Taught course

International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law

Scotland's Rural College

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in animal science, biology, psychology, zoology or veterinary science.

We may also consider your application if you have a degree in social science, ethics or law, or if you are an experienced veterinary nurse; please contact the programme team to check before you apply.

If you have relevant work experience and an undergraduate degree in an area other than science, law, ethics or social science we may also consider your application. Please contact the programme team to check before you apply. You may be admitted to the certificate level or Postgraduate Professional Development only in the first instance.

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Months of entry


Course content

The overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to give you a knowledge and understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on international issues arising from animal use in all its forms.

Delivered by researchers and teachers from SRUC and the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the course also features a series of guest lecturers from around the world.

Specific course objectives are to provide you with:

  • an enhanced knowledge and understanding of animal welfare, ethics and law in order to address welfare concerns from a global perspective
  • an awareness of the importance of the application of science-based evidence for advancing animal welfare
  • an understanding of animal welfare that can be applied in veterinary practice, animal research, animal management and care, animal production, welfare inspection, and the preparation of animal-based legislation
  • the skills and confidence to undertake ethical debate relating to animal welfare and animal use

This programme is affiliated with Edinburgh University's Global Health Academy.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    72 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    48 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

You may undertake the programme by Intermittent Study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of six years for the MSc which will include a maximum period of 12 months from the start of their dissertation to it being completed. If you wish to study for the PG Diploma by intermittent study, the maximum time period for this is 4 years and for the PG Certificate only, the maximum time period is 2 years. In summary, times for completion are as follows: •Master of Science: 36-72 months •Postgraduate Diploma: 24-48 months •Postgraduate Certificate: 12-24 months

Course contact details

Laura Dixon