28 Apr 2021

Hazel Facey, BSc Human Animal Interaction with Psychology student

"I love the freedom to tailor my degree to my passion."

Hello! I’m Hazel, a final-year student studying BSc Human Animal Interaction with Psychology.

I’m in my second year of working part-time as a student officer, President: Guidance, for Hartpury Students’ Union and a committee member for the Animal Society and Green Leaders Society.

I remember when I was at secondary school and I told my tutor ‘I’m not going to University’. Oh how times have changed, and of course, for the better. I absolutely love university and I think my year 11 tutor would be proud of what I have achieved at Hartpury.

My course
I adore my course, which makes it tricky to choose a favourite part! I enjoy the Psychology side of my degree, especially topics such as human behaviour change for improving animal welfare and human-animal attachment bonds. I love the freedom I’ve had to tailor my degree to my passion for horses, choosing the Introduction to Equine Behaviour module and focusing on equine in my Animal Assisted Therapy assignment.

Another favourite module is Animals in Society. We analysed different animal organisations and went on many trips to gain a hands-on experience and an insight into what they do. Particular favourites include a trip to Cotswolds RDA where we had a tour and talk from the staff, and a trip to Jamie’s Farm where we also got to handle the lambs.

Gaining experience
We’ve had many animal handling sessions, which have given me the confidence and expertise to manage the variety of animals I may come across in my career. The meerkat training session was a personal favourite! I have a terrible phobia of snakes and initially I could not even enter the reptile room. However, with the support from both lecturers and peers, I managed to enter the room and hold a gecko and bearded dragon, which is something I’m very proud of.

In five years’ time

I’d like to gain more experience in the animal industry and complete a Master’s in Anthrozoology, before returning to work in academia. I’ve found my love for presenting and I would love to share my industry experience and academic knowledge with the future Anthrozoology graduates.

Community and support
I love the sense of community at Hartpury. With small class sizes, my lecturers know me by name. I feel valued as a class member and confident to approach staff with any queries. There is so much additional support outside of timetabled lectures too.

The Innovation Careers and Enterprise (ICE) team helped me identify potential career pathways, while the Achievement and Success Centre (ASC) have a variety of useful sessions that have improved my academic work. The support at Hartpury is second to none and has help me to achieve my potential.

Student Hazel with therapy dog Ralph

Hartpury Students’ Union (HSU)
The HSU has been such an integral part to my Hartpury experience. In my student officer role as President Guidance I’ve met so many incredible students. I’ve also helped to set up and run the Animal Society and Green Leaders Society, which has definitely kept me busy.

I’ve gained skills, built professional networks and developed communication skills, which is not only key to my career but life in general. And of course, sharing the office with Ralph the therapy dog brightens my day!

One of the roles of HSU is to gather student feedback. Feedback is used to inform Hartpury’s strategies, most recently the Covid-19 teaching strategy. Where it is safe to do so, with regular asymptomatic testing, some of the teaching is face-to-face, particularly practical sessions. I enjoy the combination of online and face-to-face lectures, and student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about this approach.

Written By
Hazel Facey
Female student with laptop
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