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SGS Clifton - Bristol Zoo Gardens

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Start date: 19/09/2019 - SGS Clifton - Bristol Zoo Gardens
End date: 08/07/2021
Duration: 2 years - Full Time
Course length: 2 years - Full Time
Qualifications: Foundation Science Degree
Code: UCAS code: 2X6L Institution code: S55
Cost: £7500 per year

SGS Clifton - Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Switchboard: 0800 0567 253
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Course Detail

Foundation Science Degree - Zoological Management

Higher Education

Please note that you apply for this course via UCAS

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This two year Foundation Science Degree is delivered at Bristol Zoo Gardens (BZG) in a collaborative partnership between South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS College), Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Course Details

Level Foundation Degree, FHEQ Level 5
Duration Two years full-time (Four years part-time)

Opportunity to progress on to our BSc (Hons) Top-up Zoological Management (subject to validation)

Course entry requirements

64 UCAS points and GCSE C Grade or above in English, Maths and Science.

Mature students over 21 may be accepted on their prior learning achievements.

Course detail

This two year Foundation Science Degree is delivered at Bristol Zoo Gardens (BZG) in a collaborative partnership between South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS College), Bristol Zoo Gardens. The course has been designed specifically to develop student's knowledge of the health, welfare and husbandry needs of species held within animal collections. It aims to equip graduates with the practical skills required for a career in zoological management.

The course takes a holistic approach to the study of animal management and is underpinned by a sound understanding of relevant biological principles and the procedures and legislation related to housing and breeding captive animals. The programme will introduce methods of rehabilitating animals psychologically and physically damaged and will encourage students to critically assess captive environments and identify areas for improvement, based on behaviour and welfare needs.

Industry specific skills that will be developed:

  • Enclosure design
  • Museum acquisition and curation
  • Health and welfare assessment
  • Behaviour research

Field trips / Events / Activities

Throughout the course there will be opportunities to take part in activities and field trips around the world. Experiencing other zoological collections, taking part in field activities and interacting with experts in the field is an excellent way to gain research and practical skills that are essential for successfully progressing into the industry following graduation.

Pursuing a career in zoological management is becoming increasingly popular; attendance at specialist training courses and bespoke practical workshops will enhance your knowledge of the daily practical, research and conservation based activities that take place within zoological collections.

Current opportunities:

  • Bristol Zoological Society Annual Symposium
  • Monthly Conservation Lectures at BZG
  • Field trip to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • Behind the scenes Bristol Natural History Museum
  • Artificial Insemination practical

Level 1

  • Professional Work Skills
  • Animal Biology
  • Animal Health, Welfare and Husbandry
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Biological Identification & Taxonomy
  • The Role of the Modern Zoo

Level 2

  • Work Experience
  • Nutrition and Diet Management
  • Environmental Enrichment and Enclosure Design
  • Management of Reproduction and Breeding
  • Applied Animal Behaviour
  • Research Skills

Work Experience:

As part of a Professional Work Skills and Work Experience module all students must complete a minimum of 60hrs at a placement each year. This usually consists of 1 day / week throughout the 28 teaching weeks or a block placement over the Christmas or Easter vacation periods. This will take place during the first term of the course following which students must source further placements. Placement opportunities will be discussed during lessons but it is the student's responsibility to identify and secure a placement, and you are advised to begin researching this prior to the commencement of the programme. Previous placement opportunities include:

  • Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre
  • The Monkey Sanctuary
  • ARCHELON – Sea Turtle Rescue Centre – Greece
  • Secret World Wildlife Rescue
  • Bristol Blue Reef Aquarium
  • Bristol Natural History Museum
  • Prickles Hedgehog Rescue

Following year one many students choose to participate in a summer volunteer placement abroad and use the hours gained for their year 2 Work Experience module. This is a great way to really get imbedded within an organisation and have the opportunity to be given more responsibility and developed more advanced practical skills.

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Head over to our Facebook page and take a look at what our current students have been up to.

More info:

Further information about this course is provided on the Course map here. For more information or to simply discuss the course in more detail please contact the Course Leader: Rachel Matthews – Email: or Tel: 0117 9747300 ext 430.

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Rachel Miller - MSc, PGCE, BSc (Hons).

Course Leader: FdSc Zoological Management

Rachel Miller

After studying animal behaviour for several years Rachel completed an MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University. Her main area of focus during this time was human-wildlife conflict and primate behaviour. Upon completion of her Masters she travelled to Costa Rica where several months were spent researching marine turtles and their habitat.

Following her research she went on to work as a primate carer at Monkey World, Primate Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Dorset. Much of the work involved the rehabilitation of primates rescued worldwide from the pet trade and laboratories. During her time at Monkey world Rachel recognised her love for educating and decided to venture into a life of teaching. During her training year in 2006 she became an education assistant at Paignton Zoological Gardens in Devon.

Once qualified a permanent post as Lecturer in Animal Management was taken up at Bridgwater College in Somerset. After just over a year in post and once again feeling the need to update her industry knowledge, in 2008 Rachel joined Guide Dogs for the Blind Association as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor and is now an experienced animal trainer.

Now, having returned to academia in 2010 Rachel is Programme Leader for the FdSc Zoological Management. She has since spent time conserving Leatherback turtles in Costa Rica and rescuing and rehabilitating marine turtles whilst working at Archelon's Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Greece. Her specialist knowledge lies within marine turtle conservation and captive animal management.

Shaun Howie - BSc (Hons), PGCE, MIfL

Lecturer, South Gloucestershire & Stroud College

Since 2004 Shaun has been a lecturer at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College lecturing in ecology, anatomy and physiology, animal behaviour etc. He studied zoology at the University of Wales, Bangor choosing to focus on entomology, specifically social insects and the effects of camouflage in moths. He has also worked at Bristol University's Veterinary Parasitology department studying the ecology and economic effects of Dipteran species common to farmland.

Recent undertakings include a number of ecological studies including; the effects of air pollution and coastal erosion on lichen populations, pygmy shrew habitat management and British mammalian systematics. He has also negotiated with regional agencies to survey local sites.

Shaun has accompanied students on study tours of Borneo that involved orang-utan rehabilitation projects and the monitoring of green turtle populations and the release of hatchlings.

Fay Clark – PhD, MPhil (Cantab), MSc, BSc (Hons).

Lecturer in Conservation Science, Bristol Zoological Society

Fay undertook her PhD on the cognition and welfare of 'large-brained' mammals in zoos with the Royal Veterinary College and Zoological Society of London, which involved fieldwork in London and California. Before this, Fay achieved an MSc from RVC/ZSL in Wild Animal Biology, and an MPhil in Biological Anthropology from the University of Cambridge.

Fay joined Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) in November 2013. Fay has been working in zoos and aquariums across the UK and North America since 2001, in addition to voluntary fieldwork on wild primates in Southern Africa. Her research has always fallen under two broad fields of animal behaviour: cognition and welfare. Her research thus far has focussed on primates and cetaceans, taking insights from human psychology and evolution. Fay has a special interest in how advanced statistical techniques can be used to improve the validity of zoo-based research.

Fay is a trained administrator of ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System) which is used to manage animal records and transfers at Bristol Zoo and their sister zoo, Wild Place. She is also a trained facilitator for IUCN Red List primate assessments, editor for the journal Lemur News, and Section Editor (zoo animals) for the Journal Animal Welfare.

As well as undertaking original research, Fay teaches on the FdSc in Zoological Management, leading the Animal Health, Welfare and Husbandry module.

Dr Alison Cotton - PhD, MRes, MSc (Oxon.), BAAT

Lecturer in Conservation Science

Alison Cotton

Hailing from New Zealand, Alison did her degree in Auckland before spending a few years travelling in Central and South America as well as Indonesia, volunteering at rescue and rehabilitation centres and gaining insights into global conservation and wildlife issues. After returning to New Zealand she worked with the Department of Conservation, investigating the efficacy of the Kiwi Aversion Training that is done to deter dogs from killing kiwi. She moved to England to do her MSc at Oxford University where a love of evolutionary research was born. An MRes and PhD at UCL followed, examining the evolution of sexually selected traits in stalk-eyed flies. This involved behaviour and genetic experiments, both in the laboratory and in the rainforests of Malaysia.

Areas of Interest:

Social behaviour (previous work including kea, seahorses and multi species exhibits) Welfare and Enrichment (previous work including iguanas, kea, serval and ocelot) Sexual selection – how and why elaborate sexual traits evolve as well as what shapes mating preferences (stalk-eyed flies – potential work in seahorses) Bio-indicators - the potential use of sexual traits to indicate environmental condition and evaluate the impact of altered habitats.

Tel: 0117 97473832

Dates & Costs

Foundation Science Degree - Zoological Management

Start date: 19/09/2019
End date: 08/07/2021
Duration: 2 years - Full Time
Course length: 2 years - Full Time
Time(s): 9am - 4.40pm
Qualifications: Foundation Science Degree
Code: UCAS code: 2X6L Institution code: S55

Cost: £7500 per year

Start End Time Campus
19/09/2019 08/07/2021 9am - 4.40pm SGS Clifton - Bristol Zoo Gardens