School of Biological and Marine Sciences

BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science

Have you successfully completed a foundation degree in animal science, welfare or zoo/animal conservation? Want to take your studies further? Our modern top-up course will provide you with the final year of an honours degree. Explore an array of subjects including science communication, animal ecology, and animal welfare and ethics. Take on a specialised research project. By the end of the year, you’ll be perfectly equipped for a successful career in animal management and conservation.

You will benefit from a strong system of student support provided by our personal tutors – all of whom also engage in extracurricular activity that makes our course focused, relevant and contemporary. You’ll prepare for your future career with a hands-on course that focuses on experiential learning, and hone your practical skills with classes in both the laboratory and field. As this is a 'top-up' programme for FdSc graduates only, it is not available during Clearing.

The Dartmoor pony (Equus ferus caballus L.) was bred in the South West of the United Kingdom and used as a beast of burden in the mining industry, but now inhabits Dartmoor in a semi-feral state. With over 25,000 individuals on the moor in the 1930s, the population has reduced to under 1,000 today. A number of breeding and conservation programmes are underway to protect the breed population as a whole from decline.

Key features

  • Benefit from a strong system of student support provided by our personal tutors – all of whom also engage in extracurricular activity that makes our course focused, relevant and contemporary.
  • Undertake a dedicated research project module that specifically caters for the needs of incoming foundation degree students.
  • Prepare for your future career with a hands-on course that focuses on experiential learning. Hone your practical skills with classes in both the laboratory and field. You’ll also have the chance to study an advanced skills and concepts module.
  • Immerse yourself and be versed in important issues in animal conservation biology today.

Course details

  • Course overview
  • You'll carry out an in-depth research project specifically designed for the needs of incoming foundation degree students, using a range of practical skills, data gathering and interpretation, scientific literature synthesis and communication skills. You'll also be able to develop your knowledge and practical experience from a range of option modules.
    Core modules
    • APIE303 Biology:Placement

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least 26 weeks duration with an approved company or host organisation between Stage 2 and 4. While on placement, students will gain work experience related to their degree programme, be able to apply their biological knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • BIOL314 Research Project

      The largest component of the module comprises a research study element that incorporates the design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Other elements include a conduct of study component and a communicating science element. Students will also complete a comprehensive introduction to the research report that incorporates a brief literature review of the topic that addresses wider issues of relevance to their field of research study.

    • BIOL307 Advanced Skills and Concepts

      Students will select from a catalogue of short, intensive courses relating to biology, developing skills and concepts to an advanced level. The courses offered will be focused on developing the students¿ skills sets and career aspirations, enhancing student employability.

    Optional modules
    • BIOL308 Applied Conservation Biology

      Focuses on application of biological theory to successfully managing populations in wild and captive environments. The emphasis is on how theory feeds into and informs working practice. Along with advancing their theoretical knowledge, students develop knowledge of the major approaches, analytical tools, techniques and software that individuals working in the public and private conservation sectors apply in practice.

    • BIOL319 Animals and Society

      In a world where impacts of human activity are increasing this module seeks to engage learners in a dialogue that promotes exploration and understanding of human perceptions of animals and their worth. In particular it explores the sociological development of our notional obligations and ideologies as they relate to animal protection and use, and wider global issues that impact upon our abilities to manage such notions.

    • BIOL309 Environmental Policy and Conservation

      Develop an understanding of the complex issues associated with the implementation of environmental policy for the conservation of habitats, species and sustainable land use management. Case studies will reflect on policy initiatives and subsequent impact on the conservation of global biodiversity.

    • BIOL313 Animal Welfare and Ethics

      The scientific meaning of animal welfare and the way that it can be assessed in terms of the physiology, behaviour and immunology of the animal will be examined in detail. The impact of public perception of animal welfare on the management of animals by humans in a variety of contexts will be discussed.

    • BIOL320 Animal Nutrition

      This module examines the principles and practice of animal nutrition for a range of animal species. It provides an understanding of feds, feed evaluation, diet formulation and feeding. The module also examines the impact of ingredient, physical, manufacturing and legal constraints on the production of diets.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Animal Conservation Science Programme Specification September 2016 4672

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

A foundation degree (FdSc), Higher National Diploma (HND) or other equivalent qualification in a biological subject. You will be advised on appropriate module choices based on your specific foundation degree or diploma content on enrolment at the University.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,500 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Undergraduate study in the School of Biological Sciences

Watch and find out more about studying in the School of Biological Sciences at Plymouth.

Olivia Charlton – BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science graduate

Studying at Plymouth University helped me to firmly set my career aspirations towards ecology by giving me a better theoretical and practical understanding of many ecology and conservation practices.
Learn more about Olivia Charlton

Rebecca Whitelegg - BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science graduate

The campus and the lecturers, who have a wealth of knowledge, were amazing.
Learn more about Rebecca Whitelegg