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 fieldwork. The programme features a strong numerical and research-orientated approach. A range of elective units is 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.
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 on 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 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.
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 Master's 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 to talk about areas of research directly relevant to our MSc programmes.
MSc student research projects
You will be able to stay for six weeks at one of our research bases in Tanzania or Kenya and collect data for your own research project.
You can also join our two-week Tanzania Field Course, which takes place in June every year. There are visits to some of the most famous wildlife sites in the world, including the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. We study some of the human impacts on, and management issues in, these protected areas as well as some of the factors affecting group size and mating systems of large mammals.
We are currently undertaking a number of research studies on:
- The ecology and genetics of the black rhino to try to understand why their breeding rates are very low in some Kenyan reserves.
- The distribution of crop raiding by elephants and strategies for reducing predator attacks on livestock.
- The impact of pastoralism and other habitat changes on animal behaviour and biodiversity conservation.
- Behavioural Biology
- Statistics and Research Design
- Practical Techniques (including field course)
- Research Project
Likely Optional Units
- Species Conservation
- Genetics of Populations
- Zoos and Conservation
- Avian Biology and Conservation
At least an upper second-class UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a subject such as ecology, biology, zoology, botany, animal behaviour, psychology or environmental science is normally required. Applicants from different academic backgrounds or without formal qualifications, but with equivalent experience, will also be considered.