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Masters Degrees in Animal Psychology

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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 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 an insight into the varied means of performing animal behaviour research in a wide array of locations with wild and (semi-)captive animals – in the wild, laboratory, zoo or under human management. 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 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 (http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/research/centres/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 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 research assistant and project manager or follow a career working in zoos, research centres, nature reserves, wildlife and other animal-related offices, education, scientific media and the expanding field of eco-tourism.

Research Apprenticeship

A distinctive feature of all our taught Masters programmes is the Research Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship enables you to develop your research skills by working alongside experienced researchers or practitioners. You will also gain experience of writing up your research in the form of a dissertation.

Many students undertake their apprenticeship with researchers in the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour in our School, both in the labs and in the field around the campus, Devon and abroad. Students work on a wide range of topics and with different animals, for example:
• Social behaviour, animal welfare and enrichment, zoo research, animal cognition, navigation, sensory ecology, behavioural ecology, ecotoxicology
• Fish (guppies, sticklebacks, killifish), mammals (primates, squirrels, whales, donkeys, dogs, meerkats, coyotes), birds (pigeons, chickens, pheasants, magpies, flamingoes, wood and sea birds), invertebrates (crabs, honeybees, bumblebees, desert ants, wood ants)

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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Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology. Read more
Our specialised research interests in psychology include evolutionary psychology, perception and cognition, animal behaviour, neuroscience, social psychology and forensic psychology.

We offer MPhil supervision in the areas of psychology covering Newcastle's research strengths:

Clinical and health psychology

We research developmental disorders of perception and cognition, and the development and assessment of cognitive models of, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for:
-Bipolar disorder
-Psychosis
-Anxiety
-Developmental disorders

Behaviour and evolution

We carry out studies of animal and human behaviour including:
-The evolutionary psychology of mate choice
-Attractiveness and co-operation
-Evolutionary approaches to personality

Visual perception and human cognition

Our research includes:
-Perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Development psychology

We focus on how different cognitive skills develop in children, from memory systems to learning in school. We have particular strength in developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Forensic psychology

Our research includes:
-Investigative interviewing of victims
-Witnesses and suspected offenders of crime, including eye-witness testimony
-Sexual offending, including historical allegations of sexual abuse
-Communication in legal contexts

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Suitable for highly capable students wishing to pursue a research career in evolutionary psychology or related field. Advanced research training in a range of intellectual and practical skills associated with evolutionary and comparative approaches to the study of mind. Read more

MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology: The Origins of Mind

• Suitable for highly capable students wishing to pursue a research career in evolutionary psychology or related field.

• Advanced research training in a range of intellectual and practical skills associated with evolutionary and comparative approaches to the study of mind.

• Gain a detailed knowledge of the evolutionary and comparative literature and principal theoretical and methodological issues in this field.

• Gain the statistical and methodological skills necessary to undertake research in evolutionary psychology.

• This distinctive programme tackles fundamental issues associated with the origins of human cognition via a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches.

Features

* The School of Psychology & Neuroscience has 42 full-time academic staff, 9 technical staff, 72 research postgraduates, 18 postdoctoral researchers and 54 taught postgraduate students.

* The School has an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and research and has some of the best psychological laboratory facilities in the UK. The School of Psychology & Neuroscience has consistently been ranked one of the best research departments in the UK.

* The breadth and variety of psychology and neuroscience taught in the School are particular strengths with significant opportunities to collaborate and benefit from a range of techniques applied to understanding the behaviour of humans and animals.

* Considerable contact time with researchers occurs via tutorials and research project supervision’.

Postgraduate community

The School’s size promotes a friendly atmosphere with a crossflow of ideas while providing the depth and breadth necessary to pursue major scientific programmes at an international level. We have active links with other Schools and Departments within the University, with other Scottish universities and with research institutions outside the UK.

We have a large and thriving community of research staff and postgraduate students. We believe that good teaching and good research go hand-in-hand and we take pride in our research-based culture of teaching.

Facilities

We are equipped with modern technology to perform virtually all aspects of psychological research. Facilities include laboratories in neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, psychophysics, animal learning and cognition, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology. We have extensive computing facilities for both online control of experiments and offline analysis of data.

Careers

We see postgraduate study as part of your long-term career development. Alongside the University’s Careers Centre (see page 26), we offer advice and support in planning your career. The School provides opportunities to gain experience of working in an academic context, by being involved in tutorials, laboratory classes and other aspects of academic work.

The vast majority of our postgraduates have gained postdoctoral and lecturing positions in universities across the world while others have jobs in healthcare (as researchers and clinicians), wildlife conservation, information technology and management services.

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Understand the causes, effects and ultimate explanations for the evolution of animal behaviour. On this course, you’ll learn to apply that understanding to conserve and manage species. Read more
Understand the causes, effects and ultimate explanations for the evolution of animal behaviour. On this course, you’ll learn to apply that understanding to conserve and manage species.

You’ll develop an advanced knowledge and practical experience of research skills in animal behaviour, putting you in a strong position to move on to a PhD or a research career.

How will I study?
You’ll choose from a variety of options including exciting field modules in the tropical rainforest and the Mediterranean.

The in-depth research project forms a core part of this course. You’ll study real problems as part of a research group in close contact with your supervisor, with the ultimate aim of producing a scientific publication.

You’ll be assessed with a variety of methods including:
-Essays
-Reports
-Presentations
-A dissertation

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

Geoff Lockwood Scholarship (2017)
-1 scholarship for Postgraduate (taught) of £3,000 fee waive
-Application deadline: 24 July 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

Faculty

Animal behaviour research at Sussex is carried out in the School of Life Sciences and the School of Psychology, and encompasses both the proximate mechanisms and ultimate causes of animal behaviour. From ants, bees and cuttlefish to white sharks and lions, we work with a wide range of animals in our research.

Our research interests include:
-The behavioural ecology of social insects and other social organisms
-Understanding the causes and consequences of ‘animal personalities’
-The neurobiology of behaviour, self-organisation and robot models of animal behaviour
-Chemical communication and vocal communication
-Vision and navigation
-Sexual selection and sexual conflict

Careers
Our MRes gives you the skills and understanding to carry out scientific research in your chosen area of study. It will place you in a strong position to move on to a PhD in animal behaviour or a research career in associated areas.

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This MSc will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and a diverse range of methods used to research our relationships with other species. Read more

Introduction

This MSc will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and a diverse range of methods used to research our relationships with other species. This course introduces a broad range of topics and considers human-animal interactions across a diverse range of contexts from pet owning to animal assisted interventions, zoos, farms and conservation.
Psychology at Stirling has a vibrant research culture and our taught postgraduate students are fully integrated in the research community, meeting up for weekly research seminars and informal specialist discussion groups. Psychology masters students have access to a dedicated suite of study and teaching rooms.

Key information

- Degree type: MA, MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Campus based, Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Professor Hannah Buchanan-Smith
- Location: Stirling Campus

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The course includes three core modules on different aspects of human-animal interaction:
- Humans and Other Animals
- Animals and Society
- Human-Animal Interaction in Applied Contexts

In addition, there is an external placement module and an individual research project. Optional modules include quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, and a choice of postgraduate modules to suit specific personal development needs (in agreement with the Course Director). The individual module components contribute towards 60 percent of the MA/MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.
This is a one year (12 month) or 27 month part-time course and can be studied as an MA or MSc (dependent on whether the focus is on quantitative or qualitative methodologies). Selected components of this masters programme can also be taken to gain a postgraduate certificate (PGCert 60 credits, part time over 9 months) or a diploma (PGDip 120 credits over 9 months) as continuing professional development for those already working in this area.

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught in small groups in specialist classes, or with first year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc courses). A range of assessment methods are used across the programme including:
- research proposals
- critical reviews
- reflective journals for placements
- oral presentations
- popular science articles
- dissertation

Why Stirling?

- REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Study abroad opportunities
As a 12 month course there is limited opportunity to study abroad. However, students may be able to undertake a placement or conduct data collection for their research project at suitable organisations outside the UK.

Career opportunities

The course is designed for those going on to do further research in the field of human- animal interaction, or in careers where a knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of this field would be beneficial. In particular, the placement and research project can enable students to gain direct experience tailored to individual career aspirations.

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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.

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

-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 Evolution and Human 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 Evolution and Human 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 course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. Fully qualified or intercalating MBBS or BDS students can also apply. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of Evolution and Human Behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. Recommended modules, include:
-Comparative Cognition (MMB8043)
-Sensory Systems (MMB8019)
-The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Illness and its Treatment (MMB8010)

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 Evolution and Human Behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on:
-Comparative cognition
-Sensory systems
-Psychiatric disorders and their treatment

Research-led seminars delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover evolutionary psychology areas such as:
-Human mate choice
-Altruism and cooperation
-Food choices and obesity
-Comparative and developmental psychology of cognition

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of Evolution and Human 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 psychology and in research.

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to animal health and welfare, environmental impact of livestock systems, and safety and quality of livestock products. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to animal health and welfare, environmental impact of livestock systems, and safety and quality of livestock products.

The school of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Animal Sciences, drawing on fundamental research and applying it to areas of societal, industrial and policy importance.

Our research primarily involves:
-Farm livestock, domesticated animal and wildlife applied research
-Integrated livestock system development and evaluation
-Animal behaviour, health and welfare
-Survival, health and efficiency of nutrient utilisation

Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:
-Animal health and welfare
Work ranges from understanding animal behaviour and behavioural problems, through development of practical on-farm monitoring and assessment methods to mechanistic studies of health and disease at the molecular level.

-Environmental impact of livestock systems
Our work examines the consequences of modifications in nutrition and husbandry and alterations in breeding strategies to improve the efficiency of resource use.

-Safety and quality of livestock products, including milk, meat and eggs
Our 'field to fork' expertise allows us to study the relationships between husbandry systems and nutritional inputs of animals and the composition of their products, with further implications for human diet and health.

Delivery

We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.

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