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Masters Degrees (Exotic Animal)

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Drawing expertise from across a wide range of animal categories the course will extend your understanding and analysis of the scientific background underpinning the study of animals. Read more
Drawing expertise from across a wide range of animal categories the course will extend your understanding and analysis of the scientific background underpinning the study of animals. The course lecturers have all published widely and their research interests include farm animal behaviour, physiology and welfare, the welfare of exotic animals, ruminant nutrition and behavioural neurobiology.

The programme is divided into three stages, to complete the Master's level qualification, you must complete six modules as well as an independent research thesis. Interim qualifications are available for those who do not wish to complete a Master's programme. Those who complete 60 credits are able to gain a PgCert award and those who gain 120 credits gain a PgDip qualification.
Our Masters programme in Animal Welfare runs over one year full-time and is aimed at students who have completed a first degree in a biological sciences-related subject and who wish to further their career in animal welfare. Individual modules may also be taken as part of a continuing professional development programme.

The modules covered in this programme are:
• Principles of Animal Welfare (20 credits)
Provides a bridge for those students who have not previously studied animal welfare. The concepts of animal welfare and the cause of changes in animal welfare status will be covered as well as the role of economics in the field.

• Attitudes to Animals (20 credits)
Develops an appreciation of current and historical attitudes towards animals and how these impact on animal welfare and on society.

• Physiology of Animal Welfare (20 credits)
Investigates the structure and function of animal brains and the link between brain physiology and behaviour patterns. Explores in depth the role of physiological control systems in the stress response.

• Animal Behaviour & Cognition (20 credits)
Promotes understanding of the cognitive abilities of animals and assesses the consequences of these on animal welfare status in captivity.

• Animal Welfare in Industry & Law (40 credits)
Equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate the welfare of animals and develop solutions to welfare problems, as well as exploring the role of legislation in animal industries both in the UK and abroad.

• Research Project (60 credits)
Under the guidance of their project supervisor, each student will design and undertake a major research project on an aspect of animal welfare.

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This innovative programme aims to give you the knowledge, skills and practical training needed to work with wildlife, with special emphasis on wildlife health and conservation at the global scale. Read more
This innovative programme aims to give you the knowledge, skills and practical training needed to work with wildlife, with special emphasis on wildlife health and conservation at the global scale.

Cutting-edge topics include animal capture and handling techniques; the assessment, stabilisation and transportation of injured animals; methods for improving the welfare of captive animals; concepts in behavioural ecology; endangered species breeding programmes; the reintroduction of captive populations to the wild; practical conservation strategies; and the management of protected areas. The curriculum also delivers a comprehensive introduction to wildlife disease ecology, surveillance and control.

The MSc is based at the School of Veterinary Sciences near the Mendip Hills in Somerset, providing convenient access to Exmoor National Park and the rich wildlife habitats of south-west England. A large number of lectures, small group workshops and practical sessions take place at Bristol Zoo, allowing you to gain hands-on experience of exotic animal care while working behind the scenes in a modern zoological garden.

A special feature of this MSc is the large number of specialist lectures, workshops and seminars that are delivered by leading researchers, conservationists and wildlife veterinarians from outside the University. These provide a valuable networking opportunity that will benefit your future career.

By the end of the course you will have gained the skills and knowledge to deal with a variety of practical situations that professional wildlife biologists face on a day-to-day basis.

Programme structure

The course is split into two elements. A taught element from September to April provides training in:
-First Aid for Injured Animals
-Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation
-Captive Wildlife Management
-The Re-release of Wildlife into the Field
-Wildlife Conservation
-Wildlife Diseases and Integrated Health
-Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-Research Skills

A research element from May to August provides an opportunity for you to carry out an applied project on a wildlife topic of interest to you. You will undertake a literature review, collect and analyse data, and present your results as a written report suitable for publication. In previous years many of these projects have been carried out at Bristol Zoo or in Australia.

Careers

This course has been carefully designed for those aspiring to a career in wildlife health, conservation and management. Potential employers include national parks, zoological gardens, animal rescue centres, wildlife hospitals, environmental NGOs, conservation charities and government agencies with statutory wildlife responsibilities, both in Britain and overseas.

Previous students have gone on to work for a range of employers, including the Environment Agency, Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Chester Zoo, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Frontier, Ecofieldtrips Singapore and Natural England. Our graduates are now spread across the world, working to achieve wildlife conservation from positions of influence in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

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Veterinary medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline, comprising a wide range of specialist areas. Research in veterinary medicine is directly relevant to the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species and the protection of public health. Read more

Programme description

Veterinary medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline, comprising a wide range of specialist areas. Research in veterinary medicine is directly relevant to the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species and the protection of public health.

The R(D)SVS has an international reputation, and its clinical services - Hospital for Small Animals (dog and cat and exotics, zoo and wildlife) and Large Animal Hospital (equine and livestock) - are among the most influential centres for clinical care in the UK and Europe. It is best placed to advance the skills of the sector due to the skills in primary, secondary and tertiary care medicine and surgery, and its extensive research activities in all aspects of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary practitioners are under pressure to maintain high standards of practice while also keeping abreast of the latest developments. In response to the increasing requirement for support in developing advanced clinical skills, this new distance learning programme is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at veterinarians in practice.

The modular, portfolio approach allows the greatest flexibility to meet the needs of the modern practitioner. The goal is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge required to be highly effective practitioners and to enable them to act as leaders and mentors within the veterinary community.

Online learning

Online learning is aimed at people who want to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside ongoing work or other commitments. You can study at times most convenient to you. Most of our students continue in their employment while they study.

The courses are taught in distance learning mode and are completed entirely online. The teaching is quite varied, including: online lectures, tutorials, specialist external lectures, scientific group discussions, case studies, problem-based learning scenarios, literature based research, computer-assisted learning and quizzes.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered part-time by online distance learning over a minimum period of three years and a maximum period of six years. You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of two years for the Postgraduate Certificate, four years for the Postgraduate Diploma and six years for the MVetSci.

In summary, the completion times are as follows:

PgCert: 12-24 months
PgDip: 24-48 months
MVetSci: 36-72 months

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. You can choose to take a particular species track in the elective course, ie courses focussed on companion animals, exotic zoo and wildlife, equine or production animals. Equally, you can choose to take a mixed-practice approach by selecting courses that meet your individual professional needs. If you choose a particular species track you will exit with a designated MVetSci in Advanced Clinical Practice, eg MVetSci in Advanced Clinical Practice (Companion Animal Medicine). You will have the option to select a final year project or fully-taught route to achieve the MVetSci.

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms structured into two blocks of five weeks of study with a week in between for independent study and reflection. One block of five weeks will equate to 10 credits of course material. This framework is designed to fit in with the part-time nature of the programme, giving you time to reflect on your learning and lessening the impact of the additional requirements that studying will place on the your working life.

Learning outcomes

This programme provides graduates with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out the work of advanced veterinary practitioners.

The programme aims to support students as they:

acquire knowledge about advanced veterinary clinical research and developments
acquire specific veterinary skills applicable to an advanced practitioner in their chosen specialist area(s)
develop an understanding of how an evidence-based medical approach can be applied in a range of practical situations
learn to interpret and communicate scientific results and information in research and other forms of social debate, across other related scientific disciplines and to other stakeholders

Career opportunities

Enhanced promotion within the veterinary clinical practice sector.
Entry point for academic clinical positions coming from the private practice sector.
Veterinary-based industries particularly feed and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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The aquaculture programme reflects the expansion of a modern industry that now supplies nearly 50 per cent of our annual world sea food production and is valued at $110US Billion per annum globally. Read more
The aquaculture programme reflects the expansion of a modern industry that now supplies nearly 50 per cent of our annual world sea food production and is valued at $110US Billion per annum globally. The production of fin-fish and shrimp and bivalves is now recognised as one of the fastest growing sectors of agri-business and contributes greatly to our food security agenda. Among the most important fish species are salmon and trout in temperate regions as well as numerous warm water species such as tilapia and catfish. Carp and other freshwater fish still make up the bulk of fish production with Asia and China dominating in this respect. Marine fish farming of sea bass, sea bream and exotic species such as barramundi and grouper are also at the fore- front of aquaculture development. The programme will cover the major fish species produced globally and different type of systems in use.

Aquaculture relies on high quality feeds, good nutrition and various management strategies that promote optimum health and welfare of fish. Consequently a full understanding of nutritional requirements, feed formulation and feed technology is paramount to its success. It also relies on knowledge of genetic improvements of fish stock, disease recognition, diagnostics and treatment. Good governance and compliance with legislation and standards in food safety and production is critical to the producer, retailer and consumer alike. These are all at the core of a sound and sustainable fish farming industry and central to the ethos of this course.

The programme will serve to offer a portfolio of multidisciplinary topics within a selection of specialised integrative modules to advance students’ understanding of the relevant biosciences underpinning fish farming. This will be presented within a theme of mono-gastric animal production where there are many similarities of principle and scientific approaches.

In summary the course:

Recognises the global context within which food production now operates.
Provides UK students with new insights into the global agri-food system
Covers the major fish species produced globally and different type of systems in use.
Will advance students’ understanding of the relevant biosciences underpinning fish farming.

How will it benefit me?
The course will:

Prepare students for a career in Aquaculture.
Offer vocational training in the area of applied aquaculture.
Prepare students for PhD studies.

Each modules is usually delivered as an intensive short course, taught over a one week block, with a maximum of 5 days per 15 credit module providing in the region of 35 hours of contact time.
Teaching may consist of formal lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises, laboratory sessions, study visits or the use of guest speakers.
The PgC, PgD and MSc are offered full-time and part-time to allow those in work to study towards an award at a pace that suits their needs and time available.

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