University of Chester

Programme Specification
Animal Behaviour and Welfare BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2016 - 2017

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

University of Chester

University of Chester and Reaseheath College

Level 4 will be delivered at Reaseheath College (Nantwich, Cheshire). Levels 5 and 6 will be delivered at the University of Chester, Parkgate Road campus.

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September

D325

D300

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Biological Sciences

Biosciences

Not applicable

Department of Biological Sciences

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

  • To allow students to acquire a range of key concepts, principles and practical skills relevant to a broad range of topics, including animal behaviour, animal welfare, conservation and evolutionary biology.
  • To develop an integrated approach to the study of the theory and practice of animal behaviour and welfare, especially of animals living under human care.
  • To introduce students to the scientific principles relating to care, maintenance, health and handling of eanimals kept in captivity, including farm, companion, and exotic animals.
  • To enable students to develop key practical, professional and transferable skills.
  • To provide a degree programme to produce graduates with marketable skills and knowledge.
  • To draw upon staff expertise in research and teaching and links with other institutions (e.g Reaseheath College and zoos, safari parks and farms) to provide a range of learning experiences for students to follow their interests.
  • To equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to progress to postgraduate study.
  • To foster an appreciation of the role and value of research, and of a scientific approach to study.
  • To foster an appreciation of, and sensitivity to, animal welfare and related ethical issues.
  • To foster employability skills to include self-management, team-working, problem-solving, communication and literacy, application of numeracy, application of information technology.

Subject Knowledge (SK):


As a result of completing this programme, students should have achieved the following outcomes:

SK 1. An understanding of the fundamental concepts, principles and theories from the life sciences that underpin an understanding of the behaviour and welfare of animals. This will include a knowledge and understanding of genetics, evolutionary theory and physiological systems at Level 4; a more in-depth understanding of domestic, farm, exotic and wild animals at Level 5; and an analytical and research-focussed approach at Level 6.


SK 2. An understanding of the factors that impact on the health and welfare of animals, with an emphasis on captive species. The principles will be covered at Level 4 in 'Animal Welfare Issues' and then applied to domestic, farm and exotic animals at Level 5. At Level 6, students will learn to evaluate and analyse animal welfare particularly in 'Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals' and 'Behaviour Management and Welfare'.

Table to match Subject Knowledge (SK) to modules:

Code Title SK 1 SK 2
LEVEL 4
BI4121 Animal Welfare Issues
BI4143 Animal Husbandry and Handling
BI4124 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design  
BI4126 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals √ 
BI4127 Animal Anatomy and Physiology  
BI4142 Principles of Evolutionary Biology  
LEVEL 5
BI5110 Research Methods    
BI5113 Experiential Learning *
BI5118 Behavioural Ecology  
BI5119 Adaptations to the Environment  
BI5136 Domestic Animal Husbandry & Welfare
BI5137 Exotic Animal Husbandry & Welfare
BI5147 Marine Animal Behaviour
BI5149 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare
WB5004 Learning in the Wider World *
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience *
WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning *
LEVEL 6
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project * √ 
BI6109 Non-experimental project with presentation * √ 
BI6110 Dissertation * √ 
BI6129 Animal Behaviour and Conservation  
BI6132 Physiology and Behaviour  
BI6134 Animal Cognition  
BI6169 Stress and Welfare assessment in animals
BI6170 Animal parasitism: medical, veterinary & ecological aspects
BI6171 Applied Conservation Genetics  
BI6173 Behaviour Management and Welfare
BI6192 Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology  
Note: (*)  The outcomes of these modules are difficult to specify in advance, as they are totally dependent on the type of work a student pursues and/or their placement. The minimum outcomes are shown. In principle all outcomes are possible.

Subject Specific Thinking and Cognitive Skills (SPTCS):

These skills will be developed in each level so that, on completion of the programme, successful students should be able to:
(i) adopt a systematic and rigorous approach to academic study
(ii) integrate and synthesise knowledge and understanding from different areas of the subject domain, including the manipulation and presentation of data
(iii) bring a critically- and theoretically-informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments (as appropriate) in the study of animal behaviour and welfare
(iv) evaluate scientific arguments identifying strengths and weaknesses in the design and methodology of scientific research and the treatment of data
(v) design procedures to carry out research on topics in the field of animal behaviour and welfare, specifically the formulation and testing of hypotheses, the interpretation of data and report writing.

Specifically:


SPTCS 1. The ability to carry out research exploring the behaviour of animals through: the design of robust and ethically acceptable experiments or observational scenarios, the collection of reliable data, the formulation and testing of hypotheses (including the application of inferential statistical tests and procedures), the derivation of conclusions, and the reflection on the reliability and significance of findings.


SPTCS 2. The ability to locate, evaluate, synthesise and critically evaluate information and ideas from the published literature in animal behaviour and welfare, and communicate findings in a variety of formats sensitive to the context and target audience.

Table to match Subject Specific Thinking and Cognitive Skills (SPTCS) to modules:

Code Title SPTCS 1 SPTCS 2
LEVEL 4
BI4121 Animal Welfare Issues
BI4143 Animal Husbandry and Handling  
BI4124 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design
BI4126 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals
BI4127 Animal Anatomy and Physiology
BI4142 Principles of Evolutionary Biology  
LEVEL 5
BI5110 Research Methods
BI5113 Experiential Learning *
BI5118 Behavioural Ecology
BI5119 Adaptations to the Environment  
BI5136 Domestic Animal Husbandry & Welfare  
BI5137 Exotic Animal Husbandry & Welfare  
BI5147 Marine Animal Behaviour  
BI5149 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare  
WB5004 Learning in the Wider World *
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience *    
WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning *
LEVEL 6
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project *  √
BI6109 Non-experimental project with presentation *  √
BI6110 Dissertation *  √
BI6129 Animal Behaviour and Conservation  
BI6132 Physiology and Behaviour  
BI6134 Animal Cognition  
BI6169 Stress and Welfare assessment in animals  
BI6170 Animal parasitism: medical, veterinary & ecological aspects  
BI6171 Applied Conservation Genetics  
BI6173 Behaviour Management and Welfare  
BI6192 Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology  
Note (*)  The outcomes of these modules are difficult to specify in advance, as they are totally dependent on the type of work a student pursues and/ or their placement. The minimum outcomes are shown. In principle all outcomes are possible.

Practical Skills (PS):


PS 1. The ability to design, plan and carry out field and laboratory investigations relating to the behaviour and welfare of animals, paying due attention to (as appropriate): health and safety issues, informed consent, rights of access, and institutional procedures of ethical approval.


PS 2. An appreciation of safe working practice in domestic, farm and zoo animal facilities, the ability to articulate the range of hazards posed by working with animals and a demonstration of skills in species-specific husbandry and management for selected species.

Graduate, Transferable Skills (GTS):

These skills are embedded in all modules and developed in a progressive manner throughout the programme.

These include:

GTS 1. Numeracy: a proficiency in the presentation, interpretation and statistical analysis of data relevant to animal behaviour and welfare.

GTS 2. Communication and ICT. The ability to communicate to a degree level standard both orally through discussion and presentations, and in writing taking into account context and academic conventions. The use of ICT to obtain, display and interrogate information.

GTS 3. Interpersonal and Teamwork skills. The ability to work with others as a team member; an appreciation of the value of group work and the ability to recognise and respect divergent opinion.

GTS 4. Self-management and professional skills. The ability to manage one’s own time and resources and to act autonomously when required. A demonstration of integrity and honesty in academic work.

Table to match Practical Skills (PS) and Graduate, Transferable Skills (GTS) to modules:

Code Title PS 1 PS 2 GTS 1 GTS 2 GTS 3 GTS 4
LEVEL 4        
BI4121 Animal Welfare Issues  
BI4143 Animal Husbandry and Handling   √ 
BI4124 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design √    √  √ 
BI4126 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals   √ 
BI4127 Animal Anatomy and Physiology     √ 
BI4142 Principles of Evolutionary Biology     √ 
LEVEL 5        
BI5110 Research Methods   √  √ 
BI5113 Experiential Learning *
BI5118 Behavioural Ecology  
BI5119 Adaptations to the Environment √    √ 
BI5136 Domestic Animal Husbandry & Welfare   √ 
BI5137 Exotic Animal Husbandry & Welfare   √ 
BI5147 Marine Animal Behaviour     √ 
BI5149 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare   √ 
WB5004 Learning in the Wider World *
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience *
WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning *
LEVEL 6        
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project *
BI6109 Non-experimental project with presentation *
BI6110 Dissertation *
BI6129 Animal Behaviour and Conservation    
BI6132 Physiology and Behaviour    
BI6134 Animal Cognition    
BI6169 Stress and Welfare assessment in animals  
BI6170 Animal parasitism: medical, veterinary & ecological aspects    
BI6171 Applied Conservation Genetics    
BI6173 Behaviour Management and Welfare  
BI6192 Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology    
Note (*)  The outcomes of these modules are difficult to specify in advance, as they are totally dependent on the type of work a student pursues and/ or their placement. The minimum outcomes are shown. In principle all outcomes are possible.

 

  

Communication and ICT:

The ability to communicate to a degree level standard both orally (e.g. through discussion and presentations), and in writing, taking into account context and academic conventions. The use of IT to obtain, display and interrogate information (CS1).

Table to match Communication Skills (CS) to modules:

Code Title CS 1
LEVEL 4
BI4121 Animal Welfare Issues
BI4143 Animal Husbandry and Handling
BI4124 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design
BI4126 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals
BI4127 Animal Anatomy and Physiology
BI4142 Principles of Evolutionary Biology
LEVEL 5
BI5110 Research Methods
BI5113 Experiential Learning *
BI5118 Behavioural Ecology
BI5119 Adaptations to the Environment
BI5136 Domestic Animal Husbandry & Welfare
BI5137 Exotic Animal Husbandry & Welfare
BI5147 Marine Animal Behaviour
BI5149 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare
WB5004 Learning in the Wider World *
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience *
WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning *
LEVEL 6
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project *
BI6109 Non-experimental project with presentation *
BI6110 Dissertation *
BI6129 Animal Behaviour and Conservation
BI6132 Physiology and Behaviour
BI6134 Animal Cognition
BI6169 Stress and Welfare assessment in animals
BI6170 Animal parasitism: medical, veterinary & ecological aspects
BI6171 Applied Conservation Genetics
BI6173 Behaviour Management and Welfare
BI6192 Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology
Note (*)  The outcomes of these modules are difficult to specify in advance, as they are totally dependent on the type of work a student pursues and/ or their placement. The minimum outcomes are shown. In principle all outcomes are possible.

In addition to compulsory modules, in Level 5 students take TWO OF: BI5137, OR BI5136, OR BI5149

and ONE OF: WB5101, OR WB5004, OR BI5113

Students may also opt to take a year abroad (WB5008) in their 3rd year, and then return to Chester to undertake Level 6 in their fourth year.

Among the optional modules at Level 6, students may choose either BI6129 or BI6134 if they so wish. Please note, they cannot opt to take both of these modules, and it is not compulsory to select either of them.

 

In all Single Honours programmes students gain 120 credits at each of the three levels of study, where each single module has a value of 20 credits. Modules are assessed on a 4,000 word-equivalent basis (a one-hour examination equates to 1,000 words).

In planning the programme we have taken account of the advice published by Academic Quality Support Services regarding level-related characteristics.  In respect of subject knowledge, the emphasis at Level 4 (taught at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire) is on ‘knowing about’, at Level 5 on linking complex elements of knowledge to one another, and at Level 6 on analysis, synthesis and reflection.  Learning outcomes have been written to incorporate appropriate level characteristics. Progression in transferable skills and subject-specific skills is also ensured. The modules at Level 4 can be seen mainly as providing a foundation for study at Levels 5 and 6 and provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for students with a range of backgrounds. The character of Level 4 work and the expectations placed on the student are given below: 

Level 4

   
Knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills Transferable and generic skills Learning style
Emphasis on knowing about, basic terminology, key ideas; acknowledging sources; accuracy; the formulation of rational argument; the development of a questioning attitude. Groundwork in study skills and transferable skills appropriate to the subject; developing library research and laboratory skills; fostering computer literacy; developing data handling and numerical skills; developing the ability to articulate accurately. Learning at Level 4 is predominately tutor-designed and guided, with scope for individual and group initiative within a controlled framework; Developing the ability to work in a scholarly team.

At Level 5, students take modules involving greater detail and depth of study of key ideas and enhanced skills.  The modules in Level 5 deal with essential topic areas, many of which are extended in Level 6 modules. In addition, students must take either a Work-based Learning module or Experiential Learning. This choice is to enable students to follow a pathway and to gain a work-related or research experience tailored to their interests and ambitions.

Level 5

   
Knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills Transferable and generic skills Learning style
Students will be encouraged and expected to relate complex elements of knowledge to one another, to: seek links; demonstrate a critical approach to data and evidence; begin to develop a mastery of complex skills and concepts in the study of animal behaviour and welfare. Further consideration of appropriate study skills and of lateral thinking; ability to audit own skills and understand and monitor personal development as a learner. Tutor/student relationship viewed as a more collaborative partnership, but design of learning still largely controlled by the tutor. Learners develop a mastery over a range of learning styles and the ability to select the appropriate style for the task in hand.

Work Based Learning (WBL) and Experiential Learning

Work Based Learning (WBL) is an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained during their degree studies to the work setting. It is expected that WBL will be an integral part of the Level 5 programme for most students. A wide choice of placements is available and students may opt for a placement directly relevant to their intended career. Normally, the WBL Office staff arrange the placements with local employers although students may, with the agreement of the WBL staff, make their own arrangements where this is appropriate. Students may alternatively opt for the Experiential Learning module (which may include a field trip component) delivered within the Department of Biological Sciences and offers the opportunity for students to develop their research skills and experience in a research setting.

At Level 6, students are required to display greater levels of independence and take significant responsibility for their learning. There is a wider modular choice. The characteristics and expectations of this level are shown below:

 

Level 6
     
Knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills Transferable and generic skills Learning style
Emphasis on analysis, synthesis and reflection. Students will be expected to demonstrate: ability to handle cognitive complexity; evaluation skills;  application of knowledge and skills in new situations; development of creative solutions/approaches.     Full range of study skills consolidated and applied to independent enquiry. Able to articulate personal standpoint in the context of respect for the views of others. Assumption of a greater responsibility for own learning, both independently and collaboratively; autonomy; students now able to reflect on strategies they devise as learners.

Throughout the final year of study, students are encouraged to develop as independent, mature and autonomous learners. The students' knowledge base will be broadened significantly through a range of subject-specific modules covering aspects of their chosen area of study. All students are required to undertake a project at Level 6 from a choice of BI6110 Dissertation,  BI6108 - Non-experimental project with Information project and BI6109 - Non-experimental project with presentation. In this a strong emphasis is placed on the development of independent research skills and the ability of the student to present arguments in the context of the overall body of knowledge within the discipline. All other modules are optional, apart from BI6169 and BI6173, which are seen as important for the understanding of animal welfare.

For studying the module BI4143, there may be additional costs for health and safety equipment, e.g. steel toe-capped boots and boiler suits. The approx. cost is estimated to be £35. Students going on to take BI5149 at Level 5 could then re-use those items, e.g. if required for on-farm visits. Any students transferring in at Level 5 and selecting BI5149 may need to purchase this equipment.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BI4121 4 Animal Welfare Issues 20 Comp
BI4124 4 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design 20 Comp
BI4126 4 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals 20 Comp
BI4127 4 Animal Anatomy and Physiology 20 Comp
BI4142 4 Principles of Evolutionary Biology 20 Comp
BI4143 4 Animal Husbandry and Handling 20 Comp
BI5110 5 Research Methods 20 Comp
BI5113 5 Experiential Learning 20 Optional
BI5118 5 Behavioural Ecology 20 Optional
BI5119 5 Adaptations to the Environment 20 Optional
BI5136 5 Domestic Animal Husbandry & Welfare 20 Optional
BI5137 5 Exotic Animal Husbandry & Welfare 20 Optional
BI5147 5 Marine Animal Behaviour 20 Optional
BI5149 5 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare 20 Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
BI6108 6 Non-experimental project with Information project 40 Optional
BI6109 6 Non-experimental project with presentation 40 Optional
BI6110 6 Dissertation 40 Optional
BI6129 6 Animal Behaviour and Conservation 20 Optional
BI6132 6 Physiology and Behaviour 20 Optional
BI6134 6 Animal Cognition 20 Optional
BI6169 6 Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals 20 Comp
BI6170 6 Animal Parasitism: Medical, Veterinary and Ecological Aspects 20 Optional
BI6171 6 Applied Conservation Genetics 20 Optional
BI6173 6 Behaviour Management and Welfare 20 Comp
BI6192 6 Behavioural & Evolutionary Ecology 20 Optional

Students graduate with BSc Honours on completion of Level 6 having obtained 360 credits (120 per level).
Students may obtain an exit award of Dip HE on completion of Level 5 having obtained 240 credits (120 per level).
Students may obtain an exit award of Cert HE on completion of Level 4 having obtained 120 credits.

Not applicable

Not applicable

UCAS points:

280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels. Typical offer - BCC/BBC

GCE A LEVEL:

The Department requires one of the following subjects as essential for entry:

GCE A Level: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science

BTEC:

BTEC Extended Diploma (Animal Care/Management or Applied Science): Typical offer - DMM

BTEC Diploma (Animal Care/Management or Applied Science): Typical offer - D*D*

Irish/Scottish Highers:

B in 4 subjects, including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology

International Baccalaureate:

26 points, including 5 in HL Biology

Access

Access to HE (Science) course to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit

OCR:

OCR National Extended/Diploma: Accepted in addition to one of the GCE A level subjects listed above

Extra Information:

Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.

International:

International students requiring a Tier 4 Visa will need to contact Reaseheath College regarding sponsorship.

The benchmark statements in biosciences have been used as an important reference point in the construction of this programme’s learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and content together with the methods of learning, teaching and assessment. Particular reference has been made to the threshold statements - these being the minimum requirement described in the benchmarking statements by The Quality Assurance Agency (2015). Any individual student will take the equivalent to 18 modules in total, which will include core and optional modules. The structure and content of the core modules is such that all students will have the opportunity to develop the "skills and attributes acquired by the biosciences graduate …… for a career in biosciences or elsewhere, and make them valued by employers." (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2007.  Biosciences). The particular sets of statements that have been consulted and referenced are: generic standards, organisms, and ecology and environmental biology.

QAA (2015). The UK Quality Code for Higher Education Part A: Setting and maintaining academic standards: Subject Benchmark Statement - Biosciences. Retrieved from: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Biosciences-15.pdf

On graduating with an honours degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, students should have core knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

1: be able to access and evaluate subject-relevant information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles both orally and in writing (e.g. essays, laboratory reports) in a way that is well organised, topical and recognises the limits of current hypotheses. This is covered in all modules.

2: have ability in a broad range of appropriate practical techniques and skills relevant to animal behaviour and welfare. This will include the ability to place the work in context and to suggest lines of further investigation. This is covered in modules in Levels 4 & 5 that have a practical element and are also developed in one of the dissertation or project modules in Level 6, depending on the topic covered by the student.

3: have a secure and accurate understanding of the explanation of biological phenomena at a variety of levels and be able to understand the relationship of evolutionary theory to their area of study. Explanations of biological phenomena and evolutionary theory underpin the whole of biology, and thus are relevant to all modules.

4: be able to plan, execute and present an independent piece of work (e.g. a project, such as those undertaken in all levels), in which qualities such as time management, problem-solving and independence are evident, as well as interpretation and critical awareness of the quality of evidence. Students do a project as part of several modules, particularly Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design in Level 4, and Research Methods and Behavioural Ecology in Level 5. They then do a major project for their selected dissertation or project module in Level 6.

5:  be able to construct reasoned arguments to support their position on the ethical and social impact of advances in animal behaviour and welfare, and to be able to apply relevant advanced numerical skills (including statistical analysis, where appropriate) to biological data. Reasoned arguments are an important component of all modules and much of the assessments. Numerical skills are covered in many modules, but particularly Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design in Level 4, Research Methods in Level 5 and the dissertation / project modules in Level 6.

6: have well-developed strategies for updating, maintaining and enhancing their knowledge of animal behaviour and welfare, and the wider role of this discipline within the biological sciences. The exploration of pertinent scientific research is an important component of all the Level 6 modules, but its importance is also emphasised throughout modules in Levels 4-5.

 

Students encounter a broad range of teaching and learning experiences across all levels of study as befits the subject matter. Methods of teaching and learning are indicated clearly in each module descriptor and the list that follows describes the variety of approaches used by tutors.

Lectures

These feature in most modules as an effective way of imparting important content, themes and pointers for further study. They are used to set a framework for further study and inspire students of the value of the discipline. However, they are supplemented by a variety of other methods of teaching and learning as described below.

Practical classes and field trips

Students will be taught at Reaseheath College in Level 4, where they can make use of the extensive facilities and animal collections. The majority of modules at Levels 4 and 5 include some practical elements. These provide the opportunity for students to develop their data handling and analytical skills, as well as their practical skills (e.g. handling equipment). At Level 5, students also have the opportunity to go on several field trips (e.g. to local farms, zoos or safari parks), as indicated in the relevant module descriptors. An important aspect of practical work is also the opportunity it offers for group work, encouraging working with others. At Level 6, the amount of practical work is limited, although the dissertation module normally involves practical work in laboratories or in the field. 

Seminars

Seminars are used most often in Level 6 modules, when students tend to be more confident. Selected topics of the module content are chosen to provide the opportunity for more in-depth study and dissemination of ideas.  Amongst other transferable skills, students are able to practice oral communication skills in a relatively informal context.

When students have specific queries that have not been addressed during formal teaching sessions, they can contact module tutors directly. In practice, these discussions tend to focus on assessment issues, including feedback on formative essays and performance in examinations. A system is in operation whereby students can make appointments to consult tutors.   

Intranet-based support materials

The University has an intranet ("Moodle") available to all students and relevant staff,on or off campus. This offers access to a wide range of facilities including Learning Resources, the Library and all modular support materials. Staff are committed to using Moodle for making additional support materials available for students. The department has invested in the on-line Encyclopedia of Life Sciences which is an excellent additional resource for undergraduates. 

Directed reading

As reading is central to the process of knowledge acquisition in higher education, module tutors provide reading lists to guide their students to appropriate material. Increasingly, these lists include references to the Internet and electronic sources, as well as more traditional book and journal references.

Group work

The QCA Key Skills document lists ‘working with others’ as one of the six categories of Key Skills that needs to be demonstrated in higher education. Thus, working with others has been incorporated throughout the programme, to share ideas, problem-solve and help develop transferrable skills, e.g. during practical work in the laboratory; small group discussions in class; group work on field trips.

In the main, teaching and learning activities take place on the campus (Reaseheath College at Level 4; University of Chester Parkgate Road Campus at Levels 5-6). Timetabling is arranged centrally, except for individual tutorials. There is some flexibility for students to change groups for laboratory classes and group tutorials to suit part-time students and those who have family commitments or transport difficulties. This is in accordance with the University's widening access and participation strategy. It is possible for all students to access support materials at home via the internet.

In line with benchmarking and the Department's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, the need for students to become effective as independent learners is planned for and encouraged. The programme structures its learning outcomes so that this will happen progressively over the three-year programme.  At Level 6, students have the opportunity to do an extensive piece of independent research (equivalent to two modules) that requires them to plan, implement, analyse data and report the study.

Assessment Criteria 

The University's over-arching level-related criteria are a key reference when designing modular assessments. Therefore, progression towards more complex and involved assessments, that require greater levels of study autonomy and greater levels of critical analysis, underpins the overall assessment strategy of the programme.  

In addition, all students who pass any part of a degree are expected to possess such basic skills as the ability to make use of numerical and statistical information; the ability to locate internet sites from given web addresses; the ability to send and receive e-mail messages; the ability to use basic software packages such as Word; the ability to perform basic searches on standard electronic retrieval systems, and the ability to write legibly.

Students who succeed should be able to construct an essay using correct grammar, spelling and referencing according to the American Psychological Association (APA) system.

Assessment Methods and Feedback 

It is departmental policy to use a variety of assessment processes, so that our students can demonstrate their abilities in a variety of assessment modes, taking consideration of diverse student needs. Assessment is tied to learning outcomes so that assessment modes indicate those outcomes that are being assessed. Generally, the balance over the entire programme between coursework and examinations is around 50:50. 

All students receive written comments on coursework and additional feedback on the work is given more informally by individual tutors. This opportunity allows students to discuss their performance and ways to enhance it for the future. For students at Level 4, this is a particularly valuable opportunity for them to get formative feedback on the effectiveness of their study skills.   

Reassessment Methods   

Reassessment will address the learning outcomes not achieved in the failed components. The module descriptors indicate how each module is reassessed.

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative feedback is an important and essential component of all taught modules. The nature of the assessment and feedback varies from module to module, and may range from verbal in-class feedback (e.g. during group discussions) through to written and/or oral feedback on drafts of written assignments. This allows students to 'feed forward' into their future work.

Summative assessment

This varies from module to module to allow students to develop different skills. An overview of the assessments are given in the table below:

Code Title Essay     Lab or field report Poster Presentation Other (e.g critical review, project report, biological diagrams) Exam or class test
LEVEL 4
BI4127 Animal Anatomy &  Physiology         √  √ 
BI4142 Principals of Evolutionary Biology        
BI4124 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design         √  √ 
BI4126 Introduction to Animal Behaviour      
BI4143 Animal Husbandry & Handling        
BI4121 Animal Welfare Issues     √   
LEVEL 5
BI5110 Research Methods          
BI5118 Behavioural Ecology        
BI5119 Adaptations to the Environment         √ 
BI5136 Domestic Animal Husbandry and Welfare *      
BI5137 Exotic  Animal Husbandry and Welfare *        
BI5147 Marine Animal Behaviour      
BI5149 Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare *          
WB5004 Learning in the Wider World #          
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience ##          
WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning #          
BI5113 Experiential Learning #          
LEVEL 6
BI6110 Dissertation #          
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project #          
BI6109 Non-experimental project with presentation #        
BI6129 Animal Behaviour and Conservation        
BI6132 Physiology and Behaviour        
BI6134 Animal Cognition      
BI6173 Behaviour Management and Welfare        
BI6169 Stress and Welfare assessment in animals        
BI6170 Animal parasitism: medical, veterinary & ecological aspects      
BI6171  Applied Conservation Genetics        
BI6192 Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology        
Notes: 
# means one out of three modules must be chosen in Level 5 or 6 as appropriate
## means students may opt to take a year aborad in their 3rd year and return to Chester to undertake Level 6 in their 4th year
* means two out of three modules must be chosen at Level 5
Remaining optional modules for Levels 5 and 6 are in italics

The programme is designed to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge, and practical and transferable skills, to embark on careers within the areas of animal behaviour and welfare, or further training for specialist careers or postgraduate studies (including Master's, Doctoral, and teaching qualifications). Whilst it is expected that many students in each cohort will initially embark on animal-related career pathways, or progress to study at a higher level, the transferable skills embedded throughout the programme make the graduate highly employable in a variety of directions.

Careers in animal science fall into the following types of areas:

Animal behaviourist, animal welfare advisor, animal breeding, veterinary support, animal nutrition research and advice, animal food retailing, technical support, horseracing management, veterinary nursing, farm management, sales reps (e.g. animal health products), education officers, gamekeepers, zoo keeping or research, wildlife charities. Internationally, animal-related careers are renowned for being highly competitive and it is now the industry norm that most graduates can expect to have to undertake additional voluntary or low-paid jobs at first, in addition to obtaining a good academic qualification(s), to enable them to move up the animal-related graduate career pathway they are seeking. Animal behaviour and welfare is an expanding field and, as the global community continues to respond to the questions posed by keeping animals under human care or management, it offers a range of career possibilities. Animal behaviour and welfare scientists are in demand by a wide range of employers such as government bodies, zoos, wildlife trusts and NGOs, both in the UK and overseas.

It is estimated that about 50% of students will move into careers not in the area of animal science. For these students the general graduate level characteristics listed earlier will stand them in good stead. More specifically the following attributes fostered in this programme should be of use to students in many careers.

 

The ability to write and communicate coherently, logically and with a style and format appropriate to audience.

The ability to sift evidence and evaluate arguments.

The ability to collect, interpret, present and draw consistent conclusions from data.

The ability to work to deadlines individually and as part of a team.

The ability to use ICT.

The ability to plan work, manage time and resources.

The programmes of study in the Department of Biological Sciences fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity.  The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 

  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.

  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.

  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.

  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.

  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.

  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met, any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.

  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
  • All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.  

Animal behaviour and welfare are global issues. This programme offers a degree that gives a good understanding of biology, as well as the scientific study of animal behaviour and welfare and the needs of a wide range of animals.

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