The MSc in Animal Behaviour is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Biology. This programme has a distinct focus on the theoretical, experimental design-based, analytical and technical approaches underpinning modern animal behaviour research.
- The programme is taught within the School of Biology’s Centre for Biological Diversity, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal behaviour research. Staff who teach this programme are renowned researchers in areas of animal cognition, cultural evolution, biologging and the study of complex behavioural systems.
- A core curriculum focused on training in valuable transferable skills is supplemented with a range of specialised options allowing students to explore topics of particular interest at an advanced level.
- You have the exciting opportunity to conduct fieldwork locally as part of a core module and further afield as part of optional field courses (extra cost applicable) in Antarctica (polar ecology) or Indonesia (scientific diving).
- You will undertake a detailed independent research project within one of the School of Biology’s research groups. Wherever possible, you will choose which laboratory you wish to complete your project in.
- Student-led seminars and workshops are designed to support learning, enhance confidence and promote employability.
The course consists of two taught semesters followed by an independent research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation and poster presentation. The research project takes place during the entire year with particular focus during the last three months from mid-May to mid-August.
Semester 1 focuses on research skills. Students receive training in statistical analysis and data handling, experimental design and conducting animal behaviour research in the laboratory and in the field, including a residential field trip.
During Semester 2, you will select specialist optional modules in topical areas of research and also further develop your professional communication skills. The latter involves writing and peer reviewing scientific articles. It also involves outreach and presenting science to the public, including material to be exhibited in the University’s Bell Pettigrew Museum.
The modular curriculum is designed to be coherent, providing integrated, hands-on training that will provide a strong foundation for students wishing to further their studies (for example, PhD) or for those choosing to pursue research-focused careers.
Teaching takes the form of:
Practicals involve lab and field work and computer-based data analysis.
Class sizes range from 5 to 30 students, depending on the module. There is a strong focus on small-group teaching so that students are individually supported and can ask for help when it is needed.
Further particulars regarding curriculum development.