BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Conservation Science
Year of entry
3 YRS (FT) 5 YRS (PT)
Why choose? this course?
This broad-based course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to enter a variety of professions within the animal sector. Our Animal Science subject area is top in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2023.
- *study in a subject area rated 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the Agriculture & Forestry subject league tables, Complete University Guide 2023
- develop and advance your existing knowledge in the core themes of animal welfare, behaviour and conservation
- design and implement a research study of their choice
- gain personal and professional development to maximise employability within the industry
- have access to a veterinary clinical suite, bespoke training area and Cruft’s standard agility course
- enjoy off site visits to animal charities, wildlife centres and other industry related venues
Key course features
- Develop high-level knowledge of animal physiology, behaviour, training, welfare, and conservation
- Urban and rural study environments - split your study time between the Northop campus set in the stunning North Wales countryside and our Wrexham campus, on the edge of the largest town in North East Wales
- Excellent links with industry
- Opportunities to carry out your own research project in a specialism of your choice within variety of settings
- Industry-active staff with specialist academic and practical skills, and experience of working with a range of domestic, and wild animals
- Join our zoological society and enjoy a range of events, activities and trips throughout the year
- Progression from the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Conservation Science includes employment or postgraduate study.
What you will study
YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)
In the first year, you are introduced to the concepts of biology, animal behaviour and welfare that you will use throughout the rest of your course. Laboratory skills are essential to science and you will receive a foundation in these. You will develop animal husbandry skills and knowledge. You will also undertake a period of work experience so that you become familiar with the animal sector and develop practical skills necessary for the workplace.
Biological Concepts: This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the key principles of animal biology, biological pathogens, laboratory skills and anatomical structure and function. The origins and classification of life will be covered together with cell and tissue structure and function. The main organs and systems of the animals’ bodies will also be introduced.
- Husbandry: This module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of animal husbandry and provides the opportunity to gain practical experience with a wide range of animal species. Lectures, practical sessions and visits to local animal establishments will enable students to consolidate their practical experiences with appropriate husbandry theories. Use will be made of case study materials and guest speakers.
- Ethology and Anthrozoology: This module enables students to investigate the biological basis of natural behaviour, and evaluate the relationship between natural behaviour and captive animal welfare. Students will carry out a practical study of a captive animal and discuss the link between animal welfare and the captive environment. Students will also examine a range of human and animal interrelationships and the costs and benefits associated with these interactions.
- Ethics and Welfare: This module aims to investigate contemporary issues within animal welfare and to introduce students to a range of relevant ethical issues. A variety of contemporary welfare issues will be critiqued during the module. Students will have the opportunity to deliver their own workshops and seminars.
- Academic and Personal Development: This module aims to familiarise learners with the higher education culture, to build on key skills (logical, mathematical and critical) necessary for successful study in higher education.
- Professional Practice: A range of career opportunities and associated challenges with gaining employment within the animal sector will be studied in this module. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and competencies within a workplace setting of their choice.
YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)
In the second year you will build upon knowledge gained in your first year and develop your understanding of a variety of topics in more detail. You will learn about nutrition, physiology, conservation, and population biology. You will also learn research skills and report writing within research methodologies.
Research Methodologies: This module will enable you to understand the role of relevant research within the field of equine studies. In addition, it will provide you with sufficient capability to plan a research project in your field of study, to define the research parameters, assess appropriate methodologies, and present your findings. You will learn how to examine and assess the appropriateness of different research methodologies to various research briefs and become aware of ethical and political issues in social research.
- Nutrition and Feeding Practice: This module will enable you to analyse the structure, role and value to the body of nutritional components of animal feed. You will learn how to critically analyse the composition of animal feed and the role of different feeds within the animal diet. You will also be taught how to calculate feed rations for animals of varying ages and for different levels of ‘work’.
- Anatomy and Physiology: This module aims to equip students with a working knowledge of topographical and skeletal anatomy and to enable them to identify anatomical landmarks. You will learn to relate anatomical structure to function and further develop your practical laboratory skills
- Learning and Training: In this module you will develop a working knowledge of the principles of learning theory as applied to animals. You will link animal learning to training practices and will write and implement your own plan to train an animal to complete a task. You will also evaluate traditional and contemporary training methods and associated equipment.
- Survey Skills for Conservation: The Survey Skills for Conservation module will equip students with the skills necessary to carry out a range of surveys for animal species. Students will identify and survey a range of animal species, and analyse and interpret data collected. The development of these skills will be achieved through practical field work, such as during visits to nature reserves and local woodlands.
- Population Biology and Genetics: In this module you will learn the importance of population biology within evolution and the survival of organisms. You will also develop a critical understanding of the genetic and mathematical principles of population biology.
YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)
The final year provides students with the opportunity to complete their own unique piece of research, thus enabling them to focus on a topic of choice. Conservation, stress and welfare are concentrated on in this final year, together with methods of behaviour modification. Career development is also a central theme, and third years are expected to complete additional professional development activities alongside their degree to enhance their chances of employment.
Conservation Policy: This module will enable you to explore the ecology of a range of animal species native to the UK and understand the need for, and methods of, conservation of these species including Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Research Project: This module gives you the opportunity to carry out your own research in a topic which particularly interests you. In doing this project you will review literature pertinent to the chosen area of research, evaluate relevant research design and develop a suitable method for data collection and analysis, analyse and interpret data collected and finally write up and discuss your findings in relation to the existing knowledge.
- Stress and Animal Welfare: The module enables students to explore how animal stress can be managed in a range of environments and situations. It also aims to provide students with an understanding of the physiological and behavioural adaptations of animals resulting from modern use and husbandry.
- Animal Behaviour Modification: The module aims to develop students’ awareness of the need for a systematic approach to understanding the aetiology of behavioural problems seen in animals. It will extend their understanding of how to analyse behavioural problems in animals and appreciate the limitations of relevant diagnostic techniques.
- Research Skills and Professional Development: The module equips students with the skills to critically evaluate research design as applicable to animal science, to select and justify appropriate methods for data collection and analysis, and to critically reflect on personal development over the duration of the programme of study, linking scholarship and practice through reflection on specific professional development activities.
The information listed in this section is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal academic framework review, so may be subject to change.
Entry requirements & applying
UCAS code: 839K
80-112 UCAS Tariff points at GCE A Level or equivalent. Appropriate AS Level and Level 3 Key Skills qualifications will also be taken into account. At least four GCSEs at grade C/4 (including English/Welsh (First Language) and Maths).
An animal background is required. This may be achieved from work experience in the animal sector, and/or from an informal means such as breeding or keeping animals for leisure purposes.
The entry requirements are for general guidance. Alternative qualifications and experience are considered. All applications are considered on their individual merits.
Teaching & Assessment
Modules are assessed in a wide variety of ways, including academic essays, research posters, presentations, seminar discussions, exams, portfolios, reflective practice and practical assessment. The balance between the different forms of assessment is determined by the different aims and learning outcomes of the modules.
Teaching and learning
Module delivery is achieved through a combination of theoretical lectures, seminar discussions, guest lectures, educational visits, and practical work. Between lectures students are expected to read around their subjects making use of the detailed reading lists published in Module Guides.
Wrexham University is committed to supporting our students to maximise their academic potential.
We offer workshops and support sessions in areas such as academic writing, effective note-making and preparing for assignments. Students can book appointments with academic skills tutors dedicated to helping deal with the practicalities of university work. Our student support section has more information on the help available.
In terms of particular needs, the University’s Inclusion Services can provide appropriate guidance and support should any students require reasonable adjustments to be made because of a recognised prevailing disability, medical condition, or specific learning difference.
Our Careers & Employability service is there to help you make decisions and plan the next steps towards a bright future. From finding work or further study to working out your interests, skills and aspirations, they can provide you with the expert information, advice and guidance you need.
Career opportunities in the animal care industry are wide-ranging. You could be working in:
- Animal welfare organisations
- Zoos and wildlife parks
- Veterinary practices
- Animal feed companies
- Veterinary or pharmaceutical companies
Further study opportunities are also available, such as progression to postgraduate level research and teaching qualifications.
Students moving into employment could expect to progress to careers within the animal industry such as, Welfare Centre managers, zoo keepers or careers allied to the industry, for example research and consultancy work.
Fees & funding
You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.
Wrexham University’s tuition fees for 2024/25 for a full-time undergraduate degree course are £9000 per year.
The fees you pay and the support available will depend on a number of different factors. Full information can be found on our fees & finance pages.
If you’re looking for a place to stay while you study then take a look at our accommodation pages to get more information on your options, including our on-campus halls of residence Wrexham Village.
If you are applying as an European / International Student, and live outside of the UK, you should make your application through our online application system, Centurus.
For information about the university’s entry requirements for EU/international students, please visit our international section.