International College

Animal and plant sciences

Explore the intricacies of organisms, ecosystems and the interdependencies of life and find out how we can build a sustainable future.

Animal and plant sciences at the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences is home to one of the biggest communities of whole-organism biologists in the UK. It is dedicated to solving pressing environmental problems. 91% of its graduates are in work or further study within six months (Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey data 2016/17).

Animal and plant sciences degree options at University of Sheffield

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Top five for biological research
in the UK
Research Excellence Framework 2014


Zoology degrees at Sheffield ranked 1st in the UK
for overall satisfaction.
National Student Survey, 2019

Degree preparation at the International College

The University of Sheffield International College offers specialist university preparation for international students. On our pathway programmes, you will study key subject modules to prepare you for your degree, while also building confidence in your English language and study skills. Whether you are aiming for undergraduate or postgraduate study, you will have the confidence to succeed once you progress to the University of Sheffield.

Your pathways to studying at the University of Sheffield:

Why study animal and plant sciences?

As an animal and plant sciences graduate, you can make a valuable contribution to the understanding of issues affecting animals and the environment. Benefits of studying animal and plant sciences include:

Animal and plant scientists have a vital role to play in society. By exploring links between plants and human health, they can give insight into improving and preserving the lives of animals and humans.

Animal and plant scientists conduct research to explore how plants, animals, and humans rely on each other. Their findings help influence reports and policy on climate change,the biggest threat facing our planet.

Working in group projects will prepare you to work well with others, improving your listening and leadership skills. These will be key in any career you choose.

What can I do with an animal and plant sciences degree?

When you graduate from the University of Sheffield, you will be able to choose from a range of challenging and rewarding careers.

Animal and plant sciences careers include:

  • animal nutritionist
  • animal physiotherapist
  • nature conservation officer
  • zoologist.

Related careers include:

  • ecologist
  • environmental consultant
  • veterinary nurse.

Animal and plant sciences FAQs

Animal and plant sciences is the study of animals, humans, plants, microbes, evolution and ecosystems. It aims to understand how species rely on each other, to encourage the mutual thriving of life on earth.

You can study a degree in animal and plant sciences at university. You will need to meet certain requirements, such as having high grades in subjects such as A Level Biology and another science subject. If you’re an international student, you can also meet the requirements by studying a pathway programme such as the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering.

After graduating from a degree in animal and plant sciences you can go on to work in a variety of different careers, all with varying salaries. An ecologist role, for example, typically starts in the region of £18,000 to £22,000, but with more experience and responsibilities you could be looking in the range of £30,000-£45,000.

An undergraduate degree in animal and plant sciences will typically last three years, but with the option to spend a year on work placement it can be four years. At some universities, such as the University of Sheffield, you could integrate a masters degree into your course, making it four years long – excluding any potential work placement.

A degree in animal and plant sciences will typically require you to have a good grade in A Level Maths – this is because biology-based degrees will have quantifiable aspects that can help to give a better understanding of the natural world.

The study of plants and animals falls within the science of biology. Specifically, botany covers plants and zoology covers animals but there are many other types of degrees that cover plants, animals or both. Some examples include plant sciences and ecology and conservation biology.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.