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MSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare

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Animal Sciences


Master's Degree (Level 7)

Study Mode



1 year full-time/2 years part-time

Start Date

September 2024

The course

Take your knowledge of animal behaviour and welfare to the next level with this master's degree programme. The course will allow you to develop academic theories with the practical applications of this knowledge in a wider context.

Throughout the programme there will be a strong emphasis on the ethics and welfare of using animals and you will be able to consider the physiological areas relating to animal welfare.

This programme utilises webinars, which take place one evening a week for part-time students and two evenings a week for full-time students; and compulsory block sessions which take place at University Centre Bishop Burton. Students must fund their own accommodation for the block sessions.

PLEASE NOTE: This programme is currently undergoing a refresh with the University of Hull to ensure you get the best experience and opportunity to achieve as an employment-ready graduate. The learning outcomes, modules, the teaching and learning strategy, contact hours and assessment strategies may change. Full details of the newly refreshed programme will be available later in the year and will be communicated to all applicants at the earliest opportunity.

Course Information

  • To develop an analytical and comprehensive understanding of animal welfare in society and the controversial ethical consideration within a range of situations.
  • Allow you to select and utilise appropriate measures to monitor and assess animal behaviour and welfare, which is underpinned by current theory and accurate application of scientific techniques.
  • To ensure that you are independent thinking and can communicate confidently and effectively within a professional and research context.
  • Enable you to obtain analytical and systematic thought processes appropriate for working and researching within the animal and related industries.
  • Welfare and Ethics
  • Animal Behaviour Theories
  • Animal Welfare Across Contexts
  • Applied Animal Welfare
  • Human and Animal Interactions and Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Research Project

You will need:

A minimum of a 2.2 honours degree, ideally in biological science subjects or equivalent

An appropriate academic reference

Life and/or experience of non-traditional students will be taken into account when considering applications. The successful completion of an entry task may be required when considering applications without the required formal entry qualifications.

If your first language is not English, or a Tier 4 student visa to study is required and GCSE English at grade 4/C or equivalent is not held, you will need to evidence your English language proficiency level, such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 overall (with a minimum 5.5 in each skill).

This programme is delivered with a variety of learning and teaching approaches to include all students learning styles and preferences.

For all modules, theory lectures are delivered that aim to deliver the core content and provide the underpinning knowledge. Using the webinar software, staff are able to monitor engagement to ensure participations.

To complement all theory lectures, you will have asynchronous seminars that are used to reinforce concepts delivered theoretically. Online webinars focus on facilitating a student-centred approach to enhance the independent learning that takes place outside of the webinar lecture sessions.

Full-Time: You will study four modules studied in the first semester and two in the second semester, alongside completion of the independent research project. This includes approximately 12 hours class time per week, encompassing online webinars, directed study, extended reading, directed tasks and tutorials. Webinars run two nights per week. Attendance is required at five compulsory block sessions at University Centre Bishop Burton. Dates for the 2023/24 academic year are as follows:

Thursday 14th - Saturday 16th September 2023

Saturday 7th - Sunday 8th October 2023

Saturday 18th - Sunday 19th November 2023

Saturday 3rd - Sunday 4th February 2024

Thursday 23rd May 2024 (afternoon/evening online)

You are expected to complete a significant amount of private study in addition to class time (approximately 20 - 40 hours per week).

Part-Time: You will study two modules per semester except for the final semester when the focus in on the completion of the independent research project. This will include approximately six hours class time per week, encompassing online webinars, directed study, extended reading, directed tasks and tutorials. Webinars run one night per week.

Thursday 14th - Saturday 16th September 2023

Saturday 3rd - Sunday 4th February 2024

There are up to three block sessions in the second year, including the independent research project presentation. Dates to be confirmed during the first year. You are expected to complete a significant amount of private study in addition to class time (approximately 10 - 24 hours per week).

Relevant extra-curricular activity and/or work experience is encouraged to enhance your learning.
Assessment may include written assignments (e.g. 4000 words), webinar presentations, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical reports and demonstrations, and evaluations. There are no formal examinations. Opportunities for formative feedback on assessments are available prior to the final submission to support your development and achievement. Staff aim to return assessed work within a 20 working day timeframe (not including holidays) so that you can most benefit from the summative feedback.
  • Regular access to a computer with a reliable broadband internet connection in order to participate in webinars, download learning materials, watch recorded webinars and submit assignments. A headset with microphone will be required for participation in webinars and on-line tutorials.
  • Appropriate software is required: Microsoft Office and OpenOffice (freeware) are the only office suites supported
  • Sturdy footwear suitable for practical sessions.
  • The college has a strict policy of not allowing work boots inside college buildings you will need to have alternative footwear (shoes or trainers) to attend lectures and tutorials.
  • Roughly £100 to cover the costs of field trips and visits over the duration of your programme.
  • A wide range of resources are available for use both on and offsite for dissertation projects but it may not be possible to purchase/service all requests therefore students need to be aware that they may need to self-fund some elements.
  • Block sessions are a complusory element of the programme. Students will need to fund their own travel, accommodation and food.
  • On successful completion of the programme, you will have the opportunity to graduate at a ceremony wearing formal dress. The hire of the formal dress is an additional cost.
Those who wish to continue their studies can do so by taking a PhD.
Upon graduating from this programme you could seek management positions in zoo keeping and education, welfare science, welfare assessment and consultation, environmental enrichment co-ordinator, education and lecturing, and animal rescue and rehabilitation.

Validated by University of Hull

We are proud to collaborate with University of Hull on the validation of this course.

This includes transforming our programmes to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of the sector, giving you the best opportunities for success when you graduate by having a competence-based focus. Find out more about competence-based higher education.

View the policies and procedures you would be agreeing to comply with by registering for this programme. This encompasses University of Hull Quality and Standards, including a Guide for Collaborative Provision students.

Financial Information

Find the full details of the fees associated with this programme and the financial support available.

Careers this course could lead into

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