Applied Animal Behaviour Training at University Centre Bishop Burton - UCAS

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Course summary

The aim of the programme is to provide a progression route for students from science based degrees, to gain knowledge and skills in the area of animal behaviour and its application. There is an increasing demand within the animal behaviour industry for people to have both academic and practical skills. Therefore this programme is designed to emphasise the vocational and applied nature of the subject studied. What will I study?

  • Animal Behaviour Theories
  • Welfare and Ethics
  • Research Methods
  • Learning Theories and Training Methods,
  • Animal Behaviour Consulting
  • Human and Animal Interactions and Psychology
  • Independent Research Project.
Learning and Teaching Approach This programme is delivered with a variety of learning and teaching approaches to include all students’ learning styles and preferences. For all modules, theory lectures are delivered that aim to deliver the core content and provide the underpinning knowledge. Using the webinar software, staff are able to monitor engagement to ensure participations. To complement all theory lectures, students have asynchronous seminars that are used to reinforce concepts delivered theoretically. Online webinars focus on facilitating a student centred approach to enhance the independent learning that takes place outside of the webinar lecture sessions. What is the contact time? Part Time: Two modules studied per semester except for the final semester when the focus is on completion of the independent research project. Approximately six hours class time per week to include online webinars, directed study, extended reading, directed tasks and tutorials. Webinars run one night per week. Full Time: You will study four modules studied in the first semester and two in the second semester, alongside completion of the independent research project. Approximately 12 hours class time per week to include online webinars, directed study, extended reading, directed tasks and tutorials. Webinars run two nights per week. What else can I expect?
  • Animal Management Unit housing a wide range of species including meerkats, racoon dogs, primates, alpacas, marsupials, invertebrates, tropical and marine fish, reptiles, rodents and a nocturnal house.
  • Dedicated dog training area, commercial dog kennels and grooming facilities, commercial sheep and beef enterprises, equine yard and schools.
  • Additional facilities include Science Centre, IT suites, dedicated University Centre, study spaces and social areas, and modern Learning Resources Centre.
  • Online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used to enhance and facilitate teaching and independent learning on all programmes.
  • Experienced, supportive and motivated staff with both academic and industrial experience.
  • Our experienced Life Coaches are on hand to help you through your University journey from mentoring and coaching to health, wellbeing and resilience. Learn more about how our Life Coaches can support you:
  • Talks from a range of visiting speakers.
  • Opportunities to attend trips to enhance learning.
  • Students have access to a range of support through our study skills, and health and wellbeing teams. Further information can be found on our website:
  • Relevant extra-curricular activity and/or work experience is encouraged of all students in order to enhance learning.
What kind of job could I get when I graduate? Management positions in animal training, zoo keeping and education, environmental enrichment co-ordinator, education and lecturing, behaviour advisor / consultant, companion animal trainer, training animals for commercial work, animal rescue and rehabilitation, assistance dog trainer.


Brief Description of Modules Welfare and Ethics In order to train and manage animals in a humane and ethical manner, a comprehensive understanding of animal welfare and ethics is required. Furthermore, a critical understanding of how welfare can be assessed (both behaviourally and physiologically) will also aid in the monitoring of animal welfare. Finally a critical awareness of current issues in animal welfare and ethics will aid in the selection of training and management techniques. Animal Behaviour Theories When working with and training animals it is important to have a good knowledge of animal behaviour to facilitate good management and welfare of the species being worked with. The aim of this module is to give the student a good background and critical understanding of the theories and concepts relating to animal behaviour. Learning Theories and Training Methods A comprehensive understanding of training theory and techniques is required in order to effectively and humanely train/manage animals. Furthermore it is important that such techniques are critically evaluated for their efficacy and applicability prior to use. The main aim of this module is to provide students with comprehensive understanding of the theories of learning and to apply this to practical situations as well as encouraging them to develop the ability to train animals. Research Methods This module will provide a technical and ethical basis for studying animal behaviour, along with a comprehensive understanding of experimental design and higher statistical analysis. The knowledge gained in this module will underpin the research project carried out during the Master’s stage as well as aid the students in the analysis of published research. Human - Animal Interactions and Psychology A comprehensive understanding of the complexities of human-animal interactions is important for the management and training of animals. Furthermore, the human-animal bond can influence the effectiveness of management/techniques. In order to allow for a deeper understanding of this relationship, knowledge of psychological and cognitive principals is required. The main aim of this module is to develop the students’ understanding of psychology and the relationship between human and animal. Animal Behaviour Consulting Problem behaviours are commonly seen in domestic and captive animals. It is important to understand the possible causes of these problems in order to develop appropriate management techniques/treatments. Furthermore, an ability to competently apply such techniques to real situations and communicate them to animal handlers/owners is required. Finally during this process the behaviourist needs to have a thorough understanding of the ethical and moral implications related to the behaviour counselling industry. Research Project

Assessment method

You will be assessed throughout the year and each module will involve a number of assessments using a variety of methods. a) Written Assignments Assignment design will depend upon the requirements and nature of individual units. All assignments, however, emphasise critical analysis, application of knowledge and skills in addition to enhancing the knowledge-base of the learner. Written assignments may be around 4000 words in length and will require the student to discuss and critically evaluate a range of research and literature. (b) Practical Assessments Practical assessments are used to make an assessment of the student’s practical/vocational skills. This is particularly important where students are coming into the course with a variety of backgrounds and, therefore, skill levels. (c) Seminars/Presentations Individual seminars/presentations and webinars give students the opportunity to study individually, as well as to prepare an oral paper in a scientific way. It also provides opportunities to practice and be assessed on a variety of soft/transferable skills that will be required if the student wishes to present their work at conferences. These may also take place using webinar software. (d) Research Projects This type of assessment encourages the learner to have an enquiring mind and highlights the need for investigation prior to decisions being made in certain subject areas. The final Masters’ stage includes a review paper, thesis/research paper and an oral presentation of this work.

Entry requirements

Minimum BSc 2.2 degree

English language requirements

If first language is not English, or a Tier 4 student visa to study is required and GCSE grade C/4 English or equivalent is not held, English language proficiency level such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 overall (with a minimum 5.5 in each skill) will need evidencing.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Applied Animal Behaviour Training at University Centre Bishop Burton - UCAS