BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Are you passionate about understanding animal behaviour and applying this knowledge to improve welfare? Do you want to explore the evolution of behaviour in a variety of species? Applying an understanding of animal needs and health, you consider the many aspects of animal welfare, including an examination of the legal and ethical frameworks that safeguard welfare.

Course details

You also undertake practical work, conducting behavioural and welfare assessment studies, gaining the skills sought by employers.
  • Mode of study: 3-4 days  a week
  • Intake: Intakes: September
  • Course length: 3-4 years
  • Course fee: 9250 per year
  • Location: Plymouth campus

Plymouth University

Course overview

In the 2020 National Student Survey, 100% felt that the staff made the subject interesting; 100% found the course intellectually stimulating; 96% of students felt staff on this course were good at explaining things; and 91% were satisfied with the quality of the course.


Entry requirements

  • UCAS tariff
  • 112 – 128
  • To include A level Biology and a second relevant subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies, Applied Science, Marine Science, Psychology) at grade C.
  • BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma/RQF National Extended Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate 30 diploma points overall, to include 5 diploma points in Biology (Higher Level) plus 5 diploma points in second science at Higher Level. English and Mathematics must be included.
  • Access To Higher Education Science-based diplomas, 33 credits in science-based units at merit including a minimum of 12 credits in biology units.
  • We would usually expect GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4, or equivalent.


Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with an animal behaviour and welfare degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:


  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies


In your first year, you will learn the core skills and fundamental science required to be able to study animal behaviour and welfare, since it is critical when working in these fields to have a strong understanding of the underlying science. You will study evolution, behaviour, physiology, microbiology and ecology, whilst developing your skills in experimental design and interpretation. You will understand the importance of statistical analyses in behavioural studies and will be able to perform fundamental data analyses. You will gain these skills and through a mix of lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a residential field trip (most recently we went to Slapton Ley in South Devon) or an alternative, where you will study the ecology and behaviour of organisms in various settings.

  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 1 (BIOL129Z)
  • Cells: The Building Blocks of Life (BIOL131Z)
  • Ecology and the Diversity of Life (BIOL132Z)
  • Principles of Physiology (BIOL133Z)
  • Behaviour and Ecology Field Biology (BIOL136Z)
  • Evolution and Behaviour (MBIO161Z)
  • Introduction to Biology (BIOL119Z)
  • Animal Behaviour (BIOL205Z)
  • Animal Behaviour and Welfare Field Course (BIOL224Z)
  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 2 (BIOL225Z)
  • Animal Health and Welfare (BIOL227Z)
  • Comparative Zoology (BIOL232Z)
  • Methods in Biology (BIOL234Z)

Optional modules


  • Principles of Conservation Biology (BIOL204Z)
  • Animal Ecophysiology (BIOL226Z)
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics (BIOL313Z)


  • Personal Research (BIOL315Z)

Optional modules

  • Animal Nutrition (BIOL320Z)
  • Behavioural Ecology (MBIO317Z)
  • Fish and Fisheries (MBIO363Z)
  • Conservation Physiology (MBIO364Z)
  • Advanced Behaviour Analysis Techniques (BIOL323Z)
  • Advanced Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics (BIOL324Z)