BSc (Hons) in Animal Biology


Program Description


What determines an animal’s resistance to disease? Why do many female animals exhibit ‘mate choice’? How can we help animals cope in hostile environments? On this course, you’ll you study the enormous variety of animal life on earth and discover the answers to these and many other searching questions.

We explore related aspects of animal biology, including animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, cell biology and physiology, as well as applied aspects of animal conservation and management.

Fieldwork will be an essential part of your training. In addition to fieldwork in Scotland, we run two optional field trips in Year 4. One takes place in the French Cévennes Mountains, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and the other at Gabon’s Lopé National Park, in the heart of the western Congo Basin.

As Scotland’s hub for conservation science, with close links to many animal conservation organisations, Stirling the ideal place to study biology.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Stirling is the perfect place to study biology. We have a beautiful campus, a wide range of habitats on our doorstep, and we offer field classes in Scotland, France and Gabon.

#2 Our academic staff are typically world leaders in their respective fields and ensure that the course is research-led.

#3 We are Scotland’s academic hub for animal conservation organisations, giving our students unique access to a network of expertise and opportunity.

Course details

Semesters 1-4 cover a range of core modules – including Cell Biology, Ecology, Biodiversity and Practical Skills – plus additional modules in other disciplines.

Semesters 5-6 cover three core advanced modules - Animal Physiology, Behavioural Ecology and The Animal Cell – plus three optional modules.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll work on an independent research project and take several advanced modules. Your options for these will include the field courses in France and Gabon, as well as: Immunology and Disease; The Evolution of Sex; Conservation Biology; Cell Birth, Life and Death.

Research projects reflect the active interests of academic staff. These include:

  • Assessing the impact of bumblebee parasites on their host populations.
  • Direct and indirect benefits of mating in courtship feeding insects.
  • Reducing stereotypical behaviour in captive animals.
  • Sexually transmitted disease and ladybird immune competence.
  • Sexual selection, sexual conflict and ‘mate choice’ in seaweed flies.
  • Do agri-environment schemes provide any benefits to foraging bats?


We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18.

Teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning and guided reading and research.


Fieldwork is an essential part of your training. Stirling's campus location is an ideal base from which to make field excursions, whether to study lekking Black Grouse in the Highlands or the distribution of animals on the Forth Estuary.

The course includes a mandatory second-year module featuring a short residential course in Scotland early in the third semester. As an additional option, fourth-year students can attend a 10-day field course currently held in the south of France. These courses include instruction in the identification, field sampling, experimental design, data analysis and presentation.

Our French field site is in the Cévennes, a rugged mountain landscape of exceptional natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity. The organisms that live there include wild boar, otters, three vulture species (including endangered Cinereous vultures) and grey wolves. The region exemplifies the deep historical connection between humans and the natural world and is recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.


Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination completed during the semester. For many modules, the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40–50 percent of the final grade, but for some modules, this is as high as 100 percent.


Dr Luc Bussiere

+44 (0) 1786 467758

Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460.00
  • Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
  • Students from the rest of the UK £9,250
Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less