Undergraduate study
Animal Science and Welfare

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BSc (Hons) Animal Science and Welfare*

UCAS code: D300 BSc/ASW

The BSc (Hons) Animal Science and Welfare degree at Teesside provides you with the skillset to support the animal care industry.

You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 including a work placement year)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information

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    BSc (Hons) Animal Science and Welfare - BBC Look North, February 2018

    Specialist modules in Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare for this degree are delivered at the Houghall Farm site of East Durham College, where you are supported by specialist staff.

 

The animal care industry is worth £1bn to the UK economy and has 13,000 businesses and around 78,000 employees. It includes boarding kennels, catteries, pet breeders, training, grooming, animal welfare charities, zoos, wildlife parks, public services and performing animals in film and television.

There are three core themes:

  • animal science and genetics
  • animal behaviour
  • animal welfare

Most of your time is spent at our Middlesbrough campus where you study the theory and science related to animals.

Specialist modules in Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare themes are delivered at the Houghall Farm site of East Durham College, where you are supported by specialist staff. You are provided with transport to attend Houghall Farm, normally on one day a week.

The Houghall Farm site, set on a stunning 476-acre estate, minutes from Durham city centre, is a fantastic place to work with animals. A purpose-built small animal care centre was has several specialist facilities including a snake house, lizard house, tortoise house, aquatics, small mammals house and an aviary. There is also a commercial dog grooming studio, 22-bay dog kennel and a dog agility and walking area. The site is also home to horse riding stables, an arena and commercial pig and cattle facilities.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Animal and Plant Biology

This module introduces the themes of ecology, diversity, variation within animals and plants, population biology and the complexity within ecosystems, and the relationships between animals and plants and their environment. You gain a thorough introduction to these themes within the lecture series and are given example problems to solve within tutorials. Learning is supported by a field trip surveying diversity within the local area, and laboratory sessions exploring the physiology of animals and plants.

Animal Management and Handling

Biodiversity and Evolution

You study the concept of evolution and how it led to the development of biodiversity and the world we now inhabit. You discuss evolution by natural selection and our development from the common ancestor, along with the principles of taxonomy, speciation and the evolutionary tree to demonstrate relationships between species. We highlight the impact of modern molecular methods of taxonomy in the form of phylogenetics, particularly the discovery of the domain of archaea. We discuss the complex biodiversity of the microbial, plant and animal worlds and their importance in ecological balance for the earth, human kind and society in the form of conservation. Lectures and tutorial sessions provide an insight into the theoretical aspects of evolution and biodiversity, and you discuss and analyse problem-based exercises to affirm your theoretical knowledge.

Cell Biology and Microbiology

The cellular basis of all living organisms is one of the characteristics which defines life. This module explores the common features and the immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. The module will increase your understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. It covers the structure and function of major cellular components and examines how fundamental processes within cells are organised and regulated, such as gene and protein expression. It also addresses the mechanisms by which cells divide, reproduce and differentiate. You study the historical development of cell biology and microbiology advances in theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases. You also examine the beneficial roles of many microorganisms and their utilisation in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.


Introduction to Animal Welfare

 

Year 2 core modules

Animal Behaviour

Domestic and Exotic Animal Husbandry and Welfare

Ecology and Biodiversity

This module is for students interested in ecology and how complex interactions shape the distribution and abundance patterns of species in the natural environment. You examine the ecology of populations and communities, and how the integration of powerful new molecular biology technologies can inform the study of ecology and ecological interactions. You explore the underlying theories used to explain the observed spatial and temporal patterns of diversity observed and the measurements which can be used to quantify diversity. These topics are aligned to current issues, enabling you to appreciate the environmental, ethical and socio-economic concerns raised by ecological studies. Field trips give you the opportunity to sample natural environments and interpret ecological data, such as diversity indices, based on these sites.

Genetics and Molecular Biology

This module introduces you to a range of modern molecular biology concepts and techniques. It addresses general molecular biology, molecular biology of genetic diseases and using molecular biology for producing recombinant proteins and forensic applications. The new age of molecular biology is underpinned by gene and genome sequencing, sequence analysis and sequence manipulation. You are introduced to the principles of sequence analysis and how these techniques have revolutionised all areas of molecular biology, particularly the technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). You learn through lectures and tutorials that allow you to gain insight into the theoretical aspects of molecular biology. A series of laboratory practical sessions introduce the basic techniques at the heart of modern molecular biology such as DNA purification, PCR, restriction digestion, control of gene expression, nucleic acid analysis through agarose gels and sequencing.

Science Communication and Bioethics

Central to this module is using teamwork for problem-based learning and monitored or facilitated self-directed learning. You explore the way science is communicated within the scientific community, to stakeholders and the general public. You discuss and critically analyse the different communication methods. You are also introduced to bioethical issues central to your programme of study. You are expected to debate these issues and sensibly communicate the complexity of the themes which are embedded within the scientific disciplines.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Animal Management Innovation and Development

Animal Nutrition

Animal Science Research Project

Biogeography and Conservation

This module is ideal for you if you’re interested in the biogeographical distribution of species and how this information can inform conservation practices.

Biogeography, with its focus on the distribution of species at a range of scales, provides an important theoretical framework within which ecosystem services, and the increasing impact of human activity on global biodiversity and ecosystem functions, can be evaluated.

You explore the contribution of habitat destruction and fragmentation and invasive species to biodiversity losses. You examine underlying principles in biogeography, including the historical development of the discipline, and investigates how these principles can inform effective conservation practices targeted at preventing biodiversity losses. You explore how endangered species are characterised, the selection and design of conservation areas, and the legal and policy frameworks in place to support conservation efforts.

Ecological Sustainability

The module is for life and environmental sciences students. You explore key areas in which biological-based technologies have the potential to offer more sustainable solutions to environmental problems. You consider the complementary and multidisciplinary analytical techniques that are used to understand and ensure the sustainable management of different ecological systems. You learn through a combination of lectures, student-led seminars, tutorial sessions and a field trip where possible.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You attend a range of lectures, small-group tutorials, hands-on laboratory sessions and animal handling sessions at Houghall Farm. Part of your course also involves a substantial research-based project.

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, examinations), but you are also expected to undertake self-study time to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. You study 120 credits over one year of full-time study. Each unit of credit is equivalent to 10 hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). So, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

One module in each year of your study involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

From Year 1 onwards, you attend Houghall Farm one day per week for the specialist animal-based modules.

How you are assessed

Your learning involves different types of assessment including coursework assignments and examinations.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

This course provides you with the skillset to support the animal care industry. The sector is worth £1bn to the UK economy and has 13,000 businesses and around 78,000 employees. Graduates can go on to work in boarding kennels, catteries, pet breeders, training, grooming, animal welfare charities, zoos, wildlife parks, public services and with performing animals in film and television.

Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

Between your second year and final year, you have the option to spend a year developing your skills through a work placement. A dedicated work placement officer and the University's careers service help to support you when applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also gain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this course, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
If you live in the UK you may be invited to attend an interview. The interview helps us tailor your offer to your individual circumstances. The interview process also enables us to consider applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and those with non-traditional qualifications, including individuals who may be returning to study after a period of employment.

When you visit the University for your interview you will be offered a tour of our fantastic campus, a visit to our excellent laboratory and teaching facilities, and an opportunity to meet our staff. You will also learn more about your course and the range of scholarships, bursaries and grants you might be eligible for. If you can't come for an interview, we will consider making you an offer based on the information you provide in your application.

Eligibility for entry to Year 1 of this course requires study of Level 3 biology (or another related subject).

The most common acceptable Level 3 qualifications are:

  • A levels (grades BBC)
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (grade DMM)
  • Access to HE Diploma (with 30 Level 3 credits from science units awarded at merit or higher)

You also need to have numeracy and literacy skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4.

If the qualification you are studying for is not listed, please contact our Admissions Office for advice. We accept many alternative UK and international qualifications.

If you don't meet the entry criteria for Year 1 entry, you may wish to consider joining our extended degree programme which includes an integrated foundation year, BSc (Hons) Animal Science and Welfare (with Foundation Year) .

Secure a guaranteed course place now*

Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on a degree course with a foundation year whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
Find out more and check your eligibility

Direct entry to later years
Applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) or BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level may request direct entry to Year 2 of this degree. Applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level may request direct entry to the final year of their degree. To be considered for advanced entry you must provide a full detailed transcript of your previous studies with your application.

English language requirements
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English. An example of an acceptable qualification is GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

* Subject to University approval

Part-time

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Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 including a work placement year)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information