BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Hartpury University and Hartpury College
  • Info on Application
  • 3 Years
  • Undergraduate
  • Gloucestershire

Turn your passion for animals into your career, developing your expertise in animal behaviour and welfare. Learn with 70 species on site, working with domestic and exotic animals, and assessing animal welfare in different contexts. Experience fieldwork in South Africa.

Benefit from a 360-hectare campus that’s home to a diverse range of animals. You’ll have fantastic opportunities to develop your expertise to assess animal welfare, measure behaviour, train and manage domestic, exotic and wild species. Teaching is supported by our on-site animal collection, including meerkats, rabbits, goats and wallabies, our dairy farm and equine yard.

An optional field trip to Mankwe Wildlife Reserve will give you the opportunity to study wildlife and conservation on the South African plains; this will give you valuable insights into international conservation careers.

Across all years of this degree, you’ll develop industry-standard practical skills to assess animal welfare, measure behaviour, train animals and manage domestic, exotic and wild species. Through exposure to the latest research you’ll be at the forefront of emerging scientific knowledge. You’ll also use your experiences to inspire your own research question, which you can explore further in a significant project in your final year. You could follow in the footsteps of many of our students who have published their research with our lecturers. They’ve also presented research at national and international conferences run by organisations such as ASAB (The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour), BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and UFAW (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare).

Industry opportunities

The optional integrated placement year, between the second and final year, takes you into industry to prepare for entering your dream career. Your work placement can be at any animal-based organisation, either in the UK or overseas.

Our commercial canine and equine therapy centres offer opportunities for students to gain industry experience ready for their careers. Alongside this, we’ll encourage you to find a voluntary role with a local organisation such as an animal rescue shelter, wildlife rehabilitation centre or a zoo. Our students work with organisations such as the Blue Cross and West Midlands Safari Park. Field trips to places such as Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bristol Aquarium and Guide Dogs for the Blind will strengthen your learning. Guest lecturers will give you valuable industry insights; recent visitors have included Fire Investigation dog handlers and zoo keepers.

This course is ideal for those who…
Love animals and want to make a difference to their lives through applying and improving training, management and welfare practices.

Learning and assessment
This programme comprises of different modules, which focus on specific subjects. The modular structure of the programme gives you flexibility and choice and you can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before having to finally decide which ones you wish to study. You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and coursework. 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.

Graduate destinations
As an animal graduate you may go on to work in zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, rescue, conservation or welfare centres. Studying an animal degree will also give you the transferable skills you need for other graduate careers. Recent graduate destinations have included:

Instructor, Guide Dogs for the Blind
Animal Welfare Assistant, Blue Cross
Editorial Assistant, BSAVA
Zoo Keeper, Bristol Zoo
‎Communications and Education Executive, Bristol Aquarium
Postgraduate study – MRes Animal Behaviour and Welfare, MRes Anthrozoology

Hartpury University and Hartpury College

Hartpury University and Hartpury College,


GL19 3BE,

Tel: 01452 702 100