Study Zoology

What is Zoology?

Zoology is the scientific study of all life within the animal kingdom.

Zoology may involve detailed analysis of animals’ physical features, what they eat, the way they behave and the impact humans have upon them. Animals may be studied in the wild or in captivity; they may be living or extinct.

Animal survey design, animal tagging and monitoring, population assessments, wildlife management, and habitat mitigation and remediation all form part of zoology.

Ecology and Evolution are also key areas of zoology study. Understanding the evolution, maintenance, and diversity of the animal kingdom is one of the great joys of being a zoologist. Zoologists may study behaviour, predator vs prey dynamics, natural selection, sexual selection and mate choice, mating systems, and cooperation and sociality.

Not limited to animals you can see with the naked eye, zoology also encompasses studying the underlying biological processes that sustain animal life in all its forms. This includes the way cells, organs and individual organisms function, as well as how genetics contribute to the way animal look and function.

Zoology is often sub-categorised into the study of different species. Zoology sub-categories include entomology (insects), parasitology (parasites), ichthyology (fish), mammalogy (mammals), ornithology (birds) and herpetology (reptiles and amphibians).

Discover JCU's
Bachelor of Science

Develop your passion for conservation and make a genuine difference to your community and the environment by studying Zoology with the Bachelor of Science at JCU.

What does a zoologist do?

Zoologists may travel to some of the world’s most precious locations to undertake new research or join practical conservation efforts. Zoologists may also discover and describe new animal species.

As a zoologist, you could be on the frontline of animal protection, or you might work ‘behind the scenes’, devising ways to mitigate threats such as habitat destruction, invasive pests and climate change.

Working in zoology, you may design and deliver hands-on programs to support environmental regeneration, wildlife conservation and endangered species breeding. You may also design management programs to guide the everyday care of animals in captive or protected environments.

GPS-tagging turtles, watching the behaviour of kangaroos in the wild, conducting night-time mammal surveys, sweep-netting insects from wilderness areas, and surveying and counting native birds may all be part of a day’s work as a zoologist.

You may also collaborate on a range of commercial ventures. For example, zoologists often form part of teams conducting research on sustainable agriculture, pest control strategies and other related product development.

What jobs can you get by studying Zoology?

Zoology is considered an interdisciplinary science and zoologists often work alongside other scientists or, indeed, different professions to deliver superior outcomes in conservation, medicine research, product development, and animal conservation or advocacy.

When you study zoology at JCU, you will graduate ready to work in a diverse array of organisations and industries. You may find zoology jobs (or zoology skills required) in environmental agencies, government departments, wildlife parks and ecotourism companies, among many other areas. Surprising though it may seem, you may even find zoology jobs at a zoo.

The kinds of zoology jobs you could hold with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology and Ecology from JCU include:

  • Zoologist
  • Conservationist
  • Wildlife consultant
  • Researcher
  • Environmental consultant
  • Policy officer
  • Environmental officer
  • Biosecurity or quarantine   officer
  • Ecologist
  • Conservation advocate
  • Zookeeper
  • Agricultural or pest management   practitioner
  • Ranger manager
  • Park manager.
Student in front of bowerbird nest.
Students inspecting a lizard.

Why study Zoology at JCU?

Combining two related disciplines into a single Major, JCU’s Zoology and Ecology program allows students to develop double skillsets, acquiring a deep and multifaceted understanding of the natural world and all living creatures within it. When you study Zoology and Ecology at JCU, you will learn from lecturers with global standing in the science community.

Offered at both JCU Townsville and JCU Cairns, the Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology and Ecology integrates the unique environments of tropical north Queensland into hands-on zoology learning opportunities, with field work undertaken at every year level.

Based in one of the most biodiverse regions in Australia, zoology students at JCU experience working in remote tropical rainforests, islands and savannas, to learn firsthand how to study and research animals in their natural habitats.

JCU prides itself on producing work-ready graduates who understand the fundamentals of scientific theory and principles, alongside their practical application. As a JCU student, you will have the opportunity to receive subject credit for a Work Integrated Learning experience.

When you study zoology at JCU, you will gain demonstrated experience in the design and analysis of field research and survey projects; an ability to work collaboratively; experience in tropical field studies; and a greater awareness of the in-situ study of animal behaviour, ecology and evolution.

#1 in Queensland for skills development 1
#1 in Australia for sustainable education2
#3 in the world for Ecology and Evolution research3
Photo: Charlee MacDonald, JCU Student, Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology and Ecology.

Charlee MacDonald


Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology and Ecology

"I have always had a passion for the great outdoors, in particular plants and animals. I chose JCU because of its awesome location, with both the rainforest and reef at its doorstep. Actually getting out into the field and putting theory into practice makes for a fantastic learning experience."

Discover Zoology at JCU

Learn more, explore your options.