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Projects and Placements

A student studying Darwins rhea and chick.

The Discovery and Learning department at Edinburgh Zoo offers placement opportunities and projects at the zoo for student researchers over the age of 16 who are studying Education or the Social Sciences.

Please note: If you are interested in placements or research projects in animal, animal management, veterinary sciences or conservation please visit the RZSS research page and complete the relevant application form. For queries please use the relevant contact emails provided on the research page.


Education and Social Science Placement Students:

We will offer three placement windows each calendar year for a limited number of students who would like work experience in either the Education or the Interpretation teams within Discovery and Learning. The placement blocks are as follows:

  • January - March
  • June - August
  • October - December

Placement students must have an idea of a project to help the department in mind when they apply and must be able to commit to a minimum of 4 weeks and maximum of 12 weeks. Please note that Discovery and Learning is closed on weekends, so placements must take place on weekdays. Student projects should be something that will be of benefit to RZSS as well as to the student’s training and development. Students will also be required to attend one induction day prior to commencing their placement (there are 3 organised per year) and agree to all the terms and conditions and safety procedures outlined in our induction.

Students on placement during the month of July will be required to support the delivery of our Summer School Programme and students in August may be asked to assist with our Science Summer School.


Education Placement Vacancy (Highland Wildlife Park):

We have an amazing opportunity to complete a 4-8 week student work placement at our sister site the Highland Wildlife Park. Working with our RZSS education team you will support the delivery of our Science Summer School programme and lots more. For more information about accommodation. availability and how to apply, please see our Highland Wildlife Park vacancies page.


Education and Social Science Undergraduate or Postgraduate Research Project Students:

This category is for students who would like to obtain a pass to come on site to conduct research in education or the social sciences as part of their degree programme but are not seeking work placements within our department and will not require desk space in an office. Project students will be required to sign in and out when they are on site and will provide the zoo with the results of their project upon completion. Students will also be required to attend one induction day prior to commencing their project and agree to all the terms and conditions and safety procedures outlined in our induction.

They are also required to pay £35 for their research pass which provides unlimited access to the site for the duration of their project.

All projects must have ethical approval from your institution, with evidence provided to us before research can commence. You will also be invited to participated in a student showcase that we run to highlight the research work that is carried out at the zoo. Project student numbers will be monitored throughout the year and may be capped at various times to manage impact on animal welfare and visitor experience.


Induction Days:

All students wishing to come to Edinburgh Zoo for a work placement or to conduct a research project must attend one of our induction days. The induction programme will cover, health and safety and security procedures, your responsibilities as a researcher at the zoo, the RZSS confidentiality agreement, the role of the zoo, and a guided tour of our facilities. Our three induction days will take place in early January, early June, and either late September or early October (dates will be specified for each year closer to the time).


How to Apply

To apply for a project or placement at the Zoo, please fill out the application form which can be downloaded here and email it to Depending on demand and the nature of your proposed project you may be asked to attend an interview. For any queries, please contact

We will review applications on a monthly basis and will attempt to respond to you within 5 weeks of your application.