University of Chester

Programme Specification
Animal Behaviour and Welfare BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

University of Chester

University of Chester and University Centre Reaseheath (Reaseheath College)

Level 4 will be delivered at University Centre Reaseheath (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, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Biological Sciences


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, as well as wider biological principles.
  • To introduce students to the scientific principles relating to the assessment and maintenance of optimal animal welfare, using behavioural and other measures, for a range of animals including farm, equine, companion and exotic.
  • 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, zoos, safari parks, farms and animal charities) 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.

As a result of completing this programme successfully, students should have developed their detailed knowledge and critical understanding of subject disciplines, investigative techniques and research methods relevant to animal behaviour and welfare.

FHEQ Level 4  - students should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental concepts, principles and theories from the life sciences that underpin the assessment of animal behaviour and welfare, including knowledge and understanding of genetics, evolutionary theory and physiological systems (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Understand basic principles of animal husbandry and handling, as well as health and safety and other pertinent legislation (RC4510)
  • Understand the factors that impact on the behaviour and welfare of animals, with the main emphasis being on animals under human management and care (RC4501, RC4510, RC4503)
  • Understand and perform descriptive data analysis and basic statistical procedures (RC4502)
  • Undertake literature searches, read and interpret scientific papers, and write scientific reports (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)

FHEQ Level 5 - students should be able to:

  • Develop a more in-depth understanding of the behaviour and adaptive strategies of captive and free-living animals, building on the principles covered in the first year (BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149)
  • Develop their understanding of the links between welfare and conservation, building on the foundations established in the first year (BI5137; BI5150)
  • Understand and apply principles of good research design and report writing, building on the foundations established in the first year (BI5110; BI5118; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149)
  • Further develop their technical and employability skills, including in the work place and/or on field work (BI5110; BI5113; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)

FHEQ LEVEL 6 - students should be able to:

  • Adopt an analytical and research-focused approach (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Evaluate and analyse animal welfare, building on the previous work undertaken in the first two years (BI6110*; BI6169; BI6173) 
  • Study in-depth an aspect of animal behaviour and/or welfare through their own research dissertation (BI6110)
  • Apply principles of animal behaviour, physiology and welfare to wider disciplines and workplace scenarios (BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192) 

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.


As a result of completing this programme successfully, students should be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gained from academic and professional literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the workplace and/or on fieldwork, in order to propose solutions to problems in their scientific and/or professional context.

FHEQ Level 4 - students should be able to:

  • Search, find, read and understand texts specific to animal behaviour and welfare, and wider biological principles, and reference them using an appropriate referencing format (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Recognise the differences between primary and secondary literature (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Understand the concept and basic principles of the scientific method, including the formulation of basic hypotheses (RC4501, RC4502, RC4504, RC4505)
  • Analyse and interpret basic data sets (all modules, but particularly RC4502)
  • Adopt standard scientific convention in all written / oral work (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)

 FHEQ Level 5 - students should be able to:

  • Carry out research exploring the behaviour and/or welfare of animals, building on skills gained in the first year (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)
  • Communicate findings (from research, literature reviews, etc.) in a variety of formats sensitive to the context and target audience (BI5110; BI5113; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)
  • Develop further the standard scientific format in all written / oral work  (BI5110; BI5113; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)

FHEQ Level 6 - students should be able to:

  • Design robust and ethically acceptable experiments or observational studies, collect reliable data, formulate and test hypotheses (including the application of inferential statistical tests and procedures), draw appropriate conclusions, and reflect on the reliability and significance of findings (BI6110)
  • Locate, evaluate, synthesise and critically evaluate information and ideas from primary sources in animal behaviour, welfare and wider biological issues, and communicate findings in a variety of formats sensitive to the context and target audience (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)

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.

Students will have the opportunity to develop their research and practical skills to a high level through the programme. They should have skills of self-evaluation to understand own strengths and weaknesses, challenge received opinion respectfully, and develop their own criteria and judgement when examining evidence from the literature. Students should have key/transferable skills and confidence to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable the assumption of significant responsibility within relevant organisations. They should be able to use IT to manipulate quantitative and qualitative information to solve defined problems and be able to manage resources for effective learning. 

FHEQ Level 4 - students should be able to:

  • Manage their time effectively (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Foster an awareness and understanding of ethics in research and practical activities, when working with animals and people (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Develop their IT skills (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Understand the role of legislation in animal management and welfare (RC4501, RC4502*, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510) 
  • Appreciate safe working practice with and around managed animals, e.g. in farms, zoos, animal centres, private keeping, etc. (RC4510)
  • Demonstrate basic skills in animal husbandry and management for a range of species, including domestic and exotic animals (RC4510)
  • Develop team-work skills (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)

FHEQ Level 5 - students should be able to:

  • Develop their interpersonal and teamwork skills, to enable them to work effectively with colleagues and peers (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)
  • Develop project management skills, including a demonstration of integrity and honesty in academic work (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)
  • Develop self-confidence in numeracy, IT skills, and synthesising evidence and expressing opinion in written work (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)

FHEQ Level 6 - students should be able to:

  • Adopt a strong critical approach to the reading of the scientific literature (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Apply appropriate scientific reasoning to a wide variety of animal behaviour and welfare issues (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Show proficiency in the presentation, interpretation and statistical analysis of data relevant to animal behaviour and welfare and other biological issues (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Adapt presentation style (including written and oral) to specific audiences, both in scientific and professional/general-public domains, taking into account context and academic conventions (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Work independently and/or in groups in a professional manner, with the ability to recognise and respect divergent opinion (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)

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.

As a result of completing this programme successfully, students should be able to communicate information, arguments and analysis to a graduate-level standard, both orally (e.g. through discussion and presentations) and in writing, taking into account context and academic conventions. They should be able to work effectively within a team, giving and receiving information and ideas respectfully, and modifying responses as appropriate.

FHEQ Level 4 - students should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss animal behaviour and welfare issues clearly and accurately in oral presentation and in written work (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)
  • Use correct scientific format for written / oral work (RC4501, RC4502, RC4503, RC4504, RC4509, RC4510)

FHEQ Level 5 - students should be able to:

  • Develop coherent and evidence-based arguments (BI5110; BI5113; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004; WB5101; WB5008)
  • Communicate effectively with members of a team, including in group discussions, and recognise the value of this (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)
  • Collaborate effectively in presenting teamwork, including in group discussions, and recognise the value of this (BI5110; BI5113*; BI5118; BI5119; BI5136; BI5137; BI5147; BI5149; BI5150; WB5004*; WB5101*; WB5008*)

FHEQ Level 6 - students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate fluency and accuracy in written and oral communication, using clear and critical arguments and evidence-based reasoning (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)
  • Adapt their presentation style to specific audiences, including in scientific and professional/general-public contexts (BI6110; BI6132; BI6169; BI6170; BI6172; BI6173; BI6192)

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.

Students will complete 120 credits at each Level of study (Levels 4, 5 & 6). 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). Technical and employability skills are built on as the student progresses through each Level of study.

Level 4 (taught at University Centre Reaseheath, Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire)

Level 4 modules have been designed to provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills in animal behaviour and welfare, to equip students for progression to study at Levels 5 and 6. Students undertake six core modules exclusively at Level 4, to ensure that they have the opportunity to develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, concepts and core technical skills necessary for the study of animal behaviour and welfare within the biological sciences, including the husbandry and handling of a range of domestic and exotic species. The learning style at Level 4 is predominately tutor-designed and guided, with scope for individual and group initiative within a controlled framework.

Level 5 (taught at the University of Chester) 

Students take a combination of compulsory and optional modules that involve enhanced skills and study key concepts in greater detail, building on the foundations established in the first year. Level 5 modules deal with essential topic areas relating to animal behaviour and welfare, as well as wider biological principles, which are extended in Level 6. 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. The learning style at Level 5 is more collaborative, but the design of learning is still largely controlled by the tutor. 

In addition to the compulsory modules, students must take a MINIMUM of TWO OF: BI5136, OR BI5137, OR BI5149 (i.e. they can opt to take all three of these modules if they so wish, but as a minimum must do two of them); and ONE OF: WB5101, OR WB5004, OR BI5113. A range of other optional modules are then chosen up to the 120-credit limit.

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.

Level 6 (taught at the University of Chester) 

At Level 6, students are required to display greater levels of independence and take significant responsibility for their learning. The final year modules integrate the key concepts addressed within the first and second year, and heighten awareness of current advances and practice in animal behaviour and welfare. Students will complete a compulsory 40-credit research dissertation in their chosen discipline. Apart from BI6169 and BI6173, which are seen as important for the understanding of animal welfare and, thus, are compulsory, all other modules are optional (up to the 120-credit limit).


Additional notes:

The course will involve additional costs not covered by student tuition fees. This may include books, printing, photocopying, educational stationery and related materials, specialist clothing, travel to placements, optional field trips and software. Compulsory field trips are covered by tuition fees.

Some modules include field trips, to places such as zoos, farms, or natural areas. If the trip is part of a module, attendance is usually compulsory.

Students will need protective clothing to work with animals at University Centre Reaseheath (Reaseheath College) in Level 4 (extra cost estimated to be approx. £30-35). Students going on to take module 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 taking module BI5149 may need to purchase this equipment.

Travel placement costs: There are placement trips available, but these are entirely optional (e.g. BI5113).

Students who are living away from home during their time at University will need to cover costs such as accommodation, food, travel and bills.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
RC4501 4 Animal Welfare Issues 20 Comp
RC4502 4 Behavioural Data Analysis & Project Design 20 Comp
RC4503 4 Introduction to Behaviour in Animals 20 Comp
RC4504 4 Animal Anatomy and Physiology 20 Comp
RC4509 4 Principles of Evolutionary Biology 20 Comp
RC4510 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
BI5150 5 Ex-Situ Conservation 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
BI6110 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
BI6132 6 Physiology and Behaviour 20 Optional
BI6169 6 Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals 20 Comp
BI6170 6 Animal Parasitism: Medical, Veterinary and Ecological Aspects 20 Optional
BI6172 6 Managing Marine Environmental Impacts 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:

112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels (or equivalent). Typical offer - BCC/BBC


The Department requires one of the following subjects as essential for entry:
GCE A Level: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science


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:

Grades BBBB including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology

International Baccalaureate:

26 points including 5 in HL Biology


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


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 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, 2015,  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:

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 Dissertation 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 module 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.


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 University Centre Reaseheath 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). Depending on module choices selected 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 (e.g. non-invasive observations of animals). 


Seminars are used most often in Level 6 modules, when students tend to be more confident, but are introduced in earlier Levels too. 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, including book and peer-reviewed 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 transferable skills, e.g. during practical work in the laboratory; group discussions in class; group work on field trips.

In the main, teaching and learning activities take place on the campus (University Centre Reaseheath at Level 4; University of Chester's Parkgate Road campus at Levels 5-6). Timetabling is arranged centrally, except for individual tutorials. There may be 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 and coherently.

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 range of summative 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, there is a balance between coursework and examination – this has been Departmental policy for some time. The staff believe that in preparing and submitting coursework (which can include essays, written reports, laboratory and data handling exercises, as well as oral and poster presentations), students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes where an examination would be inappropriate. However, we are aware that examinations have an important role in summative assessment as well as giving academic credibility, both externally and internally, to the work of the Department and its students. All students receive written comments on coursework; students are also invited to discuss their assessment results with the appropriate tutor. This opportunity allows students to discuss their performance and ways to enhance it for the future.

In addition to summative 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. informally, 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.

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

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 behaviour therapist, 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. Demand continues to grow for animal behaviour and welfare scientists among a wide range of employers, such as government bodies, zoos, wildlife trusts and NGOs, both in the UK and overseas.

For students who do not move into careers in the area of animal science, or who change career focus later in their life, 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 is 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 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, including the assessment and management of good welfare in a wide range of animals.

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