Apply directly to the University of Chester
The Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare can be followed by undertaking studies in post-graduate education or alternatively being employed within the industry.
The course includes specialist modules and practical experience with a range of domestic and companion species, enabling students to understand the behaviour and welfare of many different animals, both in captivity and in the wild. Students are taught at Reaseheath throughout Year 1 utilising the zoo-licensed facilities on campus, with subsequent study in Years 2 and 3 being undertaken exclusively at the University of Chester.
University Centre Reaseheath is an academic partner of the University of Chester. Foundation degrees, Honours degrees, and Cert Ed are awarded by the University of Chester.
A minimum of 112 UCAS points
Full-time: 3 years
Work in the field will expand your knowledge of animal behaviour, and there is an opportunity for dissertation work which will allow you to work with lecturing staff on relevant unique research projects.
Please note: Students are based at Reaseheath during their first year. You will then be based at the University of Chester during your second and third years. For students wishing to live in, you will live in Halls of Residence at Reaseheath College during your first year.
The course features:
- Member of British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)
- Purpose-built animal management training centre with £3 million upgrade
- Student will have the opportunity to engage in overseas field courses to a range of localities including southern Africa, South America and Europe
- Centre houses over 1,000 animals and 125 species inc:
- Mammals: serval cats, tapirs, ring-tailed lemurs, porcupines, tamarin monkeys, otters, capybara, meerkats, mara and wallabies, among others
- Birds: birds of prey, chickens, ducks, finches, cockatiels, cockatoos, and budgerigars
- Reptiles: snakes, bearded dragons, tortoises and chameleons
- Fish: a range of freshwater and marine fish Invertebrates: tarantulas, scorpions and insects Amphibians: frogs, toads and newts.
What will I study?
This course is aimed at students who wish to develop a career within animal behaviour and/or animal welfare. Students are provided with a unique combination of academic study with practical work to develop a range of academic and professional skills, with knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science in varying contexts, and related disciplines. Students will be provided with a dynamic learning experience that combines academic study with practical application of themes in animal behaviour and welfare. As a student studying this programme, you will have regular access to the zoo-licensed animal centre, kennel and farm facilities by which to reinforce taught elements of the programme ad hone your practical skills. Additionally, students can expect an interactive and personable learning experience that draws upon the expertise of our team of dedicated staff, with whom students can engage in study through the use of our first class facilities across the University Centre Reaseheath and University of Chester campuses, but also via overseas study opportunities.
Students are expected to study and complete 120 credits per year, which comprises six modules of study per academic level/year. All modules in year 1 are mandatory study, to ensure students come away with the fundamental skills and knowledge required to progress onto further study. Conversely, students will have the opportunity to select for certain optional modules in years 2 & 3, to allow for more specific disciplines/subject pathways to be developed.
In Year 1 (Level 4), you will develop essential knowledge and skills in animal welfare science, animal biology, animal husbandry and behaviour. A heavy emphasis at Level 4 study will also be placed on the development of academic skills via regular tutoring with an assigned course manager.
Year 2 (Level 5) sees a shift in emphasis to more academic and research-informed study, including themes in evolution, taxa-specific behaviour & welfare, and applied research. A five week (equivalent) UK-based work placement*, or alternatively an overseas study opportunity is also included as part of the programme.
In Year 3 (Level 6), you will continue your studies via more specific pathways that are designed to advance both your academic expertise and professional skills in animal behaviour & welfare. Additionally, students undertaking their final year of study will typically conduct an independent piece of scientific research, to demonstrate competencies in the application of knowledge and research skills.
Delivered at University Centre Reaseheath
- Introduction to Behaviour in Animals
- Animal Husbandry and Handling
- Animal Welfare Issues
- Animal Anatomy and Physiology
- Principles of Evolutionary Biology
- Behavioural Data Analysis and Project Design
Delivered at University of Chester
- Research Methods
- Experiential Learning*
- Behavioural Ecology*
- Adaptations to the Environment*
- Wildlife Crime and Conservation*
- Welfare and Behaviour Management
- Marine Animal Behaviour*
- Learning in the Wider World*
- The Study Abroad Experience (120 credits)*
- Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning*
* Denotes optional modules
Delivered at University of Chester
- Animal Behaviour and Conservation*
- Physiology and Behaviour*
- Zoo Biology and Management
- Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals
- Applied Conservation Genetics*
- Managing Marine Environmental Impacts*
- Behavioural & Evolutionary Ecology*
- Domestic Animal Behaviour and Welfare*
* Denotes optional modules
† Dissertation is a double-weighted module, worth 40 credits. Therefore, only five modules are selected for study at Level 6 (Year 3).
Please note that availability of optional modules is subject to availability of subject-specialist staff and the recruitment. Should a module not be deemed viable for operation then all students whom selected for that module will be communicated to in writing in advance of the academic year, and will be informed of the alternative options available to select from.
Students will be expected to make their module choices for the following academic year during March/April, via on online module selection service. Confirmation of module selections will be provided via email following approval.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:
Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 364 hours
Independent Study: 836 hours
Class sizes average between 50-60 for modules exclusively delivered at University Centre Reaseheath (Year 1). In Years 2 & 3 (University of Chester), class sizes for optional modules range between 25-65 students, with core modules delivered across programmes likely to be higher.
Percentage of course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:
35% written exams
Feedback is supplied via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of submissions are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within twenty working days after the submission date.
Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.
Students are given the opportunity to study an optional module at level 5 (Year 2) entitled Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning. Students are expected to source their own placement, and complete a minimum of 150 hours of work, completed in a 5-week block period. When selecting a placement, students should consider the financial implications associated with accommodation, travel/commuting and the possible need for a Disclosure Barring service (DBS) check, as the University of Chester may not be able to subsidise such costs.
*Travel arrangements at your own cost.
A minimum of 112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels including a grade C in either Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Science or Applied Science. Typical offer BCC/BBC
BTEC Extended Diploma (Animal Care/Management or Applied Science): DMM
BTEC Diploma (Animal Care/Management or Applied Science): D*D*
OCR National Extended/Diploma: merit profile plus one of the GCE A level subjects listed above
Irish/Scottish Highers Grade B in 4 subjects, including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology
International Baccalaureate: 26 points, including 5 in HL Biology
Access to HE (Science) Diploma, to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit
- OCR National Extended/Diploma: Accepted in addition to one of the GCE A level subjects listed above
Please note that we accept a maximum of 8 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.
- Postgraduate study.
- Animal behaviourist
- Animal welfare/conservation
- Wildlife management
- Teaching/education officers
- Scientific research and technical support
- Animal behaviour counselling/training
- Teaching and lecturing
- Animal health product development
- Rescue centre animal care
- Animal behaviour research.
As a Higher Education student you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.
Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on the student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.
If you are an international student or for the latest information on tuition fees visit the student finance page on our website.
Additional costs may include the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to undertake practical activities on the zoo, farm and other facilities. These should include at least one pair of overalls (preferably blue/green) and a pair of steel toe-capped work boots/wellington boots. Additionally, students may wish to purchase other suitable outdoor wear in preparation for bad weather (i.e. waterproof/windproof coat). The above items can be purchased either independently or through the College online shop. Please note that the purchasing of the above equipment should be undertaken in advance of enrolment onto the programme, as practical sessions may be facilitated from the start of the programme.
Students will be offered the chance to engage in both domestic and overseas learning opportunities with which to enhance their classroom-based learning experience. Here, students will have the option to undertake overseas study in Year 1 as part of an experiential field course. These may include opportunities to study zoological collections in Europe, but also undertaking conservation field courses within locations such as Southern Africa, South America and the UK.
The main emphasis placed on these field courses is the development of professional, industry relevant skills and the application of students’ knowledge in a novel, stimulating, yet challenging environment. Costs associated with the field courses range from £500 – £1000 (UK & Europe), and between £2,200 – £2,800 (South America & Southern Africa). Please note that precise pricing of all field courses is subject to change, pending availability and recruitment.
For further information pertaining to overseas study (and associated costs) during your time at the University of Chester, please contact Angela Craney on 01244 513056 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Students may also wish to purchase their own personal copies of recommended set-texts to assist them with their studies. A full list of recommended text’s is made available prior to enrolment, however, our campus library boasts sufficient stocks of all major texts to support student learning, and the purchasing of texts is therefore not enforced.
University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit the additional financial support pages on our website.
All Higher Education students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath and who apply before 31st July of the year they intend to start their course. For full details on our halls of residence visit the accommodation pages.
We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support when and if you need it during your time with us. These include our Student Services team, Higher Education Support Team (HEST), Library and Learning Resources and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You will find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath here.
Before you apply you can come and visit us at one of our HE Open Events to see what we have to offer. Once we have received your application we will invite you to attend an Offer Holder Day.
Applications for full-time Degrees and Foundation Degrees are made through UCAS. Applications for all other full-time courses such as Access to HE and Level 4 Diplomas should be made directly to Reaseheath via the online application form. You can find out more here.
For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our Higher Education Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is correct, some details may be subject to change.