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BSc (Hons) Animal Biology

UCAS Code C300 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

Stirling is the perfect place to study animal biology. Take your degree at Scotland’s academic hub for animal conservation.

Animal Biology

Clearing places available to eligible students      Clearing 2018

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

What determines an animal’s resistance to disease? Why do many female animals exhibit ‘mate choice’? How can we help animals cope in hostile environments? On this course you’ll you study the enormous variety of animal life on earth and discover the answers to these and many other searching questions.

We explore related aspects of animal biology, including animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, cell biology and physiology, as well as applied aspects of animal conservation and management.

Fieldwork will be an essential part of your training. In addition to fieldwork in Scotland, we run two optional fieldtrips in Year 4. One takes place in the French Cévennes Mountains, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and the other at Gabon’s Lopé National Park, in the heart of the western Congo Basin.

As Scotland’s hub for conservation science, with close links to many animal conservation organisations, Stirling the ideal place to study biology.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    AABB - one sitting
    AAAB - two sittings

    GCE A-levels
    BBB

    IB Diploma
    32 points 

    BTEC (Level 3)
    DDM

    Essential subjects
    To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

  • Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

    SQA Advanced Highers
    ABB

    GCE A-levels
    ABB

    IB Diploma
    35 points

    Essential subjects
    To include Biology and one of Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology or Physics.

  • Other qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Bs in graded units

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions.

    Access courses
    Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

    Essential subjects
    As listed above.

  • Advanced entry

    Year 2 entry may be possible with HND in a Science based subject. For information on accepted courses please consult our Advanced Entry pages.

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS - 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Semesters 1-4 cover a range of core modules – including Cell Biology, Ecology, Biodiversity and Practical Skills – plus additional modules in other disciplines.

Semesters 5-6 cover three core advanced modules - Animal Physiology, Behavioural Ecology and The Animal Cell – plus three optional modules.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll work on an independent research project and take several advanced modules. Your options for these will include the field courses in France and Gabon, as well as: Immunology and Disease; The Evolution of Sex; Conservation Biology; Cell Birth, Life and Death.

Research projects reflect the active interests of academic staff. These include:

  • Assessing the impact of bumblebee parasites on their host populations.
  • Direct and indirect benefits of mating in courtship feeding insects.
  • Reducing stereotypical behaviour in captive animals.
  • Sexually transmitted disease and ladybird immune competence.
  • Sexual selection, sexual conflict and ‘mate choice’ in seaweed flies.
  • Do agri-environment schemes provide any benefits to foraging bats?

Modules

The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2017/18 on this course of study.

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Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18.

    Teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning and guided reading and research.

  • Fieldwork

    Fieldwork is an essential part of your training. Stirling's campus location is an ideal base from which to make field excursions, whether to study lekking Black Grouse in the Highlands or the distribution of animals on the Forth Estuary.

    The course includes a mandatory second year module featuring a short residential course in Scotland early in the third semester. As an additional option, fourth year students can attend a 10-day field course currently held in the south of France. These courses include instruction in identification, field sampling, experimental design, data analysis and presentation.

    Our French field site is in the Cévennes, a rugged mountain landscape of exceptional natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity. The organisms that live there include wild boar, otters, three vulture species (including endangered Cinereous vultures) and grey wolves. The region exemplifies the deep historical connection between humans and the natural world and is recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

  • Assessment

    Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination completed during the semester. For many modules, the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40–50 percent of the final grade, but for some modules this is as high as 100 percent.

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.

    £1,820*

    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.

    £1,820*

    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.

    £9,250 £9,250

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,460 £14,820

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    Eligible students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to receive the University’s Undergraduate Choice Scholarship, which offers a £1,000 cash award for Years 1-3 of study to eligible students coming to us with a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent

    Alternatively, the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship offers a £1,000 cash award for Years 1-3 of study to eligible students coming to us with a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    You don’t need to apply for these awards - we’ll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    Depending on what modules you study there pay be particular additional costs, e.g. field trips. Please check each module for specific details.

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

What jobs can you get with an Animal Biology degree?

From life science jobs to research and teaching, there’s a great deal of variation in jobs available to graduates with an Animal Biology degree:

  • research scientist
  • science writer
  • medical writer
  • biotechnologist
  • higher education lecturer
  • microbiologist
  • nanotechnologist
  • conservation
  • pharmacologist
  • secondary school teacher
  • soil scientist
  • zoologist

Animal biologists work in the agricultural, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and in conservation management and environmental agencies. Other career paths include: forensic sciences, teaching, the food industry, commercial analytical laboratories and, with further study, professions allied to medicine, and in academic, government and industrial research laboratories.

About one third of recent Stirling Biology graduates have continued their studies to obtain a further qualification, such as an MSc or PhD.

  • The University of Stirling consistently earns five QS Stars for employability, with more than 97% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating. (HESA DLHE 2016/17)
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