A group of students standing in front of an elephant animal enclosure

Animal and Environmental

Help shape the future of our natural world, and the animals, plants, and habitats in it.

Discover more at an Open Day

Our courses will prepare you for careers in animal management, animal science, environmental consultancy, biological research, ecology and conservation, as well as jobs that require science degrees such as in teaching or the civil service, to name but a few. With ARU, you’ll gain hands-on experience on field trips, and in laboratories, as well as through industry contacts and placements.

With courses available in Cambridge and Writtle you’ll learn in the classroom, laboratory and field from leading experts. We offer extensive specialist facilities; from dedicated science labs with cutting-edge technologies and techniques to observing and getting hands-on with wildlife and nature.

Entrance to Helmore Building on ARU Cambridge campus

Cambridge Campus

Cambridge is a global and national conservation hub. The animal and environmental biology courses in Cambridge focus on the science and social science across biology, animal behaviour, ecology and conservation (from local to global), and zoology.

Students will gain advanced laboratory, computational, and field skills, preparing students for a wide range of careers. Depending on the course, students will become familiar with genetic and soil analysis techniques in dedicated laboratories, wildlife monitoring (e.g. bioacoustics, camera traps, environmental monitoring, and surveying across all taxonomic groups), and quantitative techniques (e.g. statistical and geospatial analysis, coding, bioinformatics).

The knowledge base for all this is provided through lectures and seminars from active and internationally leading researchers, who contribute to our highly productive research groups, as well as industry experts. Networking and authentic learning opportunities are provided through field courses and innovative assessments that explicitly link students to our industry and government partners. In parallel, students are given opportunities for extracurricular skills development off site, for example through conservation work parties. Dedicated facilities and physical resources include greenhouses and laboratories, at the centre of which is the £45m Science Centre. Fieldtrips range from visits to local and regional protected areas through to residential trips in the UK and abroad, most recently to Peru, for example.

Main entrance to ARU campus at Writtle

Writtle Campus

Get hands-on in our Titchmarsh Animal Centre – home to more than 200 furry, feathered, spiky and scaled species – and dedicated science laboratories. Take part in animal handling practicals involving work with a wide range of domesticated and captive species. Our Animal courses are taught by highly experienced industry experts, practising professionals, ecologists, veterinary professionals, pet behaviourists, nutritionists and geneticist and leading researchers.

Our connections with the British and Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums (BAIZA), the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC), Colchester Zoo, and Umphafa Private Nature Reserve offer you opportunities to gain additional experience and make valuable industry contacts.

Students working in a lab on Cambridge campus

Facilities in Cambridge

Study at ARU Cambridge and:

  • use world-class scientific equipment in our 200 seat SuperLab and greenhouses, at the centre of which is the £45m Science Centre
  • carry out surveys and sampling of wildlife at local nature reserves and wildlife centres
  • benefit from being at the heart of global conservation based in Cambridge, studying in the School of Life Sciences which has links to international conservation organisations
  • join our student-led wildlife society
  • work with biological collections including the Harrison larynx collection and our wide selection of skulls
  • carry out a project alongside researchers from our three active research groups who producing high-quality research underpinning our teaching
  • have access to dedicated research facilities for bioacoustics, genetics and behavioural monitoring
Three students looking at a textbook

Facilities in Writtle

Study at ARU Writtle and:

  • study on our 150-hectare campus with its specialist Titchmarsh Animal Centre, home to over 200 species of reptiles, birds and mammals
  • spend time in the new Lordship Canine Centre including a therapy clinic with hydrotherapy pool, dog grooming centre, and kennels block
  • make use of the dedicated Science Centre with labs, teaching spaces and a veterinary nursing clinical skills area
  • train at the Pet Behaviour Centre, a dedicated facility for pet behaviourists
  • get hands-on experience on the campus farm that's home to sheep, pigs and cattle – and grows its own wheat to support livestock bedding
  • utilise our green campus which provides a wonderful framework for conservation and community projects
  • access a wide range of scientific technology and specialist facilities on our equine campus including three indoor arenas, a horse walker, a mechanical horse, laboratories and therapy barns

Get in touch

If you're thinking about applying to ARU or have questions about your application, contact us:

Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (Please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training)
Friday 9am-4.30pm

Lordship Road
Writtle CM1 3RR
Get directions

Three students standing in a group and looking at books

Animal college courses

Interested in studying an Animal Management or Animal Science course at Writtle College? Discover our full range of college courses, based at ARU Writtle, home of Writtle College.

Discover our Animal college courses