Leaders in zoo education and training, Sparsholt College are launching advanced, innovative qualifications aimed at those either working in or looking to work in zoos. From September 2016, the new BSc Honours in Zoo Biology and Masters Degree in Applied Zoo Biology will offer learners a unique perspective on zoo management and research.

The courses, validated by the University of Portsmouth will make use of the College’s impressive zoo-licenced Animal Management Centre which is home to one of the largest collections of animals in a UK college with more than 1000 animals from 200 species. The newly developed Aquatic Research Centre promotes involvement in the conservation and husbandry of aquatic species and habitats, while extensive industry links provide innumerable opportunities for industry based practice and application.

Explaining why there is an industry demand for these higher level qualifications course tutor Steve Nash, said: “It is incredibly competitive trying to work in zoos with hundreds of people after each job. Zoos now need higher level qualifications linked to international strategies for zoo conservation which are up to date, relevant and with excellent industry links.”

These degrees are designed to expand graduates’ knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour and population management. The courses put a unique emphasis on the roles played by modern zoos, including visitor engagement, evidence based husbandry and their contributions to the wider conservation community.

Sparsholt College has a national and international reputation for providing training and professional development for the zoo industry. With research-active industry experts on the teaching team, students will benefit from the strong national and international links as they undertake research and learning ‘evidence-based’ husbandry which promotes good animal welfare through science and research.

Both courses are either one year full time or two years distance learning, with the option for distance students on the MSc to include the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training free of charge.

MSc and BSc students are assured of a great learning experience with the College’s higher education (HE) undergraduates officially the most satisfied students of all the UK’s land-based colleges according to the National Student Survey 2015.