BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

With study abroad and sandwich year options

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

From ragworms and rhinos to locusts and lemurs, the animal world is an ever-changing and always-fascinating place to explore. On our Animal Behaviour degree, you can delve in and discover it all – developing an understanding of the vast range and huge importance of animal behaviour.

With us, you’ll consider the drivers of animal behaviour, looking at the interaction of genetics, evolutionary history and present-day environments. You’ll also investigate how and why behaviour changes over an animal’s lifetime, from genetic and hormonal factors to the physiological and environmental mechanisms.

Through a blend of laboratory and field work, we’ll show you how to record behavioural data and use professional-grade software for its analysis – vital tools in improving the welfare and management of domestic, wild and zoo populations. Our Animal Behaviour degree also provides the option of spending an extra year expanding your horizons, either studying with one of our partner universities overseas, or working on a placement with a business or non-governmental organisation.

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • Explore the topics and issues that shape the world around us, and choose from a range of exciting and rewarding specialisms within animal behaviour and biology.
  • Take the four-year route, spending a year studying overseas in Europe, North America or Australia, or boosting your career prospects with a 12-month placement.
  • Develop practical skills in the laboratory and in the field, both in the UK and overseas – right now, that could include fieldwork in Portugal, Tanzania, Kenya or South America.
  • Learn in high-spec laboratories, including a specialist microbiology and cell/molecular biology lab, a DNA-sequencing lab, specialist animal behaviour facilities with Ethovision and Observer software, invertebrate behaviour, freshwater and terrestrial ecology labs and controlled environment plant growth chambers.
“The tutors' range of knowledge is astounding really and there are some people who just know everything about their different subjects.” James Lee, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

"At Manchester Met, you will be taught by experts in the field, and you will learn why animal behaviour is crucial for conservation biology, an understanding of psychology and to improve animal welfare. You will have an opportunity to apply your skills at zoos, animal rescue centres, in the field in far flung places and around Manchester."

Dr Selvino De Kort, Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Career Prospects

Biological sciences graduates may go on to a variety of subject-specific careers in the biological, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, in medical, public health and environmental services, or in teaching or research.

Recent Animal Behaviour graduates have found employment across a wide range of sectors including industrial research laboratories, medical communications, pharmaceutical companies, environmental consultancies and nature conservation organisations.

Our Animal Behaviour course is designed to equip you with transferable skills that can also be applied to non-subject-specific career pathways such as in management, local government, teaching or the civil service. For those who wish to continue their studies, there is a range of biology and conservation postgraduate programmes here at Manchester Met.

Learn more about graduate careers

0%

of Natural Sciences graduates go straight into employment and/or further study.*

*DLHE survey 2017

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

A levels ­– BCC-BBC, to include grade C in Biology (including a Pass in A level Biology Practical) or Psychology. General Studies not accepted.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management – DMM, to include four units at merit or above from the following units:

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 20, 24

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) in Animal Management – DMM, to include 60 level 3 credits at grade distinction from the following units:

02, 03, 07, 08, 13, 16, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) in Applied Science – DMM

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) in Applied Science – DMM, to include 60 level 3 credits at grade distinction from the following units:

01, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 43

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project (EPQ) at grade C or above. Other AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English Language or Level 2 Functional Skills English

and

GCSE grade C/4 in Mathematics or Level 2 Functional Skills Mathematics

and

GCSE grade C/4 in Science or BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science with grade merit

The level 2 requirements may also be met through the level 3 course requirements for the course; please contact the University directly if you require further information.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in Science with a minimum score of 106 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points including HL 5 in Biology

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 overall with no individual element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

Please note that the City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diplomas in Animal Management (or equivalent Land-Based qualifications) do not meet the subject requirement for this course and will only be consider for the linked foundation year route. 

Course details

The first year of our Animal Behaviour degree involves core modules to get everyone up to speed. We’ll introduce key concepts and you’ll develop your academic and research skills.

Your second and third years are quite flexible. You can choose modules based around your interests. These build on the skills you’ve already learned and grow your knowledge in specialised areas.

Year 1 aims to provide you with a thorough grounding in the biological sciences and an introduction to the study of animal behaviour. Typical areas of study may include ecology, animal behaviour, genetics, anatomy, physiology and diversity. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Principles of Animal Behaviour

The unit will introduce the broad frameworks for the scientific study of animal behaviour. Important concepts such as natural, sexual and kin selection will be explored within a behavioural context and the debate between nature vs nurture will be examined.

Ecology

This unit will introduce students to the study of ecology, the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment. Themes covered in this unit will typically include; the organisation of life in natural systems, variations in conditions (eg pH) and resources (eg light, nutrients) and their effects; functional classifications, indicators; geological, edaphic, climatic and chemical influences on habitats and ecosystems; biogeochemical and nutrient cycling; energy flow; primary productivity; trophic interactions; food webs.

Biodiversity Monitoring

This unit focuses on the development of skills in a field and/or laboratory environment. Students will have the opportunity to develop their interests in specific groups of organisms eg mammals, birds, plants, invertebrates or particular themes in biodiversity science.

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology

An introduction to the principles of plant and animal physiology at the systems level with appropriate links to anatomy, cell biology, pathology, and behaviour. It will focus on comparing and contrasting between species to identify patterns in the function of physiological systems and cells.

Diversity

This unit is an introduction to the variety of life on Earth, exploring plant and animal diversity from both a functional and a systematic perspective. Students will review the origins of life, the basic evolutionary relationships of the main taxonomic groups (including fossil organisms) and examine their life histories.

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

This unit will introduce the major concepts underpinning genetics and evolution, mechanisms of evolutionary change, adaptation, and the history of life.

How Science Works

This unit looks at how science is performed. Using relevant examples, students will examine how we ask questions, and gather data to answer them and communicate our findings.

Applied Animal Behaviour

This unit will allow students to explore the links between the theoretical framework of animal behaviour and the real world applications of this discipline. The unit will emphasise the quantitative and qualitative assessment and interpretation of animal behaviour, and will consider the application of research outputs to animal management and welfare.  Learners will be encouraged to examine the relationship between humans and other animals, considering the societal and ethical drivers of our interactions.

In Year 2, you will explore modern approaches to the study of communication and social behaviour and have the opportunity to focus your degree through a range of optional subjects. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Brain and Behaviour

This unit covers the mechanisms and development of behaviour, or how brain and body combine to produce behaviour. The unit consists of a series of lectures, two practical sessions and tutorials. 

Animal Health and Welfare

This unit will allow students to extend their knowledge of animal welfare, human-animal interactions and how these link to non-human animal and human health. 

Species Interactions

This unit will explore the ecology and evolution of species interactions. Key topics will include pollination, manipulation of reproduction, impacts of diseases and defence responses.

Sex and Survival

The unit will cover the principles of evolution, and explore the concept of behavioural traits as adaptations to an individual's environment.

Professional Skills for Biologists

This unit introduces students to the professional skills involved with being a Biologist. It develops knowledge of key methodologies, skills and experiences needed for professional development. It supports the students to enable them to formulate research proposals, apply for research projects and present their professional skills succinctly.       

Option Units

Conservation Science in Practice

This unit provides an overview of the historical and contemporary issues in biological conservation science and the practical applications of conservation research. 

Field Course

This unit will introduce students to applied ecological techniques and behavioural data collection.  Students will design and deliver a research project during a residential or non-residential Field Course.

Conservation Biology

The unit will embrace the principles of conservation biology, namely, biodiversity, conservation genetics, habitat disturbance and species extinction using examples of research-based conservation interventions.

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release

This unit introduces students to current approaches to the rehabilitation and release of wildlife casualties in the United Kingdom and is facilitated by the RSPCA.  

Professional Practice

An employability based skills unit with opportunities to work with both internal and external partners. The unit encompasses employability skills development workshops including cover letter and C.V. construction, job search strategies, interview techniques, and placement preparation. 

If you opt for the four-year sandwich or study abroad route, Year 3 will be spent on placement or studying in Europe, North America or Australasia. Your final year enables you to specialise in animal behaviour and includes a laboratory or field-based research project.

You will also have an opportunity to attend an overseas residential field course. Typical areas of study include animal behaviour and conservation, movement physiology and ecology and the social life of animals. Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Animal Behaviour and Conservation

This unit will address the importance of animal behaviour as a component of conservation biology.

Project in Animal Behaviour

Students will develop a research question, plan an appropriate methodological approach, and collect and analyse the data from that investigation under the guidance of an allocated project supervisor. The project may take a number of approaches and may include, but is not limited to, a combination of laboratory, fieldwork or secondary data collection and analysis and will consider any health and safety issues, and ethical issues as well as developing scientific communication skills.

The Social Life of Animals

This unit will discuss the variation in social behaviour and communication between and within species in relation to ecological requirements and the evolution of cognition. 

Movement Physiology and Ecology

This unit will discuss key physiological adaptations in animals and plants, and use them to explain how organisms disperse, locomote and migrate. 

Option Units

Wildlife Ecology and Behaviour

This unit observes the key elements of the basic taxonomy, biology, ecology and behaviour of groups such as birds, mammals and insects.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

You will examine effects of anthropogenic environmental changes on terrestrial tropical habitats, biodiversity, and human livelihoods, and ways to integrate conservation with human development goals.

Vertebrate Evolution

In this unit students will look at the main features and way of life of different vertebrates and compared and contrast and how aspects of physiology, biomechanics, ecology and behaviour have responded to different selection pressures throughout vertebrate evolution.

Biological Responses to Environmental Change

You will examine the physiological, behavioural, ecological and distributional changes in species that result from global change, and consider community and ecosystem consequences of these. 

Tropical Field Course

The tropic field course will provide experience of tropical habitats and the biodiversity that they support. There will be an emphasis on identification skills, the methods needed to study and carry out research in tropical habitats and also assess human impacts on these ecosystems. An integral element will be learning the skills to identify key plants, animals and habitats, and particularly those which require conservation management.

The Undergraduate Consultancy

This unit challenges students to deliver high-quality outputs from live projects to address the needs of professional clients.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study

Assessment

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to comply with the Department's codes of conduct and behaviour on field courses, placements and exchanges. Placements and study exchange opportunities are dependent on passing each stage at the first opportunity and being of good standing.

Placement options

The four-year sandwich route gives you the opportunity to spend your third year on a placement with a relevant employer, like a conservation or environmental body, zoo or animal welfare organisation, or local government or a molecular diagnostics company. It’s a great chance to gain experience, build your network and develop transferable skills – all of which can boost your career prospects.

The four-year study abroad route gives you the opportunity to study overseas during your third year in Europe, North America or Australasia.

Department of Natural Sciences

Our Department of Natural Sciences is a research-rich academic community with a well-established reputation in biology, chemistry, geography and environmental science.

The department works with research institutions, industry partners, national organisations and NGOs worldwide to address the challenges posed by environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political change, as well as health and advanced materials.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £4125 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop for their degree (costing approximately £300 to £400) and a printer (costing £50 to £100 including print consumables, plus £20 to £40 for print consumables in every subsequent year). However, there are numerous drop-in computer facilities across campus and laptops for loan in the library. Lab coats and safety glasses are provided free of charge in the first year of entry and are expected to last for the duration of the course. Students will have to purchase replacements for lost or damaged PPE.

Placement Costs

£360

Students go on residential fieldtrips for core units throughout the degree course. These are subsidised but students can expect to pay a contribution to costs of £60 for a UK-based residential field course at Level 4 and a maximum of £300 for an overseas residential field course at Level 5 (currently Portugal). At Level 6 there is currently an optional residential field course based in Tanzania, this is a premium field course experience at an inclusive additional cost of approx. £2300. For all compulsory field courses, there are nil cost non-residential alternatives for any student who chooses not to go. 2) Students opting to study abroad in third year (SENAA). If you are studying at one of our partner universities on an approved exchange programme, you will continue to pay tuition fees to Manchester Metropolitan University and you will not pay any tuition fees to your partner university. Some partner universities may charge additional fees for mandatory administrative and recreational services, non-mandatory language classes, courses including fieldwork or non-mandatory project costs. If this is relevant to you, the partner university will inform you of any additional costs during the application process. During your study exchange abroad, you will need to budget for the general cost of living as well as additional costs for visas, travel, medical insurance and vaccinations (depending on your destination). Applicants should visit the MMUi web pages for more details including sources of travel funding. 3) Students choosing to undertake a placement (Sandwich) in third year. The Sandwich Year involves full-time work experience work placement. This lasts for a minimum of 36 weeks and normally attracts a salary/weekly wage but this is not guaranteed. Placements are competitive and based on successful interviews with the placement provider. Students will have to pay travel and accommodation costs (including for interview) plus personal insurance. 4) Students undertaking short placements as part of vocational optional units. Students should expect to pay travel expenses to placements.1) Students go on residential fieldtrips for core units throughout the degree course. These are subsidised but students can expect to pay a contribution to costs of £60 for a UK-based residential field course at Level 4 and a maximum of £300 for an overseas residential field course at Level 5 (currently Portugal). At Level 6 there is currently an optional residential field course based in Tanzania, this is a premium field course experience at an inclusive additional cost of approx. £2300. For all compulsory field courses, there are nil cost non-residential alternatives for any student who chooses not to go. 2) Students opting to study abroad in third year (SENAA). If you are studying at one of our partner universities on an approved exchange programme, you will continue to pay tuition fees to Manchester Metropolitan University and you will not pay any tuition fees to your partner university. Some partner universities may charge additional fees for mandatory administrative and recreational services, non-mandatory language classes, courses including fieldwork or non-mandatory project costs. If this is relevant to you, the partner university will inform you of any additional costs during the application process. During your study exchange abroad, you will need to budget for the general cost of living as well as additional costs for visas, travel, medical insurance and vaccinations (depending on your destination). Applicants should visit the MMUi web pages for more details including sources of travel funding. 3) Students choosing to undertake a Placement (Sandwich) in third year. The Sandwich Year involves full-time work experience work placement. This lasts for a minimum of 36 weeks and normally attracts a salary/weekly wage but this is not guaranteed. Placements are competitive and based on successful interviews with the placement provider. Students will have to pay travel and accommodation costs (including for interview) plus personal insurance. 4) Students undertaking short placements as part of vocational optional units. Students should expect to pay travel expenses to placements.

Other Costs

£150

Manchester Met now provides free travel insurance for students when they travel in connection with their programme of study, for example, placements, field trips, exchanges etc. However, students should also take out personal insurance cover for belongings as items such as mobile phones are not covered by this policy. Our courses have field-based elements of delivery so students would be expected to dress appropriately (i.e. purchase waterproof coats and trousers, sturdy footwear/walking boots). Students will be expected to print out some assessments (including posters ). Travel expenses associated with independent data collection for final year dissertations are not reimbursed by the Department. Students will be advised to undertake low-cost local fieldwork at the design and planning stages of a project if necessary. We currently offer the opportunity, subject to demand, of carrying out Level 6 project field work in Kenya or Tanzania, if available this would carry and additional cost of between £1,800 - £2,300, depending upon whether taken in conjunction with the residential optional field course.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

C120 - BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour 

C124 - BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour with Study Abroad

C125 - BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour with Sandwich Year

C126 - BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour with Foundation Year

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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