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Animal Behaviour

Animal Behaviour is the study of behaviour patterns in animals (including humans), and of how the behaviour of individuals helps to determine the density and distribution of populations. Knowledge of animal behaviour is of increasing importance in areas such as evolutionary biology, conservation, and the efficient and humane management of farm animals.

Career Opportunities

  • Animal Welfare Officer
  • Conservation Officer  
  • Research Assistant  
  • Science Writer  
  • Technician
  • Zoo Curator or Assistant  

Once you graduate in Animal Behaviour will be able to use both biological and psychological approaches to address issues in the fields of animal conservation, wildlife management, animal welfare and the fundamental study of behaviour. You will find employment in the behavioural sciences at local, national and international levels in the agricultural, conservation and animal management industries.

Potential Employers

  • Agricultural Research Industry
  • Environmental Consultancy Firms
  • Government Departments
  • Local Body Authorities
  • Universities and Polytechnics
  • Zoos

School subjects required

As well as biology, students may find mathematics or statistics useful.

Planning Your Degree

Animal Behaviour is available as an interdisciplinary major jointly taught between the Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Psychology.

To complete a major in Animal Behaviour, students must complete 120 points above 100 Level, including 60 points at 300 Level, from compulsory papers.

Papers are worth 15 points.

Recommended Prerequisites

  • BIOL102 – The Biology of Organisms
  • PSYC103 – General and Experimental Psychology
Plus students are strongly advised to include the following paper:
  • BIOL101 – Cellular and Molecular Biology

Highly recommended papers

  • CHEM100 - Chemistry for Life and Environmental Sciences OR
    CHEM111 - Structure and Spectroscopy
  • COMP123 – The Computing Experience
  • ENVS101 – Environmental Science
  • MATH165 – General Mathematics
  • PHIL103 – Critical Reasoning
  • STAT111 – Statistics for Science OR
    STAT121 – Introduction to Statistical Methods

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.

Compulsory papers

  • BIOL234 – Functional Animal Biology
  • PSYC206– Animal Behaviour: Principles and Applications
  • PSYC225 – Behavioural Psychology and Learning (10 points)
Plus choose one of:
  • PSYC226 –The Psychology of Perception (10 points)
  • PSYC227 – Physiological Psychology (10 points)

Highly recommended papers

  • BIOL201 – Evolution and Diversity of Life*
  • BIOL210 – Introduction to Genetics
  • BIOL212 – Ecology
  • BIOL235 – Humans and Other Mammals: Structure and Function
  • PHIL217 – Environmental Ethics
  • PSYC208 – Psychological Research: Analysis, Design and Measurement**

*Please note it is strongly advised that you include BIOL201 as it is a fundamental biology paper and is one of the prerequisites for BIOL338, which is required for this major.

**Prerequisite for students enrolling in PSYC307

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.

Compulsory papers

Highly recommended papers

  • BIOL310 – Advanced Genetics
  • BIOL312 – Applied Terrestrial Ecology
  • BIOL313 – Applied Freshwater Ecology
  • BIOL314 – Marine Biology and Monitoring
  • BIOL335 – Mammalian Physiology
  • PSYC307 – Research Methods*
  • PSYC340 – Applied Cognitive Psychology (10 points)
  • PSYC341 – Visual Neuroscience and its Applications (10 points)
  • PSYC344 – Physiology of Human Performance and Development (10 points)

*Please note that the paper PSYC307 Research Methods is a prerequisite for many Psychology graduate papers.

Postgraduate Studies

As this is an interdisciplinary major taught between two or more departments, it is recommended that you contact the Dean's Office, Faculty of Science and Engineering as you enrol in your second year of studies for programme advice, if you are considering pursuing postgraduate study on completion of your bachelor degree. This is to ensure that you enrol in the required papers that would gain you entry into a Postgraduate qualification.

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Contact the Faculty

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0800 438 254
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Complementary Subjects

If you are interested in Animal Behaviour, you might also be interested in:

Biological Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Psychology

Our People

Gina Heron

Gina Heron
BSc(Tech) in Animal Behaviour

Student Profiles »

Available Degrees

You can study Animal Behaviour-related subjects in the following degrees:

BSc
BSc(Tech)
BSc(Hons)

We also offer Diplomas and Certificates at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels in some subjects. Contact us for more information.

Spring 2014

Scholarships

The following scholarships are available for Animal Behaviour students

School of Science Masters Research Scholarships