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Zoology at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers an undergraduate course in Zoology. The course is well-designed and tailored with the purpose of imparting high standard education. The three-year BSc in Zoology, animals are studied at all levels of complexity from molecules and cells to species and populations. This consists of developmental, anatomical, physiological, ecological, evolutionary and behavioural aspects.

Students study the application of bioinformatics models, modern molecular biology techniques and computer simulation models. Some specialization is usual, particularly in applied aspects such as immunology, parasitology, entomology and population ecology or biology. All courses lead to a Bachelor of Science degree and the Associateship of Royal College of Science.

Course Structure

Students who are pursuing biology programmes follow the same core modules in the first year of study. First year modules incorporate biology of organisms, biological chemistry and cellular metabolism, ecology, cell biology, evolution and behaviour. As the years progress, students shall begin to specialize further as per their chosen degree programme or individual optional module choices. A wide range of optional courses are offered comprising subjects such as virology, animal and plant physiology, animal behaviour, immunology, neurobiology and evolutionary biology.

Students have an excellent opportunity to attend field courses comprising marine microbiology, marine ecology, tropical biology, conservation and biodiversity field study that takes place in the highlands of Uganda. The modular approach to the curriculum offers students flexible options and the possibility of transferring from one biology course to another. If students enter under a code other than C110 and desire to transfer to the biology with a Year in Research/Industry course, then they must apply to do so in their first year. This makes sure that their training placement can be arranged well in advance.

The first year course incorporates the basic core fields of biology. There are classes on literature referencing and information retrieval. The college also organizes tuition in chemistry and mathematics. In the second and third year, the college organizes courses for students who wish to study for the broadly, flexible suite of degrees in biology and specialization in ecology and environmental biology, plant biology, microbiology, zoology and plant biology.

The last term encompasses a full-time individual research project. The project work is one of the rewarding parts of this degree course. Students are allowed significant freedom in choosing a project. Their work will be supervised by an academic staff member.

First Year

All students take the following four courses:

  • Biology of Organisms
  • Biological Chemistry and Cellular Metabolism
  • Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution
  • Cell Biology and Genetics

Second Year

Compulsory Modules

  • Statistics, Experimental Design and Computing
  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Supplementary Course from Imperial College Business School or the Department of Humanities

Optional Courses

  • Immunology or Cell and Developmental Biology or Ecology
  • Animal and Plant Physiology or Bacterial Physiology
  • Global Change Biology or Genetics or Parasitism and Other Life Strategies
  • Virology or Resource Management
  • Tutored Dissertation or Marine Ecology Field Course

Final Year

Students will select four biological courses one from each module. Students need to take tropical biology, marine microbiology, conservation and biodiversity in the preceding summer vacation may be taken instead of one term-time course.

Session 1

  • Plant Molecular Biology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Genetics and Genomics

Session 2

  • Parasitology and Vector Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Applied Ecology
  • Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Integrative Systems Biology

Session 3

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Environmental and Industrial Microbiology
  • Cellular Signalling and Neurobiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Development Evolution of Animal Form

Session 4

  • Molecular Cell and Immuno-biology
  • Neuroscience Research
  • Plant Biotechnology and Sustainability
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Students have to create a full-time research project in the final term.


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