Level 3 Zoology Diploma Entry Requirements
All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol into our Level 3 Zoology Diploma course.
Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.
Approximately 20 hours per unit.
Optional coursework and final examination.
Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Course Content
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 1 – Introduction to Zoology
The first module introduces Zoology as a subject, and begins by defining animals gained the properties of life. How inorganic chemicals made the leap to organic molecules to begin the origin of life on Earth as simple celled organism is discussed. The first organisms, the prokaryote blue green algae (cyan bacteria) progress the story into a discussion on the basic building blocks of life, the cell. This brief history of the discovery of the cell as the basic unit of life, its structure and functions and the process of cellular reproduction, mitosis is included. The module concludes with a brief look at cellular metabolism, and the importance of enzymes in a biological system, e.g. in cellular respiration and energy production and movement.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 2 – Animal Development, evolution to individual
It is clear that animals developed and became complex through the development of genetics and mixing of hereditary material. This module examines genetics, evolution and the two basic characteristics of life, that of development and reproduction. An overview of genetic theory, from a historical perspective, followed by a closer examination of genetics at the cellular and whole animal level is given. The module then moves logically onto evolutionary theory, setting it in a historical context pre- and post-Darwin, before discussing its implications, for animal species. The large range of strategies used by animals to ensure reproductive success is summarised, followed by a brief review of the process of development from fertilized zygote, through gastrulation to the embryo and adult individual.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 3 – Animal Diversity: Part 1, Simple Animals
This module introduces the subject of animal diversity, beginning with a review of the various architectural patterns which occur in animal bodies. There are five major grades of organisation starting at the cellular level rising to multicellular, tissue, organ and organ-system level. The same development is reflected in the evolutionary pathways of animals and the taxonomic system currently used to classify animals supports this. The second part of the module seeks to describe the simple animals, from unicellular protozoans through to the development of multicellular animals such as sponges and jellyfish. Various characteristics of these animals such as movement, nutrition and reproduction are briefly described.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 4 – Animal Diversity: Part 2, Complex invertebrates
Following on from the last section, this module looks at complex invertebrates, from the simplest molluscs (including gastropods, and cephalopods), segmented worms (annelids e.g. ragworms, earthworms, leeches), to the advanced arthropods (from horseshoe crabs to crustaceans, spiders and insects), the echinoderms ( starfish, sea urchins) and hemichordates (marine worms). Aspects of these groups which make them unique in the evolutionary history of the animal kingdom are discussed briefly as the group of animals is so large and varied. Species and groups of great interest to humans will therefore be covered in more detail.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 5 – Animal Diversity: Part 3, The first vertebrates
Humans most resemble this group as they share the characteristics of a backbone or “chorda” cord. The function of the vertebrae is to support, hold muscles and protect the body. This module examines how the first vertebrate animals arose, and follows the history of animal life from the first emergence of backbone like animals, the proliferation of the fishes, through to the first walking vertebrates who moved to land, the early tetra pods and the modern amphibians. Various aspects of their life cycles, and uniqueness within the animal kingdom that cause them to evolve in the way they did e.g. move from water to land is discussed.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 6 – Animal Diversity: Part 4, Complex vertebrates
What caused animals to want to inhabit the land, and how did they adapt e.g. develop their limbs to make changes to their form in order to do this? In order for animals to be free of the need to have water in which to reproduce, the evolution of non-porous eggs to the amniotic egg was necessary. This module deals with the origins of non-porous eggs, and the corresponding proliferation of reptile groups, some of which became known as ‘dinosaurs’. The connections between birds and reptiles are discussed as well important features of the avian group e.g. flight, migration and navigation.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 7 – Animal Diversity: Part 5, Mammals
Mammals are small in number when compared to birds, insects and fish, however they are the most biologically differentiated e.g. from the 2 gram bats to the blue whale. They inhabit almost every environment, even trying to conquer outer space. Mammals in all their forms are the focus of this module. Their evolution and origin is discussed and well as the myriad of structural and functional adaptations (such as fur, highly developed nervous system and movement, and also the impact of humans on this adaptability such on domesticated pets, farm animals) the group has evolved to take advantage of the huge number of ecological niches which exist. The classification of living mammalian orders is discussed, along with specific examples of individual species. Human evolution is presented as a specific topic, although the advances in DNA modelling have helped to explain theories, full agreement on the exact path of evolution remains disputed.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 8 – Animal activity: Part 1, Body, senses and movement
Having looked at the diversity within the animal kingdom, we now focus on their life process activities, their relationship with each other and their environment. The first section discusses the various strategies animals have developed to support their body structures, e.g. internal/external skeletal systems. It then moves on to discuss how animal move through their environments, from whole animal movements to the cellular changes which enable muscle to contract. The module concludes with a discussion on how animals have developed senses to help become aware of their environments, and how those signal are processed in the nervous system.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 9 – Animal activity: Part 2, Maintaining the internal environment
Cellular activities need to occur in a constant stable environment and how this is maintained is called homeostasis. The internal environment changes e.g. due to nutrient concentration changing or from external changes such as of temperature, need to be maintained and this involves many systems. These processes involve several systems such as osmotic regulation (water balance) temperature regulation, circulation, respiration, digestion and nutrition and finally defence against micro-organisms, i.e. immunity. This involves coordinated activities within the circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems, and the organs which act as exchange environment with the external environment such as the kidneys, lungs or gills or the skin or digestive tract.
Level 3 Zoology Diploma Module 10 – Animals and their environment
This final module examines how animals behave (Ethology) and deal with their external environment e.g. in social behaviour e.g. the flight patterns of a group of swallows, and communication such as the mating calls within animals. The module continues with a discussion of animals at a global level, including the biosphere and animal distribution. We study every environment and how animals are distributed in each. Animal ecology is defined as the relation of the animal to its organic and inorganic environment, and includes an examination of predator/prey relationships and biomass pyramids. Animals have been studied at the micro- and global level throughout this course to give a brief overview of a complex and interlinked topic.
This Level 3 Zoology Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.