Wildlife biology is the study of organisms, their behaviour, ecology, environment and management. This unique course helps you learn, understand and interpret the biological processes and interactions that determine the diversity and distribution of species, their responses to biotic and abiotic factors, and how to apply current scientific thinking and practices to wildlife biology research and management in globally changing landscapes. Students typically study subjects that include big game tracking, conservation genetics, population and community ecology, plant, invertebrate and vertebrate biology, animal behaviour, marine and freshwater biology, and wildlife management.
There is a strong practical field element to the International Wildlife Biology degree, which provides opportunities to study on three continents. You will study a variety of wildlife and habitats in different biological landscapes in southern Africa, which is a unique and compulsory component of the course. You will also have the opportunity to learn industry focused and scientific diving techniques to study coral reefs, and develop your field research skills in the tropical forests of either Asia, Central or South America. There is also a strong focus on developing your practical skills during field trips in the UK.
There is strong emphasis on practical learning throughout the Wildlife Biology course and all students undertake an extensive research project in their final year. A wide range of projects is available, from microbiology and genetics through to wildlife ecology, conservation and management.
Optional (one of two):
Optional (two of three):
The International Wildlife Biology degree is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, computer exercises, practical classes, and UK and overseas fieldwork.
The number of hours of direct teaching you will receive per week will vary depending on the modules studied and year of study. Generally, you will have 48 hours of direct contact per (20-credit) module over an academic year, equating to around 12-15 contact hours per term week. Outside of this time, you will be expected to commit around 80 hours to study guided by your lecturers and self-directed learning on each module (but more for your third year project). A further 70+ hours are normally required for students to prepare and complete assessments for each module. Residential field courses have more contact hours, supporting our hands-on approach to field learning.
Throughout your course we invite guest lecturers from the ecological and conservation sector to help support your knowledge and understanding of contemporary wildlife biology scenarios. This is also a great opportunity to meet with potential employers, along with field trips and collaborations on third year projects.
You will be assessed using a combination of different assessment types, to support all facets of your learning and development. These include scientific reports and papers, oral presentations, critical reviews, digital outputs, problem solving and data analysis tasks, in-class and online tests, laboratory exercises, practical competencies, field reports and written examination.
Assessment methods vary depending on the module and year of study. A number of modules are assessed through coursework and written examination, while other modules are continuously assessed with coursework only.
The breakdown of assessment methods for this course is: 9-27% practical assessment, 19-59% coursework, and 32-54% written examination.
BSc (Hons) International Wildlife Biology is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).
Our International Wildlife Biology degree is practically oriented and you will have opportunities to further develop your practical skills, understanding and application by participating in our residential field courses. Current field course destinations include South Africa, which is a compulsory element of our degree programme, and our tropical field course (optional). Additional costs apply to both these field courses.
The course is undertaken in private nature reserves located in different ecological biomes – grasslands and savannahs – providing an immersive experience of the biodiversity of Southern Africa. You will study the wildlife and ecology of these regions using a range of field and research skills and techniques, including big game tracking and species identification, behavioural studies, and biodiversity and habitat assessments, and apply these to scientific studies and wildlife conservation management scenarios. Please note, the exact locations of all overseas field trips may vary each year, and are based on an area’s ongoing suitability for teaching and learning, and the overall cost of the trip.
The International Wildlife Biology course includes modules with significant fieldwork elements, which come with certain physical demands. If you have a disability that is likely to be affected by physical demands, please get in touch with the course leader Dr David Lee as soon as possible. All applicants are encouraged to attend a University Applicant Day to discuss the field courses with our staff, including current additional costs and the nature of the activities that are undertaken.
By studying International Wildlife Biology, you will benefit from the huge investment in scientific teaching and learning facilities that has taken place at our Glyntaff Campus. Most of your campus-based teaching will take place here, and includes our fully-equipped purpose-built laboratories, computer rooms with specialist software to support your learning.
You will have the opportunity to gain additional qualifications that will enhance your career opportunities, such as the industry-standard ESRI certificate ‘Learning ArcGIS Desktop’, and a PADI Open Water diving qualification.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
BCC - CDD to include a B in Biology and a C in one other Science subject but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Grade C and BC at A Level to include B grade Biology and one other Science subject but to exclude General Studies
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include B grade Biology and one other Science subject but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject which must include Biology modules (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include biology (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Maths or Science Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes to include Biology modules (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes to include Biology modules (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested grade(s)
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment) *||£50 - £180||
Field work requires rugged walking boots/shoes and waterproof and thermal clothing. Ranges from £50 to £180
|Field Trips *||£2000 - £2200||
Big Game Tracking and Patterns in African Diversity - compulsory modules. Costs include transfers, food and accommodation in South Africa.
Please note that students who successfuly secure a placement in industry or abroad to complete their projects would be expected to pay for their own travelling costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accomodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement. Students are provided with reading lists but are not expected to buy any books, instead students are actively encouraged to make use of the extensive learning resources of the University. Many books are available as ebooks. The course uses the many computing facilities of the Glyntaff campus (students are not expected to buy their own computer but having a personal PC will help with their studies)
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
On our BSc (Hons) International Wildlife Biology degree you will acquire a range of traditional and contemporary laboratory, field, analytical and scientific research skills that are applicable to a variety of career opportunities in the ecology and conservation sector, including ecological consultancy, wildlife conservation organisations, public bodies, and education, or on to postgraduate studies.
As a USW International Wildlife Biology student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.