UCAS code:

Course type:
Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees

MSci Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Make a difference to the lives of animals, right from day one of your degree. Learn in our labs and study spaces with our on-site animal collection. It includes meerkats, prairie dogs and wallabies. 

Turn your passion for animals into your career, gaining advanced understanding of animal behaviour and welfare. Gain practical and research experience, learning with over 90 species on site. Graduate with the skills you need to make a difference in your career.

Develop your knowledge and skills on our 360-hectare campus, which provides the ideal classroom for our animal students. You’ll be able to work with exotic and domestic species, livestock and birds, including meerkats, prairie dogs, emus, wallabies, horses and cattle. In your second year you’ll have the opportunity to study wildlife and conservation in Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, South Africa, as part of an exciting 10-day field trip to enhance your learning.

The first two years of this degree will follow the standard BSc route. You’ll then be introduced to master’s level study in your third year, before immersing yourself fully in postgraduate study in your final year.

You’ll develop the practical abilities needed to assess animal welfare, measure behaviour, train animals and manage domestic, exotic and wild animals. Through exposure to the latest industry research you’ll be at the forefront of emerging scientific knowledge. You’ll also use your experiences to inspire your own research question, which you can explore further in a research project in your third year. 

As an MSci student your final year will culminate in an exciting research project that showcases your knowledge and skills, ready for your career. You could have the opportunity to publish with your lecturers and present your research at national and international conferences such as ASAB, BIAZA and UFAW. 

Industry opportunities

Our commercial canine and equine therapy centres offer opportunities for students to gain industry experience ready for their career. Alongside this, we’ll encourage you to find a voluntary role in organisations such as animal rescue shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centres or zoos, right from your first year. Our students work with organisations such as the Blue Cross and West Midlands Safari Park. Field trips to places such as Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bristol Aquarium and Guide Dogs for the Blind will strengthen your learning.  Guest lecturers will also visit to discuss putting theory into practice. Visiting lecturers have included Fire Investigation Dog handlers, zoo keepers and researchers.

This course is ideal for those who...

This course is ideal for those who want to make a difference to the lives of animals through understanding their behaviour and welfare, combining undergraduate and postgraduate-level study in one degree.


This programme comprises of different modules, which focus on specific subjects. The modular structure of the programme gives you flexibility and choice and you can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before having to finally decide which ones you wish to study.

Learning and assessment

You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and coursework. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment.

Graduate destinations

This is a new course at Hartpury, however graduates from our three-year BSc (Hons) Behaviour and Welfare course have progressed into a range of roles including:

  • Guide Dog Instructor, Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Animal Welfare Assistant, Blue Cross
  • Canine Carer, Dogs Trust
  • Editorial Assistant, BSAVA
  • Zoo Keeper, Bristol Zoo
  • ‎Communications and Education Executive, Bristol Aquarium
How to apply for this course

Entry Requirements

GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded), including English Language, Mathematics and a Science

A Level | Typical offer is ABB or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels including one in a Biological Science and excludes General Studies

Level 3 Extended Diploma subjects/grades | Typical offer is a DDM in an Extended Diploma or equivalent in a relevant subject

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications, including Access and the International Baccalaureate. Contact the admissions team to discuss.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications.

Why study Animal at Hartpury University Centre?

We work with a range of organisations, including industry bodies and leading companies and charities, in the UK and throughout the world to open doors to incredible opportunities for our students – from exciting work placements to amazing jobs and field trips.

But perhaps the most special thing about Hartpury is that there are many opportunities for our students to gain real world experience on our own specialist campus.

Our Animal students are able to learn about and work with a wide variety of small and large domestic and exotic species – not only with our on-site animal collection but at the farm and in the canine hydrotherapy and equine therapy centres. It’s the best possible preparation for a career in the industry.

You’ll be more than just a number as an animal student at Hartpury University Centre. With small teaching groups and your own personal tutor, your lecturers will support you as an individual to achieve your ambitions, whether that’s working in animal science, welfare and conservation or in animal therapy-related roles.

Plus you’ll be part of a thriving research community, with plentiful opportunities to support staff with their projects and develop your own ideas in a broad range of areas, from animal health to welfare, behaviour and ecology.

Key information

  • University Finance

    The cost of studying can quickly mount up and our finance team can offer confidential advice on budgeting, information on bursaries, loans and grants, and help you explore what you are entitled to. For information on everything student finance related, click below. 

    You can contact the office by email studentfinance@hartpury.ac.uk or by phone on 01452 702189 or 01452 702190.

    find out more
  • Tuition Fees

    Fees for September 2018 entry

    UK: £9,250
    EU fees: Will remain the same as UK students, £9,250
    International: £12,000
    Please contact us to discuss part-time fees 

    EU students starting this course in Sept 2018 will be eligible to apply for UK student loans for the duration of their course. 

  • University Accommodation

    Whether it is your first time away from home, or you’re a seasoned traveller, there are options to suit you and your lifestyle while studying at Hartpury. 

    You’ll be part of a vibrant and international community of students of all ages, and from many different cultures, who share their experience of life at university together on one campus.

    We have a variety of options to suit different tastes and budgets. Whether you choose to live on or off campus you’ll get the same high standards of facilities and support. You can check out your options by clicking below. 

    Find out more

Similar Courses

  • FdSc Animal Science and Management

    Course duration:
    2 Year
    Course type
    Foundation Degrees
  • BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare

    Course duration:
    3 Year
    Course type
    Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees
  • BSc (Hons) Animal Management Top-Up

    Course duration:
    1 Year
    Course type
    Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees
  • BSc (Hons) Zoology

    Course duration:
    3 Year
    Course type
    Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees

Thinking of postgraduate study at Hartpury?

Hartpury University Centre has an outstanding postgraduate employment history of 100% and is skilled at supporting students to progress both their interests and career aspirations. Offering postgraduate qualifications in Equine, Sport, Animal and Veterinary Physiotherapy, Hartpury provides a unique postgraduate experience.