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Animal Biology and Conservation

BSc (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

CC31

Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years sandwich

Part time: part-time study is possible

Department

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points

112

  • CIEEM Accredited Degree Pathway

Overview


On our Animal Biology and Conservation degree you will study conservation ecology, evolution and developmental biology. And try to answer questions such as:

  • How do we best conserve rare and endangered animal species?
  • What adaptations help animals cope with life in changing environments?
  • How can conservation respond to climate change?

Laboratory and field work are a core part of the degree. And you can put your skills into practice through field work in France and Devon.

You will develop excellent skills including:

  • research practice
  • data collection and analysis
  • research presentation skills
  • animal identification and survey techniques required by conservation practitioners.  

We have great links with regional environmental organisations and local employers. We help to provide exciting work placements and career opportunities for our students. Our students have gone on to work with: 

  • conservation trusts
  • government agencies
  • wildlife centres
  • zoos.

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Preferred subjects include: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences and Geography.

Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer. Typical offers also include:

  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C 
  • 1 12-unit vocational A-level grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels grade at C
  • other recognised qualifications, eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications (equivalent to 112 UCAS points).

We aim to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists, and we believe that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our admissions tutor.

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

A Level: You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent level (see our typical offers). Preferred A-level subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences and Geography.

GCSE: 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and 2 Sciences.

If you do not have a background in science, we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year, taught at Abingdon and Witney College. Successful completion of the foundation year enables direct entry into Year 1 of many life sciences-related BSc degrees at Oxford Brookes, including Animal Biology and Conservation.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

Home/EU sandwich (placement)
£1,380

International full time
£14,280

International sandwich (placement)
£4,000

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

Home/EU sandwich (placement)
£1,380

International full time
£14,280

International sandwich (placement)
£4,000

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Additional costs

All students are required to have a lab coat which you can bring with you from home or buy once you get to Brookes. There will also be additional costs for learning resources such as books (although these can be acquired second hand and are all available in the library), stationary and for the production of some coursework.

Learning and assessment


Compulsory modules in Year 1 include:

  • Biodiversity (double)
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • The Physical Environment: The Underlying Science
  • Field Course: Identification and Methodology
  • The Practising Scientist

In Year 2 and your Final Year you can choose from a wide range of subjects, to suit your interests and career aspirations. Modules in bold are compulsory They are also required for Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) accreditation:

  • The Green Planet
  • Special Study in Life Sciences
  • Environmental Processes, Pollution and Climate Change
  • Data Carpentry
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Field Course: Surveys and Licensing
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Threatened Species
  • Science and Humanity
  • Environmental Change
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Interpreting Environmental & Ecological Complexities
  • Independent Study in Life Sciences
  • Work Experience
  • Professional Skills & Techniques
  • Project/Dissertation
  • Advanced Topics in Wildlife Conservation
Students sitting around table in the John Henry Brookes Building

Study modules

Year 1

Biodiversity (double)*

This module takes an integrated approach to the diversity of life. It looks at the classification of the living world, the theory of evolution that links all biology and interactions between organisms and their environment. The module concentrates on major structures and patterns in plants, animals and fungi, how they vary within each kingdom and the interrelationships of some of the phyla. Structure is related to function throughout, with the ecological context and importance of each group. Populations and communities and the impact of environment on behaviour are addressed. The interactions between primary producers, mainly plants and animals, both antagonistic and mutualistic and between both and the wider environment will be examined to understand the functioning of ecosystems and the biosphere.

Cell Biology and Genetics*

The Physical Environment: The Underlying Science*

Field Course: Identification and Methodology*

A residential one-week field course based in France, which uses the rich natural history, habitat and landscape diversity of the area to focus on the introduction and development of interdisciplinary field study skills. These include: identification of terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna, ecological and biogeochemical sampling techniques for the study of terrestrial and aquatic environments, chemical analysis of soils and waters, quantitative description and data analysis, and designing field investigations. The field course runs soon after the start of the summer vacation and is supplemented by lectures and practical activities that run at the end of the preceding semester. These activities are designed to introduce some of the techniques and approaches used on the field course. The module does not include assessed group work.

The Practising Scientist*

Year 2

The Green Planet (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Special Study in Life Sciences

Environmental Processes, Pollution and Climate Change (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Data Carpentry

Geographical Information Systems

Field Course: Surveys and Licensing (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Animal Behaviour (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Threatened Species (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Science and Humanity (required for CIEEM accreditation)

Environmental Change (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Environmental Consultancy (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Interpreting Environmental & Ecological Complexities (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Independent Study in Life Sciences

Work Experience

Professional Skills & Techniques (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Project/Dissertation (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Advanced Topics in Wildlife Conservation (required for CIEEM accreditation)*

Year 3 (optional placement year)

Industrial Placement

An Industrial Placement helps you get experience of applying science in a practical environment. You will develop practical skills that enhance your employability. On placement you gain an insight into various aspects of working in a scientific environment. Although it is your responsibility to secure your placement our team will do everything we can to assist you. We can suggest suitable employers through our network of industry contacts. You should look carefully into the financing of placements but this is something we will guide you through every step of the way.

Work experience module

On the 'Work Experience' module you will spend at least 115 hours in a working environment relevant to your subject. This is equal to 3 weeks full time work. The module involves reflecting on your interests and career aspirations. By approaching potential employers about opportunities in their organisations you can enhance your employability. Although it is your responsibility to secure your work experience there's lots of support available. Your subject lead, academic advisor or dissertation supervisor all have a wide range of contacts with a range of suitable organisations.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Modules are the same as those in year 2.

* = Required

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • group projects
  • practical exercises.

Throughout your course you will develop transferable skills such as:

  • public speaking
  • using industry-standard specialised software
  • report writing.

Our teaching staff are experts in research work.

Practical and field work is an important part of the course and you will have the opportunity to participate in research projects.

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 28%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 72%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 28%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 72%

Year 3 (optional placement year)

  • Lectures and seminars - 0%
  • Placement - 100%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 0%

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

  • Lectures and seminars - 20%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 80%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Field trips

The course involves field courses in the Cevennes (in southern France), Devon and locally around Oxford. These give our students the opportunity to gain practical skills.

Our students have also had opportunities to study habitats and species management abroad. One example of such an opportunity is a trip to India. Professor Stewart Thompson is leading a project in the Ranthambore National Park in northern India researching the population dynamics of tigers. More locally, there are opportunities to develop your understanding of captive breeding via zoo visits, for example some students have gained work experience at the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

We encourage our students to take part in organised scientific trips overseas with groups. Wildlife African Conservation Team and Operation Wallacea are both fantastic way of gathering fieldwork data for honours research projects. We have links with other conservation organisations that our students can make use of. Through organisations such as the RSPB and Butterfly Conservation, students are able to develop their research skills to address practical conservation issues in the UK.

Our many field work opportunities equip you with the skills you need to further a career in conservation.

Field trip costs: your course tuition fee covers the cost of the compulsory field courses in your course. The cost of any optional field trip (eg visit to Ranthambore National Park in northern India) is not included in your course tuition fee, and a separate fee will apply. 

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Our assessment methods are rigorous and engaging and include:

  • essays
  • reviews
  • laboratory or field notebooks
  • scientific reports
  • mock grant proposals
  • industry reports
  • business plans
  • posters
  • oral presentations.

We encourage you to to reflect on what you learn. By using feedback on assignment together with reflective diaries, you can analyse areas to improve.

  • Written
  • Coursework
  • Practical

Year 1

  • Written - 39%
  • Coursework - 61%
  • Practical - 0%

Year 2

  • Written - 35%
  • Coursework - 65%
  • Practical - 0%

Year 3 (optional placement year)

  • Written - 0%
  • Coursework - 0%
  • Practical - 100%

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

  • Written - 30%
  • Coursework - 64%
  • Practical - 6%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


Career prospects

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). This has professional recognition, which should enhance your career prospects once you graduate.

Our graduates have developed careers in a variety of roles in biological conservation. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work for conservation trusts (eg RSPB) and government agencies (eg Environment Agency). Our students have been employed as ecological consultants and research biologists at wildlife centres and zoos.

Employers also value the transferable skills you gain at Oxford Brookes. Many of our graduates go on to have diverse careers in management, journalism and the media. 

Further study

Many of our graduates will go on to research positions or enrol on specialist Masters Programmes including our MSc Conservation Ecology.

Free language courses


Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.