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.

    You'll also take the Advanced Skills and Concepts module, in which you choose three 'podules', short intense courses specifically tailored to increase your employability skills. You will then choose three option modules from a range including Animal Nutrition, Applied Conservation Biology, Animals and Society, Animal Welfare and Ethics, and Environmental Policy and Conservation.
    Core modules
    • APIE303 Biology:Placement

      All students on our degrees have the option of undertaking a (minimum of 6 month) work placement at a company or university anywhere in the world undertaking some kind of work (usually research-based) relating to their programme of study.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • BIOL307 Advanced Skills and Concepts

      You will select 3 'podules' - short courses of study that revolve around a particular set of advanced skills or concepts not typically found in undergraduate programmes but often highly desired by employers. In each 'podule', you will be assessed both in the form of coursework (usually addressing the conceptual basis) and in a practical assessment of your ability to carry out a particular method.

    • 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.

    • BIOL320 Animal Nutrition

      You will understand the principles and practice of animal nutrition for a range of species. You will understand feeds and their evaluation, diet formulation and feeding methods. You will examine the impact of ingredient, physical, manufacturing and legal constraints on the production of feeds.

    Optional modules
    • BIOL308 Applied Conservation Biology

      You will focus on the application of biological theory to the management of populations of wild and captive animals. You will understand how theory feeds into, and informs, practice, whilst developing knowledge of the major approaches, analytical tools and techniques, and software used in the public and private conservation sectors.

    • BIOL310 Global Change Biology

      You will gain an overview of the state of the art understanding of the consequences of climate change across all three domains of life. From this, you will understand how climate change biology is essential in conservation theory and practice and the impacts of climate change and both local and global scales.

    • BIOL313 Animal Welfare and Ethics

      You will understand the scientific meaning of 'welfare' and the ways that it can be assessed in terms of physiology, behaviour, immunology etc. The impact of public perceptions of animal welfare on the management of animals by humans in a variety of contexts will be central to your understanding of this subject.

    • BIOL319 Animals and Society

      You will explore and understand human perceptions of animals and their worth. You will understand the sociological development of obligations and ideologies, and how they relate to animal protection and use, alongside wider global issues that impact on our abilities to manage such notions.

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 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.

Admissions depends on foundation programme studied and all applications will be referred to the Admissions Tutor. Please contact our Undergraduate Admissions team on email: or by phone: +44 (0)1752 585858

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

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,400 £13,800
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

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.

Intercalating students wishing to apply for the final year of this course should complete a direct entry form.

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 and Marine Sciences

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

Olivia Charlton – BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science graduate

Studying at University of Plymouth 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