You can study Animal Biology and Conservation as a single honours degree, either full-time or part-time. As a student, you will benefit from the departments extensive research expertise. You will be exploring conservation ecology, evolution and developmental biology. To gain the key theoretical and practical skills you will need to address 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?
Year 1 provides a foundation in biodiversity, cell biology and genetics. You will develop skills including:
- safe field and laboratory working
- data handling
- information technology
A feature of your first year is a series of tutorials with your academic adviser. The tutorials are designed to help you adjust to academic life at university and establish good study habits.
Year 2 and the final year include more in-depth study. Some of the topics explored are:
- animal behaviour
- threatened species
- habitat management
- field biology skills (including identification, surveying and licensing)
As well as developing your skills as a biologist, you will have the opportunity to gain invaluable professional experience. This will further enhance your career prospects.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.
Module titles marked bold in the lists below are those that need to be taken in order to benefit from accreditation by CIEEM (see 'Why choose this course?', above).
You will follow a programme of compulsory modules in Year 1:
Year 2 and final year
You choose from a wide range of subjects, to suit your interests and career aspirations (the modules in bold are compulsory and those required for 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
- Advanced Topics in Wildlife Conservation
We encourage our students to undertake a work placement with the experience giving you a competitive edge when you apply for jobs. The course has two optional work experience modules.
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.
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.
Examples of work experience and placements have included:
- conservation work for ADAS, the UK’s largest independent provider of environmental consultancy, rural development services and policy advice
- work for the Cotswold Wildlife Park, helping to construct a database of management considerations for an endangered group of birds (turacos)
- work at Oxford County Council on implementation of the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) report at a county level
- work with a local wildlife group to survey and catalogue arachnids in the county
There are also opportunities to work with locally based organisations such as:
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 exampleome 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.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Oxford Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year for a semester or a year.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
- While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
This is an optional part of the course so any costs e.g travel, associated with it are not covered in your tuition fees.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
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.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
Most of our modules include lectures and laboratory- or field-based practicals. There are on average 20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of practicals per single-credit module (which equals 150 hours of student effort). This represents a minimum of 12 hours contact per week. We have three residential field courses included in our module mix and these involve more practical time.
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.
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.
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