Field of study

Miranda Oliver

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Life Sciences
Course: BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour
Category: Animal sciences

29 June 2020

Our BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour course has a focus on observing animals in the natural habitats - whether that's in Essex or Africa. Here, final-year student Miranda shares her experiences of field trips.

Not far up the road from Cambridge, we went to Norfolk. This less well-known part of the UK is very beautiful and rife with wildlife.

We went to collect data on seals which, in late October/November, give birth to their pups. It was so much fun since it was our first trip all together – this is when you really build solid friendships in your class and experience all the emotions together. We were very moved from seeing those little pups.

Seals in Norfolk
Seal pup
Animal Behaviour student Miranda at Colchester Zoo - elephant in background

In the neighbouring county of Essex, Colchester Zoo hosted ARU students for a whole day to help us collect behavioural data on a couple of species of our interest. Here I am with the elephants – a creature that is very important to me.

And finally, the best field trip we could have ever asked for… to Uganda! We went to Uganda as part of our Tropical Biology module and it really was a dream come true. Two weeks spent between the forest and the savannah. Ten days full of activities and late-night talks under the Milky Way with these amazing course mates that have become friends for life. I’ll never forget this and it was the cherry on top of my ARU experience.

Woman watching a butterfly which is perched on a leaf
An elephant in Uganda
Animal Behaviour student Miranda on a field trip in Uganda

This trip allowed me to have my first encounter ever with elephants in the wild: if I think about it, I still have goosebumps!

The final year of my Animal Behaviour course has been hard work, but I look back over my three years and realise there is never a time to take anything for granted. I know that when the time comes and I finally graduate after these three unforgettable years, I will be truly proud of myself.




Miranda studies BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour at ARU in Cambridge, but we also offer life science degrees in Zoology and Marine and Terrestrial Conservation. Visit the course pages to find out more, or speak to tutors and experience ARU for yourself at an Open Day.

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