Animal Biology And Conservation BSc (Hons)

Staffordshire University Nature Reserve sign
UCAS code CD13
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2016/17 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,000 per year of study
  • International students: £10,600 per year of study

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS
RSB logo
  • This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).
  • Award design captures current developments in conservation biology
  • Our own nature reserve adjacent to the campus facilitates fieldwork
  • Professional work placements and career planning

Course outline

On our Animal Biology and Conservation degree, you'll get to work from our Science Centre, which is right next to our nature reserve. The course is ideal if you want to work in wildlife management or conservation.

Many graduates from this course work with conservation bodies or as environmental consultants in the private sector. Others pursue research positions or enrol on one of our Masters courses in conservation.

You'll learn through experience-based activities with a core programme of practical exercises and workshops that are supplemented by lecture material. Fieldwork is incorporated throughout, and you'll work in personal and small group tutorials to enable valuable one-to-one feedback.

In Year 1, you'll develop your understanding of core scientific areas, including ecology, evolution, biology of organisms and biological processes. In Year 2, you'll study adaption and survival, behaviour, ecology, and field biology. You'll also develop your field-based research skills to gain experience in essential habitat survey techniques.

You'll progress as an independent researcher by completing your professional practice placement. Placement opportunities are flexible to allow tailored engagement with graduate employers.

In Year 3, your emphasis will be on developing your academic expertise in conservation biology and habitat management, invertebrate and vertebrate conservation, applied entomology and toxicology. You'll also complete an independent piece of research.

Our expertise is varied. The specialist interests of our lecturers include butterfly conservation, urban sustainability, and environmental pollution.

If you would like to study a biology-based degree but your current qualifications do not meet our entry requirements for degree level study, our Biology with a Foundation Year is available.

Course content

Modules studied

Level 4 (Year 1)  Introduction to Scientific Practice; Molecules to Cells; Biology of Organisms; Biological Processes; Ecology

Level 5 (Year 2)  Adaptation & Survival; Ecology & Field Biology; Behaviour; Fieldcourse; Professional Practice & Placement.

Level 6 (Year 3)  Research Project; Invertebrate Conservation; Conservation Biology & Habitat Management; Toxicology; Vertebrate Conservation; Applied Entomology; Current Advances in Biosciences.

Entry requirements

Typical UCAS Offer: 112. BTEC: DMM Applied Science or Animal Management. All applicants are individually assessed.


Accredited by the Royal  Society of Biology 

Graduates from Accredited programmes will receive one year’s free membership of the Royal Society of Biology; thereby opening up networks at a time when you are perhaps applying for your first employment. In order to claim this they should email our membership department and state their accredited degree and university. Below is some further information about what it means to be a member of RSB: 

The Royal Society of Biology is the leading professional body for the biological sciences in the United Kingdom. The Society represents over 16,000 biologists from all areas of the life sciences, as well as over 100 organisations which make up the diverse landscape of biology in the UK and overseas. The Royal Society of Biology offers members unique opportunities to engage with the life sciences and share their passion for biology

Teaching and learning

A key aim of the course your award is to develop you as a professional scientific practitioner, and this is reflected in our approach to teaching, learning, and assessment. You will start with high levels of tutor driven activity, often with in-class competence based work and then gradually develop your skills, confidence and capabilities to drive your learning, both with us and beyond. For example, your practical skills, an essential skill set demanded by employers of bioscience graduates, will be developed and practised throughout your degree. To do this effectively, you, will spend a high proportion of your class contact time in Levels 4 and 5 with tutors in the laboratory and/or the field. In your final year your professional scientific skills development will culminate in your independent research project. Throughout the course, theory and practice are integrated, and many sessions will combine short lectures, seminars or workshops with practical work. This will allow theories and concepts to be explored, illustrated and reinforced and helps enhance your learning via direct experience. In-class enquiry based learning activities will be supplemented by various online learning activities via the use of a virtual learning environment.

At Level 4 you will spend on average 20 hours per week in timetabled sessions, of which approximately 20% will be in lecture based activity, and the remaining 80% will utilise practical, workshop and tutorial based learning. At Level 5 you will have on average 15 hours per week of timetabled sessions of which approximately 16% are lecture based and 84% focused on active learning in practical, workshops and tutorials. At Level 6, you will spend between 1012 hours per week within timetabled sessions of which 65% are practical/ workshop most of which is self-managed as you undertake your research project which is a major feature of your final year. You may also use some of your independent study time in additional practical work related to your project. At each Level of study, you will be supported through our integrated tutorial system. At Levels 4 and 5 the tutorials are embedded in a 30 credit module and are a mixture of one-to-one and small group tutorials focusing on the support for your learning, effective use of feedback and developing your graduate attributes. At Level 6 in addition to tutorials with your project supervisor, you continue to have tutorials with your personal tutor focused on personal development and career success. So the award structure is designed to emphasise skills acquisition, practice, and development.


The assessments are designed to assess the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to a practising Biologist and are progressively structured. The number of assessments you attempt will reduce as you progress through the award levels so that at Level 6 your assessed work is of a more professionally demanding nature and will reflect your development as scientists and autonomous learners with developing skill sets. In your first year, you will on average submit ten formal assessments that count towards your grade. Some of these assessments are workbooks or portfolios composed of, for example, smaller in-class assessed activities, short pieces of written work and competence checks. Of the 10 Level 4 assignments three are formal examinations each of two-hour duration. At Level 5 there are nine formal assessments, three are examinations (two practically based), and there is a variety of coursework submissions, only one of which is a portfolio. In your final year, you will submit your independent research project report and also undertake a viva voce on your project. In addition, you will face six other single assessments, of which two are again formal examinations each of two-hour duration.

Overall, your assessment is a mixture of coursework and examinations arranged throughout the study period. Coursework assessments are varied and may include producing web pages, essays, Wikis, field reports, scientific articles, posters, presentations, literature reviews and video diaries. They are all designed to develop and assess a range of skills relevant to the scientific practitioner. Practical skills will be assessed both directly via tests of competency during various laboratory and field sessions and also indirectly via the production of lab-based reports and practical based examinations. At Level 4 of your award assessments are designed to assess the breadth of your knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts within the discipline, while in Levels 5 and 6 greater emphasis is placed upon your ability to analyse, synthesise, appraise and evaluate ideas, apply advanced knowledge and to develop scientific arguments.

Employment opportunities

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are highly relevant to a number of careers in the area of wildlife management and conservation. Many of our graduates find employment with conservation bodies or in the private sector working as consultants in animal ecology. Many go on to research positions or enrol on one of our specialist Conservation and Management masters programmes.

Our award aims to provide you with the relevant knowledge, approach and skill set demanded of a practising biologist. We have well established relationships with practicing biologists, ecologists and environmental consultants who have contributed to the design and delivery of this award. This programme will enable you to develop knowledge and understanding of those aspects of biology and ecology relevant to the management and conservation of animals. Consequently areas allied to this are prime employment opportunities and range from reserve wardens and guides through to applied ecologists and conservation research workers. In addition the acquisition of Graduate Skills and attributes developed allow you to find employment in a variety of alternative science based environments such as forensic science, veterinary and agricultural laboratories. A significant number of our graduates apply for postgraduate study. Those who aspire to a career in teaching progress to a PGCE, whereas graduates with an interest in a research career choose to continue onto Masters and PhD programmes. Graduates from science programmes are increasingly sought after due to their skills in numeracy, IT, problem solving and abilities to analyse and evaluate. Consequently, many of the non-laboratory based industries such as regulatory affairs, scientific editing, technical sales and marketing, insurance and management preferentially employ graduate bioscientists.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Animal Biology and Conservation degree work in a variety of roles. Some lead environmental consultants in organisations such as Penny Anderson Associates and Apex Ecology. Some have gained employment with wildlife trusts and the RSBP, and others have pursued research careers - for example, studying the spread of mosquitoes.

Programme specification

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Enquiries Team
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t: +44(0)1782 294400
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