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The deadline for UK students to apply for this course for entry in 2023 was 25 January 2023.

The deadline for international students was 30 June 2023.

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Master of Biological Science

Master of Biological Science, MBiolSci, is an integrated master’s degree which combines undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single course.

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Course overview

A Zoology degree can provide you with the knowledge and training not only for a job working as a zoologist but also equips you for a career in the environmental, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries.


You’ll study a broad range of modules including animal behaviour, conservation biology, ecology and animal physiology with the opportunity to specialise and carry out your own research project.

We also offer support for making career choices right from the beginning. In your first year you will have the opportunity to consider potential career pathways within and outside the field of zoology.

You’ll learn and develop those important transferable skills in communication, team working, project management and computing with practical sessions and group work. You can also begin developing your specialist portfolio. You have the option to enroll on one of our deferred choice programmes (C130 or C100) before you specialise.

The MBiolSci is a four-year programme, in which students first follow the three-year BSc in Zoology and then continue into a fourth year, subject to performance.

What you'll learn

  • Fieldwork at zoologically rich locations in a wide range of habitats
  • Residential field courses at the Lake District or South of France
  • Opportunities to take a tropical field course in Uganda
  • Animal husbandry
  • Advanced techniques in Zoology
  • Marine ecosystems, animal behaviour and diversity, ecology and the global environment
  • Ability to evaluate and interpret the subject knowledge to solve problems
  • Research and communication skills
  • Analysis and interpretation of real-world data
  • How to access and critically evaluate scientific literature

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

In this first year, you’ll gain an understanding of the structure and function of the animal plan, it’s evolutionary origins and adaptation to different habitats, learn about ecology and the global environment and discover how to utilise quantitative skills and study techniques, and also participate in field studies as well as choose optional modules in subjects such as marine ecosystems, genetics and animal husbandry.

Compulsory modules


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module studies the body plans of the major groups of animals and explores the relationship between body form and function.

It also discusses the evlolutionary origins of these basic body plans and how these have been modified to adapt to particular habitats.

The module will be taught through a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous material. The former consists of pre-recorded videos and other online learning material, the latter consists of scheduled interactive online sessions. Students will also be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.

The module will be assessed through continuous assessment.


Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 2

​This five-day course takes place in the early summer in a biologically rich, beautiful location in the UK, typically the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales. Students gain an introduction to the skills biologists use to study individuals, populations, species and ecosystems in the field.

Students spend a day learning some of the basic skills biologists use to observe animal behaviour in the natural environment, focusing on birds and insects.

They then learn techniques used to monitor the number of animals in wild populations, given that in the field observing an entire population is typically impossible. They live-trap and release both small mammals and invertebrates, and trap moths.

Next, they spend a day examining the interactions between species, focusing on how the different characteristics of species determine how they compete and coexist with one another, and how seemingly minor microhabitat differences can radically alter community structure and the species that persist in an area. This day introduces plant taxonomy and diversity.

Finally, they learn techniques for investigating ecosystems at the largest scale, tracking how nutrients cycle through the plants and animals in a habitat, and the water and soil. They study how this flow of nutrients can alter an ecosystem, and impact on the survival of the species and individuals within it.

More broadly, students learn the basics of taxonomy, and an appreciation for the phenomenal diversity of organisms that can be found across the UK. Importantly, they are also taught to think critically about the methods they are using, gaining experience in experimental design, and a greater understanding of the challenges inherent to taking biology out of the laboratory and into the field.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will introduce students to the physical and chemical contexts of the biosphere, the cycling of important elements at different scales, the distribution of biomes and the ecosystem concept.

Ecological concepts such as succession, niche, food web theory and ecosystem stability will be introduced, and how these are impacted by human activities.

The module will also consider the conservation of biodiversity over a range of biological scales using UK and global case studies. The lectures will be supplemented with on-line resources.

Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.

The module will be assessed by coursework, including online test.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module describes the evolutionary processes that have resulted in the generation of the diverse life forms that populate the planet.

This includes the theory of evolution by natural selection, and the genetic processes that result in gene evolution and diversity.

Selected scenarios and case studies will apply evolutionary concepts, showing the fundamental importance of evolution to a broad range of the life sciences.

The module is split into two parts: the first part (A) is the same for all students, the second part (B) contains a number of parallel strands tailored to students interest.

Students will be advised by their programme director which strand to follow. 

The lectures will be supplemented with a variety of on-line resources.

Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.

The module will be assessed by continuous assessments.


Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This is the first practical module that students will take in the School of Life Sciences. The skills that students acquire will be needed for other practical modules that they will take in semester 2 Year 1, and during Year 2 and will prepare them for their year 3 research project and for their subsequent career.
This module is designed to teach the basic multidisciplinary skills required in the biological sciences.

It aims to develop careful working practices, experimental design and interpretation of results. Skills acquired in this module will be both utilised and enhanced by the co-requisite module LIFE 109 (communication and study skills and quantitative skills).

The way in which LIFE 107 is taught and assessed is designed to place emphasis on encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning . Demonstrators and academic staff will be on hand to answer questions or show students how to use lab equipment.

Resources will be available online via VITAL and include a weekly Blog, technical manual, module handbook, lab instruction manual and weekly lectures.
The module will be taught in weekly practical classes and it will be assessed through continuous assessment (assessment 1-2) and a final exam (assessment 3).


Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

​This module introduces students to how grand challenges (scientific and societal) are addressed in universities and in particular at the University of Liverpool. Students will be introduced to four major topics (Infections and Global Health, Ageing, Food Security, Personalised Medicines) by experts in the respective fields. Emphasis will be placed on students understanding concepts and assembling information rather than memorizing facts. The material will be delivered based on the concept of a scientific conference with plenary talks and parallel sessions presented by the lecturers, and (in light of Covid-19 driven procedures at scientific meetings) a video session driven by student input. Assessment of lecture material and associated readings will be by continuous assessment.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module describes the detailed composition of cells and the processes by which they obtain and generate energy, grow, replicate and eventually die.
The lectures will be supplemented with on-line resources and illustrated with some of the latest research methods that are used to study cell structure and function.
Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.
The module will be assessed by both continuous assessments and by a final examination.

Quantitative Skills for the Life Sciences (LIFE113)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

For any student studying the Biological Sciences a firm grasp of quantitiative skills is an absolute necessity. This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to manipulate numbers and analysis/visualise data using digital tools. The module emphasises a "learn by doing" approach to the development of quantitative skills and is heavily workshop based.

Communication and Study Skills for the Life Sciences (LIFE130)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: whole session

to provide students with study and communication skills for higher education in the Life Sciences;

to develop students’ ability to reflect on their progress and use feedback to identify opportunities for personal development;

to develop students’ appreciation of the application of these skills to future employment.

Optional modules


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides an introduction to veterinary animal husbandry in the form of lectures, a workshop on poster presentation and a mini conference where students exhibit their posters.

The module covers the basic physiology relevant to animal management; environmental considerations, nutrition and housing; the welfare of managed animals and breeding issues.

The module is assessed by continuous assessment, the poster, and by a final examination.

Marine Ecosystems: Diversity, Processes and Threats (ENVS122)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces the range of diversity of marine ecosystems using example environments from around the world. Each week a new ecosystem will be covered, with the main organisms, key processes and human threats to the ecosystem described and explored. Central to this module are interactive discussion sessions that will build an understanding of how marine ecosystems are expected to respond to the human-induced changes of the anthropocene.​​

Introduction to Genetics and Development (LIFE128)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to modern genetics and developmental biology at an introductory level. Using examples taken from across the biosciences and medicine, students will develop their understanding of the inheritance of genetic traits, how mutation can lead to disease and the molecular techniques used to study genes. They will also be introduced to development from meiosis and germ cell formation through to organogenesis, emphasising both the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms involved and the embryological processes. Students will explore current advances in both fields including current and potential use of gene editing techniques and stem cells in therapeutics, and will consider the ethical implications of these advances.
The module is taught through a combination of lectures and workshops incorporating problem solving and discussion, with an emphasis on an appreciation of the techniques and experimental evidence underpinning the material. Assessment is by a combination of a written examination and a group ethics poster presentation.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Study as a bachelor's degree

This course is also available as a three year BSc (Hons) programme.

View Zoology BSc (Hons)

Your experience

With more than £30 million invested into our of the art teaching facilities and resources, your studies are fully supported. You can shape your studies by choosing a diverse range of modules from across the range of Life Sciences subjects for a career in the environmental, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries.

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

Employability is embedded into the Zoology MBiolSci programme and can be the necessary stepping stone into a successful career in many sectors such as government agencies, animal charities and welfare groups, wildlife parks and conservation projects. Alternatively you may choose to opt to study for a PhD in Veterinary Science.

Recent employers include:

  • AstraZeneca
  • BBC
  • Chester Zoo
  • Home Affairs and Security
  • Royal Society of Biology
  • The Environment Agency

4 in 5 life sciences students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £25,450
Year abroad fee £12,725
Fees stated are for the 2023-24 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the costs associated with placements or internships, and the optional field course in Uganda.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the costs associated with placements or internships, and the optional field course in Uganda.

Students should expect to cover the following costs.

Costs associated with placements/internships

Students in Life Sciences who have chosen international placements/internships will need to pay for their visa (if applicable), travel, accommodation, and meals.

There may also be costs associated with travel to interviews for placements/internships. These will vary, and some other extra costs may also be incurred. If students are spending a full year in industry, their employers may pay transport costs. School and University bursaries may be available to help with the cost of these opportunities.

Students might choose to pay for additional optional vaccinations in addition to the compulsory ones that the School pays for.

Tropical ecology field course
Students who elect to take the optional tropical ecology field course in Uganda are required to make a financial contribution that covers their own costs (travel, meals, visa, accommodation, and entry to national parks). In 2020-21, the student contribution was £1,500. A limited number of funded places are available.

Students might choose to pay for additional optional vaccinations in addition to the compulsory ones that the School pays for.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.

Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

AAB including Biology and a second science, preferably Chemistry.

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB with A in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to complete a foundation year which would allow you to progress to this course.

Available foundation years:

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject and specialism.

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
Subject requirements

Also accepted as a second science: Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, Psychology, Geology and Applied Science.

For applicants from England, where A levels in Biology, Chemistry or Physics have been taken, we will also require a pass in the Practical Endorsement

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

D*DD in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, to include Distinction in Units 1 and 5 (Principles and Applications of Science I and II).

For previous BTEC (QCF) qualification:

D*DD in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, with at least 120 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

Please note alternative BTEC subjects are not acceptable for this programme.

BTEC Applied Science unit requirements

View the BTEC Applied Science unit requirements.

International Baccalaureate

34 points, including 6 in Higher Level Biology, and 5 in another Higher Level Subject

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H1, H2, H2, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

Not accepted without Advanced Highers at grades ABB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at grade B as equivalent to a third non-science A level at grade B.
Access 45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. 15 Distinctions are required in each of Biology and Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics and English grade C also required.
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Zoology MBiolSci

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.