Students who wish to study Zoology for their degree apply to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Stream (TR060) and may select Zoology as their specialist subject for the 3rd and 4th years at the end of the second year.
What is Zoology?
Zoology is the study of living animals and their relationship with their environment. As the need for an understanding of complex biosystems increases, integration is required across all levels of biological organisation – from molecules to the biosphere – and the diversity of species – from single-celled to multicellular organisms. Modern Zoology naturally provides this integration, and our programme offers modules and choices that focus upon important themes of environmental and medical/veterinary biology.
Zoology: The course for you?
With the key focus of zoology being the study of whole organisms, it is a course that touches on nearly all aspects of the biology programme including molecular, cellular, behavioural, parasitological, ecological and environmental aspects of animals. The central narrative to our programme is understanding the evolution and diversity of animals using a variety of approaches such as genetics, microscopy, experiments and field observations. The Zoology course is designed, not only to provide specific knowledge about key areas of animal biology, but also to encourage critical thinking and the development of numeracy and literacy, as well as the exploitation of sources of scientific data.
This broad and transferable skill set provides a solid scientific framework from which to think creatively and explore the natural world and its interactions with human society. Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on ‘hands-on’ aspects, with a high laboratory component, use of museum material and a choice of local and international field trips.
Zoology at Trinity
Zoology is the study of the form and function of animals in the broadest senses of those words. It considers the many roles of animals within the natural world. The Department believes in the principle of ‘research-led teaching’ and has a diverse array of active researchers addressing a wide range of Zoological questions, broadly separated into organismal biology and molecular/cellular biology. Our investigation and teaching of these subjects uses innovative techniques and methodologies such as immunology, stable isotopes, genetics, analytical chemistry, proteomics and numerical computation. In particular, our strengths lie in ecosystem ecology and biodiversity, global change biology, parasite biology, ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, evolution of behaviour, comparative anatomy and physiology and developmental biology. You can learn more about our research and teaching at our School’s YouTube page (www.youtube.com/channel/UC).
Graduate skills and career opportunities
Many graduates of Zoology are currently pursuing academic and research careers in Ireland and overseas – our network of research alumni can be found on every continent. Professor William Campbell graduated from Zoology with a particular interest in parasite biology and went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for his transformative work on discovering a class of drugs effective against the disease River Blindness caused by a parasite. Several of our graduates have gone onto postgraduate Veterinary and Medicine courses. Graduates have been employed within the agriculture and fisheries sector (Teagasc, BIM and Inland Fisheries Ireland), the environment and wildlife services (EPA, National Parks and Wildlife Service, National Biodiversity Data Centre and various Local Authorities), biomedical industry and agencies (HSE) and with international environment and development agencies (FAO, IUCN, WBCSD, etc.). Trinity Zoology graduates have taken up wildlife and environmental publishing, film-making and other careers in the media, software development, data science, second and third-level teaching, medicine, veterinary, museum and tourism work, environmental lobbying with national and international NGOs, environmental and wildlife consultancy, fish farming and – yes – we even have graduates who work in zoos.
Your degree and what you’ll study
Students who wish to study Zoology apply to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (TR060) and may select Zoology as their specialist area for the third and fourth years. In third and fourth year, the course highlights the major concerns of modern zoology in relation to environmental and medical biology, and introduces you to cell biological and other analytical techniques, fieldwork and computer-aided data handling and processing. Modules taken cover topics such as animal diversity, comparative physiology, ecology, marine biology (including a field trip) and terrestrial ecology (including a fieldtrip). In addition, there are a range of more specialised optional modules which may be selected in the areas of environmental or medical zoology such as genetics, behaviour, developmental biology, entomology and parasitology. A major component of the fourth year is an individual Capstone research project. In previous years such projects have looked at parasites in humans and animals, behaviour of badgers, deep sea fisheries and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and the environment, to name but a few.
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Do you enjoy:
- Exploring the living world, from cells to ecosystems?
- Making new discoveries about the world around us?
- Seeking solutions to global challenges to the environment and human well-being?
Study Biological and Biomedical Sciences Programme at Trinity College Dublin
Biology is the study of life in all its complexity and diversity. In the Biological and Biomedical Sciences programme, we explore how life first arose - the properties that distinguish living organisms from inert matter - how living organisms function and how the vast diversity of life forms was generated - how organisms reproduce themselves and how they interact both with each other and with the environment.
AwardsB.A. (Moderatorship) Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
CAO InformationCAO Code TR060
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Advanced Entry Applications
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What our graduates say
“A keen interest in the natural world, conservation and evolution led me to pursue a degree in Zoology. The course has not disappointed. Field trips to Northern Ireland, Glendalough and Kenya have been the highlight of this degree for me. Not only do they provide a stimulating and exciting way in which to learn, you get to know your classmates and lecturers on a personal level and feel welcomed into the department. Combined with lectures from committed staff, who are leading experts in their fields worldwide, I have gained a thorough knowledge which I can take with me into future careers.”