Undergraduate Courses

Specialist modules in Zoology are available in years 2 to 4 of undergraduate degrees in Science GY301, Environmental Science GY308, Marine Science GY310, and Earth and Ocean Sciences GY314. 

Zoology makes up one quarter of the first year Biology module (BO101) giving all students a taster of what they can expect from Zoology in later years. 

Specialist modules in Zoology

 2nd year

ZO208 Invertebrate Biology

ZO209 Vertebrate Zoology

 3rd year

ZO315 Applied Ecology

ZO317 Evolutionary Biology

ZO318 Geographic Information Systems and Biostatistics

ZO319 Marine Zoology

ZO320 Concepts in Population and Community Ecology

 4th year

ZO414 Advanced Zoology Topics

ZO415 Biometry

ZO416 Integrative Zoology

ZO417 Marine and Coastal Ecology

ZO418 Phylogenetics and Conservation

ZO419 Practical Skills in Zoology

ZO423 Final Year Project in Zoology

ZO424 Advanced Final Year Project in Zoology

ZO425 Literature Review

 Further information on the degree pathways encompassing zoology modules can be found through the links below.

Entry Requirements:

Science GY301

Environmental Science GY308

Marine Science GY310

Earth and Ocean Sciences GY314

Core and Elective Modules:

Science GY301

Environmental Science GY308

Marine Science GY310

Earth and Ocean Sciences GY314

Timetables and other relevant info:

First year

Second year 

Third year

Fourth year

Other useful links:



ID Card

Academic Dates

Why Study Zoology ?

Zoology is the science dealing with the structure, function, behaviour, history, classification, and distribution of animals. It is fundamental to many aspects of biological science and technology in today's world, and impacts on Agriculture, Aquaculture, Fisheries, Wildlife Management, Environmental Protection and Conservation.

Zoology (Biology) in First Science

Students intending to study Zoology at NUI Galway must take Biology and Chemistry as two of their first-year subjects. Biology, the science of life, includes:

  • an elementary study of cells and tissues, including reference to fine structure
  • an outline course in morphology, reproduction, embryology, classification and ecology
  • introductory genetics, physiology and biochemistry
  • a study of ancestral forms of life

The practical sessions are designed to give students an opportunity of familiarizing themselves with a range of material relating to selected topics from the lecture course.

Zoology in Second Science

The Zoology course in Second Science includes two core modules in semester 1, which provide a basic understanding of A) cell and molecular biology (BO201, coordinator Dr Maria Tuohy Biochemistry) and B) evolutionary biology and the diversity of life (BO202, coordinator Dr Gerhard Schlosser Developmental Biology).   These modules are offered to students registered for a range of subjects not just Zoology and we think that understanding of these topics is of fundamental importance for zoology graduates. These modules are examined during the Christmas exams. 

In semester 2 Zoology introduces you to  a systematic study of the principal invertebrate (ZO208, coordinator Dr Tom Doyle Zoology) and vertebrate (ZO209, coordinator Dr Tom Doyle Zoology) groups, covering aspects of their morphology, physiology, reproduction, development and ecology. These modules are examined during the summer exams. 


Zoology Third Science

There are four core modules required to complete 3rd year Zoology and students are expected to take two additional modules from a range of electives (details of which are available on the College of Science webpage under undergraduate information). 

ZO319 Marine Zoology is held during the first six weeks of semester 1, (Coordinator Dr Anne Marie Power, Zoology). 
ZO317 Evolutionary Biology is held during the second six weeks of semester 1 (Coordinator Dr Grace McCormack, Zoology). 

ZO320 Principles of Population and Community Ecology is held during the first six weeks of semester 2 (Coordinator Dr Anne Marie Power, Zoology). 
ZO315 Applied Ecology is held during the second six weeks of semester 2 (Coordinator Dr Colin Lawton, Zoology). 

An additional elective also offered by Zoology is ZO318, GIS and Biostatistics (Coordinator Prof Mark Johnson). 

Fourth Year Programme in Zoology 

The fourth year course includes an greater mixture of facilitated and independent learning.  For example students carry out a research project which comprises either 15 or 25 ECTS and a literature review (10ECTS). There are two core lecture only modules (each 5ECTS); Marine and Coastal Ecology and Phylogenetics and Conservation. In addition students complete Advanced Zoology topics during which students have to read a list of books suggested by staff, participate in online discussions and write blogs followed by sitting an open book exam. Integrative Zoology is another module where current topics are discussed by staff and students and students must complete a report based on these discussions.

Fourth year is therefore a very dynamic year for students providing them with a set of advanced skills and involving them deeply in departmental life.