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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.

Course Structure

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.

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, youwill increase yourability 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.

Learning and Teaching

On the MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, we do this by providing a range of different learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives. This approach will equip you for life and work in a global society and you will make use of innovative technologies and a world class library, which will enhance your development.

Teaching is across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, primarily on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursday and Fridays are used for reading and preparing assignments. Research projects are carried out full-time from March to August. Work placements start at the end of the second semester. 

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course include; lectures, practical experiences, E-Learning technologies, self-directed study and added value qualifications to enhance employability.

Assessment

The award of the MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare is based on continuous assessment of coursework, examinations and assessment of modules based solely on submitted work related to private, individual study.

The MSc with Distinction will be awarded when the three following conditions are met: an overall average of 70+ is achieved; a mark of 70+ is achieved in the Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare or in the Professional Development and Work Placement; an average of 65+ is achieved in the other modules.

Career Prospects

Current graduates have taken up further PhD study both here at Queen’s and further afield. Others have gone on to work in both the private (Sea Watch Foundation, Dogs Trust, ISPCA ) and public sector (DOE Marine Division, NISRA) here in Northern Ireland and internationally (Canada, Thailand, and Italy).

World Class Facilities

The School of Biological Sciences has a wide range of facilities to carry out Animal Behaviour and Welfare research. Our world class facilities include access to: Animal Laboratory Services Belfast Zoo Farm Animal Research Facilities Queen’s University Marine Laboratory Collections throughout the UK and Ireland

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).

How to Apply

Apply using the online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


Visit the Animal Behaviour and Welfare (MSc) page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

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