Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 6.83 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 22 k / Year(s)  
92 place StudyQA ranking:5346 Duration:12 months

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* MSc: 12 months full-time;

* PgDip9 months full-time;
* Contact:Professor Dan Haydon

Why Glasgow?

* This Masters programme is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM); a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining ecology and evolution with more applied problems in animal health and welfare.

* You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in understanding and responding to animal welfare-related issues, legislation related to use of animals, and both theoretical and applied ethics.

* In addition, you will have opportunities to develop skills in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, conservation biology, epidemiology and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity.
* A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.
* The IBAHCM also offers an MSc inQuantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology. This degree is more focused on ecology and evolutionary biology and provides the opportunity for you to gain key quantitative skills that are not often a focus of welfare-based programmes.
* You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbria (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or research laboratories, whenever possible.
* You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, government agencies, officers of animal welfare, protection, or wildlife crime, veterinary nursing and aquaculture
* We have many links with animal welfare-related organisations through them coming to us to teach their expertise on our programme and the class going to visit their organisation to obtain a first-hand view of what working is like at these organisations. Many of them also provide the students with opportunities to carry out their independent research project within their company. Students will also be able to capitalise on the strong ties between the veterinarians and ecologists at the IBAHCM. This allows us to directly link fundamental and applied research and offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both theory and praxis.

That is what current students think of the programme:

It is unique among similar masters courses that we are able to chose from a variety of different courses according to our interests.

It is a young science especially for wild animals for which I strongly belief more research is needed All the professors behind this course are very experienced and have managed to give us plenty of their knowledge.

Having talks from outside speakers (SSPCA etc.) is definitely beneficial as it gives you a first-hand account of animal welfare in action.

actual professionals that have been through different experiences teach us. This not only gives us more of a complete view of the area of study, but also helps us understand the different areas that we can pursue.

Career Prospects

Students are exposed to potential work places and can make valuable contacts with professionals in the welfare community. Where possible this is a two-way exchange in which communities are offered help with any issues they have and for which assistance may be provided in finding a solution (e.g. through independent research projects, supervised by university staff). This is also an option open to other courses and could benefit the students in the long-term as well as give the university valuable connections with the wider community.

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in:

* Ethics, legislative policy and welfare science critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.
* Monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
* Quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.

Core courses

* Key research skills: Scientific communication; Introduction to R; Advanced linear models; Experimental design and power analysis
* Animal ethics
* Animal welfare science
* Legislation related to animal welfare
* Independent research project.

Optional courses

* Enrichment of animals in captive environments
* Care of captive animals
* Biology of suffering
* Assessment of physiological state
* Freshwater sampling techniques
* Marine sampling techniques
* Invertebrate identification
* Vertebrate identification
* Molecular analyses for DNA barcoding and biodiversity measurement
* Phyloinformatics
* Conservation genetics and phylodynamics
* Infectious disease ecology and the dynamics of emerging disease
* Single-species population models
* Multi-species models
* Spatial processes
* Introduction to Bayesian statistics.

Animal Welfare is a very broad and applied field and the programme aims to provide coverage of all the different aspects of the topic which are often treated separately. Science is an essential skill in order to have a good understanding of welfare but we appreciate that applicants may come from diverse backgrounds and therefore the course includes a rigorous training in science communication, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation. The programme also includes teaching by practitioners and visits to organisations with first-hand experience of applied welfare problems. The programme also attempts to cover the entire spectrum of animal welfare, including zoos, farms, laboratory animals and wildlife.

Core Courses: Aims & Objectives Key Research skills
To ensure that all students enrolled in the programme receive advanced and evidence-based training in the key skills essential for any modern research career and for the courses that they will take later in the programme. This includes principles of Scientific Writing and Effective Communication in English, Introduction to the Programming Environment R, Advanced Statistics, and Experimental Design and Power Analysis.

Animal ethics
To provide students with a critical awareness of the principles of relevant ethical frameworks and how this relates to legal considerations and different forms of human use of animals.

Animal welfare science
To provide students with an evidence-based critical and detailed understanding of welfare assessment methodologies and practical experience of how welfare issues are addressed at sites that keep animals for different forms of human use, including research on wild animals.

Independent research project Legislation related to animal welfare
To provide students with a rigorous evidence-based understanding of the different pieces of legislation underlying the use of animals in scientific research, in zoos and in farms and wildlife crime. The main focus will be how we will interface with legislation as an animal welfare practitioner.

Optional Courses:

Biology of suffering
To provide students with an advanced understanding of issues on consciousness, sentience and suffering in animals and how this relates to ethical and legal considerations.

Enrichment of animals in captive environments
To provide students with the underlying principles that will guide enrichment and the design of enclosures and encourages students to creatively think about their own solution to welfare issues.

Care of captive animals
To provide students with a critical awareness of issues relating to care of captive animals and relate these to legislation and welfare science.

Assessment of physiological state
To provide students with an evidence-based understanding of methods and techniques used to assess physiological state of wild animals and provide them with the competence to identify the health state of wild animal and to respond appropriately to this.

At least a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject. Professional experience may be taken into account. In your application, please submit a personal statement (up to 200 words) outlining your interests and why you want to study this programme at the University of Glasgow. Further information regarding academic entry English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 92 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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