Taught course

Animal Behaviour

University of Chester · Department of Biological Sciences

Entry requirements

  • Applicants should normally possess an honours degree (minimum 2:1) in a biological/behavioural/ecological science (e.g. animal behaviour, conservation biology, zoology) including components of experimental design and statistical analysis. Applicants will also have relevant animal-related experience.
  • Students with a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in an unrelated area must demonstrate on application that they have equivalent experience in a related field, e.g. wildlife conservation, captive animal management. They must also demonstrate on application evidence of experimental design and basic statistical analysis skills, perhaps during completion of a research dissertation.

We recommend that all applicants:

  • Nominate two academic referees as part of their application who can provide letters of recommendation which highlight the applicant’s academic achievements, work commitment and relevant experience.
  • Include in their personal statement and CV details of any relevant extra-curricular training, volunteering and/or relevant work experience they have obtained. This could include working with a local wildlife trust, animal rescue centre or zoo, for example.
  • A transcript of marks should be presented with the application.

Applicants may be interviewed.

Months of entry


Course content

From newts to bats, gorillas to cats, there’s always more to learn about the mechanisms underlying behaviour. On this course, you will get to grips with cutting-edge techniques used by top scientists to uncover the secrets of the natural world.

You will explore how our most recent findings can be applied to solve real-world problems, such as enhancing captive animal management or mitigating the effects of climate change. You will gain an understanding of key ethical dilemmas in the field, improve your research skills, and explore a topic of specific interest to you in a personal dissertation project.

At Chester, you will learn directly from leaders in the field of animal behavioural research. Our School is a friendly, welcoming community, where students from a range of backgrounds will experience thought-provoking research seminars and approachable, supportive staff. From hormone assays to genetic analysis, we have the facilities you will need to develop key laboratory skills. Chester is also well placed to enable you to hone your field-based skills as nature reserves, zoos, and national parks are closely located.

You can expect a diverse range of dissertation opportunities and the chance to directly participate in ground-breaking research as you get involved with long-term research projects led by our staff, both in the UK and abroad. Our teaching team has strong links to industry, and your dissertation project could provide you with valuable networking opportunities, such as experience in a specialist fields like wildlife monitoring or animal management. We have close links with zoos, aquaria, charities, and NGOs. These connections will be invaluable for you to take advantage of as you start your future career path.

Practical application is a key focus in this course. Authentic coursework will target your problem-solving skills and you will have the opportunity to build an online careers portfolio with help from a designated tutor. The assessments we set, which evidence your ability to communicate information with a variety of audiences, using a range of media, are both engaging and highly applicable to a range of employment opportunities. No exams are included in this degree.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Department of Biological Sciences