Animal behaviour

2018 entry

BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour with Foundation Year

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £10,050 per annum*
Full-time industrial placement year fee: £1,850 per annum*

*The Department for Education (DFE) have recently announced that they intend to freeze tuition fees for the 2018/19 year. This is still subject to parliamentary approval. Once confirmed we will update our web pages accordingly.

Course type

BSc (Hons)

UCAS info

Points required: 88

UCAS code: C302

Institute code: L51

Study mode

4 years full time 5 years sandwich

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
  • Overseas field skills trip included in the fees (currently goes to Tenerife) and opportunity for self-funded overseas field expedition (currently goes to Costa Rica)
  • 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

Our Animal Behaviour students have the opportunity to go to Tenerife and Costa Rica to observe animals in their natural habitats.

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, Level 6  student referring to Tropical Expedition module

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 who will visit you in your workplace.

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 decision to undertake a placement is made early in your second year; alternatively you can choose to complete the course in three years.

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 guided through the programme by a personal tutor with whom you can discuss course material informally as part of a small tutorial group or 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

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?’

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Animal Behaviour honours degree programme yet. 

Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

About the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour degree

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.

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. 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.​

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.

What you will study on this degree

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

Level 3

  • Introduction to Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Cellular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Introduction to Wildlife Studies
  • Introduction to Environmental and Conservation Studies
  • Introductory Chemistry
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
  • Animal 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 Canvas (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

88

GCSE and equivalents

  • Prior to starting the programme applicant must have obtained a 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: 1
  • Subject specific requirements: Preferably 1 A2 Level in a relevant science subject
  • Is general studies acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: CCD
  • 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: DD if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: MMM if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Overall Pass required.

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 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: 88 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 that you may be eligible for from either LJMU or the government. This section will give you information about grants and loans as well as targeted support for students with children, adult dependants or those with a disability.

Please note that the amount of money you will receive as a student is dependent on where in the UK you normally live (i.e. England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland).

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all new full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, they are based on excellence. If successful, you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course subject to satisfactory progress. Scholarships are worth between £1,000 and £10,000 per year. The money you receive doesn’t have to be paid back.

LJMU bursary

The LJMU bursary is automatically paid to eligible students – you do not need to apply for it. The annual bursary is £500, which works out at £1,500 over a three year degree.

LJMU bursaries are means-tested and you don’t have to pay them back; they are intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student.

Tuition fees

In 2018 LJMU will charge Home and EU students a tuition fee of £9,250* for the majority of its full time undergraduate programmes and £6,935* per year for part time courses. You will be charged a fee for each year of your course. The University reserves the right to increase fees up to the maximum permitted by law or government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. Generally, these fee increases are linked to RPIX inflation (Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

*Subject to parliamentary approval.

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront - subject to meeting eligibility criteria, you can take out a tuition fee loan for each year of your course.

You can also take out a maintenance or living cost loan for each year of your course to cover your living expenses, such as rent and food.

You don’t start repaying your student loans until after you’ve left university and start earning at least £21,000.** Please note that the Department for Education who govern student support for students from England have recently announced it intends to increase this threshold to £25,000. This remains subject to parliamentary approval and we will update our website once further information is confirmed.

For more information on eligibility and tuition fee loans, go to: 

www.gov.uk/studentfinance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at the University. Your tuition fee will cover or contribute to, as appropriate, expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placements
  • UK field trips and other educational visits
  • student exchanges
  • DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly CRB)
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership

** Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Living expenses (maintenance) loan

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible full-time undergraduate students can also apply for a maintenance loan to cover your living costs. If you’re eligible, you can take out a loan for each year of your course.

The amount you’ll receive will depend on where in the UK you normally live and your household income. This money will be paid into your bank or building society account in three instalments and it’s up to you to budget for your living costs.

The government has stated that it intends to introduce a pro rata maintenance loan for part time students from England from the 2018/19 academic year.

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

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Paying back your student loans

You only start repaying your student loans the April after you have graduated or left university and start earning £21,000* or above. Repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you have borrowed from the Student Loans Company. Repayments are currently set at 9% of any income over the threshold (which is currently set at £21,000).* Please note that the Department for Education who govern student support for students from England have recently announced it intends to increase this threshold to £25,000.  This remains subject to parliamentary approval and we will update our website once further information is released.

*Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.
 

Foundation year fees

If you are studying on a foundation year of a degree programme you will be charged a reduced fee for your 1st year only. This means you will only pay £10,050 tuition fees for the first (foundation) year of your course.

After your first year, your annual tuition fees will increase to the standard tuition fee charged for our undergraduate courses (£13,250/£14,000).

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.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

For details on application processes and eligibility criteria, go to: www.ljmu.ac.uk/scholarships

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, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

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 or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are liable to pay a minimum deposit of 50% of their tuition fees before their CAS can be issued. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of the given 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. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

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 for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

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 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

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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