MSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom
GBP 23,150 / per year *
Earliest start date
* international fee
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 both Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare and provide you with an extensive range of lectures on a variety of topics.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2022 for courses that commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
Please note a deposit will be required to guarantee a place on the course. Due to high demand, applications may not be considered if the course has reached its maximum class size and will be placed on a waiting list.
Animal Behaviour And Welfare Highlights
- 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.
- In contrast to most MSc programmes at other UK universities, we will provide students with an extensive range of lectures on a variety of topics, and offer the opportunity to choose between a research project and a research placement to complete the MSc.
Current graduates have taken up further Ph.D. studies 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 sectors (DOE Marine Division, NISRA) here in Northern Ireland and internationally (Canada, Thailand, and Italy).
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports, and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognized by a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
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 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. Thus, there is something of interest for everyone.
Throughout the course, students will get fundamental training in Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare, Experimental Design, Statistics, and Presentation Skills to succeed in 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 the 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 and please note this is a full-time program that needs your full attention:
- Animal Behaviour (30 CATS). This module provides an introduction to the scientific study of animal behaviour. Topics include communication, contests, social learning, movement etc.
- Animal Welfare (30 CATS). This module provides an introduction to the formal study of animal welfare including farm animal welfare 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 the 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/ May to August (inclusive) and allow a substantial piece of research to be produced and written in a good publishable style.
- Professional Development and Work Placement (60 CATS). Work placement usually takes place from April/ May until the end of August and are undertaken in an organisation chosen among industry, the public sector and governmental organizations in the area of animal behaviour and welfare. During the work placement, you will increase your ability 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
Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practices in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
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, and 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 to Thursdays. Fridays are used for reading and preparing assignments. Research projects are carried out full-time from April 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.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
The award of the MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare is based on continuous assessment of coursework 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.
Program Tuition Fee
Scholarships and Funding
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Master's courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment, and application information are available on the UK government website.
English Language Requirements
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