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.
Applications for this course received after 30th June 2021 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.
Animal Behaviour And Welfare Highlights
Many of our graduates secure dream jobs around the world.
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.
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.
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above, in a relevant area of science (including psychology), or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds, thus applicants who do not meet the above academic requirements but hold a degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) and can demonstrate appropriate experience, will be considered on an individual basis.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Northern Ireland (NI) 1: £6,450
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2: £6,450
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1: £7,250
EU Other 3: £21,400
Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications
Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications.
You will be required to pay a deposit of £400 pounds to secure your place on the course.
This condition of the offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however, this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however, this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22 and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.