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MSc Animal Welfare Who is it for?


You are a graduate in an animal-related or natural science subject and who wishes to undertake a more specialised Master’s course in order to pursue a career in the animal industry.


About the Course


Drawing expertise across a wide range of animal categories, the course will develop your understanding and analysis of the scientific background underpinning the study of animals. The Animal Welfare and Management subject area, based at our partner institution Moulton College, provides a unique learning experience. Moulton College has first-class resources and you will benefit from experience at the Animal Welfare and Therapy Centre, the Equine Unit and Therapy Centre and the dairy, sheep and beef units. In addition, the department has excellent research links with the animal industry including zoos and animal welfare organisations. The course lecturers have all published widely and their research interests include farm animal behaviour, physiology and welfare, the welfare of exotic animals, ruminant nutrition, behavioural neurobiology and equine behaviour.


Course Content


You will study six modules, listed below, and will also undertake a research thesis under the guidance of your project supervisor. Previous projects have covered a wide range of topics such as dairy cow UV light level exposure, contraception in grey squirrels, online exotic pet sales and cognitive bias in chickens.


Modules


Principles of Animal Welfare Science This module provides a bridge for those students who have not previously studied animal welfare. The concepts of animal welfare and the cause of changes in animal welfare status will be covered along with theories behind motivation.


Assessing Animal Welfare


This module will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate the welfare of animals and to develop solutions to welfare problems. It will tackle welfare issues within a wide range of animal industries (such as farms, labs and pest control) and how welfare is currently being assessed in those settings.


Attitudes to Animals


You will develop an appreciation of current and historical attitudes towards animals and how these impact on animal welfare and on society. This module will explore the factors that influence people’s perception of animals including politics, philosophy, religion and education.


Animal Cognition


This module promotes understanding of cognitive abilities of animals and assesses the consequences of these on animal welfare status in captivity. It will explore the theories behind animal learning and consciousness and how these aid welfare assessment and interpretation, as well as exploring how animals perceive the world differently.


The Animal Brain and Behaviour


You will investigate the structure and function of animal brains and the link between brain physiology and behaviour


patterns. In particular, the changes in brain chemistry will be explored in connection to personality, emotions and abnormal behaviours.


Research and Analytical Methods


This module will enable you to develop appropriate research skills such as information sourcing, experimental design, statistics and the communication of research outcomes.


Assessment


A wide range of assessment is used including essays, practical projects, reports, oral presentations, time-constrained tests and a major research project.


Career Opportunities


It is expected that successful graduates will take up senior positions in a variety of organisations. These would include local and national government, zoos, feed and nutrition companies, national and international pressure groups, customs and excise, as well as veterinary and medical laboratories. You will also gain the skills required to further pursue PhD studies.


Duration of Course


This course begins in September of each academic year and is conducted over the course of three semesters. You will attend lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions throughout two taught semesters followed by a period of supported independent study whilst you complete your dissertation. This will take approximately 12 months.


Entry Requirements


You will normally hold a recognised First or Second Class Bachelor’s degree in an animal-related or natural science subject. Relevant professional experience will also be taken into consideration. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).


T +44 1604 892546 E international@northampton.ac.uk W www.northampton.ac.uk


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