Postgraduate taught 

Animal Welfare Science, Ethics & Law MSc

Animal welfare science and ethics is an expanding topic of international concern, which is why the University of Glasgow offer an Animal Welfare MSc programme. It aims to improve our knowledge and understanding of animals’ needs, which is required to provide a high standard of care to the whole range of animals kept in captivity.

  • MSc: 12 months full-time

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow is ranked 1st in the UK for Animal Science (REF UK 2014).
  • This animal welfare degree 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.
  • When studying animal 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 Animal Welfare MSc at 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 in Quantitative 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 Cumbrae (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 to our Animal Welfare degree 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.
  • We have currently the following partners involved in this programme
    • Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA)
    • Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie
    • Blair Drummond Safari Park
    • Chester Zoo
    • The Aspinall Foundation (Howletts & Port Lympne)
    • National Museum Scotland

Programme structure

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.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 40 flexible credits in the 2nd term.  See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview.  When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Term 1: Core courses                              

  • Key research skills 
  • Animal welfare science 

Term 2: Core courses                                   

  • Animal Ethics
  • Legislation & Societal Issues

Term 2: Optional courses                                           

  • Biology of Suffering
  • Care of Captive Animals
  • Enrichment of Animals in Captive Environments
  • Welfare Assessment
  • Programming in R 
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • GIS for Ecologists
  • Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
  • Invertebrate Identification
  • Molecular Analyses for Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Molecular Epidemiology & Phylodynamics
  • Multi-species Models
  • Single-species Population Models
  • Vertebrate Identification
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology
  • Protected Area Management

Term 3: Core MSc component                                  

  • Research project

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.

Find out more about core and optional courses

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2019-20

MSc

Home and EU

  • Full-time fee: £8000

International

  • Full-time fee: £21020

For applicants starting in 2018 please refer to the 2018-19 fees table.

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only

Deposits

International applicants (from beyond the EU) are required to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.


Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £320
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150

Funding opportunities

University of Glasgow Chancellors Award

The University of Glasgow has a total of 19 Chancellors Awards available. The Award is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.

More Information

University International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 19 International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

More Information

University of Glasgow African Excellence Fee Waiver

For September 2019 academic session we are offering 10 scholarship worth the full tuition fee of a one year Masters programme to to academically excellent students from Africa. 

If you study here you will benefit from our extensive  knowledge, state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering teaching methods. Studying at Glasgow will prepare you for a wide variety of careers that are in demand internationally and also for future research and study.

More Information

African Excellence Scholarship (UKEAS)

The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either Nigeria or Ghana who have been supported in their application by our representative UKEAS.  The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programmes.

More Information

Postgraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards Postgraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is £2,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme, in any of the University’s Colleges. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only. 

More Information

PGT Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 28 PGT Excellence Awards available to UK and EU Students. Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University’s colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.

More Information

African Excellence Scholarship (Uniserv)

The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – Uniserv Ltd.  The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programmes.

More Information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

More Information

Master's Loan England only

If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Art)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate support

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

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.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk


 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries. Find out more about visa requirements, and the support we offer:

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

Documents

As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2019 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2019

Applications open on 1 October 2018. 

Classes start September 2019 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now

More information about this programme