Mres Anthrozoology


MRes, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

This research-focused degree is ideal for those who want to develop and discover new scientific expertise around the wide and varied area of human and animal interaction.

You'll be supported to build on existing expertise in anthrozoology through research, preparing for PhD study or advancing your career.

Key Information

Course Duration: 1 year full-time; part-time options available
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Master's and PhDs
Typical Offer: 2:1 honours degree (2:2 applicants considered individually)

Course information

You’ll gain a deeper insight into the role of animals in society, as well as how humans and animals co-exist from a historic and contemporary perspective. You’ll also explore the role of animals in healing and their role in cultures and religions.

Research-active lecturers and professors will support you to advance knowledge gained from your first degree or employment. You’ll learn how to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging challenges in human-animal interaction, focusing your research on your interests and career aspirations.

You’ll have access to a diverse range of species from our own animal collection – domestic animals, exotics, invertebrates and amphibians – as well as a wealth of wildlife across our 360-hectare conservation-style site. We’re also home to equine and canine therapy centres, as well as specialist dog agility activities and expertise.

Our strong industry connections with human-animal experts, animal therapists, animal trainers and zoos will further enhance your experiences and extend your professional networks. Delivery is flexible and often provided at weekends to fit around your work or other commitments.


2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Students with 2:2 and relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis.


Students with non-relevant qualifications but with sufficient work experience or professional experience will be considered on an individual basis.


In addition to the academic qualification an IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

Please contact us for further information.

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Professional practice

Some optional modules require you to reflect on your current professional practice, so if you are currently working in a role in the animal industry (voluntary, paid, full or part-time), this will be an ideal supplement to your studies.

Field trips

The optional Wildlife Conflict module includes a 10-day residential stay on a game reserve in South Africa, studying the relationships between wildlife and local populations. The field trip has an associated cost (see fees section), but represents a fantastic opportunity to study this unique human-animal ecosystem with our expert academic staff. Places for this field trip are limited.

Graduate destinations

The research component of this degree makes it ideal for those wishing to undertake more significant academic research via a PhD or those who wish to advance a specific area of their professional practice.

Students have gone on to undertake their doctorate, as well as securing professional roles or progressing existing roles working within the animal and human sectors (zoos, domestic animal organisations, human therapy and care centres).

Our careers team can support you to find and prepare for employment. Potential graduate destinations include:

  • PhD study
  • Conservation sector (eg. public education)
  • Working to safeguard the welfare of companion animals in various sectors (pet, working)
  • Animal-assisted therapy centres/organisations
  • Starting your own business providing advice on human-animal wellbeing
Success Stories

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential while you're here so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals. This course will be delivered through a mixture of weekend and weekday onsite delivery, but some of the modules will be delivered entirely online.


One year, full-time

You can study each of these qualifications full-time and subsequently complete each within one year.

Two-three years, part-time

Alternatively, we offer flexible part-time options to help students to manage their studies alongside other commitments. These options can be tailored to suit your own needs, enabling you to complete your qualification in two or three years. Please enquire for further details.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one. This will range from your lecturers, supervisors and personal tutor to our specialist academic (Achievement and Success Centre), employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) and wellbeing teams.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your understanding of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions.

Qualification and modules

This degree will equip you with the expertise needed to develop practical solutions for existing and emerging problems centred around animal-human interactions.

You’ll explore how humans co-exist and impact on animals through conservation, exploitation and as companions, as well as debating the ethical issues surrounding anthrozoology. Key topics include the human-animal bond, wildlife conflict and contemporary issues surrounding human-animal interaction.

Taught modules have been designed to advance your skills in critically evaluating current research, and develop your abilities in research design and statistical analysis.

These skills, along with one-to-one support, will allow you to understand and apply current scientific thinking to welfare issues, enabling you to evaluate and develop new ideas to improve real-world practice.

The practical and theoretical skills you will gain will enhance your career prospects and can be applied in future scientific research and applied areas of human-animal interactions, including education, legislation, working with animal charities, zoos and conservation organisations.

Your dissertation project, which provides opportunities for academic publishing, will be a piece of original research that will make a valuable contribution to the field of anthrozoology.

This project is highly flexible, providing freedom for you to research your chosen topic in line with your interests and career aspirations.

You’ll also be encouraged to attend industry conferences, with opportunities to present research in key areas – this provides a great foundation for you to develop your knowledge and reputation, as well as industry networks.

These qualifications form part of and are at the same level as the full master’s degree. They provide the ideal opportunity for you to develop your professional expertise via shorter qualifications, whilst allowing flexibility to progress each qualification through to the next level, including the full master’s degree.

Discover the compulsory modules for this course. You’ll also be able to choose from a range of optional modules to suit your interests and career goals. Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands.

Module credits

Upon successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain may contribute towards your final qualification differential award (pass, merit or distinction).

The Human-Animal Bond (all levels)

An introduction to ethical and philosophical principles, providing underpinning concepts for the applied aspects of the programme. Topics covered include human evolution and animal domestication, theories and principles of human psychology, and the impact of the human-animal bond on animal behaviour and welfare.

The Research Process (all levels)

Optional for PG Dip and PG Cert.

Discuss research methodologies and applications, as well as strengths, weaknesses and limitations of different methods.

Extended Postgraduate Research Project (MRes only)

Develop and undertake a detailed and independent research project on a topic of your choosing, related to your Master of Research degree.

Contemporary Issues in Animal Welfare Science

Optional for PG Cert.

Analyse contemporary areas of welfare concern including evidence for sentience and positive welfare states. Explore appropriate solutions to overcoming the barriers to improving animal welfare in the real

Companion and Working Animals Regulations

Optional for PG Dip and PG Cert.

Explore the industries for companion animals and equines, covering a range of topics, from how animals are sourced (eg pet shops and breeders) to their use in sporting disciplines, therapy animals, animals in education and military / police animals.

Captive Exotics and Wildlife Policy and Law

Explore zoological institutions as well as areas surrounding performance animals, pest control, population management and game rearing. This module will touch on important international legislation, such as CITES.

Controls on the Use of Animals in Science

Examine the use of animals within scientific contexts, from research to authorisation and licensing of both human and veterinary medicines, and how animal use is justified through a cost-benefit framework.

Wildlife Conflict

Explore the drivers of and solutions for human wildlife conflict.  In the module you will discuss and debate the ecological, social, and economic impacts of wildlife conflict and conservation.

Anthrozoology (PG Dip only)

Anthrozoology is the study of human‐animal interactions, exploring the impact animals have on our lives, and the impact they have on ours.

Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare (PG Dip only)

You will contextualise your understanding of behaviour and welfare to animals kept as companions (e.g. dogs, cats, horses), exploring how variation in the human‐animal bond has impacted on their welfare.
Furthermore, you will explore how animal welfare can be practically assessed and positive changes enacted in these real‐world contexts.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

  Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
MRes degree 11% 0% 89%
Postgraduate Diploma 17% 0% 83%
Postgraduate Certificate 16% 0% 84%
Teaching contact time

Teaching contact time and method will vary depending on the optional module that you choose to study.

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments.

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. Feedback will be given verbally, in writing and during taught sessions.

  Written exam Practical exam Coursework
MRes degree 4% 21% 75%
Postgraduate Diploma 6% 16% 78%
Postgraduate Certificate 12% 20% 68%

The full-time MRres programme is taught over three semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching in semesters one and two, then assessment weeks. For the postgraduate certificate and diploma, your teaching will primarily be in semester one, with some teaching potentially in semester two.

The bulk of taught content will be completed on weekends in semester one, with taught content also taking place in semester two, but the primary focus in semesters two and three will be your research project.

A timetable overview is below:

  • Scheduled teaching generally takes place across block weekends (Friday – Sunday)
  • Delivery on the teaching weekends is normally scheduled between 9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Attendance dates and timetables are available before enrolment to support the arrangement of annual leave where required
View term dates

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

MRes Bursary

You may be eligible for a £1,000 bursary to support your research project. Please visit our finance page for more details.

Clothing and footwear

A number of modules require clothing and footwear suitable to wear outdoors when working with animals, eg. long trousers and boots.

Hartpury University branded clothing is also available through our online shop, for those who wish to purchase it. However, this is not essential.

Optional field trips (circa £1,500)

The optional module Wildlife Conflict – optional at all levels – offers a field trip to South Africa to study conflicts that arise between local populations and wildlife and how these are positively managed. Places for this field trip are limited.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

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Book an appointment

Discuss this course with an Academic Programme Manager

Prospective students can book an online appointment with one of our programme managers to discuss our courses and options for postgraduate study at Hartpury University. 

Fees & Funding

It's a good idea to think about fees and funding around your course as early as you can. We can help you to understand and take control of your finances. Here’s everything you need to know at a glance.

Postgraduate Fees Funding Hartpuy University (1)


Our specialist facilities match our specialist nature. Students benefit from access to some of the most advanced facilities in the world at an educational institution.


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We're a top 20 UK university for postgraduate teaching, engagement, assessment, organisation and support (PTES 2023).

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World leading

Our research has been recognised as 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

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Meet the programme manager

Chris Pawson is a Reader in Anthrozoology and the Programme Manager for MRes in Anthrozoology.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.