Institution code: H12
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement
Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)
If you care about animal welfare but realise that applying scientific principles is likely to achieve better results than responding in a purely emotional way, and want to learn more about the biology of a range of animals, this is the course for you.
There is an element of science in the course, as you will be studying the biology of animals and disease. This is crucial because in order to manage animals in the interests of their welfare, you need to have a good understanding of the underpinning sciences, such as how their bodies work, what is needed to maintain health and what happens in the case of disease. This does include laboratory work, although not ‘animal experimentation’ in its sensationalist form.
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On placement you will apply your developing skills and gain experience to underpin subsequent studies, and explore the wide range of career options available. With a clearer idea of your future career in mind, after placement you will be able to choose modules to help you develop the skills you need.
This is a multi-disciplinary course incorporating a variety of applied science and animal management modules. It looks at normal body structure and functioning, mechanisms to enhance health and welfare and develops students’ abilities to synthesise solutions to a range of animal-related problems.
Companion (pet) animals and farm livestock are given equal weighting on the course. There are also opportunities to choose optional modules. This allows you to specialise or gives you the flexibility to study over a wide area.
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 University 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.
Careers in this field are varied and rewarding. There are opportunities in animal health with companies associated with the development and marketing of animal health products. Nutritional products and special diet formulations are being developed for animals with health problems, and knowledge of both animal health and nutrition equips graduates for careers in this area.
Welfare and food safety concerns have led to job opportunities in quality assurance, with schemes being developed by the RSPCA, supermarkets and the farming industry. Or you may consider a career in animal welfare and the management of collection animals, in animal physiotherapy or in the pet care industry.
For course related enquiries please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000