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Course content

Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Recognising this, the RVC, University of London, together with the Zoological Society of London, has developed a unique course aimed at non-veterinary biological science graduates and leading to the MSc in Wild Animal Biology.

Under the microscope

This course has been designed to provide you with practical exposure to wild animal species and an understanding of wild animal health, welfare and conservation, as well as providing training in research methods relevant to the study of wildlife.

You will benefit from working and studying alongside veterinary graduates taking the MSc in Wild Animal Health as well as learning from internationally renowned experts in their field.

The course

The MSc in Wild Animal Biology consists of three levels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How will I learn?

The MSc in Wild Animal Biology is completed over one year of full-time study.

The course starts in mid-September each year, and can be broken down broadly into three sections, comprising two groups of taught modules and a research project. The first section is completed by mid-January, the second by mid-May, and the MSc research project is undertaken during the summer months, finishing in mid-September. More detailed information can be found in the course outline (see link in the top left of the page).

We deliver the programme through two terms of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem-based learning, with modular examinations. There are no part-time or distance-learning options available.

Learning outcomes

During the programme you will acquire:
- A critical awareness of current problems in wildlife disease with implications for wildlife conservation and welfare·
- A new insight into veterinary interventions for the management of captive and free-living wild animals·
- A systematic understanding of the biological principles underpinning wild animal conservation and management, and the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of wildlife disease·
- Basic competence in veterinary techniques and preventative medicine for wild animals·
- A conceptual and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of wild animal health·
- A comprehensive understanding of scientific skills, including critical review of the scientific literature, and design and analysis of laboratory or field studies.
- Upon completion of the MSc in Wild Animal Biology, you will have gained the analytical skills, understanding, confidence and the language to progress your career within a wide range of organisations, such as zoos, national parks, universities, conservation organisations and government departments worldwide.

Visit the Wild Animal Biology (MSc) page on the Royal Veterinary College website for more details!





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