The pink feather colour of Flamingos is due to carotenoids they obtain through crustaceans and Cyanobacteria in their diet. The pigments in the diet are protein bound and blue/green but turn pink when dissolved in lipid. The same effect occurs between raw and cooked lobsters and shrimps.
Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a zoology degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.
We encourage you to:
  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills 

Studying BSc (Hons) Zoology provides you with a firm foundation of the biology of animals in marine, terrestrial and freshwater aquatic habitats and theoretical aspects of ecology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, evolution, and genetics. In addition, you will have achieved high-level laboratory skills across animal biology in a wide range of taxa and habitats.
In-depth field studies of animals, including residential experience in the UK and abroad can demonstrate sought after field techniques in a wide range of ecosystems and fauna. 
Elephant and baby walking through the desert
Your final year research project incorporates design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data that will allow you to demonstrate a broad range of skills developed on the course and apply them to your specialist research. This will allow you to showcase your potential for further research or step into the world of zoological conservation.
You will also gain a strong set of transferable skills sought by a very broad range of STEM employers, including:
  • analytical skills – to understand, interpret and manipulate complex scientific data and statistics.
  • data-handling skills – to record, collate, analyse, and interpret data using appropriate techniques and equipment.
  • written communication skills – to produce reports and write up research projects.
  • presentation and oral communication skills – to present research findings and make presentations in a clear, succinct way.
  • accuracy and attention to detail through undertaking complex laboratory observations and measurements.
  • a good understanding of information technology
  • project management skills – organising and undertaking research projects and experiments (including budgeting, contingency planning and time management)
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Researching your career options

With such a wide range of careers open to you as a graduate, it is important to make sure you explore and research your options thoroughly so that you can make informed decisions about your future.
Take a look at Prospects, TargetJobs and professional association websites for inspiration.

Employment opportunities for Zoology graduates

Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Typical employers

You can find a job in a range of organisations depending on your area of interest. Typical employers of zoology graduates include:
  • government agencies and research institutions
  • conservation organisations
  • zoos or wildlife parks and environmental protection agencies
  • animal and environmental charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • aquaculture and animal nutrition companies
  • medical research establishments and the health service
  • schools, colleges, science centres, libraries, and museums
  • universities and research institutes
  • environmental consultancies
  • chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum companies.
Employment opportunities 
  • Science Teacher
  • Zookeeper
  • Primate Keeper
  • Eco Toxicologist Scientist
  • Assistant Scientist
  • Mammal Keeper
  • Animal Keeper in a Safari park
  • Animal Technician
  • Executive Officer                                
  • Tropiquaria Zoo in Somerset
  • RSPCA Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue
  • National Trust
  • Longleat Safari Park
  • Guide Dogs UK
  • Forensic Healthcare Services
  • Charles River Laboratories
  • Bridgwater & Taunton College
  • Bodmin College
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens
  • Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dogs Trust

Further study options

Some of the careers chosen by Zoology graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options that could be of interest to biology graduates, including:
You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your particular situation. 
Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme; 
It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni – find out your funding options. 

Careers service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access our 24/7 online resources
There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.
Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:
  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques.
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.
Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service; however, they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn’s alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.
  • Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.
If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile, come along to our launch your career using LinkedIn workshop

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience 

Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out particular career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.
You have plenty of options open to you. You could apply for a placement year, work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.
The University of Plymouth Students’ Union also offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.

Clubs & Societies

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication, and negotiation skills. Committee members develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.
You may choose to join a University of Plymouth society that is specifically linked to Zoology or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of additional societies and sports clubs, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.
Student Hub

Where could your degree subject take you?

Architecture and built environment
Biological sciences
Business, economics, management, marketing, accounting and finance, and maritime and logistics
Creative arts: art, illustration and photography
Design: interior/product and furniture design, graphic design and game arts/digital design
Earth, geography and environment
Education and teaching
Hospitality, tourism and events management
Humanities: anthropology, art history, English and history
Law, criminology and policing
Mathematical sciences
Media and filmmaking
Medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences
Nursing, midwifery and allied health professions
Performing arts: acting, drama and musical theatre
Sociology, international relations and politics