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Aims and objectives

The scope of Zoology

Zoology is the study of Animal Biology in all its aspects, from cells to populations and from neurones to behaviour. Part II Zoology reflects this diversity; it is made up of eight 24-lecture modules in the Michaelmas Term and seven modules in the Lent Term.  The Genetics and Plant Sciences departments also each offer one module to Zoology students. Each student selects at least two modules in each term. The Easter Term is largely set aside for reading and revision, but there is a special series of six review lectures on Human Biology that are not directly examined.


  • The Department aims to provide a broad multidisciplinary course in Zoology.
  • To train students in a wide range of science-based skills that provide the learning base for future careers in disciplines such as health sciences, agriculture, environmental management, the emerging biotechnologies, publishing, teaching, research and management.


  • To offer a modular course of lectures and associated seminars, research projects and practical classes, supported by supervisions where appropriate.
  • To promote training in practical and conceptual skills in sub-disciplines ranging from molecular cell biology, through physiology and neurobiology, to the study of populations in both an ecological and evolutionary framework.
  • To provide constructive feedback on their progress, individual students will be assessed throughout the year in their project work, participation in seminars and written work for supervisions.
  • To provide an optional Zoology-based course in statistics in the Michaelmas Term enabling students to apply quantitative methods to complex biological problems.
  • To provide professional training in effective verbal and written communication skills.


At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Think critically in terms of their learning and research.
  • Evaluate critically the published literature.
  • Assess and implement the practical techniques necessary to solve a particular biological problem.
  • Analyse and quantify data collected during a research project.
  • Communicate with expert and non-expert audiences through poster displays, seminar presentations, project reports and essays.