Zoological conservation is concerned with maintaining the wonderful diversity of animal life (including invertebrates) that exists on our planet. Involving the protection and management of animal populations and their habitats in order to minimise the harmful effects human activities may have on them.
The programme gives you the skills required to help conserve wild animals by developing your knowledge in topics such as ecology, biodiversity, animal nutrition, captive breeding and reintroduction, conservation of aquatic organisms, and primate behaviour and learning. You will also gain first-hand experience in observing, surveying and the occasional handling of animals.
As well as traditional lectures, fieldwork and laboratory work, you will take part in workshops delivered by animal and wildlife experts from organisations such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and RSPCA. Guest speakers play an important role in your learning and they are used regularly to provide more expert knowledge in some of the specialised modules.
Working in industry is the very essence of a foundation degree and as such you will also undertake work experience locally or overseas. This opportunity helps you to develop graduatelevel skills that will help you in any job.
Work placements and the contacts you make may well be your link to employment on completing the programme.
Possible trips during the first year have included the Isle of Mull, alternate local based field trips are run as part of the Fieldwork Techniques module.
Possible careers available with this qualification:
- Conservation Officer
- Research Assistant
- Reserves Manager
- Zoo Education Officer
- Wildlife Conservationist
Introduction to Animal Behaviour (10 credits)
Introduces you to the basic principles of animal behaviour, an understanding of animal instinct, motivation and knowledge of behavioural research including Pavlov, Skinner, Darwin, Tinbergen and Lorenz. The module will cover the basic concepts of optimality theory and behavioural ecology. You will undertake different types of behavioural recording and the application of appropriate methodology will be assessed.
Introduction to Zoology (20 credits)
Providing you with an understanding of the key scientific concepts and practical skills which underpin the study of zoological conservation. Delivered in an exciting range of lectures and practical sessions: topics covered range from basic molecular biology and chemistry to whole animal systems. You will develop skills in microscopy, colorimetry and chemical analysis amongst others and learn how to carry out a rigorous scientific investigation.
Hygiene, Health & Welfare of Captive Animals (20 credits)
You will learn how to provide appropriate care to maintain animals in good health and to detect signs of ill health when it occurs. A mixture of practical and theoretical sessions provides skills in handling and caring for a variety of animals: from animal first aid and restraint techniques to basic parasitology and the evaluation of housing. The module is delivered as a mixture of lectures, workshops and specialist practical sessions.
Fieldwork (20 credits)
In one of our most popular modules, you will learn techniques for studying and monitoring wildlife and habitats in the field; along with vital supplementary skills in data handling, analysis and presentation. Practical work ranges from habitat mapping to mammal tracking and small mammal surveys.
Introduction to Ecology (10 credits)
This module aims to provide you with a sound basis of ecological concepts; from habitats, ecosystem relationships and food webs through to nutrient flows, competition and predator-prey relationships. There is also an introduction to population modelling: a useful tool to any wildlife manager.
Diversity, Classification & Evolution (20 credits)
Exploring the incredible variety of life on Earth and investigating the process of evolution. The module will enable you to become familiar with the characteristics and classification of animals and provides a foundation for a more detailed study of the biology of specific groups.
Personal & Employability Skills Development (20 credits)
This module is designed to support you to develop your personal and employability skills to give you the best possible chance of success in your future career. This module continues into your second year.
Captive Diet & Feeding (10 credits)
Understanding the nutritional needs of animals is of course crucial to their proper care. Topics covered include feeding modes, nutritional requirements, digestion, natural and artificial foods, and nutritional disorders. By the end of the module you will have developed an understanding of the nutritional needs of a range of animals and know how to select an appropriate diet for an animal.
Disease & Disease Control (10 credits)
Covering aspects of disease and disease control in animals, including the transmission, diagnosis and treatment of major diseases and disorders affecting a range of exotic animals. You will learn the basic principles underlying immunology and the development of vaccines and develop a detailed understanding of a range of pathogens through case studies.
Primate Behaviour & Cognition (10 credits)
Our nearest cousins, the primates, display fascinating and complex behaviour giving us insights into the development of our own behaviour and society. Through this module you will explore some of the fundamentals of behaviour as applied to primates, including how they learn and behave in natural and captive situations. Part of the assessment of this module involves you exploring the effects of captivity on behaviour and how these can be mitigated with enrichment schemes. Newquay Zoo has an extensive collection of primates, providing you with a wonderful opportunity to develop your practical skills in observing and analysing their behaviour.
Individual Research Project (20 credits)
This module gives you the opportunity to conduct your own research. Guided by tutors, you will produce a research proposal and deliver your project: from researching relevant literature, through day-to-day management of the project, to the analysis and interpretation of data, report writing and presentation.
Conservation in Practice (10 credits)
Looking at the role of various organisations in conservation, investigating their management and business plans and understanding the role of marketing and fundraising. This module will also assess your work experience placement through description of duties and responsibilities and evaluation of personal performance.
Genetics for Conservation (10 credits)
Equipping you with the most up-to-date molecular techniques being used in genetics for conserving and protecting species. This module looks at the genome sequencing of animals, the importance of maintaining genetic diversity within a captive and wild population, and the implication of this in the management of small populations of possibly threatened species.
Vertebrate Zoology & Conservation (20 credits)
Specifically looking at terrestrial vertebrates this module will further look at the anatomy and physiology of various animal examples and interrelate all body systems. The module will go on to relate the anatomy and physiology to the life history and reproductive strategies of these animals and evaluate captive breeding and reintroduction programmes. Discussion of CITES, BAPS and reintroduction guidelines and legislation will also be covered.
OPTIONAL MODULES (choose one 10 credit module and one 20 credit module)
Insect Biology & Conservation (10 credits)
Taught in a combination of lectures, workshops, lab-based practical sessions and group seminars, the anatomy and physiology of terrestrial insects will be studied and an understanding of their role in the ecosystem explored. This module aims to highlight the importance of insects and the significance in protection and conservation using named examples.
Aquaria & Conservation of Aquatic Organisms (10 credits)
Delivered with a large practical component, this module considers the scientific principles required to establish and maintain aquaria. Alongside this, the problems of conserving aquatic organisms and their habitats are also explored through a series of case studies and site visits.
Avian Behaviour & Ecology (20 credits)
This module examines bird behaviour in detail through examination of the published literature. The study of behaviour is discussed at length and you will be given the opportunity to undertake a behavioural study as part of the assessment of the module. Optimality theory, kin selection and reproductive behaviour are considered in detail along with current theory relating to badges of reproductive fitness. The module is completed by seminars relating to conservation and biodiversity of birds.
Marine Vertebrate Biology & Conservation (20 credits)
This module takes an applied approach to exploring the biology and conservation of this vast range of species. Marine vertebrates inhabit a world which is alien to our own, operating under a different set of physical conditions and this makes finding out even the most fundamental information about them extremely challenging. As a result researchers have been using ground-breaking technology to study these elusive animals. Students learn about these techniques as we explore the functional biology and behavior of a range of marine vertebrate species. Many marine vertebrate species are facing increasing conservation pressure, so it is also important that students develop their knowledge of population biology and conservation action plans. Newquay’s coastal location provides excellent opportunities to study at least one species – the Grey seal Halichoerus grypus in the wild.
The application process for full-time and part-time degree level courses with The Cornwall College Group starting in September 2017 is still open and we are taking applications. Full-time applicants should apply via UCAS and part-time applicants directly via the College website.
- UCAS Code: C390
- Institution codes: CORN C78
- Awarded by: Cornwall College & Plymouth University
- Course Fee (per annum): £7500
48 UCAS points from AS and A-Levels (at least 32 points must be at A2-level) or relevant level 3 qualification, ie BTEC National Diploma / BTEC Extended Diploma - PPP Grades required. Access to HE Diplomas - 45 credits at level 3. Plus GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above in English Language, Science and Mathematics: alternatives at Level 2 may be considered. Mature applicants with relevant experience but without the stated qualifications will be considered individually and are encouraged to apply.
Cornwall College Group has been awarded silver in Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)Find out more about TEF
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Course DocumentsFdSc Zoological Conservation
Indicative Modules Year 1
- Introduction to Animal Behaviour
- Introduction to Ecology
- Introduction to Zoology
- Hygiene, Health & Welfare of Captive Animals
- Diversity, Classification & Evolution
- Personal & Employability Skills Development
Indicative Modules Year 2
- Primate Behaviour & Cognition
- Genetics for Conservation
- Captive Diet & Feeding
- Conservation in Practice
- Disease & Disease Control
- Individual Research Project
- Vertebrate Zoology & Conservation
Options (choose two)
- Aquaria & Conservation of Aquatic Organisms
- Insect Biology & Conservation
- Marine Vertebrate Biology & Conservation
- Avian Behaviour & Ecology
*Modules are subject to change and availability
*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility.
Careers advice available
If you are considering an undergraduate programme with us, you may wish to access our free Careers and Employability advice service. This gives you the opportunity to talk with an advisor about career options before, during and after your study with us. To make an appointment, please e-mail: H.E.Advice@cornwall.ac.uk
If you come into the International category (non EU*) and Channel Island (inc. Isle of Man) the tuition fee may vary – click here for full fee information