School of Biological Sciences
Reptiles and amphibians are increasingly appreciated as model organisms in many fields of zoology, and are the focus of growing conservation concern due to the alarming decline of many species. This means that we now require a new generation of trained professional scientists with specialised knowledge and skills relating to these animals in addition to a broad zoological background. This course combines traditional zoology with an emphasis upon amphibian and reptile biology and diversity, and is delivered along with aspects of conservation management and practices. Students have the opportunity to undertake a herpetology field trip to Arizona at the beginning of the second year. Our aim is to provide you with a combination of a sound and broad zoological training that covers both pure and applied aspects of animal life, and specialist herpetological knowledge and skills. The provision of a diversity of laboratory and field zoology experience is an important component of the course, as is the acquisition of transferable skills (data analysis, group work, presentational and writing skills, IT skills).
Bangor is a UK centre of research excellence in herpetology, with three full-time faculty staff specialising in amphibians and reptiles. You will not only enjoy the resources expected of a modern centre of animal biology but will also benefit from the proximity of an exceptional range of natural habitats where field work, an integral part of the degree, is conducted. We are unusual among British universities in having our own substantial zoology museum, and being part of the Environment Centre Wales which is a partnership venture between Bangor University and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).
Students are required to take 120 credits each year made up of lectures, practicals and interactive exercises, as well as field trips and tutorials in years 1 and 2. The final year includes an experimental project or a literature review, supervised by a staff member on a subject of your interest. Modules become more specialised as the degree progresses and the number of compulsory modules varies between years. Assessment is by a mixture of formal examination and continuous assessment. Welsh medium modules are also available.
The first year is a general year for all of our zoology related degrees, which will introduce students to several important aspects of modern biology. Students are required to take two compulsory lecture modules, one module in key skills and one practical module. Students can choose to take 30 credits of optional modules. In addition there are tutorials with individual members of staff.
Organismal Diversity (20): The module will present an overview of basic classification, form and function of the major groups of living organisms.
Ecology and Evolution (20): Ecology is about understanding the dynamic changes in individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems in relation to each other and the physical environment, and understanding their evolutionary processes.
Biology Practical Module (20): Students will undertake a range of practicals from molecular and cell biology, through to animal function and ecology. Field work is included. The practicals will coincide with the appropriate subject area in the lecture modules.
Research Skills (20): The module is aimed at developing a range of skills commonly used by natural scientists, including basic mathematical manipulation, data interpretation, and presentation, experimental design and statistical analysis, IT skills and effective use of the literature.
Tutorials (degree specific) (10): Tutorials will be held by individual members of staff to groups of 6-7 students and involve discussions that are degree specific. Tutorials will develop communication skills.
Choose 30 credits from:
In the second year you will extend and deepen your understanding of zoology by specialising in animal diversity, function and evolution. There are four compulsory modules incorporating lectures and practicals. The module called Bioscience Skills will focus on student directed learning and development. You can choose 40 credits of optional modules. You can also take part in overseas Field Trips including herpetological studies in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, USA.
Choose 40 credits from:
The third year includes a dissertation project that may be experimental or take the form of a literature review, supervised by a member of staff on a subject to suit your interests. Students choose to take 40 credits of optional modules.
Choose 40 credits from:
Further information on each module can be found on our website.
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change annually. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Zoology with Herpetology Modules page.
Herpetologists work mostly in government or non-governmental organisations, ecological consultancy and zoological institutes as well as Universities. A range of career paths is available within these organisations, including research, conservation breeding, wildlife monitoring and assessment, implementation of conservation management plans and evolutionary biology.
As a graduate with a good degree from the School of Biological Sciences, a variety of careers will be open to you. There are careers for which a Biological Sciences degree is essential, and careers for which Biological Sciences provides a useful base.
In addition, there are careers open to graduates and postgraduates from any discipline. These include, for example, careers in management training, accountancy, teaching, nursing, social work, the police and the armed forces. However, employers are usually looking for general or transferable skills, and a Biological Sciences degree arguably provides a unique combination of these.
Find out more on the School's 'Careers for our graduates' pages.
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