This course is for people seeking professional careers working with domestic (pet) and captive animals (farm and zoo). There is a clinical animal behaviour route and an animal welfare route for study.
This specialist course is designed to prepare you for a professional career in the management of animal behaviour in domestic or captive settings, including clinical animal behaviour counselling and captive animal welfare assessment.
You will need extensive experience of domestic and/or captive animal husbandry and/or a first degree in a related subject.
The course includes compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests. Through the compulsory modules you develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as: cause and function of domestic and captive animal behaviour; relationships between animals and people in relation to animal behaviour and welfare; legal and ethical frameworks for people working with domestic/captive animals; interpretation and evaluation of research related to animal behaviour and/or welfare; training animals to respond appropriately to command cues.
Through the assignments you will apply core subject knowledge to your own area of interest. This will give you a broad education that can lead to a career in applied animal behaviour and/or welfare, such as becoming a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, or it can underpin a higher degree by research.
Why did you choose to study at Newcastle University?
It was the only place offering the course I wanted to do at the time, after Southampton stopped their course.
What were the best aspects of your degree programme?
I enjoyed almost all aspects of the course. The content of the course was excellent and I enjoyed learning it. It was easy to see how everything we were learning was very relevant to the jobs we were all hoping to get into.
What jobs have you had since graduating?
I started employment with the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust immediately after graduating. I am currently assisting the charities director, and spend my time split between the UK and The Gambia.
It is a fantastic job in which I get to spend time with the animals, as well as doing office based jobs.
How has your degree helped you to get these jobs?
My degree is partially related to the job that I am doing, since I am continuing my career with equines. Whilst my job is not behaviour based, the behavioural aspects of the course help me to consider the behaviour of the animals that we deal with in The Gambia, although the considerations have to be quite different to those you would make in the UK!
I hope that I will be able to continue my interest in behaviour in my spare time also, and enjoy working with the horses and donkeys at the charity in The Gambia.
Do you have a favorite memory of your whole postgraduate student experience?
I enjoyed being part of a small class of students and discussing behavioural topics.
I studied a degree in BS Zoology prior to this course at Newcastle University. I went straight into my MSc after my degree. I was enjoying studying at Newcastle, and zoology was such a broad subject I felt it was the right move to try and focus my future career upon a particular branch of the subject.
I had spent three years prior to my MSc studying at Newcastle, and really enjoyed my time here. I was familiar with the city, friends, university and its staff, so it made a lot of sense to stay up here. The University is exceptional educationally, but it also lies within the most vibrant and colourful city in England.
The best aspect of this degree is the opportunity to learn new skills and to really broaden out my knowledge of animal behaviour.
A key aspect of the course is animal training and welfare, which is perfect for a chosen career in captive wild animals. Working with experts in this field, is refreshing and rewarding, and has helped me build upon my previous knowledge of the subject, giving me fantastic foundations for my career.
Abnormal Animal Behaviour was a particular highlight of the course, as it gave an insight into how animals should behave in a captive environment , advising on how to detect abnormal behaviour, and more importantly how to alleviate it . This module was particularly helpful to me, as I intent to peruse a career with captive wild animals and the information I learned will be invaluable for this.
My MSc is to shape my career in animal behaviour and welfare with captive animals. A welfare assessment for a zoo would be a dream job, as this would also incorporate my main passion of animal behaviour. I have gained an internship at Chester Zoo for September, and can’t wait to get started there. I could never do a desk job, so I’m looking forward to be doing a job I love and that is really hands on and rewarding.
If you come to Newcastle you will have a memorable experience daily up here, through a mix of a great city, a great atmosphere and great people.
A 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in: an area of biological science; veterinary science; psychology.You should also have extensive experience of domestic and/or captive animal husbandry and training. You will also be considered on an individual basis if you have a 2:2 honours degree or non-standard qualifications if you have substantial and relevant professional experience.If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with at least 5.5 in all sub-skills).
Recipient: Newcastle University
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