BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology

With study abroad and sandwich year options

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

On our specialist Wildlife Biology course, you’ll have the chance to step into the world of wild animals, to investigate aspects of their taxonomy, evolution, ecology, behaviour and conservation. It’s a course with the flexibility to discover various specialised topics within the field, from habitat management and sustainable management of biological resources, to animal behaviour and conservation.

While you’ll find a strong focus on the UK’s wildlife, there’s a significant international element too. Study Wildlife Biology at Manchester Met and you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in field courses and project work across Europe and South America. And, with the option to take a four-year route, you can even spend a year studying with a university overseas – or working on a placement with a relevant company or non-governmental organisation.

Throughout the course, you’ll not only develop an in-depth understanding of the theories and thinking behind the study of wildlife, but you’ll also build a set of valuable transferable skills. So, while you’ll hone your laboratory skills by working with our specialist equipment, you’ll also develop the analytical skills useful in the conservation and management of biodiversity.

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • Benefit from our extensive research into tropical and local species and habitats.
  • Take the four-year route, spending a year studying overseas in Europe, North America or Australia, or boosting your career prospects with a 12-month placement.
  • Develop practical skills in the laboratory and in the field, both in the UK and overseas – right now, that could include fieldwork in Portugal, Tanzania, Kenya or South America.
  • Learn in high-spec laboratories, including a specialist microbiology and cell/molecular biology lab, a DNA-sequencing lab, specialist animal behaviour facilities with Ethovision and Observer software, invertebrate behaviour, freshwater and terrestrial ecology labs and controlled environment plant growth chambers.
“Planet Earth's spectacular biodiversity is imperilled by the loss, fragmentation and degradation of natural habitats, the over-exploitation of species and the looming spectre of climate change. At Manchester Met, you will learn from, and have the opportunity to do research alongside, wildlife biologists who work across the globe to find solutions to these crises.” Dr Alexander C. Lees, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology

"The field courses are brilliant. Not only have I gained practical skills, but learning how to identify birds and bird songs has sparked a new interest in ornithology!"

Yemaya Lee-Hewitt, BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology

Career Prospects

Biological sciences graduates may go on to a variety of subject-specific careers in the biological, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, in medical, public health and environmental services, or in teaching or research.

Recent graduates have found employment across a wide range of sectors including industrial research laboratories, medical communications, pharmaceutical companies, environmental consultancies and nature conservation organisations.

Our Wildlife Biology course has been designed to equip you with transferable skills that may also be applied to non-subject-specific career pathways such as in management, local government, teaching or the civil service. For those who wish to continue their studies, there is a range of biology and conservation postgraduate programmes here at Manchester Met.

Learn more about graduate careers

0%

of Natural Sciences graduates go straight into employment and/or further study.*

*DLHE survey 2017

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2019 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2020 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

A levels ­– BCC-BBC, to include grade C in Biology (including a Pass in A level Biology Practical). General Studies not accepted.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management – DMM, to include four units at merit or above from the following units:

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 20, 24

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) in Animal Management – DMM, to include 60 level 3 credits at grade distinction from the following units:

02, 03, 07, 08, 13, 16, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) in Applied Science – DMM

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) in Applied Science – DMM, to include 60 level 3 credits at grade distinction from the following units:

01, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 43

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project (EPQ) at grade C or above. Other AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English Language or Level 2 Functional Skills English

and

GCSE grade C/4 in Mathematics or Level 2 Functional Skills Mathematics

and

GCSE grade C/4 in Science or BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science with grade merit

The level 2 requirements may also be met through the level 3 course requirements for the course; please contact the University directly if you require further information.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in Science with a minimum score of 106 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points including HL 5 in Biology

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 overall with no individual element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

Please note that the City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diplomas in Animal Management (or equivalent Land-Based qualifications) do not meet the subject requirement for this course and will only be consider for the linked foundation year route. 

Course details

Our Wildlife Biology course investigates aspects of taxonomy, evolution, ecology, behaviour and conservation of wild animals. The programme has a significant international element, as well as a UK focus, and you will have the opportunity to take part in field courses and project work in the UK, Europe, Africa and South America. Throughout the course, you will acquire useful laboratory skills and develop analytical skills that can be applied to the conservation and management of biodiversity.

Typical areas of study include: the sustainable management of biological resources; animal behaviour and conservation; conservation and genetics of populations; and habitat management.

Year 1 develops your key skills and provides an introduction to the study of wildlife biology. Typical areas of study may include ecology, animal behaviour, biological recording, physiology, diversity and genetics. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

GIS Essentials for Environmental Science and Ecology

The unit introduces the fundamentals of working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for environmental and ecological applications. The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the use of GIS, and develop their critical spatial thinking skills and understanding of how environmental and ecological processes vary in time and space.

Ecology

This unit will introduce students to the study of ecology, the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment. Themes covered in this unit will typically include; the organisation of life in natural systems, variations in conditions (eg pH) and resources (eg light, nutrients) and their effects; functional classifications, indicators; geological, edaphic, climatic and chemical influences on habitats and ecosystems; biogeochemical and nutrient cycling; energy flow; primary productivity; trophic interactions; food webs.

Principles of Animal Behaviour

The unit will introduce the broad frameworks for the scientific study of animal behaviour. Important concepts such as natural, sexual and kin selection will be explored within a behavioural context and the debate between nature vs nurture will be examined.

Biodiversity Monitoring

This unit focuses on the development of skills in a field and/or laboratory environment. Students will have the opportunity to develop their interests in specific groups of organisms eg mammals, birds, plants, invertebrates or particular themes in biodiversity science.

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology

An introduction to the principles of plant and animal physiology at the systems level with appropriate links to anatomy, cell biology, pathology, and behaviour. It will focus on comparing and contrasting between species to identify patterns in the function of physiological systems and cells.

Diversity

This unit is an introduction to the variety of life on Earth, exploring plant and animal diversity from both a functional and a systematic perspective. Students will review the origins of life, the basic evolutionary relationships of the main taxonomic groups (including fossil organisms) and examine their life histories.

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

This unit will introduce the major concepts underpinning genetics and evolution, mechanisms of evolutionary change, adaptation, and the history of life.

How Science Works

This unit looks at how science is performed. Using relevant examples, students will examine how we ask questions, and gather data to answer them and communicate our findings.

Year 2 allows you to focus on current issues and problems in wildlife biology. Typical areas of study may include landscape ecology, conservation biology, conservation science in practice and invertebrate biology. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Conservation Biology

The unit will embrace the principles of conservation biology, namely, biodiversity, conservation genetics, habitat disturbance and species extinction using examples of research-based conservation interventions.

Landscape Ecology

Landscape ecology is the study of structure, function, and change in a heterogeneous land area composed of interacting ecosystems. While landscape ecology also deals with the interactions of organisms in their environment, it differs from traditional ecology in its interdisciplinary nature that deals with spatially explicit data over generally larger scales. Landscape ecology is also defined by its focus on the role of humans in creating and affecting landscape patterns and processes. 

Conservation Science in Practice

This unit provides an overview of the historical and contemporary issues in biological conservation science and the practical applications of conservation research. 

Invertebrate Biology

The unit will explore the anatomical, developmental, physiological, ecological and behavioural characteristics and lifecycles of major invertebrate phyla and review their importance to ecosystem function and as parasites and vectors of disease.

Professional Skills for Biologists

This unit introduces students to the professional skills involved with being a Biologist. It develops knowledge of key methodologies, skills and experiences needed for professional development. It supports the students to enable them to formulate research proposals, apply for research projects and present their professional skills succinctly.       

Option Units

Field Course

This unit will introduce students to applied ecological techniques and behavioural data collection.  Students will design and deliver a research project during a residential or non-residential Field Course.

Professional Practice

An employability based skills unit with opportunities to work with both internal and external partners. The unit encompasses employability skills development workshops including cover letter and C.V. construction, job search strategies, interview techniques, and placement preparation. 

Sex and Survival

The unit will cover the principles of evolution, and explore the concept of behavioural traits as adaptations to an individual's environment.

Species Interactions

This unit will explore the ecology and evolution of species interactions. Key topics will include pollination, manipulation of reproduction, impacts of diseases and defence responses.

Brain and Behaviour

This unit covers the mechanisms and development of behaviour, or how brain and body combine to produce behaviour. The unit consists of a series of lectures, two practical sessions and tutorials. 

Applied Molecular Biology

This unit will introduce students to the key principles that underpin many nucleic acid molecular methodologies, with a strong emphasis on the applications and context of these techniques. 

Animal Health and Welfare

This unit will allow students to extend their knowledge of animal welfare, human-animal interactions and how these link to non-human animal and human health. 

If you opt for the four-year sandwich or study abroad route Year 3 will be spent on placement or studying in Europe, North America or Australasia.

Your final year enables you to specialise in wildlife biology and includes a laboratory or field-based project and the opportunity to study abroad. Typical areas of study may include conservation and genetics of populations, and the social life of animals. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Project in Wildlife Biology

Students will develop a research question, plan an appropriate methodological approach, and collect and analyse the data from that investigation under the guidance of an allocated project supervisor. The project may take a number of approaches and may include, but is not limited to, a combination of laboratory, fieldwork or secondary data collection and analysis and will consider any health and safety issues, and ethical issues as well as developing scientific communication skills.

Wildlife Ecology and Behaviour

This unit observes the key elements of the basic taxonomy, biology, ecology and behaviour of groups such as birds, mammals and insects.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

You will examine effects of anthropogenic environmental changes on terrestrial tropical habitats, biodiversity, and human livelihoods, and ways to integrate conservation with human development goals.

Biological Responses to Environmental Change

You will examine the physiological, behavioural, ecological and distributional changes in species that result from global change, and consider community and ecosystem consequences of these. 

Option Units

The Social Life of Animals

This unit will discuss the variation in social behaviour and communication between and within species in relation to ecological requirements and the evolution of cognition. 

Conservation and Genetics of Populations

Within the context of evolutionary genetics, this unit will encompass topics in evolutionary biology, population genetics and the genetic basis of biological problems in conservation.

Tropical Field Course

The tropic field course will provide experience of tropical habitats and the biodiversity that they support. There will be an emphasis on identification skills, the methods needed to study and carry out research in tropical habitats and also assess human impacts on these ecosystems. An integral element will be learning the skills to identify key plants, animals and habitats, and particularly those which require conservation management.

Temperate Conservation and Habitat Management

The unit will critique the conservation of biodiversity in temperate habitats, evaluating and contextualising the management of local, regional and national biodiversity.

Coastal Ecology and Ecosystem Services

This unit will explore contemporary issues in coastal ecology, conservation and restoration, and examine the unique organisms that live where the land meets the sea. Example topics will include methods of coastal management and restoration, the basis of coastal ecosystem services and the links between coastal community livelihoods and coastal biodiversity. 

Vertebrate Evolution

In this unit students will look at the main features and way of life of different vertebrates and compared and contrast and how aspects of physiology, biomechanics, ecology and behaviour have responded to different selection pressures throughout vertebrate evolution.

The Undergraduate Consultancy

This unit challenges students to deliver high-quality outputs from live projects to address the needs of professional clients.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study

Assessment

Optional foundation year

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to comply with the Department's codes of conduct and behaviour on field courses, placements and exchanges. Placements and study exchange opportunities are dependent on passing each stage at the first opportunity and being of good standing.

Placement options

The four-year sandwich route gives you the opportunity to spend your third year on a placement with a relevant employer, like a conservation or environmental body, zoo or animal welfare organisation, or local government or a molecular diagnostics company. It’s a great chance to gain experience, build your network and develop transferable skills – all of which can boost your career prospects.

Department of Natural Sciences

Our Department of Natural Sciences is a research-rich academic community with a well-established reputation in biology, chemistry, geography and environmental science.

The department works with research institutions, industry partners, national organisations and NGOs worldwide to address the challenges posed by environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political change, as well as health and advanced materials.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £4125 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop for their degree (costing approximately £300 to £400) and a printer (costing £50 to £100 including print consumables, plus £20 to £40 for print consumables in every subsequent year). However, there are numerous drop-in computer facilities across campus and laptops for loan in the library. Lab coats and safety glasses are provided free of charge in the first year of entry and are expected to last for the duration of the course. Students will have to purchase replacements for lost or damaged PPE.

Placement Costs

£360

1) Students go on residential fieldtrips for core units throughout the degree course. These are subsidised but students can expect to pay a contribution to costs of £60 for a UK-based residential field course at Level 4 and a maximum of £300 for an overseas residential field course at Level 5 (currently Portugal). At Level 6 there is currently an optional residential field course based in Tanzania, this is a premium field course experience at an inclusive additional cost of approx. £2300. For all compulsory field courses, there are nil cost non-residential alternatives for any student who chooses not to go. 2) Students opting to study abroad in third year (SENAA). If you are studying at one of our partner universities on an approved exchange programme, you will continue to pay tuition fees to Manchester Metropolitan University and you will not pay any tuition fees to your partner university. Some partner universities may charge additional fees for mandatory administrative and recreational services, non-mandatory language classes, courses including fieldwork or non-mandatory project costs. If this is relevant to you, the partner university will inform you of any additional costs during the application process. During your study exchange abroad, you will need to budget for the general cost of living as well as additional costs for visas, travel, medical insurance and vaccinations (depending on your destination). Applicants should visit the MMUi web pages for more details including sources of travel funding. 3) Students choosing to undertake a placement (Sandwich) in third year. The Sandwich Year involves full-time work experience work placement. This lasts for a minimum of 36 weeks and normally attracts a salary/weekly wage but this is not guaranteed. Placements are competitive and based on successful interviews with the placement provider. Students will have to pay travel and accommodation costs (including for interview) plus personal insurance. 4) Students undertaking short placements as part of vocational optional units. Students should expect to pay travel expenses to placements.

Other Costs

£150

Manchester Met now provides free travel insurance for students when they travel in connection with their programme of study, for example, placements, field trips, exchanges etc. However, students should also take out personal insurance cover for belongings as items such as mobile phones are not covered by this policy. Our courses have field-based elements of delivery so students would be expected to dress appropriately (i.e. purchase waterproof coats and trousers, sturdy footwear/walking boots). Students will be expected to print out some assessments (including posters). Travel expenses associated with independent data collection for final year dissertations are not reimbursed by the Department. Students will be advised to undertake low-cost local fieldwork at the design and planning stages of a project if necessary. We currently offer the opportunity, subject to demand, of carrying out Level 6 project field work in Kenya or Tanzania, if available this would carry and additional cost of between £1,800 - £2,300, depending upon whether taken in conjunction with the residential optional field course.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

C300 - BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology 

C306 - BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology with Study Abroad

C305 - BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology with Sandwich Year

C310 - BSc (Hons) Wildlife Biology with Foundation Year

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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