BSc (Hons) Animal and Conservation Biology

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Gain hands-on experience and prepare for a career in wildlife conservation by exploring how animals adapt to their environment and interact with each other

  • Napier code:

    74122BH

  • UCAS code:

    CC11

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BSc (Hons)

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Course introduction

Animal & Conservation Biology introduces the diversity of animals, their form and function. You’ll study how animals have evolved and adapted to different environments in terms of their ecology, behaviour and physiology.

You’ll learn how this knowledge can be put to use to guide conservation and understand the impacts of pollution and climate change on animals. Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside is rich in biodiversity and you’ll visit local sites of scientific interest gaining valuable fieldwork experience, as well as going on a residential trips including to the Algarve. 

 You’ll leave equipped with a range of skills for a career in animal conservation or management, including species identification, field surveying techniques and collection and analysis of biological data or you could continue on to postgraduate study.


You’ll gain a solid foundation in the biological sciences but specialise in the study of the rich diversity of animals, from species on the bottom of the ocean to those in your back garden.

You’ll discover how studies in animal behaviour, ecology, physiology and evolution help us to understand animals in their natural environment. You'll explore the main environmental threats faced by animals, how to assess their habitats and appreciate the many ways to enact effective conservation.

You’ll get hands-on fieldwork experience, including residential field trips to the Isle of Cumbrae and the Algarve. Your learning is also supported by internationally recognised research and you'll get the opportunity to conduct your own research project, benefitting from the knowledge of our diverse staff and links with external organisations.

You'll develop a range of specialist skills relevant to future career paths such as:

  • species identification
  • field surveys in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments
  • collection and analysis of behavioural data
  • laboratory-based investigations
The applied nature of this course develops skills that enhance your employability, including team working, problem solving, research, communication and IT. You’ll also acquire specialist analytical and numerical skills, be able to collect a range of biological data and communicate scientific information effectively.

Local industry links help you with gaining work-related experience and project opportunities which will enhance your ability to compete for jobs after graduation.

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and independent study.

The emphasis on research also equips you with the knowledge and skills to continue on to postgraduate study, including possible PhD study within Edinburgh Napier University.

What you study


Common foundation year 
  • Foundation in Science
  • Life on Earth
  • Comparative anatomy and physiology
  • Scientific enquiry
  • Introductory Microbiology
  • Cell biology 

Year 2 
  • Genes and Inheritance
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology
  • Physiology, Adaptation and Disease
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Option module

Year 3
  • Research Methods
  • Habitat Assessment and GIS
  • Ecology Field Studies 
  • Conservation Biology
  • Terrestrial Field Ecology
  • Option module

Year 4
  • Professional Practice
  • Advances in Animal Behaviour 
  • Current Topics in Ecology
  • Project (60 credits)

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Graduate opportunities are diverse and you will leave the course prepared for employment in a range of sectors including:
  • species conservation and habitat protection
  • ecology and environmental management
  • field surveying
  • environmental charities
  • consultancies and government agencies
You may also continue on to postgraduate study, including MSc courses in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Conservation and Management of Protected Area, Ecotourism or PhD research.


Minimum year 1

SQA Higher 

Typical Entry Requirement

BBBB including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry.


Adjusted Offer Entry Requirement

BBCC including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics at grade B.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet specific widening participation criteria as outlined in our contextual admissions policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies.


A Level

BCC including Biology or Chemistry or Physics. 

GCSE grade C/4 in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry (or Double Award Science at C/4)


Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System

B1, B1, B3, B3 at Higher Level including Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

C2 at Ordinary Level in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry.

New Grading System

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level to include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, Biology & Chemistry.


BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

GCSE grade C/4 in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry (or Double Award Science at C/4)


International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including a Science^ at minimum grade 5.

4 points in SL Maths, English, Biology and Chemistry.


European Baccalaureate

70% with Grade 7 in three subjects including Biology or Chemistry or Physics.

Grade 6 in English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry also required.


HNC

Animal Care with B in the graded unit for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry also required.


HND

Animal Care with BB in the graded units for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, Biology & Chemistry also required. 


Minimum year 2

HNC

Pass in a related subject* with Grade B in the graded unit.

*Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Applied Sciences, Applied Biological Sciences


SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including Biology


A Level

BBB including Biology


Minimum year 3

Please contact Programme Leader Dave Smith directly for information about direct entry to this course: D.Smith@napier.ac.uk.


English Language Requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.


Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £11,950 £12,350