Hartpury College
BSc (Hons)

Animal Behaviour and Welfare



Course Overview

The Animal Behaviour and Welfare degree programme will provide you with detailed knowledge and understanding of animal behaviour and welfare. You will develop the practical abilities to assess animal welfare, measure behaviour, train animals and manage domestic, exotic and wild animals. You will also gain the knowledge and intellectual skills needed to understand current scientific thinking and develop new ideas in the fields of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. This will open up multiple career opportunities in the animal behaviour and welfare industries.

Hartpury’s on site facilities, such as Home Farm, the Equine Centre, the Animal Science Laboratories and the Animal Collection, help support teaching, whilst visits to external organisations (such as Cotswold Wildlife Park, Guide Dogs Training Facility, Bristol Aquarium and Sequani) help you appreciate how theory learned in lectures is applied in commercial and charitable organisations.

There are two optional extended field trips available as part of the programme. A field course module to South Africa runs in the second year of the programme. This will give you an opportunity to explore African ecology and ethology. Activities include animal tracking, day and night game drives, a visit to a Pillansberg National Park and individual student projects.

In the third year of the course there is a residential trip to a UK Zoo that is part of the Wildlife and Zoo Management module. This trip enables you to evaluate the environmental and behavioural needs of a range of non-domestic animal species and provides the opportunity to investigate the necessary criteria for the reintroduction of animals into the wild.

The programme’s curriculum is underpinned by research and we also support students in publishing and presenting their dissertation research at academic conferences. Our graduates have published their work in academic journals such as Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science and the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research.

The programme can be completed full time in three years; part time routes are available and should be planned with your programme manager.

Follow us on our programme Twitter: @HartpuryABW

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Entry Requirements


Five GCSEs at Grade C or above to include English, Mathematics and Science

Tariff points range

240 (typical offer)

A level subjects grades

Two A2s to include a biological science 

Level 3 Extended Diploma subjects grades

MMM in a science subject

International Baccalaureate

24 points


Yes - must include a biology/biological science subject


For the most up to date information on your programme, you can find your course information sheet here

Next Open Day

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07 Dec 2016 University Open Day Wednesday 7th December 2016

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In Brief


3 Years

Tuition fees

Fees for September 2017 entry

UK: £9,250
EU fees: Will remain the same as UK students, £9,250
International: £11,250
Please contact us to discuss part-time fees 

EU students starting this course in Sept 2017 will be eligible to apply for UK student loans for the duration of their course. 

The fees you pay at registration will cover the costs associated with the learning outcomes of the programme. There are a number of opportunities to enhance your programme experience and employability through optional field trips. In your second year you could choose to complete the Field Course module, which involves a 12 day trip to South Africa (at a cost of approx. £1500). Module embedded trips to sites such as Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bristol Aquarium and the Guide Dogs Training Centre allow knowledge gained in lectures to be applied to the industry. There are a number of complementary studies courses available on site that you can undertake alongside your studies at a reduced cost. These include first aid, health and safety and dog grooming. An additional fee is charged for these activities however the College aims to keep any additional costs to the minimum and will frequently subsidise and support students in accessing funding routes for these optional activities.

When should I apply

You can apply for September 2017 entry now.  Please check the UCAS website for application deadlines.

How to apply

You must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Hartpury is an Associate Faculty of the University of the West of England. The Hartpury UCAS code is H22. If you feel that you have accredited prior learning please contact us to discuss your application.
If you want to study this degree on a part-time basis, please apply directly to Hartpury. Contact the Admissions team on +44 (0) 1452 702244 or email admissions@hartpury.ac.uk  to request a part-time university application form.

Click to see more course information


  • • Animal Behaviour
    • Introduction to Animal Welfare
    • Wildlife Ecology
    • Animal Genetics
    • Systems Biology
    • Animal Health and Disease

  • Core Modules

    • Animal Welfare Assessment
    • Ethics and Welfare
    • The Research Process


    Optional Modules:

    • Field Course
    • Companion Animal Behaviour and Training
    • Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology
    • Management of Domestic Animals
    • Behavioural Measurement
    • Independent Report
  • Core Modules:

    • Dissertation
    • Animal Trade and Welfare
    • Developments in Animal Science


    Optional Modules:

    • Wildlife and Zoo Management
    • Anthrozoology
    • Animal Psychology
    • Pet Behaviour Counselling
    • Independent Study

course blog post

Animal and Land
02 Dec 2016

Good moos – an unusual arrival adds a splash of colour to Hartpury’s dairy herd

Meet Ruby Tuesday, the rare red and white calf who is breaking up the monochrome pattern of the Holstein-Friesian herd at Hartpury’s Home Farm.

Read On

Career Opportunities

Possible careers include animal health and welfare officers, laboratory and field research technicians, zoo education officers, researchers and lecturers. Further study can lead to accreditation as an animal behaviour therapist or specialist in the fields of behaviour, welfare or conservation.

Past students have gone onto successful careers working at the Blue Cross, the Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Bristol Zoo, the Kennel Club, Cats Protection League, Bristol Aquarium, Sequani and Customs and Excise. In addition students have also progressed to postgraduate programmes at institutions such as Hartpury University Centre, Exeter University, Bristol University, Newcastle University and the University of Lincoln.