals (farm, companion animals etc.) and is a whole discipline of its own. As it is fairly new, it is less known so people have preconceived ideas that it is less academic or respectable, but I am sure its reputation will raise in time. I'm going straight from it to a PhD in October, and hopefully a career in research so it certainly can be academic!

-Animal Behaviour in zoology is very limited to one or two modules, and is concentrated mainly around a few wild animals and insects (lots on ant behaviour if thats your thing!). This is in quite a fundamental setting, and despite the word 'zoo', is not very much to do with zoos, and at times, not much to do with what you would think of as animals (insects, bacteria etc.) (I'm sure you weren't thinking that but some people are definitely surprised!)

-ABW obviously has the element of welfare in it (1/3rd of the 1st year and 1/6th of the 3rd year). Much of the behaviour is also in the context of animal welfare---so evidently having an interest in animal welfare is very important!
The course is also more practical in the sense of around 20 day long visits to animal related instituations (farms, research centres, shelters etc) in 2nd year, and further vists and a 40 credit practical dissertation in third year. In zoology there is no dissertation as such, instead a smaller library and lab based project.

Obviously I'm very biased to ABW, as this is where my research interests lie- but I just thought I would emphasise the differences in these degrees which on the surface appear similar but really are very different. You can apply for both via UCAS, but would encourage you to go to the open days for both, speak to staff/pupils and get a real feel for the courses before deciding!
Inside University of Bristol
University of Bristol
Bristol
Reply 2
Hey
I have recently started looking at this degree as an option for me in the future, it sounds fantatsic, but i have a few worries and i would really appreciate someone who has done the degree to help answer my questions, and i am sorry if some of them are a big stupid lol.
firstly what kind of options do you have at the end of the degree? where have some of your freinds who took this degree gone to?
What kind of things are appreciated on a personal statement into this course is there any kind of work experience that is kind of essential that i need to be thinking about?
I know some people go straight to a PhD afterwards, is this something that is popular and is there any help in financing it?
And finally (and i am sorry if this is stupid) from my understanding both the ABW students and the vetinary students are taught at langford, does a lot of the teaching take place together? and is there any rivaly? with the ABW student considered lesser because is could be considered and easier shorter degree?
Thanks
Jennie
Reply 3
Animal behaviour is basically a course for people who want to be vets but cant get the grades. I've not a clue what anyone does with this degree except a vet conversion when they finish (everyone i know who is doing this degree is converting afterwards)

Zoology is basically biology for people that want to go into animal conservation/research and don't like studying plants.
Reply 4
Quick note for those interested in Zoology: There really is very little difference between Zoology and the Biology course, all the compulsory units and the list of optional units are exactly the same. However in Zoology your unit choices are limited to a certain number from each unit group, whereas Biology students have no restrictions. It is very easy to change between the two courses though.

Just bringing this up because there were a lot of Zoologists from my year (currently 3rd year) who were dissatisfied after one unit was cancelled, which restricted their choices a lot more.
Original post by Skysong
Quick note for those interested in Zoology: There really is very little difference between Zoology and the Biology course, all the compulsory units and the list of optional units are exactly the same. However in Zoology your unit choices are limited to a certain number from each unit group, whereas Biology students have no restrictions. It is very easy to change between the two courses though.

Just bringing this up because there were a lot of Zoologists from my year (currently 3rd year) who were dissatisfied after one unit was cancelled, which restricted their choices a lot more.


Hi,

So, could somebody become a Biologist through taking all of the units they would have taken on the Zoology degree? I love Zoology and would want to take all of the animal based units, but think that a Biology degree might be better for my career in the long run.

Thanks in advance
Reply 6
Original post by DarwinsDevotee
Hi,

So, could somebody become a Biologist through taking all of the units they would have taken on the Zoology degree? I love Zoology and would want to take all of the animal based units, but think that a Biology degree might be better for my career in the long run.

Thanks in advance


Yes, you can take all animal based units and still come out with a Biology degree :smile: The 1st year is the same for both (and does include some plant stuff), but in 2nd and 3rd year the units are grouped. And where Biologists will only have to pick one of each group for example, Zoologists have to pick at least 3 of one group and a max of two from another (or something along those lines).

If you have a look at the unit choices for both degrees on the website it might make a bit more sense than me explaining it!
Zoo: http://www.bris.ac.uk/esu/unitprogcat/RouteStructureCohort.jsa?byCohort=Y&cohort=Y&routeLevelCode=3&modeOfStudyCode=Full+Time&ayrCode=11%2F12&programmeCode=2BISC003U
Bio: http://www.bris.ac.uk/esu/unitprogcat/RouteStructureCohort.jsa?byCohort=Y&cohort=Y&routeLevelCode=3&modeOfStudyCode=Full+Time&ayrCode=11%2F12&programmeCode=2BISC001U

Hope this helps!
Reply 7
Original post by DarwinsDevotee
Hi,

So, could somebody become a Biologist through taking all of the units they would have taken on the Zoology degree? I love Zoology and would want to take all of the animal based units, but think that a Biology degree might be better for my career in the long run.

Thanks in advance


You have to take a plant unit to come out with a Biology degree at the end of it (You don't for zoology). But just one, so if you can bear that you are sorted.
Is there a such thing as an ABW zoologist? Like they deal with basically every animal but are ABW?

Latest