UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

BSc (Hons) Zoo Management (Top-Up)

Do you dream of an exciting and rewarding career in the zoo industry? Gain the industry relevant experience and professional skills you need at UCR.   

This one-year course is an opportunity for zoo biologists and animal scientists to further specialise and hone their skills gained from Level 5 study (or equivalent), which includes specialist applied modules focused on species housed within zoological collections.

zoo monkey

Course Overview

Our teaching staff have many years of experience working in the diversity of roles zoos can offer, and they bring this passion and knowledge to the classroom. 

A core component of the course is the completion of an undergraduate dissertation, enabling you to research an area of zoological study that interests you and to develop a wide range of transferable skills.

Our on-campus zoo, is home to over 1,000 animals and 125 species including ring-tailed lemurs, porcupines, raccoon dogs, otters, tapir, capybaras, owls, hawks, bearded dragons, kingsnakes, dart frogs, marine fish to name a few.  

Course Features

  • Volunteer staff opportunities at our on-site zoo 
  • Exotic animal husbandry
  • Zoo nutrition
  • Conservation education
  • ZIMS (Zoological Information Management Systems) software 
  • Opportunity to engage in overseas field courses to a range of localities including Africa and Europe 

Career Options

  • Zookeeper  
  • Curator 
  • Conservation biologist 
  • Registrar 
  • Conservation education or outreach officer 
  • Animal consultancy 
  • Scientific research 
  • Progress to MSc or PhD Study

Course Information

This course is designed for students who wish to enhance their academic/vocational study beyond the scope of a foundation degree (or equivalent), to include highly specialized learning specific to wildlife conservation and zoo management, developing expertise and professional skills for industry application.

Students are expected to study and complete 120 credits, comprising five modules of study at this level. This will include a 40 credit Dissertation module, designed for students to showcase their skills through independent research, but also a diverse range of mandatory and optional modules to enable highly specialist, industry specific skills and knowledge to be developed.

At this level, students will both engage with and apply research-informed study concerning a range of disciplines associated with the successful captive management of exotic species. This will include themes in conservation management, zoo research and education, and advanced animal husbandry practices.

Successful completion of an FdSc programme (or equivalent qualification) in Zoo Management or closely related subject.

  • Dissertation
  • Zoo Animal Enclosure Design
  • Behavioural Enrichment & Training
  • Conservation Education*
  • Anthrozoology*
  • Environmental Sustainability & Natural Resource Management*
  • Biology & Conservation of Mammals*
  • Biology & Conservation of Birds*
  • Biology & Conservation of Herpetofauna*

* Denotes optional modules.

† Dissertation is a double-weighted module, worth 40 credits. Therefore, only five modules are selected for study on this programme.

Please note that availability of optional modules is subject to availability of subject-specialist staff and the recruitment of a minimum number of students. Should a module not be deemed viable for operation then all students who selected that module will be communicated to in writing in advance of the academic year, and will be informed of the alternative options available to select from.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:

15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:       174 hours

Independent Study:                                        1026 hours

Class sizes average between 8-35 for modules exclusively delivered on the programme. For those modules offered across several programmes, class size could be as high as 90 individual learners.

Assessment Methods

Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and skills valued in the workplace. Assessments may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence and practical competency assessments.  

The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1

80% coursework

20% timed online assessments


Feedback is supplied via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of submissions are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within twenty working days after the submission date.

Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.

Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend 2 days per week on campus.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.

Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Additional Costs

Students may be offered the chance to engage in both domestic and overseas learning opportunities with which to enhance their classroom-based learning experience. These may include opportunities to study zoological collections in Europe, as well as undertaking conservation field courses in locations such as Africa, and the UK.

The main emphasis placed on these field courses is the development of professional, industry relevant skills and the application of students’ knowledge in a novel, stimulating, yet challenging environment. Costs associated with the field courses range from £500 – £1000 (UK & Europe), and between £2,200 – £2,800 ( Africa). Please note that precise pricing of all field courses is subject to change, pending availability and recruitment.

Students may also wish to purchase their own personal copies of recommended set-texts to assist them with their studies. A full list of recommended text’s is made available prior to enrolment. However, our campus library boasts sufficient stocks of all major texts to support student learning, frequently in e-book format, and the purchasing of texts is therefore not enforced.

Equipment Costs

  • Boiler suit: £20-£30 OR UCR Polo shirt (£12)/UCR Sweatshirt (£16) + work trousers (£15-£20)
  • Steel toe capped boots: from £30
  • Lab coat: £13-£20
  • USB drive: from £5

Prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer.

Apply directly through UCAS


Successful completion of an FdSc programme (or equivalent qualification) in Zoo Management or closely related subject.

September 2024
September 2025

Full-time: 1 year

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit our additional financial support page.

For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our UCR Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.