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Department of Zoology


Current students: once you have enrolled on this course you will automatically be added to the Moodle site which contains the Course Handbook and other useful information. If you join the course late, please contact the course administrator () to request access.

Our 2019-20 course booklet is now available, please see below:


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 eighteen; 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 field work. There is also the opportunity to participate in our exciting new 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, reading a research paper, 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.



Course Organiser: Professor Andrew Balmford 

Course Administrator: George Rutherford (