Animal behaviour

2017 entry

BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £12,660 per annum

*Subject to yearly increases

Course type

BSc (Hons)

UCAS info

Points required: 112

UCAS code: C301

Institute code: L51

Study mode

Three years full time or four years with sandwich year.

About your course

Studying the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University will give you an opportunity to learn from experts in animal behaviour and complete work-related learning with a variety of animal-related organisations, such as overseas research projects, zoos, wildlife parks and rescue centres. The course explains animal behaviour in relation to animal evolution, ecology, physiology, neurobiology and genetics, preparing students for a career in science, animal welfare, husbandry or conservation.

  • Regular visits to local zoos and wildlife parks to observe the behaviour of captive animals
  • Study the behaviour of wild, captive and companion animals, with opportunities for overseas fieldwork
  • Opportunities for work-related learning, study abroad and/or a year-long sandwich placement
  • Taught by animal behaviour experts at the forefront of modern research
  • Specialist lectures from visiting animal behaviour experts
  • International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more

It's an excellent module and you can choose projects that really interest you. I would definitely recommend it. It’s something I would love to do again.

Megan, current student referring to International Expedition module

They actually phoned me up when the job became available and asked me to apply. They said my previous experience made me a good candidate as they already knew I was reliable and that it would save them valuable time training me due to a good working knowledge of the job.

Gemma, Animal Behaviour graduate, referring to sandwich placement and subsequent permanent position with Freshfields Animal Rescue

Work-related learning

Translating your academic studies into essential professional experience

This course provides plenty of opportunities for first-hand experience of working in the animal behaviour field via an optional year-long sandwich placement between Levels 5 and 6, and/or a short 4-6 week work-related learning placement in Level 6.

A placement tutor will help you find the right placement, either in the UK or overseas, and once you start, you will have regular support from a supervisor.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support

There will be times during your course when you need guidance and advice related to your academic studies or more personal matters. For this reason, you will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of your course. You will be able to discuss course material informally as part of a small tutorial group and also have one-to-one progress review meetings.

You will also be allocated a supervisor for your project or work-related learning, and your year-long placement if you choose the sandwich option.

Course details

Drawing on the disciplines of animal evolution, ecology, physiology, neurobiology and genetics, this course gives you the chance to develop observational skills and understanding of animal behaviour to equip you for a career in animal welfare, husbandry and conservation.

This course gives you the understanding to answer questions such as 'how and why does behaviour vary between individuals, groups and species' and 'how is behaviour shaped by the past (evolutionary history) and the present (the environment), and regulated by genes, physiology and neurobiology?'

Modules cover animal behaviour in a range of environments – from natural behaviour in the tropics and temperate habitats; terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems; through to the behaviour and welfare of domestic and captive animals.

Regular field work underpins the development of theoretical knowledge, giving students the practical skills to engage in the study of animal behaviour. Guided by the expertise of staff who run long-term field projects on endangered species, an important part of the programme is the training in observational methods. Students will have ample opportunities to try out their techniques on wild animals in the UK and abroad, as well as on captive animals in Chester Zoo, the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Blackpool Zoo, Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Snowdonia National Park, Blue Planet Aquarium and Knowsley Safari Park, which are all close by.

There is an international field trip during Level 5. Students can also take part in an international expedition to the tropics during Level 6 (currently to Costa Rica) to observe first-hand how animals behave in such habitats. You can also choose to study at a different university for one semester in our Study Abroad Programme to learn from other behavioural biology experts.​

On top of your academic studies, you will have the opportunity to undertake a short (4-6 week) work-based placement and/or a year's sandwich placement in the UK or abroad. Placements give you a chance to put your skills and knowledge into practice, as well as developing personal and subject-related skills and acquiring new skills to enhance your CV. They could even lead to employment with the same organisation or through the contacts you make. 

The first year of the course is very similar to LJMU's Zoology programme and you can transfer onto this course if you complete Level 4

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 4

  • Fundamentals of Scientific Research
  • Practical Skills for Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Evolution and Inheritance
  • Ecology
  • Animal Physiology
Level 5
  • Brain, Hormones and Behaviour
  • Animals in Motion
  • Animal Communication
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Animal Field Skills (includes residential fieldwork overseas – travel and accommodation costs covered by LJMU)
  • Research Skills and Employability

Sandwich degree:

  • Year-long placement   
Level 6
  • Independent Research Project
  • Advances in Animal Behaviour

The following options are typically offered:

  • Animal Learning and Cognition
  • Primate Social Systems
  • Companion Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Welfare
  • International Expedition (includes residential fieldwork overseas – student contribution required)
  • Work-based Learning (includes a placement)

Further guidance on modules 

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ 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. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course.

Programme specification document (PDF)

Teaching and learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

Teaching is via a combination of lectures, fieldwork, laboratory work, workshops and tutorials, with emphasis on either a research project and/or work-related learning in the third year. This independent study is an important aspect of the course as it gives you a chance to put into practice skills and knowledge gained in Levels 4 and 5.

Your lecturers

Expert tuition and support

Your tutors are at the forefront of research and teaching, with a wide range of research interests and expertise in wild and captive animals. The team has particular strengths in primate behaviour and conservation (wild and captive), bird and mammal behaviour (wild and captive), as well as animal learning and cognition. This expertise directly informs what you will study, plus you'll have the opportunity to meet a host of animal behaviour professionals through guest lectures or during site visits.​

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework

End of year exams may include a range of question types such as multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay, whereas coursework assessments are made up of phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or the evaluation of practical skills. While most of your assessments will be based on individual work you will also complete some group work.

Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Blackboard (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications

112

GCSE and equivalents

  • Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Subject specific requirements: A Level Grade C or above in Biology and preferably one further Science.
  • Is general studies acceptable? Not acceptable
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • BTEC certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • 90 credit diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: DMM - must include a significant number of science-based modules, usually a minimum of six.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Access programme must have been taken be in a relevant subject area, minimum of 24 Distinctions and 12 Merits required

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

Additional entry requirement information

​Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Yes

International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding available from LJMU as well as government grants and loans and targeted support for students with children/dependants or disabilities.

Different funding arrangements will apply if you are from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or other countries in the EU. If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will still be eligible for loans for tuition fees as well as grants and/or bursaries plus loans for living costs. It's just that the amounts available may be different to those stated here as these apply to applicants who live in England.

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, and if successful you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course worth between £1,000 and £10,000. This money does not need to be repaid and it's up to you to decide what you want to spend it on.

LJMU bursary

LJMU bursaries are means-tested, which means your household income must be below a certain level in order for you to qualify for this funding.

The money you receive does not have to be repaid and is intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student. You will receive a bursary for each year of your course providing you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Tuition fees

In line with most universities, LJMU charges an annual tuition fee of £9,250 for most of our degrees.

If you opt to complete a foundation year as part of your degree, your first year tuition fee will be £7,700.

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront when you enrol.

Instead you can take out a tuition fee loan, which doesn't have to be repaid until after you leave LJMU and start earning over the threshold. Currently the threshold is £21,000 for students resident in England.

As long as you have not been to University before and meet the residency rules both full and part-time students are eligible to apply for tuition fee loans.

For more information on tuition fee loans, go to: www.gov.uk/student-finance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at LJMU. Our programmes have no hidden costs and your tuition fee covers all expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • Safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • Uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placement students (if applicable)
  • UK field trips
  • Educational visits
  • Student exchanges
  • Criminal Records Bureau checks
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership
  • Governing body awards

Living costs

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible students can also choose to take out a maintenance loan for each year of your course to help you meet the costs of being a student.

The money will have to be paid back but only after you leave LJMU and starting earning over the income threshold, currently £21,000 for those resident in England.

Part-time students are not eligible to take out these loans.

For more information on student loans, go to:www.gov.uk/student-finance

Image of lab

Paying back your student loans

Any loans you take out while studying will be added together into one loan account. This means that when you start paying back your student loans, you will only make one affordable monthly payment. This monthly repayment will be the same regardless of how many loans you have taken out. That’s because your repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you borrowed from the Student Loans Company.

The current threshold for students normally resident in England is £21,000. Once your income goes over this threshold your employer will start taking repayments from your salary just like tax and national insurance. If your income falls below £21,000 your repayments will stop.

Career prospects

You will enjoy varied career opportunities both in the UK and overseas, as Animal Behaviour graduates are sought in zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, rescue, conservation and welfare centres.

Other graduates have opted for postgraduate study (teacher training, MSc, MPhil or PhD), pursuing a career in science and academia or other competitive undergraduate courses (such as medicine, veterinary science or midwifery). Some have also set up their own businesses (including a pet behaviour consultancy and pet daycare) or have taken non-animal related graduate employment.

You might, on the other hand, prefer to practise as a professional animal behaviourist after some further postgraduate study and clinical training. The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors offer membership and accreditation respectively, as long as you meet their academic and clinical criteria.
Recent LJMU graduates have secured full-time employment in zoos and rescue centres in roles such as Research Officers, Animal Colony Managers and Animal Welfare Coordinators.

Organisations that have hired our graduates include: Canine Partners, Combe Martin Wildlife Park, Chester Zoo, Dolphin Quest, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Genus, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Newquay Zoo, North Clwyd Animal Rescue and Reaseheath College.

New for 2017 – CareerSmart programme

All students in their first year of study will have an opportunity to engage with the CareerSmart programme as an integral part of a core module of study. Once you have completed this, a wide range of other career-related provision and services will be available to support your development throughout your studies.

The new CareerSmart e-learning tool will introduce you to the steps involved in making informed choices about your career. It will enable you to consider your strengths and development areas, your career motivators, the options available to you and the necessary steps to take to achieve your career goals.

Professional accreditation / links

Professional organisations such as the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) offer membership and accreditation respectively if you meet their academic and clinical criteria.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

Each year, LJMU offers a range of prestigious international scholarships. Further details of the scholarships offered to applicants wishing to study at the University from September 2017 onwards will be available on this page in the coming months.

For the most up-to-date information about studying at Liverpool John Moores University, and the International Scholarship programme, please visit the International pages.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU.

Please note: your specific course requirements may differ.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry Requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers (www.ljmuisc.com/) or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fees

International students are liable to pay a minimum of 50% of their tuition fees when they complete their enrolment at the University. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of your enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. The UKVI requires that students studying outside London must have £7,200 to pay for their living costs (or £800 per month).

LJMU’s undergraduate courses run over an academic calendar of nine months so you will need to show that you have at least £7,200. If your course lasts 6 months you will need to demonstrate you have £4,800.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team (int-admissions@ljmu.ac.uk)for guidance.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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