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Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law (MSc)

Course Description

MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at Winchester critically reflects upon contemporary uses of animals, and provides the academic skills and expertise needed to protect animals and advance their welfare.

Programme Content

This course provides a strong grounding in animal welfare science, ethics and law. Students gain the necessary skills to develop a scientifically rigorous assessment of the welfare state of animals in a diverse variety of settings, and master the main ethical theories concerning our relationships with other animals.

In recent years there has been a rapid evolution in the social status of animals. Cognitive and behavioural studies have revealed previously unknown characteristics in many species which has led to an increasing focus on our complex, multifaceted relationships with them.

Students learn about the diversity of settings in which animals live or are used, including farming, transportation and slaughter, laboratories, homes, zoos and various other entertainment locales, and about free-ranging animals in natural environments.

All students learn key transferable academic skills - such as the design and conduct of a research project and communication of the results to an academic standard - as well as the use of modern communication channels suited to more general audiences.

See the website http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/msc-animal-welfare-science-ethics-and-law.aspx


- Research Preparation and Development
- Animals and Society
- Animal Interest, Capacities and Ethical Considerations
- Animal Behaviour and Psychological States
- Animal Welfare Issues I
- Animal Welfare Issues II
- Dissertation

Learning and Teaching

Modules are taught using online core notes with additional readings, videos and lecture notes provided. Students may participate in online seminars, and are guided in the creation of communication media such as academic and popular publications, Powerpoint and poster presentations, and online blogs. Tutorials and other support is offered by highly qualified, enthusiastic and internationally renowned scholars in the field.


Assessments include written assignments, Powerpoint and poster presentations, online blogs, participation in discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of interest to the student, chosen in consultation with a supervisor.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


Graduates may enter careers within animal advocacy, welfare and conservation organisations; zoos, sanctuaries and other organisations requiring knowledge of animal management and welfare; governmental departments working on animal issues; assurance, inspection and enforcement agencies; and commercial organisations seeking to implement and monitor the animal welfare standards of their agricultural suppliers.

Visit the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law (MSc) page on the University of Winchester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree incorporating a related subject in the life or health sciences or humanities, or professional experience in the area of study.

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