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Masters Degrees (Animal Welfare)

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

Course Modules

The MSc programme is delivered over 1 year on a full-time basis during two teaching blocks (semesters one and two) and a period of supervised and independent study (summer). It may also be completed over a two-year period on a part-time basis. The first two semesters (15 weeks each) include 4 taught modules. The dissertation is studied during the subsequent 20 week period in the summer. Each taught module is worth 15 credits whilst the dissertation is 60 credits.

Programme

Semester One (September to January)
Animal Physiology / Comparative Animal Nutrition / Wildlife Resources / Research Methods
60 Credits

Semester Two (January to May)
Animal Ethics and Welfare / Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation / Behaviour / Current Issues in Animal Science
60 Credits

Summer (May to September)
MSc Dissertation
60 Credits

The full MSc degree course consists of 120 compulsory taught credits plus 60 core credits from the dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) can be awarded with 120 taught credits. Whilst a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) can be awarded on the successful completion of any 60 taught credits. Credits obtained from the dissertation can also be used when considering whether a postgraduate diploma can be awarded. Before progressing onto the Masters dissertation from the Diploma, students would need to complete the Research Methods module or its equivalent as a prerequisite.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a good BSc Honours degree (2.2 or above) from a recognised university in a related science subject such as animal science, agriculture, biological sciences, zoology, veterinary or bioveterinary science or other appropriate life-science degree. Applicants with a BSc (Hons) 3rd class pass, with extensive industrial experience may also be considered for the Masters programme. Applications from non-UK students are particularly welcome. All applications received will be reviewed and decisions for admission to the programme will be made on individual merit. Applicants may be interviewed if there is some doubt over the extent of academic qualification or linguistic skills.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate a level of competence that enables them to study at a postgraduate level. A test score of 6.5 is required in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) tests.

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.

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 or 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.

Fees and Financial Support

Part-time student fees for each semester will be charged on a pro-rata basis. There are limited bursaries for part-payment of fees (for UK students only) from the Alice Noakes Memorial Trust. Applications for these bursaries can only be made via the course manager on admission to the course.

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About this course. This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills. Read more

About this course

This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills.

There is an emphasis on examining the biology of health and welfare science, while adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the wider subject area. You'll discover how to apply your knowledge to real world situations, such as enhancing agricultural production utilising animals for educational and therapeutic purposes, or effectively maximising welfare within a rescue environment.

You'll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of animal health and welfare, and the philosophical, welfare and ethical issues related to these. You'll explore general patterns in human and animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and appreciate how these relate to the application of health and welfare science. The course also critically examines and assesses the biological and social basis of human-animal interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding and the overall quality of these interactions.

On this course you will also evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, and assess its relevance to new situations within the discipline. You'll gain an insight into recent advances n animal science - therefore, attending a relevant scientific conference is strongly advised as an integral part of the course.

How do you study?

You'll be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. you will also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required and you will undertake high-quality research. You will research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our modern Animal Unit which houses over 150 animals of 40 different species. The collection consists of domesticated and exotic species, in settings that are as natural as possible. There are specialist teaching rooms within the Animal Unit which contain various research equipment and essential resources to enhance your learning experience. You'll also benefit from our veterinary and equestrian facilities, as well as the working farm which includes sheep and a herd of Lincoln red beef cattle, and the newly built poultry unit.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our MRes Animal Health and Welfare course, please visit our website.



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Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. Read more

Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The study of animal behaviour is an exciting and theoretically rigorous area of the biological sciences with possible applications in conservation, animal welfare, biomedical science and agriculture. The Centre for Behaviour and Evolution at Newcastle University brings together world experts in Behavioural Ecology, Comparative Cognition, Neuroethology and Animal Welfare.

Experts at Newcastle have discovered, among other things, that bees learn better when exposed to caffeine; that starlings who were hungry as babies become heavier as adults; and that mice have pain faces. You too can be part of this exciting research community.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of animal behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. The modules Comparative Cognition (MMB8043), Applied Ethology (ACE8074) and Sensory Systems (MMB8019) in particular are recommended for this course. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to animal behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on comparative cognition, on sensory systems (including neuroethology) and on applied ethology for animal welfare. Research-led seminars, delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover a wide range of taxa (insects to humans), topics (olfaction to cooperation), and methodologies. 

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of animal behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Animal Behaviour MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.

Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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The Applied Ethology and Animal Biology master’s programme deals with animal behaviour and biology from an applied perspective, including problems associated with keeping animals in captivity. Read more

The Applied Ethology and Animal Biology master’s programme deals with animal behaviour and biology from an applied perspective, including problems associated with keeping animals in captivity. The aim is to provide students with a solid understanding of theory and methods of applied ethology.

You gain a good working knowledge of the programme’s central issues, such as the biology of stress and its role in animal welfare, the effects of domestication on animal behaviour, the physiology of behaviour, and conservation biology. The programme is taught in collaboration with Kolmården Wildlife Park, one of the largest and most highly renowned zoos in Sweden. Several teaching sessions are held at the zoo where you acquire first-hand knowledge from experienced zoologists.

Understand theory and methods

The programme provides a solid understanding of theory and methods of applied ethology and broadens their understanding of animal biology through courses such as:

  • Applied Ethology
  • Stress and Animal Welfare
  • Behavioural Neurobiology
  • Behaviour Genetics
  • Zoobiology
  • Primate Ethology
  • Conservation Biology for Ethologists

Hands-on projects

In addition to classroom lectures and seminars, you participate in hands-on projects involving studies of animals in captive environments. A key part of the programme is a one-year degree project in which you apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge.

After completing the programme, you will be well-acquainted with the theoretical background of animal behaviour and biology. You will have a deep understanding of animal welfare and conservation, and learn how to plan, implement and present a research project within the scientific field of the programme.



Read less
About this course. This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills. Read more

About this course

This course covers the scientific theory and practice relating to animal health and welfare. It combines advanced research and academic skills with applied science skills.

There is an emphasis on examining the biology of health and welfare science, while adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the wider subject area. You'll discover how to apply your knowledge to real world situations, such as enhancing agricultural production utilising animals for educational and therapeutic purposes, or effectively maximising welfare within a rescue environment.

You'll study the current issues and insights at the forefront of animal health and welfare, and the philosophical, welfare and ethical issues related to these. You'll explore general patterns in human and animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and appreciate how these relate to the application of health and welfare science. The course also critically examines and assesses the biological and social basis of human-animal interactions, with the aim of improving our understanding and the overall quality of these interactions.

On this course you will also evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, and assess its relevance to new situations within the discipline. You'll gain an insight into recent advances n animal science - therefore, attending a relevant scientific conference is strongly advised as an integral part of the course.

How do you study?

You'll be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. you will also have opportunities to present your work to peers and academic staff.

Independent learning is required and you will undertake high-quality research. You will research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project and communicate the findings to an informed audience in a scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our modern Animal Unit which houses over 150 animals of 40 different species. The collection consists of domesticated and exotic species, in settings that are as natural as possible. There are specialist teaching rooms within the Animal Unit which contain various research equipment and essential resources to enhance your learning experience. You'll also benefit from our veterinary and equestrian facilities, as well as the working farm which includes sheep and a herd of Lincoln red beef cattle, and the newly built poultry unit.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website.

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our courses, please visit our website.



Read less
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
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.

Under the microscope

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.

The course

The MSc in Wild Animal Health consists of thee levels:

Certificate in Wild Animal Health - you are introduced to the course objectives, the mission of the partner organizations running the Course and the services you can receive at the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. You will also study four core modules:

- Conservation biology
- The impact of disease on populations
- Health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Interventions


Diploma in Wild Animal Health - building on the knowledge and skills learned in the Certificate in Wild Animal Health, you will study four further modules:

- Detection, surveillance and emerging diseases
- Ecosystem health
- Evaluation of the health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Practical module


MSc in Wild Animal Health - a graduate of the Master of Science in Wild Animal Health must demonstrate (in addition to the achievements of the PG Certificate and Diploma):

- A comprehensive understanding of research and inquiry including (i) critical appraisal of the literature, (ii) scientific writing and (iii) scientific presentation
- The ability to design and analyse hypothesis-driven laboratory and/or field studies

Research planning - in this module we will develop the extensive skills required to design and conduct practical research projects, critically appraise and review the literature, deliver effective scientific presentations, and write scientific papers suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Project - you will be required to undertake an individual research project, between mid-June and the end of August, and to submit a typewritten report not exceeding 10,000 words in the form of a literature review and a scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The project will encompass a practical study on an approved aspect of wild animal health. The project may be undertaken at any place approved by the Institute/College with the guidance of a course supervisor.

Assessment - you will be assessed by four written papers, course work (assignments and casebook), an individual research project report and an oral examination for all candidates, irrespective of their performance in other parts of the course.

Project reports are submitted at the end of August and oral examinations are held in mid-September.

How will I learn?

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

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Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Read more
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.

Under the microscope

This course has been designed to 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.

The course

The MSc in Wild Animal Biology consists of three levels:

Certificate in Wild Animal Biology - you are introduced to the course objectives, the mission of the partner organizations running the Course and the services you can receive at the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. You will also undertake four core modules:
- Conservation biology module
- The Impact of disease on populations
- Health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Interventions


Diploma in Wild Animal Biology - building on the knowledge and skills learned in the Certificate in Wild Animal Biology, you will undertake four further modules of study:
- Detection, surveillance and emerging diseases
- Ecosystem health
- Evaluation of the health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Practical module


Master of Science in Wild Animal Biology - a graduate of the Master of Science in Wild Animal Biology must demonstrate (in addition to the achievements of the PG Certificate and Diploma):
- A comprehensive understanding of research and inquiry including (i) critical appraisal of the literature, (ii) scientific writing and (iii) scientific presentation
- The ability to design and analyse hypothesis-driven laboratory and/or field studies

Research planning - develop the extensive skills required to design and conduct practical research projects, critically appraise and review the literature, deliver effective scientific presentations, and write scientific papers suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Project - each MSc student will be required to undertake an individual research project, between mid-June and the end of August, and to submit a typewritten report not exceeding 10,000 words in the form of a literature review and a scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The project will encompass a practical study on an approved aspect of wild animal biology. The project may be undertaken at any place approved by the Institute/College with the guidance of a course supervisor.

Assessment - you will be assessed by four written papers, course work (assignments, casebook), an individual research project report and an oral examination, irrespective of students’ performance in other parts of the course. Project reports are submitted by the end of August and oral examinations are held in mid-September

Project reports are submitted at the end of August and oral examinations are held in mid-September.

How will I learn?

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

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Tropical animal science focuses on animal health and reproduction in tropical climates. Study areas may include. *Animal nutrition. Read more

What is tropical animal science?

Tropical animal science focuses on animal health and reproduction in tropical climates. Study areas may include:
*Animal nutrition
*Applied pathology
*Aquatic pathobiology
*Epidemiology and biometrics
*Immunology
*Microbiology
*Parasitology.

Who is this course for?

This course is for graduates from agricultural science, animal science, rural science, and science or related degrees who want to specialise in tropical animal health and reproduction.

Course learning outcomes

Tropical animal science has become an area of global importance as world trade continues to expand and the challenge of future research is to develop better methods for improving production in all livestock species within tropical regions.
Tropical animal science covers the field of animal nutrition, welfare, and production with the aim of improving productivity of livestock, and better utilisation of animal resources in tropical, subtropical and similar agro-ecological environments.
Graduates of the Master of Tropical Animal Science will be able to:
*Demonstrate advanced and integrated knowledge, including an understanding of recent developments, in the area of tropical animal science and related professional competencies, behaviours and ethical frameworks
*Demonstrate an integrated understanding of tropical animal science and its application to improve human quality of life by means of increased and cost effective food production in tropical regions
*Evaluate and apply established and evolving evidence and concepts to reflect critically on theory and professional practice
*Design, plan and ethically execute a research project related to tropical animal science
*Analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in new situations or contexts with creativity and independence
*Prepare a dissertation on a topic related to tropical animal science and compare and contrast the results obtained with those reported in the literature
*Demonstrate a high level of personal autonomy and accountability for their own future professional development through selection and integration of available subjects in tropical animal science
*Interpret and justify theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences through high level written and oral communication and numeracy skills.

Award title

Master of Tropical Animal Science (MTropAnimSc)

Post admission requirements

Q Fever immunisation:
Students must provide evidence of being immune to Q Fever within the first teaching period of their studies. Students who are not immune to Q fever will not be permitted on-site at some facilities and consequently this may result in their inability to complete the requirements of the course as accredited by the relevant professional accrediting body. If a student has not complied with the above requirement by the last day of the first teaching period of their studies, their enrolment will be terminated immediately.

Entry requirements (Additional)

English band level 2 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:
*Academic IELTS – 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0), OR
*TOEFL – 570 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.5), OR
*TOEFL (internet based) – 90 (minimum writing score of 21), OR
*Pearson (PTE Academic) - 64

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.
JCU’s English language provider is Union Institute of Languages (UIL). UIL have teaching centres on both the Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Why JCU?

James Cook University has:
*Purpose-built emergency veterinary clinic including operating theatres and radiology facilities
*anatomy and biomedical science teaching and research laboratories, including housing for small, large and aquatic animals
*veterinary teaching facilities in Atherton, Malanda, Townsville and Charters Towers.

Application deadlines

*1st February for commencement in semester one (February)
*1st July for commencement in semester two (mid-year/July)

Read less
Tropical animal science focuses on animal health and reproduction in tropical climates. Study areas may include. *Animal nutrition. Read more

What is tropical animal science?

Tropical animal science focuses on animal health and reproduction in tropical climates. Study areas may include:
*Animal nutrition
*Applied pathology
*Aquatic pathobiology
*Epidemiology and biometrics
*Immunology
*Microbiology
*Parasitology.

Who is this course for?

This course is for graduates from agricultural science, animal science, rural science, and science or related degrees who want to specialise in tropical animal health and reproduction.

Course learning outcomes

Tropical animal science covers the field of animal nutrition, welfare, and production with the aim of improving productivity of livestock, and better utilisation of animal resources in tropical, subtropical and similar agro-ecological environments.
Graduates of the Graduate Certificate of Tropical Animal Science will be able to:
*Apply advanced and integrated knowledge, including an understanding of recent developments in animal production and health issues relevant to developing countries and tropical regions of the World
*Analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in new situations or contexts with creativity and independence
*Communicate theoretical knowledge using high level written English language and, where appropriate, numeracy skills, to a variety of audiences
*Make high level independent judgements in a range of professional functions, including professional competencies, behaviours and ethical frameworks, with responsibility and accountability for personal outputs and all aspects of the work.

Award title

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OF TROPICAL ANIMAL SCIENCE (GCertTropAnimSc)

Course articulation

Students who complete this course are eligible for entry to the Graduate Diploma of Tropical Animal Science, and may be granted advanced standing for all subjects completed under this course.

Post admission requirements

Q Fever immunisation:
Students must provide evidence of being immune to Q Fever within the first teaching period of their studies. Students who are not immune to Q fever will not be permitted on-site at some facilities and consequently this may result in their inability to complete the requirements of the course as accredited by the relevant professional accrediting body. If a student has not complied with the above requirement by the last day of the first teaching period of their studies, their enrolment will be terminated immediately.

Entry requirements (Additional)

English band level 2 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:
*Academic IELTS – 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0), OR
*TOEFL – 570 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.5), OR
*TOEFL (internet based) – 90 (minimum writing score of 21), OR
*Pearson (PTE Academic) - 64

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.
JCU’s English language provider is Union Institute of Languages (UIL). UIL have teaching centres on both the Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Why JCU?

James Cook University has:
*Purpose-built emergency veterinary clinic including operating theatres and radiology facilities
*anatomy and biomedical science teaching and research laboratories, including housing for small, large and aquatic animals
*veterinary teaching facilities in Atherton, Malanda, Townsville and Charters Towers.

Application deadlines

*1st February for commencement in semester one (February)

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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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