Institution code: H12
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience.
Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)*
88 - 104 UCAS points for A level students. See below for details of entry requirements for other accepted qualifications.
Do you long to find out why animals behave the way they do and what this can tell us about their welfare? Do you care passionately about the welfare of animals but realise that applying scientific principles is likely to achieve better results than responding in a purely emotional way? Then this course is for you.
This degree enables those interested in the behaviour and welfare of companion and farm animals to study at degree level without covering the broader animal health sciences in detail. You will examine animal biology as it relates to the behaviour and welfare of animals, and have the opportunity to study ecology in relation to animal habitats.
Students carry out an animal-based investigational project in their final year, looking at an aspect of animal behaviour or welfare.
This degree has two routes: clinical and non-clinical.
The clinical route has been validated by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) accreditation committee as delivering the academic elements necessary for an individual to achieve ASAB certification as a clinical animal behaviourist (CCAB). All of the modules on this course are core (compulsory) to satisfy ASAB’s requirements.
The non-clinical route (see module tables) does not lead to the CCAB qualification but does include a choice of optional modules.
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience. Please contact Admissions for further information on this option.
This course prepares graduates for careers involving animal behaviour and also in animal welfare and management. Increased awareness of animal welfare and behaviour issues has opened up more employment opportunities in the animal sector.
Organisations that house animals are becoming more aware of the need for employees to understand animal welfare and behaviour.
Welfare organisations are expanding, and nutrition and pharmaceutical companies have careers suitable for graduates with a sound welfare education. Many graduates move into higher education as lecturers or researchers and others choose further postgraduate study.
Use the drop-down tool to select the qualifications you have or are working towards to see what grades would be required for access to this programme. If you can’t see your qualification or would like any assistance with entry requirements, telephone the admissions team on 01952 815000, email email@example.com or complete a form to enable them to contact you.
Optional modules are indicative and may be subject to change.
Lectures are complemented by tutorials, visits and practical classes. Depending on the module, practicals may take the form of laboratory work, behaviour/welfare assessments or animal handling in the Companion Animal House or on the farm.
A wide range of assessment methods are used. Depending on the module these include examination, assignments, practical spot-tests and presentations.
Whilst a student’s prior experience or qualifications should prepare them for Higher Education, most will find that study at university level is organised differently than they might have experienced at either school or college. Higher Education sets out to prepare students to think and learn independently, so that they are able to continue learning new things beyond their studies and into the workplace, without needing a tutor to guide them. This means that the time spent in classes with tutors provides direction, guidance and support for work that students undertake independently through:
In order to develop the skills of a graduate (whether at Foundation Degree or Honours Degree levels), students are expected to not only be able to recall and explain what they know but also to be able to:
Tutors will expect students working towards a Degree to be able to use what they know to solve problems and answer meaningful questions about the way in which aspects of the world work and not just rote-learn information that they have been told or read, for later recall. This means using all the bullet-pointed skills and to think critically by questioning information, whilst also being rigorous in checking the value of the evidence used in making one’s own points. Students will be expected to become increasingly responsible for recognising the areas where they themselves need to develop. Taking careful note of tutor feedback can help to identify the skills and abilities on which attention could usefully be focused. To be successful, students need to be self-motivated to study outside of classes, especially since in higher education, these higher level skills need to be practised independently.
At Harper Adams students are gradually supported to become less reliant on class-based learning, so that they are able to spend a greater proportion of their time in their final year working on projects of interest to themselves and in line with their future career aspirations. Whilst in the first year of a course, a student might spend around one-third of their time in class, they will typically spend 15 - 20% in class by the time they reach their Honours year. At Harper Adams, we are fortunate to have not only an extensive estate and great facilities for students to use as a source of information and inspiration, we also have a well-stocked library and access to countless specialist sources of paper-based and online information. Many of the staff at Harper Adams are involved in research work, which helps ensure the content of the courses is at the forefront of the discipline. This also means that amongst the library books and online journals that students use, there may be some familiar names.
The Bamford Library and Faccenda Centre each have spaces in which students can work, either individually or in small groups, using either their own laptop computers or the provided desktop computers, all of which can access the network. Working spaces are zoned to reflect different working conditions, so there is a study space for everybody, whether they need silence or work better in a livelier environment.
* During the Covid-19 Pandemic the University is delivering blended learning. Government guidance is being constantly reviewed to establish the learning events which can be delivered face to face. Please refer to our frequently asked questions for further details.
Students undertake a placement during their third year in an animal-related organisation of their choice. You may want to gain experience working at animal hospitals and shelters, research facilities, zoos and wildlife parks, veterinary practices, livestock farms, stables, catteries and kennels or other animal-based organisations.
Accredited by: Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)
This course has been awarded full accreditation from the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and is now “formally validated by the ASAB Accreditation Committee as delivering the academic elements necessary for an individual to achieve ASAB certification as a clinical animal behaviourist”.
Individuals who graduate from this course, with at least a 2:1 degree classification, will be recognised by ASAB as having fulfilled the academic requirements of ASAB certification, and as an accredited course the graduates do not have to pay the fee for review of their academic standards by ASAB so long as they show evidence of having graduated from the programme with at least a 2.1.
A Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) consults with pet owners in order to address concerns owners have over behavioural problems with their animals. Examples of behavioural problems include aggression, separation anxiety, fear of people or objects or fear of fireworks. The CCAB will collect the information they require through consultation with the owner and assessment of the animal and then address the problematic behaviours through development of management regimes based on scientific principles and evidence. The CCAB will then support the owner through the treatment period. A CCAB will only take on a client through referral from a veterinary surgeon.
If you are interested in finding out more about CCAB Accreditation please visit the ASAB website
For course related enquiries please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000
In the UK for graduate employment.
(Graduate Outcomes 2020)
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Whilst every opportunity has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information on this course page, Harper Adams University wishes to emphasise that the content is regularly reviewed and is subject to change from time-to-time as required. Our courses undergo reviews to ensure they are flexible, relevant and as up-to-date as possible.