Institution code: H12
3 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement
Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)
This three-year course is ideally suited to students who want to work ‘hands- on’ with animals in kennels and catteries, zoos or wildlife parks, stables, farms, research establishments or animal assistance organisations.
Science is a necessary part of the course because if you are to be able to manage animals in the interests of their best 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. However, as with all animal-related courses at Harper Adams, the science modules are very applied so that you can see the relevance of the subject matter from the beginning. Even if you found science difficult or boring before, it is likely that you will enjoy it here because it is all related to animals.
The course covers areas such as husbandry, nutrition, physiology, breeding, behaviour and health which will give you the knowledge required to manage the welfare needs of a diverse range of species. The emphasis is slightly more on companion animals but farm animals, horses, wildlife and collection animals are also included.
On completion of this course you may be eligible to upgrade your qualification to an honours degree in Animal Management, Health and Welfare or in Animal Behaviour and Welfare through one of our Animals top up courses.
Not sure which course is right for you? Try our Course Comparison tool to compare modules taught on different courses.
Students undertake a 44-week period of industrial placement in an animal- related organisation of their choice. Recent industrial placements have included RSPCA hospitals and shelters, research facilities, wildlife parks, zoos, falconry centres, veterinary practices, pet retail outlets, kennels, catteries and stables.
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.
Many Harper Adams graduates are currently working for welfare organisations (at home and abroad), at colleges as lecturers, technicians and animal demonstrators, and within wildlife parks and zoos. Others have become assistant managers and livestock managers within pet superstores, or work in farm and large animal environments at home and within Europe.
Some work in kennels and catteries at various levels of responsibility, or in pharmaceutical research.
Opportunities are developing in the area of animal physiotherapy.
Some students have become education officers in zoos or other welfare organisations such as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association or the Dogs Trust. Many graduates continue in higher education studying degrees in Zoology, Wildlife Ecology and Animal Behaviour.
For course related enquiries please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000