Designed for students aiming to work in research, education, and industry in the life sciences sector. Specifically this MSc will provide you with an advanced understanding of current and emerging issues in the both Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare and provide you with an extensive range of lectures in a variety of topics.
Animal Behaviour and Welfare highlights
- Many of our graduates secure dream jobs around the world.
World Class Facilities
- The School of Biological Sciences has a wide range of facilities to carry out Animal Behaviour and Welfare research. Our world class facilities include access to: Animal Laboratory Services Belfast Zoo Farm Animal Research Facilities Queen’s University Marine Laboratory Collections throughout the UK and Ireland
Internationally Renowned Experts
- This course offers a unique opportunity to obtain a qualification in the fields of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare delivered by world class scientists.
- In contrast to most MSc programmes at other UK universities, we will provide students with an extensive range of lectures in a variety of topics (for details see Programme Content).
Introduction Animal Behaviour is the scientific study of what animals do, from single-celled organisms, invertebrates to vertebrates. It is one of the most exciting and interesting scientific disciplines, expanding rapidly over recent decades. Animal behaviour is key to understanding evolutionary processes, and there is a growing need to understand behaviour due to the impact of an increasing human population.
In addition, an understanding of animal behaviour is of fundamental importance to safeguard animal welfare. Thus, the study of animal behaviour provides the foundation for successful conservation and to increase and regulate the welfare of both domestic and wild animals. The course covers a wide range of animals, from insects to primates, taking in companion and farm animals. Thus, there is something of interest for everyone.
Throughout the course students will get fundamental training in Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare, Experimental Design, Statistics, and Presentation Skills to succeed on the competitive job market. The content provided during the course will also be useful for those who wish to pursue a PhD in Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology, Conservation, Evolutionary Ecology, and Animal Welfare.
The course also offers the opportunity to undertake a work placement with a variety of organizations subject to availability of placements. The School of Biological Sciences has provided work placement opportunities to students for more than 10 years, through a dedicated team of Career and Work Placement Officers that work for our School.
The work placement module is optional: students will have the option to either complete the module Professional Development and Work Placement, or the module Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare.
The structure and contents of the programme are detailed below:
Animal Behaviour and Welfare (60 CATS). This module gives an in depth overview into different topics of Behaviour and Welfare, including Communication; Companion, Farm and Zoo Welfare; Conservation, Contests; Development; Hunting; Navigation; Sensory Systems; and Veterinary Welfare Issues.
Foundations for Research in the Biosciences (20 CATS). This module will provide you with the underpinning of research such as the scientific method, ethics in research, scientific communication, and impact of your research.
Key Skills in Animal Behaviour and Welfare (20 CATS). This module will introduce you to the principles, which will allow you to conduct animal behaviour and welfare research successfully. This module will improve your skills in terms of study design and statistical analysis and it will also improve your oral and written presentation skills.
Literature Review: Animal Behaviour (20 CATS). You will write an in-depth quality review in an area of Behaviour or Welfare to improve your writing skills.
One of the following:
Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare (60 CATS). Projects run usually from April to August (inclusive) and allows a substantial piece of research to be produced and written in good publishable style.
Professional Development and Work Placement (60 CATS). Work placement usually take place from April until the end of August, and are undertaken in an organisation chosen among industry, the public sector and on governmental organizations in the area of animal behaviour and welfare. During the work placement, youwill increase yourability to relate academic theory to the work environment, develop identified work related skills (cognitive, transferable and subject specific skills), enhance your career knowledge, be able to critically evaluate your learning from the placement to demonstrate its value to your future.
People teaching you
School of Biological Sciences
Contact Teaching Hours
Medium Group Teaching
15 (hours maximum)
Teaching is across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, primarily on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursday and Fridays are used for reading and preparing assignments.
Current graduates have taken up further PhD study both here at Queen’s and further afield. Others have gone on to work in both the private (Sea Watch Foundation, Dogs Trust, ISPCA ) and public sector (DOE Marine Division, NISRA) here in Northern Ireland and internationally (Canada, Thailand, and Italy).
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, we do this by providing a range of different learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives. This approach will equip you for life and work in a global society and you will make use of innovative technologies and a world class library, which will enhance your development.
Teaching is across a combination of morning and afternoon classes, primarily on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursday and Fridays are used for reading and preparing assignments. Research projects are carried out full-time from March to August. Work placements start at the end of the second semester.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course include; lectures, practical experiences, E-Learning technologies, self-directed study and added value qualifications to enhance employability.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
The award of the MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare is based on continuous assessment of coursework, examinations and assessment of modules based solely on submitted work related to private, individual study.
The MSc with Distinction will be awarded when the three following conditions are met: an overall average of 70+ is achieved; a mark of 70+ is achieved in the Research Project: Animal Behaviour and Welfare or in the Professional Development and Work Placement; an average of 65+ is achieved in the other modules.
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above, in a relevant area of science (including psychology), or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds, thus applicants who do not meet the above academic requirements but hold a degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) and can demonstrate appropriate experience, will be considered on an individual basis.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £5,900 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £5,900 Other (non-UK) EU £5,900 International £20,200
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Animal Behaviour and Welfare costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.
Fees and Funding