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Department of Zoology


Once students have enrolled on the course they will be added to the course Moodle site which will contain further information and updates. If you join the course late, please contact the course administrator () to request access.


Course Overview

In the third year of the Natural Sciences Tripos, students have the chance to specialise in an area of interest to them. Part II Zoology offers a great degree of flexibility and variety; students choose four modules from sixteen; these modules (some of which are interdepartmental) cover a diverse range of topics, including animal behaviour, conservation science, ecology and evolution, and cell and developmental biology. This allows you the freedom to choose modules that complement each other and your interests, and to explore interdisciplinary links.

Students undertake a research project throughout the year, giving practical experience of lab or fieldwork. There is also the opportunity to participate in our exciting tropical field course

Another option is to take Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Zoology). Students choosing this option take four Zoology modules, plus a fifth module as a minor subject (this can be from another department, or one of the Zoology modules offered as a minor). Instead of undertaking a research project, students write a dissertation, taking the form of a literature review.

The Department of Zoology also contributes to the Part II Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour course. This interdepartmental course combines modules from the departments of PDN, Psychology and Zoology for those who wish to study an interdisciplinary neurobiology course. From the Department of Zoology, the modules on offer are ZM4 Neuroethology: the neural basis of adaptive behaviour, ZM5 Evolution and behaviour: genes and individuals and ZL3: Evolution and behaviour: populations and societies. 

We will provide a nurturing, supportive and stimulating environment for your Part II studies. Part II students are welcomed as valued members of the Department, have their own dedicated computer facility, are invited to research seminars, and can join members of staff in the Tea Room and at our Happy Hour. We want you to excel in your third year at Cambridge, so we provide additional training in understanding the scientific process, essay-writing, experimental design, preparing a research project or dissertation, and giving a research talk. We also prepare you for the future with a careers session and advice on applying for postgraduate study.

If you are taking the MVST, then we can enhance your training in several ways, by showing you how healthy bodies develop and function; teaching you more about the processes that trigger cancer; explaining how evolutionary principles underpin the design of a new flu vaccine, and account for constraints on immune function; revealing consistent patterns in animal form through comparative anatomy; and highlighting how rapid man-made changes in our world have substantial implications for human and animal health.

Our 2021-22 course booklet will be posted here shortly. 

Department contacts & timetable information

Part II students are treated as full members of the Department, which is unusually large and diverse, and there is a tradition of easy and informal access to members of the teaching staff and others. The friendliness of the Department is often one of the first things a student will mention about the course.

Professor Andrew Balmford is the current Part II Zoology and BBS Zoology course organiser and is available to give you advice and information on any aspect of the course, and to deal with any day-to-day problems that may arise during the year. You should feel free to contact him as your first port of call when you have any questions or difficulties connected with the Zoology course.

Francesca Anthony organises many practical aspects of the course, and is always willing to discuss issues with Part II students. You can contact her via the Teaching Office at

 is the librarian and can help with any matters related to the library or online access to journals/books.

Current timetable overview for 2021-22:

The course timetable will be available in due course on

September 201 update: An outline of the course delivery format for Part II Zoology home modules in Michaelmas Term 2021 can be found here: Part II Zoology Teaching MT 2021