RZSS Education

Higher and Further Education

Higher and further education

Sessions @ £8 per student

Zoo Tour (1.5 hrs)

A guided tour that highlights how we care for the animals here as well as the work we do in the wild.

Animal Handling (1hr)

This session allows students to handle some of the smaller animals we have here in the zoo. Animals for each session will vary, however may include invertebrates, reptiles, and small mammals.

Zoo Careers (1hr)

Zoos and conservation organisations offer an exciting array of careers. There are animal focused roles such as keepers, enclosure designers, vets and conservationists, but there are also people focused jobs such as education, marketing and visitor services. Discover the responsibilities of some of these roles, hear about our staff’s career paths and how you can find these jobs.

Zoo Art (1hr)

A short introduction to RZSS, including a discussion of some of our most photogenic animal models. Then enjoy a drawing session with our still-life resources such as skulls, skeletons, skins and taxidermy animals. After the session enjoy a self-guided tour to draw/photograph some of the animals at their enclosures.

Pandas, Primates & Penguins – Intro to Zoo Science (1hr)

Giant pandas can eat over 30 kg of bamboo in a day and eliminate up to 12 kg of faeces! Zoo nutritionists are able to analyse what goes in and what comes out to gain insights on the best possible diets.

In 2010, a new group of chimpanzees were introduced to the existing troop in the Budongo Trail enclosure. The keepers’ extensive knowledge of the individuals and their behaviours were key to the integration. Edinburgh Zoo is renowned for its penguins, and has housed penguins since 1914.  With all those penguins our veterinary team has learnt a lot about their biology and gained substantial expertise in keeping them healthy.

Not Just Monkey Business (1hr)

RZSS is a charitable business. Find out who our customers are, how we promote the zoo, what products and services we offer our visitors as well what we do for wildlife conservation.

The Role of the Modern Zoo (2hrs)

An overview of the role of modern zoos as centres for conservation, education and research. This topic includes a tour and a workshop that allows students to discuss the dilemmas that zoo and conservation organisations face regularly. Problems such as choosing which animals to have in the zoo, how to enrich the animals that we keep and how to help conserve animals and their habitats in-situ.

Zoo Animal Care (2hrs)

This topic includes a lecture discussing animal husbandry, nutrition, record keeping, transport, training and enrichment. It is followed by a tour which highlights the methods of enclosure design, and gives the students a chance to apply the principles from the lecture. This topic links well with college courses on animal management.

Zoo Animal Behaviour (2hrs)

An introductory lecture on how and why we study zoo animal behaviour. We then work through the process of creating an animal behaviour study. After the lecture students will work in small groups to investigate animal behaviour through observing and recording some of our primate species.

Bear Conservation (2hrs)

Since the arrival of our sun bears and giant pandas RZSS has become involved with a variety bear conservation initiatives. This session discusses the threats that bears face in the wild and includes an interactive workshop that highlights the ways that zoos can help.


Sessions @ £9 per student

The RZSS employs specialists from various disciplines of science such as genetics, animal nutrition and veterinary medicine. We are now pleased to announce our experts are able to deliver on site lectures or workshops to college and university students.

Animal Cognition

We are very lucky to have people on site studying a diversity of topics focused on animal cognition. This session includes an overview of our work, talks from current researchers and a guided tour of the two study centres, Budongo Trail and Living Links.

Conservation Genetics

Discover how RZSS uses DNA analysis to support both in-situ and ex-situ conservation programmes. Some of our current work involves identifying founder populations for Oryx reintroductions and deciphering purity of various sub species in captivity.

Zoo Nutrition

An understanding of animal nutrition and feeding behaviour is key to good animal husbandry. Find out how we accommodate the diversity of diets required and hear about our nutrition research.

Exotic Vet Medicine

RZSS has one of the most experienced zoo veterinary teams in the UK. In this session you will hear about the variety of work we do in the zoo and out in the field.

Zoo Horticulture

Zoos need skilled experts in horticulture to provide the best possible settings for our animals and our zoo visitors. Find out how they design our exhibits and landscaping.

Captive Population Management

An introduction to small population management and captive breeding programmes. We will discuss how we maintain demographic stability and genetic diversity within a self-sustaining population.


RZSS Edinburgh Zoo – Summer Student Placements 2017

Four Living Collections Placements available.

Budongo/Living Links

At RZSS Edinburgh zoo we have two state of the art primate facilities, the Budongo Trail, which houses chimpanzees and the Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre, which is home to our brown capuchins and squirrel monkeys. In this post you would be working closely with the animal husbandry team to assist in daily management tasks. You may also be able to observe some of the research taking place with our primates. Please click here for role profile for specifications.

Apply for Budongo/Living Links placement 


Penguins Rock is one of Europe’s largest penguin enclosures and houses over 100 penguins! We have King, Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins. This post would entail you assisting with penguin husbandry, penguin parade and if you are feeling confident you may also be asked to assist with the penguin public talk times. Please click here for role profile for specifications.

Apply for Penguins placement 


RZSS’s Presentations team take on a variety roles within the Edinburgh Zoo. They deliver the Animal Antics display, run the keeper experience programmes as well as offer a visitor experience around the panda enclosure and host our daily talks programme. This role may entail assisting with the husbandry of a variety of species ranging from invertebrates to birds of prey as well helping to deliver a fantastic experience for our visitors. Please click here for role profile for specifications.

Apply for Presentations placement 


Edinburgh Zoo is home to a wide variety of primates, such as saki monkeys, lemurs and gibbons. We also house some amazing hoofstock species too, such as Grevy’s zebra, Indian rhino and Malayan tapir. This post will entail husbandry tasks for both or either of these mammal groups. This section is also responsible for the care of our Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroo. Please click here for role profile for specifications.

Apply for Primates/Hoofstock placement 

How to apply 

Closing Date: April 3rd at 5:00pm

Interviews – The first week of May

Applications to be emailed to animals@rzss.org.uk

Terms and conditions

You must be 18 yrs or older and in a college or university course that is related to zoology, animal care, conservation or veterinary studies.

These are unpaid placements that are unable to offer food or accommodation.

We will be able to provide uniform, including boots and you will have access to the staff canteen, where food can be purchased at staff rates.

Placements run from

June 12th – September 15th 2017