For the latest information on this degree programme, see the open day brochure >> Zoology Degree Brochure (289kB)
What is Zoology?
Zoology is a wide-ranging scientific area covering all aspects of animal life. It is a core discipline for the Biological Sciences and plays an important role in modern developments in Biotechnology, Genetics, Animal Behaviour and Physiology, Parasitology and Ecology.
It is also fundamental in applied fields such as Environmental Biology, Pest and Disease Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries. Zoology includes all aspects of animal biology from microscopic, single cell forms to complex forms like fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, including man. It is mainly concerned with living species, of which there are more than one million described and up to ten million as yet undescribed, but knowledge of extinct forms, covering 350 million years of evolution, is also important. The study of Zoology is concerned with animal structure (anatomy and physiology), development (embryology), diversity (taxonomy), physiology, behaviour, ecology, genetics, evolution and distributions (biogeography).
The breadth of knowledge in Animal Biology is reflected in the range of courses taught in the BSc Zoology degree. These include form and function of all major animal groups, Biodiversity, Comparative Physiology, Cell Biology, Diseases and Pathology, Aquatic Biology (including Marine and Freshwater Biology and
Aquaculture), Behaviour, Genetics, Ecology, Ecological Methods, and Biomechanics. Research and field courses also form an important part of the degree.
Courses are taught through several different media including lectures, practical laboratory classes, tutorials, seminars, films and field visits. In addition practical ecological studies are emphasized by field courses run at residential field centres outside UCC in West Cork and abroad (Portugal and Scotland). In the fourth year students carry out a field or laboratory based research project under supervision of a member of staff. The School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) operates an exchange system with other EU countries (currently under the ERASMUS scheme), which allows students to take courses at specified EU universities as a component of the degree programme in UCC.
Career Opportunities in Zoology
A BSc Zoology degree provides students with a sound scientific knowledge of animal biology and the necessary skills, and qualifications for a career in a wide range of zoological disciplines. Skills include experience of chemical and biochemical laboratory based analytical techniques and of field techniques for environmental monitoring. Zoology graduates are therefore well equipped for careers ranging from field based environmental research, conservation and management, agriculture and pest control, and aquaculture and fisheries to more laboratory based disciplines such as genetics, biochemistry, pathology and toxicology. Job opportunities in these fields exist in research, management or consultancy posts at universities, government agencies or private companies. A zoological training might also be relevant for other biological disciplines, in industry and teaching.
Entry requirements for Zoology
Minimum HC3 in two subjects & passes in four subjects at H or O level in the Leaving Certificate, from Irish, English, Mathematics, one laboratory Science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science) and two other subjects recognised for entry purposes. One of the HC3 subjects must be in a laboratory science subject or Mathematics or Applied Mathematics. In addition students must have the requisite points for entry to a particular course.