FdSc Applied Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Conservation (with Foundation Year)

Course details



Year of entry

2023, 2024


3 YRS (FT)

UCAS Tariff


Institution Code



Northop, Wrexham

Why choose? this course?

If you’re passionate about animals there’s never been a better time to prepare for your dream career with this course which covers animal behaviour, ethics and welfare. This course is part of a subject area rated 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2023.

You will:

  • *study in a subject area rated 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the Agriculture & Forestry subject league tables, Complete University Guide 2023
  • study zoological science, animal husbandry, animal learning and training, and survey skills for conservation
  • take part in work placements to develop practical skills and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have gained
  • 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

You can also choose to study this course without a foundation year FdSc Applied Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Conservation  UCAS code: D300

Key course features

  • *Subject area is rated 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the Agriculture & Forestry subject league tables, Complete University Guide 2022
  • Includes foundation year to prepare you for further years of study
  • Develop high-level knowledge of animal behaviour, husbandry, and training
  • Urban and rural study environments - split your study time between the Northop campus set in stunning North Wales countryside and our Wrexham campus, on the edge of the largest town in North East Wales
  • Excellent links with industry and opportunities to secure work placements which will enhance your career prospects. Gain experience in a range of practical situations from zoo work to training assistance dogs
  • Industry-active staff with specialist academic and practical skills, and experience of working with a range of domestic and wild animals
  • Top up to a full BSc (Hons) degree in Animal Studies once you’ve completed the foundation degree (further one year of study needed)

What you will study


The foundation year will introduce you to a range of scientific concepts and methods which underpin biological sciences.  You’ll gain thorough training in laboratory skills and will develop your analytical and mathematical skills.  Students will be encouraged to develop their own abilities in science, with a basic bank of knowledge across the main scientific areas.

The Foundation year is taught at our Wrexham campus, with Level 4 (year 2) studies moving to our Northop campus.


  • The Skills You Need - This module ensures that you develop key academic, personal and professional skills required for successful study at a higher education level. The module focuses on developing the necessary practical, intellectual and communication skills which ensure a successful transition to Level 4 and progression through Honours degree programmes and prepares you for subsequent employment and/or further study.
  • Contextual Studies - The module aims to introduce the students to a broad variety of contemporary issues to stimulate discussion, debate, and engagement. It will enable the students to engage with a variety of topic areas with follow-on research activity and reflective practice amongst subject groups.
  • Science and the Environment - Science and the Environment explores not only the ways the environment affects chemical and biological processes but also the impact that “science” can have on the environment. Students will reflect upon historical aspects such as CFCs and the ozone hole but also contemplate future challenges for scientists in protecting the environment.
  • Laboratory and Field Skills in Biology (Biosciences) -  Gain a thorough training in laboratory skills which includes coverage of experimental method, health and safety, writing risk assessments, use of laboratory equipment including microscopes. Students also explore concepts of ecology and fieldwork, including identification of plants and animals in the wild, using techniques for surveying habitats and developing personal field skills.
  • Introduction to Experimental Design and Mathematical Analysis (Biosciences) - Essential scientific and mathematical skills, including consideration of ethics in science and the philosophy underpinning the experimental method. Students are encouraged to develop and apply skills through analysis and debate and to develop knowledge and experience of experimental design, data collection, analysis, probability and introductory statistics.
  • Introduction to Science - This will provide students with the fundamental background knowledge required for their full degree study in the relative areas.  It will encourage students to develop their own abilities in science, introduce a basic bank of knowledge in main scientific areas, develop skills and ability to apply science concepts to problem-solving and enable students to gain an understanding of how science and technology influence and are influenced by contemporary society.


In this 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 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.


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 anatomy and physiology, survey skills for conservation, learning and training. You will also learn research skills and report writing within research methodologies. In addition the Applied Practice module will allow you to gain further hands on experience in the workplace.


  • Research Methodologies: This module will enable you to understand the role of relevant research within the field of animal 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.
  • Applied practice: This module will enable you to gain further work based learning and act as a consultant researching and critically assessing issues within the organisation in conjunction with an employer. You will have the opportunity to make recommendations for development based on the experience you have gained.
  • 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.


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: 85D4

Applications are welcomed from candidates who do not possess the standard qualifications but who can demonstrate their capacity to pursue the course successfully.

Entrance for these candidates is dependent on an assessment of past experience, a successful interview, references and diagnostic assessment to determine suitability for the course. Enthusiasm and commitment are essential.

Teaching & Assessment

The course comprises a range of modules that are assessed by theoretical and in some cases practical coursework. Types of assessment include, portfolios, posters, laboratory reports, essays, presentations, seminars, practical exams, written exams and reflective diaries.


This programme includes a variety of learning and teaching methods in the class, practical settings and sessions delivered within the workplace. These include:

  • Lectures and demonstrations
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Group and project work
  • Reflective reports
  • External speakers
  • Educational visits and study days
  • Tutor and students led sessions
  • Critical appraisal
  • Portfolio development
  • Work placements

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.

Career prospects

The animal care industry is now worth £1 billion to the UK economy with 13,000 businesses and numerous animal charities, zoos, conservation organisations, wildlife parks and animal visitor attractions.

Career opportunities in the animal care industry are wide-ranging. You could be working in animal welfare organisations, conservation, zoos and wildlife parks, veterinary practices, animal feed companies and veterinary or pharmaceutical companies.

Further study opportunities are also available, such as progression to teaching qualifications or postgraduate level research.

Our Careers and 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.

Fees & funding

You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.

Wrexham University’s tuition fees for 2023/24 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