OFO No: 213109





Other names for Zoologist:

Animal Physiologist
Animal Scientist
Apicultural Scientist

What is a Zoologist?

Zoology is a biological science which studies animal life. Zoologists study animals in nature and in the laboratory.

Zoologists study the origin and development of animal species, the behaviour of animals, and the interaction between animals and their environment.

Some Zoologists study how animal diseases develop and how these diseases are passed from generation to the next. 

What does a Zoologist do?

  • they spend hours in a laboratory
  • spend hours outdoors observing wildlife
  • they work unusual hours as some experiments might run through the night
  • attends meetings
  • records findings and shares it with others
  • writes reports

Are you … ?

  • passionate about animals?
  • biology and history of animals?
  • comfortable cutting up a dead animal?
  • able to work on your own?
  • team player?
  • able to express yourself clearly?

How do I become a Zoologist?

You generally need a degree to become a zoologist.

You should major in zoology or biology. Specialising in genetics, embryology, or another area of animal science is recommended.

A 3 Year Bachelor Science (BSc) in Zoology is obtainable from most universities.

Minimum requirements:

National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements

School subjects

Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Science.

  • Note that requirements can differ from one university to another. Please contact the departments directly to confirm entry requirements.


Bachelor of Science degree with major in Zoology

  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • University of KZN
  • University of Limpopo
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of Venda
  • University of Zululand
  • Walter Sisulu University


Relevant Science degree

Relevant Honours degree in Zoology

Workplace experience

Registration with the SACNASP: South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions as a Professional Natural Scientist: (Pr.Sci.Nat)


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 



OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Field Guide … or … Zoo Keeper … or … Animal Scientist

Is becoming a Zoologist the right career choice for me?