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Masters Degrees (Zoo)

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Validated by the University of Portsmouth. Why choose this degree?. Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links. Read more

Validated by the University of Portsmouth

Why choose this degree?

  • Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links
  • Benefit from one of the largest collections of animals in a UK college in our BIAZA-member centre
  • Combine work and study with the part-time course option, supported by a virtual learning environment to enable study off-site

View our current course specification

What will I learn?

Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and off-site visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Where can I go from here?

Career pathways include zoo or conservation research, environmental education or zoo management. Alternatively you may choose to study a doctorate or a career in lecturing.

Units Covered

Research Project and Research Methods

The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community.

Evidence-based Husbandry

Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition.

Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology

This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery.

Visitor Studies and Interpretation

Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision a key theme.

Postgraduate Funding

The government has introduced postgraduate loans for those undertaking postgraduate study, so now you can afford to study at the next level. Find out more here.



Read less
Validated by the University of Portsmouth . Why choose this degree?. Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links. Read more

Validated by the University of Portsmouth 

Why choose this degree?

  • Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links
  • Benefit from a diverse and exciting collection of animals in our BIAZA-member centre
  • Possibility to undertake a six-month industry placement and research project .

View our current course specification

What will I learn?

Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and offsite visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects.

Students may win a six-month industry placement at the Cotswold Wildlife Park where they will gain valuable practical industry experience while conducting an industry-endorsed research project.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Units Covered

Research Project and Research Methods

The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community. 

Evidence-based Husbandry

Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition.

Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology

This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery. 

Visitor Studies and Interpretation

Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision as a key theme.

Postgraduate Funding

The government has introduced postgraduate loans for those undertaking postgraduate study, so now you can afford to study at the next level. Find out more here.



Read less
Validated by the University of Portsmouth . Why choose this degree?. Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links. Read more

Validated by the University of Portsmouth 

Why choose this degree?

  • Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links
  • Benefit from a diverse and exciting collection of animals in our BIAZA-member centre
  • Possibility to undertake a six-month industry placement and research project .

View our current course specification

What will I learn?

Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and offsite visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects.

Students may win a six-month industry placement at the Cotswold Wildlife Park where they will gain valuable practical industry experience while conducting an industry-endorsed research project.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Units Covered

Research Project and Research Methods

The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community. 

Evidence-based Husbandry

Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition.

Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology

This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery. 

Visitor Studies and Interpretation

Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision as a key theme.

Postgraduate Funding

The government has introduced postgraduate loans for those undertaking postgraduate study, so now you can afford to study at the next level. Find out more here.



Read less
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Read more
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Study factors affecting animal behaviour, conservation, welfare and their interactions, as well as international zoo management and collaboration. Our partnership with Paignton Zoo gives you regular access to their connections, research and expertise – so you’re primed to make a difference.

Key features

-Delivered in conjunction with the staff at Paignton Zoo and its parent body, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which also owns Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts.
-Develop your scientific knowledge, professional and technical skills as a conservation biologist. Learn how to manage animal collections for the purpose of education, conservation and wildlife research.
-Study aspects of animal behaviour and ecology, as well as how welfare, housing, nutrition and health all have a part to play in species management.
-Learn to troubleshoot problems at the level of a social group within a particular zoological collection, right up to the level of a species globally. Explore how breeding programmes for endangered species are international in scope.
-Benefit from the knowledge and guidance of Plymouth University’s expert staff with specialisms including the behaviour of captive animals, animal nutrition, the welfare of captive birds and the application of population genetics to captive and natural fish populations.
-Find out how the science of zoos is used to inform government policy. Two of our teaching team are the only academic representatives on the government’s Zoos Expert Committee.
-Get behind-the-scenes insight with a day of study each week with our partners at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Deepen your understanding of the business and conservation work of zoos, and how networks and collaborations work between them.
-Access the latest research and information from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, including information on their co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species.
-Be inspired by opportunities to visit a range of zoos in the region – including Dartmoor, Bristol and Newquay – and to travel abroad for research projects. A recent student travelled to Louisiana Zoo for her research project on golden tamarin monkeys.
-Graduates work in zoos as educators, researchers, managers and keepers. Many go on to PhD study or work in further education. Other employers include the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria; the Natural History Unit (BBC); national and international conservation organisations.

Course details

As a full-time student, you’ll study seven modules taking in everything from genetics to environmental enrichment, preventative health to budgeting. We update modules to reflect current thinking and you can specialise within them. If you’re interested in working with tigers, for example, this can be reflected across your work. You’ll be assessed through coursework with practical tasks focused on your future career. Core modules include introduction to zoo organisation, animal conservation, applied animal behaviour and management, animal metabolism and nutrition, animal health and welfare and business management. You’ll then do a final three-month research project of your choice. Previous investigations have included everything from female mate choice in white faced saki monkeys to how peripheral and/or invasive activity affects the behaviour and enclosure use of captive sand tiger sharks.

Core modules
-BIO505 Research Project
-ANIM5006 Contemporary Zoo Management
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-ANIM5005 Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-ANIM5007 Small Population Conservation
-ANIM5008 Conservation Ecology and Society
-ANIM5009 Zoo Animal Health, Nutrition and Management

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology is run in close collaboration with the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and is designed to produce graduates who want to develop careers in the research, management and re-introduction of captive populations. Read more

This MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology is run in close collaboration with the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and is designed to produce graduates who want to develop careers in the research, management and re-introduction of captive populations.

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this. A wide variety of option units in conservation and animal behaviour are available, including a field course in Tanzania. The programme is completed with a research project relevant to zoo conservation.

This course starts in September and January. Please note that January starters sit their examinations in January the following year, making the course duration 12 months.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Placement options

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this.

About the Course

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this. A wide variety of option units in conservation and animal behaviour are available, including a field course in Tanzania. The programme is completed with a research project relevant to zoo conservation.

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available online via our online learning platform, Moodle.

Formal teaching begins in September and finishes with the field courses in mid-May or mid-July. Student research projects are usually completed by the end of September.

Assessment details

You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.



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The MSc in Animal Behaviour addresses the interaction between environment, experience and physiology in the development and dynamics of behaviour. Read more

The MSc in Animal Behaviour addresses the interaction between environment, experience and physiology in the development and dynamics of behaviour. There is an applied element in terms of how the principles of animal behaviour can be applied to practical problems such as animal welfare and conservation. Students can gain experience of laboratory studies (of invertebrates) and field work. The programme features a strong numerical and research-orientated approach. A range of elective units are available, including Zoo Conservation Biology which takes place at Chester Zoo. There is also a compulsory residential field course in Poland or Tanzania.

The MSc is completed by a research-based project which can be carried out overseas or in the UK. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

Features and benefits of the course

-We work with the College of African Wildlife Management and the Kenya Wildlife Service and are able to offer unique fieldwork experiences in Tanzania and Kenya.

-You will have the opportunity to stay for six weeks at one of our research bases in Tanzania or Kenya to collect data for your own research project.

-Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information are available via our online learning platform, Moodle.

-In the last ten years we’ve invested over £50 million in our home, John Dalton building, including high specification teaching and research facilities for biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, plant physiology, animal behaviour and exercise physiology and biomechanics.

-The course is taught by a vibrant community of research-active staff. Tutors are currently involved in research in Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Madeira, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia as well as the UK and every year many of our MSc students work within this project.

-Students are encouraged to carry out their projects in association either with staff interests or those of external organisations such as Chester Zoo, local and national conservation bodies, water authorities, etc.

-The School of Science and the Environment has strong links with with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and close association to a number of organisations across the North West, including Blackpool Zoo, Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park.

Placement options

There are optional three month placements for those taking MSc Zoo Conservation Biology and these can take place at many different zoos in the UK.

About the Course

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Our Masters programmes in behaviour and conservation are run by a large group of research active staff with strong links to a variety of research institutions, national organisations and non-governmental bodies in the UK and overseas.

Each term there is a research colloquium in which invited speakers talk about areas of research directly relevant to our MSc programmes.



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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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In partnership with Aardman, this intensive 3 month Certificate in Character Animation is aimed primarily at graduates and is taught by industry professionals within Aardman studios here in Bristol. Read more
In partnership with Aardman, this intensive 3 month Certificate in Character Animation is aimed primarily at graduates and is taught by industry professionals within Aardman studios here in Bristol.

The course is led by Loyd Price, Head of Animation at Aardman (Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Flushed Away, Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Nightmare Before Christmas) and taught by Inez Woldman (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Morph, Creature Comforts) with the aim of bridging the gap between education and industry and enabling students to develop the core practical skills needed to become competent professional animators and to create believable characters through acting and performance.

The course has an incredibly successful track record with over 80% of graduates now working in the industry at Aardman and at studios such as Animortal, Factory Transmedia, Blue Zoo, Isle of Dogs and Traveller’s Tales. This year we are delighted to announce Factory Transmedia are formally supporting the course.

Students will also benefit from one-to-one feedback sessions and masterclasses with industry professionals, past speakers have included Turner, Passion Pictures, Blue Zoo, Factory Transmedia, Traveller’s Tales, Animortal and DreamWorks outreach.

Following on from a busy 2016 with the production of Early Man, the latest stop frame feature film from Academy Award® winning director Nick Park in full swing and a Shaun the Sheep Movie sequel in pre-production, Aardman are delighted to announce the new course dates for 2017. This year’s 3 month Certificate in Character Animation course will run from 25th September to 15th December and we are now accepting applications.

The course is open to both CG (Maya) and Stop Frame with a maximum of six students in each discipline. Course fees are £4500 which include free lunches and a two week paid internship in Industry after graduation.

COURSE OVERVIEW

This course will take place at Aardman’s studio in Bristol and will be taught by practicing Aardman animators who have worked on many productions including Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Flushed Away, The Pirates! and the Shaun the Sheep Movie. There will also be additional support from other industry professionals from both the stop frame and CG animation disciplines including Factory Transmedia who we are delighted to announce will be formally supporting the course this year.

The course is short but very intensive with the main aim being to produce students with the level of animation skills needed to allow them to get jobs as animators within this competitive industry. While this is no guarantee of future success, to date over 80% of former students have become animators within the industry.

The course is open to a maximum of 6 Stop Frame and 6 CG students, with the students working in either CG (using Maya) or Stop Frame (using Dragon-Frame). Students will be taught in small groups to enable maximum contact time with staff and other visiting tutors. The course will be taught in a series of weekly assignments, each focusing on a key aspect of animation performance. Students will be encouraged to repeat and finesse each assignment during the week. The course will be based on learning technical and practical skills, providing a foundation on which students can become technically proficient animators and thereby enable them to bring their characters to life. The course is structured to build from simpler exercises towards a short sequence demonstrating character-based performance, which will be animated within scheduled production deadlines.

The course runs from 9.30 – 6pm Monday to Friday. The course fee also includes free weekday lunches and a two week paid placement after graduation in a studio in the U.K. Past placements have included Factory Transmedia, Blue Zoo, Animortal, Isle of Dogs – Wes Anderson Feature, Aardman, JellyFish, and Travellers Tales.

On completion of the course students will:
-Have improved technical animation skills
-Be able to deliver convincing character acting and performance
-Produce their work to a deadline
-Understand the role of an animator with a production
-Have benefited from masterclasses with key industry professionals
-Have completed an industry placement

CURRICULUM

This is a 12 week full time intensive and practical course based at the Aardman studio’s in Bristol. The majority of the course is practical with students working on animation exercises to improve their skills, knowledge and experience.

Initially the course will focus on the core animation skills to ensure that students understand the key animation principles such as timing, weight and lines of action. These technical aspects of animation underpin character performance and are essential to enable students to achieve convincing performance.

Further character-based performance exercises increase the understanding of Character Posing, Blocking and Plotting the action within the shot or sequence. Each exercise builds on what has been learned in the previous week and students will have the opportunity to video themselves acting out variations of the exercises to guide and inform their work.

The course culminates in a short character animation sequence - pre-planned and boarded to showcase the skills learnt during the course. This sequence will be created within the parameters of a realistic production schedule and will reflect the pressures of a live production.

To complement the intensive animation training, students will have life drawing sessions, acting workshops as well as industry masterclasses. These give the students invaluable contacts within the industry moving forwards, as well as tips on how to promote yourself and the soft skills needed within a competitive industry. Past speakers have included companies such as Blue Zoo, Lupus, Jellyfish, Passion Pictures, Factory Transmedia, Turner, Richard Williams, Nick Park, MPC, DNeg and Dreamworks.

The course finishes with a graduation screening which is open to industry, giving students the platform to show their work and network with future employers.

Following on from the course we are aiming to secure a small number of paid internships with production companies based here in the UK. On previous courses these internships have taken place at companies such as Factory Transmedia, Blue Zoo as well as at Aardman. In many cases these placements then led to the students being offered jobs as animators.

-Daily tuition from animators currently working within the Industry
-Unique fast-track route into the Industry with many students going on to work as animators for UK animation companies
-Working methods based on Industry practice
-Situated in a professional studio environment at Aardman in Bristol
-Learn from BAFTA and Oscar winning animators
-Masterclass sessions from external industry

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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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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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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

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.

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.

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.

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 MSc Conservation Biology programme aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of the science which underpins conservation. Read more
The MSc Conservation Biology programme aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of the science which underpins conservation. Students can gain experience of essential techniques and fieldwork. The programme has a strong numerical and research-orientated approach. You can also gain experience in the increasingly important field of conservation genetics.

The course has an international outlook and provides opportunities for students to gain conservation experience overseas. There is a compulsory residential field course which can be in either Poland or Tanzania. Our facilities have recently been updated and you will engage with a large community of research active staff. There are exciting opportunities to complete your MSc research project abroad, for example you may join a project investigating the problems of conserving large mammals outside protected areas in Kenya. We also have links to research projects in many other countries.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Features and benefits of the course

-Optional two week field course in Northern Tanzania with visits to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Many of our MSc students collect data for their research projects abroad.
-You will have access to recently refurbished laboratories, project facilities and resource rooms with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
-The course is taught by a vibrant community of research active staff. Tutors are currently involved in research in Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia as well as the UK and every year many of our MSc students work within this project.
-Flexible course delivery. Most lectures, even for full-time students, take place in the evenings and some units are available in blocks, by self-study or by distance learning. The online virtual learning environment (using Moodle) gives you access to lectures, other course materials and assessment information.

Placement options

There are optional three month placements for those taking MSc Zoo Conservation Biology and these can take place at many different zoos in the UK.

About the Course

The course has an international outlook and provides opportunities for students to gain conservation experience overseas. There is a residential field course which can be in either Poland or Tanzania.

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Assessment details

You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination. Formal teaching begins in September and finishes with the field courses in mid-May or mid-July. Student research projects are usually completed by the end of September.

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Research profile. This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research. Read more

Research profile

This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research.

The programme offers you the opportunity to undertake a research project in a laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The choice of research projects carried out is wide, and ranges from bench research to clinical research.

Admission to this programme is subject to identifying a suitable research project and appropriate supervisor before starting the degree.

Subjects include:

  • epidemiology
  • gene delivery
  • genetics
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • neuroscience
  • parasitology
  • pathology
  • welfare and zoo animals.

The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research. The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training. This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots. After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.

Programme structure

The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.

The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training.

This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.

After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.

Career opportunities

Most MVetSci graduates go on to study for a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical veterinary curriculum.



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Refine your research skills and develop advanced scientific and technical expertise with a one-year Masters by Research programme in Biological Sciences. Read more

Refine your research skills and develop advanced scientific and technical expertise with a one-year Masters by Research programme in Biological Sciences.

Choose your preferred research area from Biomedical Sciences, Plant Molecular Sciences and Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour to learn alongside academic staff working at the frontiers of knowledge in their particular fields.

You’ll contribute to a renowned research culture, with Royal Holloway, University of London School of Biological Sciences ranked 25th in the UK for influential research output by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Study in our state-of-the-art laboratories, providing advanced equipment for bioinformatics, mass spectrometry and protein and gene sequencing. You’ll have access to on-site woodland and meadow field testing facilities, and our campus is within easy reach of sites of special scientific interest, including Windsor Great Park, Box Hill and Chobham Common.

Gain the generic skills and hands-on experience you need to continue into further study as a PhD student, or progress towards a research career in a variety of different sectors.  

  • Develop research skills to progress to further study at PhD level or a research career in a variety of sectors.
  • Take part in world-class research led by renowned academics, with 76% of our Biological Sciences research ranked world-leading and internationally excellent. (REF 2014)
  • Use our state-of-the-art facilities, with £16 million recently invested in equipment for bioinformatics, mass spectrometry and protein and gene sequencing.
  • Study on a biodiverse campus with on-site woodland and meadow field testing facilities, within reach of sites of special scientific interest including Windsor Great Park and Box Hill.
  • Choose from three areas of research: Biomedical Sciences, Plant Molecular Sciences and Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour.

Find out more and read information on how to apply.

Course structure

Taught element

This will develop your research skills in (amongst other things): 

  • Experimental design
  • Data analysis
  • Quality assurance
  • Use of bioinformatics tools
  • Grant writing
  • Paper writing
  • Recording and organising your daily laboratory tasks electronically
  • Conference presentation

Research project

The project will be an opportunity to pursue your own independent research within the lab of your supervisor. All of our academic staff are research-active, and so all projects are at the cutting edge within their specific discipline. Day-to-day supervision will be provided by your supervisor or an experienced researcher within their lab, and you will become part of the research team – attending lab meetings and gaining an insight into other projects running alongside yours

Teaching & assessment

Your understanding and interpretation of novel scientific data will be assessed in the form of a thesis, while your training in transferable skills (provided by the taught component) will be assessed by coursework.

Your future career

A Masters in Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London is ideal for students who want to continue to further PhD study or pursue a research career in a variety of sectors. You will develop a range of advances research techniques as well as a range of transferrable skills, including experimental design and data analysis, as well as presenting research findings to an audience in the form of a conference presentation.

Our Masters graduates have gone on to secure PhD positions at Royal Holloway, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, the Max Plank Institute, Germany, St George's University of London and MRC Harwell, as well as prestigious careers including Senior Keeper in Herpetology at London Zoo and Species Recovery Officer at Plantlife International.

  • Around a quarter of graduates secure PhD positions at Royal Holloway or elsewhere.
  • Excellent preparation for a research career in a variety of fields.
  • A close-knit graduate network to draw on, with alumni often visiting Royal Holloway to share their experiences.


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The University of Liverpool Bovine Reproduction PGDip is a two-year part-time postgraduate course. Students study a selection of modules and complete a 10,000 dissertation in order to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma. Read more

The University of Liverpool Bovine Reproduction PGDip is a two-year part-time postgraduate course.

Students study a selection of modules and complete a 10,000 dissertation in order to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

This two year part-time master's level programme is known as the Diploma in Bovine Reproduction continuing the tradition started when the programme commenced in the 1980’s and reflects the academic comparability to Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Diploma qualifications. The qualification is recognised by both the RCVS and European College of Animal Reproduction (ECAR). It provides postgraduate education in an important aspect of the bovine health. The overall aims of the programme are to enable veterinary surgeons in regular contact with cattle to:

achieve a widely-based and deep understanding of bovine reproduction, which will enable them to provide sound scientific advice to the cattle industry;

develop appropriate skills; and

maintain a critical approach to their own work.

The programme is modular in structure, with eight residential weeks spaced over two years. Learning methods include lectures, demonstrations, videos, practical work, discussions, field visits and directed reading. Participants will be expected to satisfy essay and work based continual assessments for each module during the course; to pass written, practical and oral examinations of the final module at the end of the programme; and to present a dissertation, not exceeding 10,000 words, before the award of the Diploma.

Guidance is given by staff of the University of Liverpool and by invited contributors, each a recognised authority in a specialised field. Teaching takes place mainly at Leahurst, the University of Liverpool’s rural campus.

Although mainly restricted to the study of reproduction in cattle, the programme includes reference to other species to establish biological principles or to illustrate concepts for which information is not available in cattle and also covers key areas impinging on fertility such as nutrition and infectious disease.

Module Code Module Title Credits

Module DBRM611 Normal Non-Pregnant Female 15

Module DBRM612 Nutrition and Fertility 15

Module DBRM613 Fertility in Post-Partum Period 15

Module DBRM614 The Male 15

Module DBRM615 Genetics 15

Module DBRM616 Early Pregnancy 15

Module DBRM617 Late Pregnancy and Parturition 5

Module DBRM618 Synopsis and the Future 15

Module DBRM621 Dissertation 60

Key Facts

RAE 2008

In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 45% of the School’s research activity was deemed world-leading or internationally excellent and a further 45% internationally recognised.

Facilities

The School has two bases: the University’s main campus in Liverpool and the Leahurst campus in Wirral. Leahurst has highly equipped research laboratories, which are shared with the research institutes of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, as well as being home to the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, the Farm Animal Practice and the Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

Our clinics provide numerous cases for clinical investigation, as do our co-operating veterinary surgeons in private practice. The School also has excellent relationships with farming enterprises and Chester Zoo.

Individual topics within the DBR are also offered as CPD for those who do not wish to attend the whole programme.

Why School of Veterinary Science?

Excellent reputation

The DBR has been successfully completed by over 100 vets whilst working in full time clinical practice. It has an academic and support structure proven to achieve a high completion rate whilst maintaining academic rigour validated by RCVS and ECAR external observers.

Many leading cattle clinicians have obtained the qualification and feedback from past students is excellent.

Consistently strong League Table and National Student Survey performance

Veterinary Science at Liverpool is consistently highly rated in The Times Good University Guide (rated 2nd in the UK in 2011), the Complete University Guide (rated 1st in the UK 2011), and in the National Student Survey (rated first or second for several years).

Collaboration across academic disciplines

Our staff work closely with colleagues from medicine, life sciences, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, not only on animal disease and welfare, but on human health too – taking a ‘one health’ approach from long before the phrase was invented. We also collaborate with colleagues from social sciences to exploit fully the comparative nature of veterinary science. This greatly extends the postgraduate study and research opportunities at Liverpool.

Wide coverage across the postgraduate programmes

The School of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool provides excellent postgraduate scientific and clinical training, from population to whole animal studies to the molecular level.

Recognised by the European College of Animal Reproduction

Successful reproduction is the cornerstone of the dairy industry. The DBR has been rin for nearly 30 years and has been completed by some of the leading farm animal vets practicing in the U.K. They have also contributed back into the course to maintain its relevance to modern Cattle Practice.

The DBR is recognised as a Diploma level qualification by RCVS and a recognised training course by the European College of Animal Reproduction.

Career prospects

Course participants are in employment as veterinary surgeons and most become employed in specialist private practice. Some have moved to academia internationally.

Many practices are using the fact they have DBR holders and support such study when advertising for new staff and to gain farmer clients. Candidates use the qualification as a springboard to specialisation.

Funding

The following postgraduate funding may be available to study the Bovine Reproduction PGDip at The University of Liverpool.

UK postgraduate loans:

(English and Welsh postgraduate loans are not currently available for Postgraduate Diploma courses.)

Funding from FindAMasters:



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