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Masters Degrees (Animal)

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This programme has popular international appeal and is endorsed by many international organisations for its up-to-date understanding and application of the latest animal welfare methods and practices. Read more

This programme has popular international appeal and is endorsed by many international organisations for its up-to-date understanding and application of the latest animal welfare methods and practices.

We provide students with an understanding of animal welfare that can be applied in animal research, management, care, production, inspection, assessment and preparation of legislation.

In addition to the core teaching team, we have many guest lecturers travel to Edinburgh each year to teach on the programme, allowing you to benefit from the experience and knowledge of professionals working throughout the animal behaviour and welfare community.

Programme structure

The programme involves taught courses and your own dissertation.

Throughout the taught courses you will take part in many visits to farms and animal facilities and will study the following courses:

  • Introduction to Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare
  • Biology of Suffering
  • Animal Cognition and Consciousness
  • Scientific Methodology
  • Animal Welfare Applications
  • Read more about the taught courses

You can complete the programme over one, two or three years.

Dissertation

From March until August, you will work on a research project.

Career opportunities

Graduates move on to a variety of jobs such as research technicians, scientific advisors and lecturers. Many will also continue their study and enrol in a PhD.



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OVERVIEW. Designed for students aiming to work in research, education, and industry in the life sciences sector. Read more

OVERVIEW

Designed for students aiming to work in research, education, and industry in the life sciences sector. Specifically this MSc will provide you with an advanced understanding of current and emerging issues in the both Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare and provide you with an extensive range of lectures in a variety of topics.

For further information email  or send us a message on WhatsApp

ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR AND WELFARE HIGHLIGHTS

CAREER DEVELOPMENT

  • Many of our graduates secure dream jobs around the world.

WORLD CLASS FACILITIES

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED EXPERTS

  • This course offers a unique opportunity to obtain a qualification in the fields of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare delivered by world class scientists.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

  • In contrast to most MSc programmes at other UK universities, we will provide students with an extensive range of lectures in a variety of topics (for details see Programme Content).

COURSE STRUCTURE

Introduction

Animal Behaviour is the scientific study of what animals do, from single-celled organisms, invertebrates to vertebrates. It is one of the most exciting and interesting scientific disciplines, expanding rapidly over recent decades. Animal behaviour is key to understanding evolutionary processes, and there is a growing need to understand behaviour due to the impact of an increasing human population.

In addition, an understanding of animal behaviour is of fundamental importance to safeguard animal welfare. Thus, the study of animal behaviour provides the foundation for successful conservation and to increase and regulate the welfare of both domestic and wild animals. The course covers a wide range of animals, from insects to primates, taking in companion and farm animals. Thus, there is something of interest for everyone.

Throughout the course students will get fundamental training in Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare, Experimental Design, Statistics, and Presentation Skills to succeed on the competitive job market. The content provided during the course will also be useful for those who wish to pursue a PhD in Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology, Conservation, Evolutionary Ecology, and Animal Welfare.

The course also offers the opportunity to undertake a work placement with a variety of organizations subject to availability of placements. The School of Biological Sciences has provided work placement opportunities to students for more than 10 years, through a dedicated team of Career and Work Placement Officers that work for our School.

The work placement module is optional: students will have the option to either complete the module Professional Development and Work Placement, or the module Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare. 

The structure and contents of the programme are detailed below:

  • Animal Behaviour and Welfare (60 CATS). This module gives an in depth overview into different topics of Behaviour and Welfare, including Communication; Companion, Farm and Zoo Welfare; Conservation, Contests; Development; Hunting; Navigation; Sensory Systems; and Veterinary Welfare Issues.
  • Foundations for Research in the Biosciences (20 CATS). This module will provide you with the underpinning of research such as the scientific method, ethics in research, scientific communication, and impact of your research.
  • Key Skills in Animal Behaviour and Welfare (20 CATS). This module will introduce you to the principles, which will allow you to conduct animal behaviour and welfare research successfully. This module will improve your skills in terms of study design and statistical analysis and it will also improve your oral and written presentation skills.
  • Literature Review: Animal Behaviour (20 CATS). You will write an in-depth quality review in an area of Behaviour or Welfare to improve your writing skills.

One of the following:

  • Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare (60 CATS). Projects run usually from April to August (inclusive) and allows a substantial piece of research to be produced and written in good publishable style.
  • Professional Development and Work Placement (60 CATS). Work placement usually take place from April until the end of August, and are undertaken in an organisation chosen among industry, the public sector and on governmental organizations in the area of animal behaviour and welfare. During the work placement, you will increase your ability to relate academic theory to the work environment, develop identified work related skills (cognitive, transferable and subject specific skills), enhance your career knowledge, be able to critically evaluate your learning from the placement to demonstrate its value to your future.

For further information email  or send us a message on WhatsApp



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COURSE OVERVIEW . Examine and communicate the importance of animal welfare to academic and other audiences. Programme partly based on the theoretical syllabus required for the European and US animal welfare qualifications for veterinarians. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW 

  • Examine and communicate the importance of animal welfare to academic and other audiences
  • Programme partly based on the theoretical syllabus required for the European and US animal welfare qualifications for veterinarians
  • Learn from highly qualified, enthusiastic and internationally renowned teachers 

Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at Winchester critically reflects upon contemporary uses of animals, and provides the academic skills and expertise needed to protect animals and advance their welfare. Winchester is a world leader in terms of the values held and discussed, such as compassion and social justice, which are central to the ethos of this course. 

You consider animal rights and the ethics around using animals for food, sport, and scientific research. How should society reflect those rights and ethics in our law-making and public policies? We scrutinise the many forms of animal use in different settings, such as farming, transportation and slaughter, laboratories, homes, zoos and various other entertainment locales, and about free-ranging animals in natural environments. As you progress through the programme, you master the skills and knowledge involved in assessing and ensuring the welfare of animals using a range of data and sound scientific processes.

The course is different from other comparable programmes in part because of the range of animals covered, including wild, free-ranging animals, invertebrates, pest animals, and the welfare problems associated with them. You are encouraged to develop communication skills in a range of styles, including posters, blogs, and multimedia presentations, and to share ideas about animal welfare outside of the academic setting. 

Modules include Animals and Society, Animal Interests, Capacities and Ethical Considerations, Animal Behaviour and Psychological States, and a 15,000-word dissertation on your chosen topic. Classes are taught using the online virtual learning platform, in the form of core notes with additional readings, videos and lecture notes, making this course accessible to students anywhere in the world. 

Graduates work as animal behaviourists, within animal welfare and advocacy organisations, zoos, sanctuaries and other organisations requiring knowledge of animal management and welfare, with governmental departments working on animal issues, with agencies aiming to uphold welfare standards, and with commercial organisations seeking to introduce such standards to their agricultural suppliers.

Accreditation

For any veterinarians pursuing specialist qualifications in animal welfare, this programme is partly based on the theoretical syllabus required for the European and US qualifications.

Careers

Graduates may enter careers within animal advocacy, welfare and conservation organisations; zoos, sanctuaries and other organisations requiring knowledge of animal management and welfare; governmental departments working on animal issues; assurance, inspection and enforcement agencies; and commercial organisations seeking to implement and monitor the animal welfare standards of their agricultural suppliers.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

Modules are taught using online core notes with additional readings, videos and lecture notes provided. Students may participate in online seminars, and are guided in the creation of communication media such as academic and popular publications, Powerpoint and poster presentations, and online blogs.

The academics involved in this programme possess specialist skills and knowledge in each of the realms of animal welfare science, animal ethics and animal law. Strengths include significant experience in examining and critiquing contemporary social uses of animals, through both academic and popular media, and in working within both Non-Governmental Organisations and professional realms such as veterinary and legal practice, to advance animal welfare within wider society. Tutorials and other support is offered by these highly qualified, enthusiastic and internationally renowned scholars.

Location

This programme is distance learning only.

Assessment

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

Assessments include written assignments, Powerpoint and poster presentations, online blogs, participation in discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of interest to the student, chosen in consultation with a supervisor.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.



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The overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to provide knowledge and an understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on the international issues arising from animal use in all its forms. Read more

The overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to provide knowledge and an understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on the international issues arising from animal use in all its forms.

The programme is delivered by researchers and teachers from both the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) and the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) with a series of guest lecturers from around the world.

The programme offers courses in a variety of areas, including:

  • history, culture and concepts of animal welfare
  • animal behaviour
  • animal welfare assessment
  • animal ethics
  • recommendations and policy
  • legislation, regulation and enforcement
  • science communication
  • applied animal welfare - production, companion and captive wild animals

Learn more about why you should study with us:

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy:

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

A blend of online learning methods are utilised, such as discussion forums, podcasts and live tutorials. The programme is modular, allowing us to offer a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied.

Students may choose to study to certificate, diploma or masters level.

Students can take up to 6 years to complete the full MSc programme and there is also the option to graduate with either an International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Year 1: certificate

You will take two compulsory courses - International Animal Welfare Science and Animal Ethics, Policy and Law - plus an optional course.

Year 2: diploma

You can choose up to 60 credits of optional courses, which include:

  • Production Animal Welfare
  • Cat and Dog Welfare
  • Captive and Free-ranging Wild Animal Welfare
  • Animals in Research, Testing and Education
  • Clinical Animal Behaviour
  • Equine Behaviour and Welfare
  • Equitation Science
  • Anthrozoology (new for 2017)

Year 3: masters

You complete a dissertation of between 10,000-15,000 words which can be a research project or an extended systematic review of the literature in a topic of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics or Law.

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Career opportunities

Graduates can use their qualification to enhance their career prospects in academia, research, governmental and non-governmental organisations and consultancies.



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The MRes in Animal Behaviour and Welfare offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. Read more
The MRes in Animal Behaviour and Welfare offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. You will explore advances in animal behaviour within animal cognition, animal personality, animal communication and language, sexual selection and sexual conflict, and social behaviour. You will also look at contemporary issues in animal welfare science such as methods of animal welfare assessment, animal welfare legislation, welfare implications of keeping animals in captivity and issues related to improving and assessing animal welfare.

This postgraduate programme will allow you to advance the knowledge you gained from your animal related degree and provide you with the required knowledge and skills to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging problems in animal behaviour and animal welfare science. The knowledge and skills that you gain from the programme will enhance your career prospects and can be applied in future scientific research and in practical areas such as conservation, animal welfare organisations, research centres and zoos.

The Masters by Research in Animal Behaviour and Welfare includes 60 credits of taught modules, including core modules of advances in animal behaviour, contemporary issues in animal welfare, and research methods and optional modules such as wildlife conflict, postgraduate independent study and reflection on practice. These modules tend to be taught in two day blocks. This means that the teaching is condensed to allow the Masters study to occur round other commitments in our students' lives.

These modules will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of animal behaviour and welfare science, advance your skills in critically evaluating current research, and develop your abilities in research design and statistical analysis. These skills, along with one to one support, will allow you to understand and apply current scientific thinking, develop new ideas and evaluate current processes and practices. This will allow you to effectively design and carry out your dissertation research project. This will be original research that will make a valuable contribution to the field of animal behaviour or animal welfare. The dissertation is highly flexible and provides you with the freedom to develop a research project of your own choosing in order to fit in with your specific interests and career aspirations.

The programme can be completed full time in one year; part time routes are available and should be planned with your Programme Manager.

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The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife. Read more

The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife. The language of instruction is English. The focus is to deliver skilled professional animal scientists who are well equipped to tackle problems related to sustainable livestock development as well as to the management of livestock and companion animals. The animal-human interaction plays an important role in this study programme. Themes like animal nutrition, animal health, animal welfare, levels of management, genetic diversity and socio-economic factors are all widely discussed.

Study programme

Today’s specialists in livestock and companion animals need a fundamental scientific training, combined with a critical attitude towards all aspects constraining sustainable development of animal husbandry. The master Animal Sciences, which is unique for the Netherlands, offers the multidisciplinary training necessary for a future career in this field.

On the Programme of Animal Sciences page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.

Specialisations

Within the master programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.

  • Genetics and Biodiversity
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Global and Sustainable Production
  • Adaptation, Health and Welfare
  • Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning
  • Animal Ecology

Professional tracks

Next to your specialisation, you can also choose a Professional track. These tracks prepare you for a specific type of career.

Your future career

Now that you have read all the information about the MSc programme Animal Sciences, you can find at this page what kind of work you can do after you graduate from this programme. Animal scientists find work primarily at universities or in the business sector, such as in the feed and pharmaceutical (veterinary medicines) industries.

Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.

Related programmes:

MSc Biology 

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation 

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

MSc Biosystems Engineering

MSc Organic Agriculture



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Overview. This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure. Read more

Overview

This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure.

WUC works in partnership with Colchester Zoo to support study tours and research activities in order to enhance our students learning experience.

Course Modules include:

  • Animal Genetic Resources
  • Nutritional Issues in Animal Welfare
  • Animal Ethics and Welfare
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation
  • Current Issues in Animal Science
  • Wildlife Resources


Learning & Teaching Methods

The teaching methods are a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, visits and student managed learning.

The self-guided study takes place under the supervision of experienced staff from the Centre of Equine and Animal Science at Writtle University College. 

Students are assessed using a number of methods, for example written examination, reports, essays, seminars, debates, oral presentations, case studies and project dissertation.

The research project is an essential part of the MSc programme and provides the opportunity to carry out an independent piece research, critically analyse data and write a dissertation. The project will normally include hands-on practical experimentation to teach students how to gather and process data and problem solve. The project is supervised by an academic member of staff and takes place over an extended period during the spring and summer. The project can be based either at Writtle University College or other suitable external institution. 

Examples of potential areas for dissertation projects: 

  • Investigation of keeper-animal relationships in zoos
  • Animal behaviour and welfare research in collaboration with Colchester Zoo
  • Assessment of prevalence and risk factors for obesity in companion animals
  • Lameness detection and measurement in dairy cows
  • Estimation endangered wild animal population densities
  • Use of molecular biology techniques in conservation genetics of captive wild animals
  • Incidence of small mammals in agricultural landscapes
  • Diet selection and nutrient intakes in captive animals
  • Behavioural indicators of welfare and performance using different castration methods in lambs


Careers

Graduates are likely to use their award to secure management-level jobs and/or to improve their promotion prospects if they are already employed both in international and national organisations.

Many opportunities exist in either government services or related agencies services, for example: 

  • Senior positions in DEFRA as quarantine officers
  • Animal health inspectors

There are also numerous career opportunities in companies specialising in farm animal nutrition and pet food manufacturing, breeding and reproduction, veterinary medicines and pharmaceuticals. There also opportunities in charities engaged in animal welfare such as the RSPCA, zoos, animal rescue centres and safari parks. Also, independent wildlife agencies such as the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, and the Countryside Council for Wales would be interested in Animal Welfare and Conservation graduates. 

Some graduates may take up lecturing positions in universities and colleges or proceed to do further postgraduate study e.g. PhD.



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What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Biology?. Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Read more

What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Biology?

Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Recognising this, the RVC, University of London, together with the Zoological Society of London, has developed a unique course aimed at non-veterinary biological science graduates and leading to the MSc in Wild Animal Biology.

The course will provide you with practical exposure to wild animal species and an understanding of wild animal health, welfare and conservation, as well as providing training in research methods relevant to the study of wildlife.

You will benefit from working and studying alongside veterinary graduates taking the MSc in Wild Animal Health as well as learning from internationally renowned experts in their field.

Programme delivery

The MSc in Wild Animal Biology is completed over one year of full-time study.

The course starts in mid-September each year, and can be broken down broadly into three sections, comprising two groups of taught modules and a research project. The first section is completed by mid-January, the second by mid-May, and the MSc research project is undertaken during the summer months, finishing in mid-September. More detailed information can be found in the course outline (see link in the top left of the page). 

We deliver the programme through two terms of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem-based learning, with modular examinations. There are no part-time or distance-learning options available.

To enquire about the exact start date please email .

What will I learn?

During the programme you will acquire:   

  • A critical awareness of current problems in wildlife disease with implications for wildlife conservation and welfare·      
  • A new insight into veterinary interventions for the management of captive and free-living wild animals·      
  • A systematic understanding of the biological principles underpinning wild animal conservation and management, and the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of wildlife disease·      
  • Basic competence in veterinary techniques and preventative medicine for wild animals·      
  • A conceptual and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of wild animal health·      
  • A comprehensive understanding of scientific skills, including critical review of the scientific literature, and design and analysis of laboratory or field studies.

Upon completion of the MSc in Wild Animal Biology, you will have gained the analytical skills, understanding, confidence and the language to progress your career within a wide range of organisations, such as zoos, national parks, universities, conservation organisations and government departments worldwide.

Useful links

Here are some other useful and interesting veterinary and wildlife-related web sites:

What will I be able to do with my qualification?

Graduates of the MSc in Wild Animal Biology have gone on to pursue successful careers in wildlife management (with government agencies in both developing and developed countries), wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife-related research (at universities and zoological collections) and zoo management.

Some Wild Animal Biology MSc graduates continue to study towards a PhD with either the ZSL or RVC, or with other leading scientific research institutes.

For example, Eloise Stephenson, 2014 MSc Wild Animal Biology graduate, is currently employed as a Research Technician for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency. See her full testimonial below:

Eloise Stephenson

Graham Duggan, another one of our graduates from 2014, is now working as a researcher for a 5-part natural history documentary series about Canadian wildlife. You can read about his experience below: 

Graham Duggan 

See the ZSL website for detailed career profiles of some other recent graduates.



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Animal welfare science and ethics is an expanding topic of international concern, which is why the University of Glasgow offer an Animal Welfare MSc programme. Read more

Animal welfare science and ethics is an expanding topic of international concern, which is why the University of Glasgow offer an Animal Welfare MSc programme. It aims to improve our knowledge and understanding of animals’ needs, which is required to provide a high standard of care to the whole range of animals kept in captivity.

Why this programme

  • Top 100 University.
  • This animal welfare degree programme is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining ecology and evolution with more applied problems in animal health.
  • When studying animal welfare you will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in understanding and responding to animal welfare-related issues, legislation related to use of animals, and both theoretical and applied ethics.
  • In addition, you will have opportunities to develop skills in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, conservation biology, epidemiology and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity.
  • A unique strength of the Animal Welfare MSc at the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.
  • The IBAHCM also offers an MSc in Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology. This degree is more focused on ecology and evolutionary biology and provides the opportunity for you to gain key quantitative skills that are not often a focus of welfare-based programmes.
  • You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbrae (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or research laboratories, whenever possible.
  • You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, government agencies, officers of animal welfare, protection, or wildlife crime, veterinary nursing and aquaculture.
  • We have many links with animal welfare-related organisations through them coming to us to teach their expertise to our Animal Welfare degree and the class going to visit their organisation to obtain a first-hand view of what working is like at these organisations. Many of them also provide the students with opportunities to carry out their independent research project within their company. Students will also be able to capitalise on the strong ties between the veterinarians and ecologists at the IBAHCM. This allows us to directly link fundamental and applied research and offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both theory and praxis.
  • We have currently the following partners involved in this programme
  • Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA)
  • Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie
  • Blair Drummond Safari Park
  • Chester Zoo
  • The Aspinall Foundation (Howletts & Port Lympne)
  • National Museum Scotland

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in

  • ethics, legislative policy and welfare science – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.
  • monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
  • quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 40 flexible credits in the 2nd term. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Animal welfare is a very broad and applied field and the programme aims to provide coverage of all the different aspects of the topic which are often treated separately. Science is an essential skill in order to have a good understanding of welfare but we appreciate that applicants may come from diverse backgrounds and therefore the course includes a rigorous training in science communication, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation. The programme also includes teaching by practitioners and visits to organisations with first-hand experience of applied welfare problems. The programme also attempts to cover the entire spectrum of animal welfare, including zoos, farms, laboratory animals and wildlife.

Career prospects

Students are exposed to potential work places and can make valuable contacts with professionals in the welfare community. Where possible this is a two-way exchange in which communities are offered help with any issues they have and for which assistance may be provided in finding a solution (e.g. through independent research projects, supervised by university staff). This is also an option open to other courses and could benefit the students in the long-term as well as give the university valuable connections with the wider community.



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What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Health?. Over the past 30 years, interventions, for reasons of health, welfare and the conservation of free-living wild animals, have been undertaken with increasing frequency. Read more

What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Health?

Over the past 30 years, interventions, for reasons of health, welfare and the conservation of free-living wild animals, have been undertaken with increasing frequency. Specialist veterinary expertise is required in order to diagnose and control diseases in wildlife.

Emerging infectious diseases are also recognised as a serious hazard, both for wild animal species and for the domestic animal and human populations that interact with them. In addition, a large number of wild animal species are kept in captivity – in zoos and in laboratories – which has led to an increased demand for specialist skills and knowledge.

The MSc in Wild Animal Health is a world-class specialist postgraduate veterinary science programme taught jointly by the RVC, University of London and the Zoological Society of London.

Aimed at qualified veterinarians, the MSc in Wild Animal Health will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of the management of wild animals and the epidemiology, treatment and control of wild animal disease.

Programme delivery

The MSc in Wild Animal Health is completed over one year of full-time study.

The course starts in mid-September each year, and can be broken down broadly into three sections, comprising two groups of taught modules and a research project. The first section is completed by mid-January, the second by mid-May, and the MSc research project is undertaken during the summer months, finishing in mid-September. More detailed information can be found in the course outline (see link in the top left of the page). 

We deliver the programme through two terms of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem-based learning, with modular examinations. There are no part-time or distance-learning options available.

To enquire about the exact start date please email .

What will I learn?

During the programme you will acquire:   

  • A critical awareness of current problems in wildlife disease with implications for wildlife conservation and welfare. 
  • A new insight into veterinary interventions for the management of captive and free-living wild animal species.   
  • A systematic understanding of the biological principles underpinning wild animal conservation and management, and the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of wildlife disease.   
  • Basic competence in veterinary techniques and preventative medicine for wild animals.   
  • A conceptual and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of wild animal health.   
  • A comprehensive understanding of scientific skills, including critical review of the scientific literature, and design and analysis of laboratory or field studies.

Upon completion of the MSc in Wild Animal Health, you will have gained the analytical skills, the understanding, the confidence and the language to influence thinking and policy making within a wide range of organisations, such as zoos, national parks, universities, conservation organisations and government departments worldwide.

Useful links

Here are some other useful and interesting veterinary and wildlife-related web sites:

What will I be able to do with my qualification?

The world-class specialist MSc in Wild Animal Health has produced over 190 graduates since its inception in 1994.

Our graduates have gone on to work with both captive and free-living wild animals as clinicians, pathologists, epidemiologists, academics and senior management in zoological collections, national parks, universities and government departments worldwide.

Others continue to work towards a PhD or DVetMed with either the ZSL or RVC, or at other leading research institutes.

For example, Tammy Shadbolt, one of our 2013 graduates, went on to do a PhD on Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease. You can read about her experiences below:

Tammy Shadbolt



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Stand out from the crowd. The Master of Science will allow you to stand out from other animal science graduates. Find out more about the . Read more

Stand out from the crowd

The Master of Science will allow you to stand out from other animal science graduates

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Science (Animal Science) will allow you to make a major contribution to animal science.

Whether you want to take a first step in a research career or would like a specialised role in livestock or animal industries, a MSc (Animal Science) will give you the skills you need.

A wide range of specialities

Animal science is a broad subject and you could engage in study and research in one of many subjects from livestock production, genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, lactation, animal behaviour and welfare.

Develop specialised knowledge

A master’s builds your capability in sourcing, generating and interpreting quality information to make informed decisions. You’ll develop specialised knowledge in your chosen field.

Massey University provides an excellent environment for your animal science masters. We have an active research programme in many areas of applied and theoretical aspects of animal science and much of this is funded by industry. This means as a master’s student you have the opportunity to research a relevant issue and generate solutions for the real world.

Join a world-leading agricultural university

Massey University’s proud record in land-based study dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture.

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Massey University’s veterinary school has been ranked first in the world by employers in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking. We are ranked no.15 for our veterinary science programme.

Relevant learning

At Massey you will not just be studying animal science, you will be part of this world-leading animal and agricultural science hub. Massey’s Manawatu campus is surrounded by working farms and state-of-the-art animal science research facilities.. You are able to access our extensive research and working facilities as part of your study. These include:

  • Two dairy farms
  • Sheep and beef blocks, in the Manawatu and Wairarapa
  • Dedicated feline and canine units
  • Intensive livestock facilities
  • A deer farm
  • New Zealand’s only veterinary science teaching facilities including
  • 24-hour pet hospital
  • Wildbase hospital which treats native New Zealand animals
  • Equine hospital

We also host The International Sheep Research Centre which leads the world with its investigations into sheep husbandry and related areas.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Animal Science) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Programme details

This is a 180 credit taught degree which will take 1.5 years if you study full time. You can choose to include 60, 90 or 120 credits of research.



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Our MSc in Animal Science provides students with the research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching, education and professional training required to pursue leading careers in a wide range of Animal Science related fields throughout the world. Read more

About the course

Our MSc in Animal Science provides students with the research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching, education and professional training required to pursue leading careers in a wide range of Animal Science related fields throughout the world. Throughout this course you will be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to explore collaborations with veterinarians, scientists and the industry, learning about the latest scientific advances in the field of animal science. Through a strong emphasis on student centred study you will encounter many opportunities to develop your skills in original thought, analysis, interpretation and reasoning; as well as encouraging you, where appropriate, to pursue your own specific areas of interest. As such you will develop into a reflective, autonomous researcher. On graduation you will be ideally placed to ensure that the demands of production and welfare are appropriately balanced through the development and implementation of innovative management practices and dissemination
of knowledge and advice to practitioners.

Why study MSc Animal Science at Aberystwyth University?

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has an internationally renowned reputation for teaching and research in animal sciences.

With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (2016), with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. IBERS has previously been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Our joint submission with Bangor University to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) displayed that 78% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent, and 97% of our research is internationally recognised with 76% judged as world-leading in terms of research impact.

Opportunity to attend conferences with lectures from international animal science experts.

Undertake a challenging course taught by enthusiastic, helpful and research-active staff, and further enhanced by contributions from experts and academics, many of whom are of international renown.

IBERS has an equine teaching yard and the only dedicated and fully licensed equine research yard in the UK outside of veterinary colleges.

IBERS has 1000 ha of farmland, a 400 cow dairy unit, upland and lowland sheep and beef units and a flock of layer hens.

Course structure and content

This course can be studied one year full-time or up to 24 months part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (six 20 credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practicals, field trips, workshops, and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your master’s dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

Core modules:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Infection and Immunity
Research Methods in the Biosciences
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Equine Nutrition or Livestock Nutrition
Equine Reproductive Physiology and Breeding Technology
Grassland Science
Livestock Production Science
Understanding Equine Action: from Anatomy to Behaviour

Assessment

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment is via a mix of written assignments (essays, reports, case studies, research projects, research critiques, research proposals, critical reviews, and abstracts), written examinations, seminar presentations, and online assignments.

Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc.

Skills

This course will empower you to:

Advance your specialised knowledge in Animal Science
Enhance your problem-solving and data handling skills
Develop study and research skills
Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
Develop your skills of original thought, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reasoning
Enhance your communication skills
Work effectively independently and as part of a team

Careers

Our Animal Science students often progress to careers in:

Academia
Scientific research and development
Public and private commercial enterprise
Scientific publishing
Animal nutrition
Animal welfare
Teaching and training
Animal breeding
Consultancy and advisory work
Laboratory work
Government agencies and non-government organisations
All throughout the world.


Many of our previous graduates have also progressed to PhDs or veterinary medicine.

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Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. Read more

Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. This benefits you by providing a strong background in a broad cross-section of research methods used by researchers studying human and animal behaviour, a strong training in statistical methods and a multidisciplinary study environment. You will learn how to formulate and test relevant research questions and critically evaluate the research carried out by others in the field.

The programme will give you insights into the varied means of performing animal behaviour research in a wide array of locations with wild and (semi-)captive animals – in field, laboratory, zoo or other human managed settings. As part of the taught component you will be exposed to lectures and seminar discussions, research talks and discussions with speakers; boost and consolidate your knowledge and skills in statistical data analysis; participate in a one-week residential field course (during the Easter break); and engage in research skill training sessions. During the course you will continuously develop your abilities in critical analysis of the literature and of scientific evidence, project development, communication and scientific writing.

You will be part of the lively, internationally-recognised Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB) and will have the opportunity to work alongside our experienced researchers on a research apprenticeship which is a central component of the course. The apprenticeship is a research project that enables you to develop your research skills further and write up the research in the form of a journal article for potential publication. Apprenticeships can also be undertaken under the supervision of researchers at various institutions with whom we have developed long-term relationships.

On successful completion of the MSc you will have the skills to pursue a PhD, work as a researcher or pursue a career working in zoos, research centres, nature reserves, wildlife and other animal-related offices, education, scientific media or the expanding field of eco tourism.

Research Apprenticeship

A distinctive feature of all our taught Masters programmes is the Research Apprenticeship. About half of the MSc is spent on the apprenticeship, during which you will develop your research skills by working alongside experienced researchers or practitioners and write up your research in the form of a dissertation.

Many students undertake their apprenticeship with researchers in the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, both in the laboratories and outdoors around the campus, Devon and abroad. Every year the menu of choices varies depending on the interests of the researchers, the students and practicalities. In some cases students have worked with external research partners, in the UK or abroad. For example, previous students have carried out a wide range of research projects involving the following:

Topics: Social behaviour, animal welfare and enrichment, zoo research, animal cognition, navigation, sensory ecology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, ecotoxicology.

Animals: Fish (guppies, sticklebacks, killifish), mammals (primates, squirrels, whales, donkeys, dogs, meerkats, coyotes), birds (pigeons, chickens, pheasants, magpies, flamingoes, woodland and sea birds), invertebrates (crabs, honeybees, bumblebees, desert ants, wood ants).

Locations: Streatham campus (Exeter), Knysna Elephant Park (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Forest (Uganda), Torquay Zoo & Aquarium, National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Dartmoor (Devon), Phana (Thailand), Trinidad, Newquay & Paignton Zoos, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Kerala (India), Algarve (Portugal), Veracruz (Mexico), Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico).

External research partners: African Elephant Research Unit (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Conservation Field Station (Uganda), Living Coasts (Torquay, Devon), National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Natural England, Phana Macaque Sanctuary (Thailand), University of West Indies, Whitley Wildlife Trust, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Read the full module specification for the Research Apprenticeship.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Advanced Statistics;
  • Behavioural Science Research Skills;
  • Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour;
  • Research Apprenticeship;
  • Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour;


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The implementation of . EU directive 2010/63/EU.  on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes has immediate consequences for scientific personnel, their training needs and the associated job market. Read more

The implementation of EU directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes has immediate consequences for scientific personnel, their training needs and the associated job market. The number of personnel qualified to plan, conduct and evaluate experiments on animals has been further restricted and additional training is required for a wide spectrum of professionals active in laboratory animal science.

The benefits for our absolvents are

  • detailed and specialist knowledge of laboratory animal science based on the latest scientific discoveries in order to deal with complex experimental methodology and conduct independent research.
  • Ability to independently plan, conduct, evaluate and improve animal experiments, under consideration of the latest ethical criteria and species appropriate animal husbandry, in order to positively influence the well-being of the animals in line with EU directives while generating scientific data to the highest standards.
  • Accredited M.Sc. qualification from a leading university for access to a wide range of careers in Laboratory Animal Science.
  • Access to a network of internationally renowned specialists.
  • The opportunity to study while continuing to pursue an outside career.
  • Unique broad experience with a wide range of species, from rodents to non-human primates.

Currently, laboratory animal science is not a primary focus of human or veterinary medicine. Furthermore, interdisciplinary Bachelor and Master programs in bio-medical disciplines often lack the required experimental skills, despite the potential for their graduates to access attractive careers in science or industry. Together with the accepted, on-going necessity for animal testing in medical research and development, as well as the more restrictive animal protection guidelines, there is an acute demand from industry, research institutions and the regulatory authorities for highly skilled personnel to lead and manage their laboratory animal research activities in a highly competent manner. Graduates of this M.Sc. program will be well equipped to take on leading roles and will be highly sought after. Furthermore, graduates of the RWTH Aachen, one of Germany’s Universities of Excellence, are highly regarded by employers.

The program is aimed at scientists, doctors and veterinarians, who plan, conduct and evaluate animal experiments and their facilities. The study course is conducted in English and open to national and international applicants who wish to enhance their skills for a successful career in Laboratory Animal Science. By employing a blended learning concept, incorporating e-learning and short attendance blocks, this two year, part-time course enables participants to receive the highest level of academic and practical training whilst continuing to pursue their outside careers.



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Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. Read more

Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. We explore applications of basic animal sciences to veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

The programme is held in the world-famous Roslin Institute, which is housed in a state-of-the-art research building on the Easter Bush campus, adjacent to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. As a member of staff at the Institute, you will benefit from our world-class reputation for research in a vibrant, successful academic community.

You will acquire expert scientific knowledge and practical skills in animal sciences, veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

Programme structure

The programme involves courses that are a blend of lectures, guided practical studies and independent research. You will also complete your own dissertation.

Courses include:

  • Foundations of Animal Science
  • One Health and Comparative Animal Models
  • Laboratory Tools for the Biosciences
  • Avian Biology and Development
  • Analytical Methods in Animal Biosciences
  • One Health, Zoonoses and Emerging Infections
  • Semester 1 courses
  • Semester 2 courses

Dissertation

You will prepare a research proposal based on your laboratory or bioinformatic research project and will carry out this project under the supervision of a staff member of the Roslin Institute.

Career opportunities

This programme develops theoretical knowledge and practical skills, giving graduates a number of potential career development options in academia or industry.

We envisage that at least 50 per cent of our graduates will find a PhD placement after this MSc.

Our programme has been tailored to fulfil industry demand in vivo skills and a wide range of our industrial partners have told us that graduates from this programme will be attractive employees.



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