MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law

MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at Winchester critically reflects upon contemporary uses of animals, and provides the academic skills and expertise needed to protect animals and advance their welfare.

MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at University of Winchester

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree incorporating a related subject in the life or health sciences or humanities, or professional experience in the area of study. Applicants may also apply if they have relevant professional experience, but it must be within Veterinary Nursing, Council Animal Welfare Officer, Officer for an Animal protection NGO).

Degree duration 

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2/3 years

Start date: September

Distance learning only

Fact: The academics involved in this programme possess specialised skills and knowledge in each of the realms of animal welfare science, animal ethics and animal law. Strengths include significant experience in examining and critiquing contemporary social uses of animals, through both academic and popular media, and in working within both Non-Governmental Organisations and professional realms such as veterinary and legal practice, to advance animal welfare within wider society.

Fact: For any veterinarians pursuing specialist qualifications in animal welfare, this programme is partly based on the theoretical syllabus required for the European and US qualifications.

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

September 2017** Entry Full-time  | £5,000
September 2017** Entry Part-time | £2,500 p/a (no fees in year 3, for the 3 year part-time option)

Total cost | £5,000

International Students

September 2017** Entry Full-time  | £5,000
September 2017** Entry Part-time | £2,500 p/a (no fees in year 3, for the 3 year part-time option)

Total cost | £5,000

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Terms and Conditions

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here

**Please note the fees are indicative and subject to the approval of the University of Winchester Board of Governors. 

This course provides a strong grounding in animal welfare science, ethics and law. Students gain the necessary skills to develop a scientifically rigorous assessment of the welfare state of animals in a diverse variety of settings, and master the main ethical theories concerning our relationships with other animals.

In recent years there has been a rapid evolution in the social status of animals. Cognitive and behavioural studies have revealed previously unknown characteristics in many species which has led to an increasing focus on our complex, multifaceted relationships with them.

Students learn about the diversity of settings in which animals live or are used, including farming, transportation and slaughter, laboratories, homes, zoos and various other entertainment locales, and about free-ranging animals in natural environments.

All students learn key transferable academic skills - such as the design and conduct of a research project and communication of the results to an academic standard - as well as the use of modern communication channels suited to more general audiences.

  • Research Preparation and Development
  • Animals and Society
  • Animal Interest, Capacities and Ethical Considerations
  • Animal Behaviour and Psychological States
  • Animal Welfare Issues I
  • Animal Welfare Issues II
  • Dissertation

Modules are taught using online core notes with additional readings, videos and lecture notes provided. Students may participate in online seminars, and are guided in the creation of communication media such as academic and popular publications, Powerpoint and poster presentations, and online blogs. Tutorials and other support is offered by highly qualified, enthusiastic and internationally renowned scholars in the field.

Assessments include written assignments, Powerpoint and poster presentations, online blogs, participation in discussions, and a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of interest to the student, chosen in consultation with a supervisor.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates may enter careers within animal advocacy, welfare and conservation organisations; zoos, sanctuaries and other organisations requiring knowledge of animal management and welfare; governmental departments working on animal issues; assurance, inspection and enforcement agencies; and commercial organisations seeking to implement and monitor the animal welfare standards of their agricultural suppliers.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

  • Applications need to be submitted before the 20 May 2017. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information click here.
  • Applicants may be invited to attend an interview

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