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Introduction to Animal Behaviour

Programme Description


Students studying this on-line module examine the relationship between animals and the environment, both wild and captive, and develop an awareness of the scientific basis of animal behaviour study, and to relate this to the behavioural responses to their environment. 

 Students will develop knowledge of the key concepts of the responses made by animals to their environment and be able to discuss the causes & development of the major patterns of behaviour and explain animal behaviour in relation to survival, fitness value, and to health and welfare.

At a Glance

  Part Time

  One semester

  Online

   Price £633

Programme Features


Ten separate sessions of study, each session incorporating developmental structured activities to aid the distance learner in developing the underpinning knowledge and skills required to complete the assessments.

Access to high level on-line facilities at both Coleg Sir Gar and UWTSD for learning and research materials.Students will have allocated tutor support and one to one set tutorials to aid students before they submit work digitally on-line.

Progression & Employment


This module is an optional module for the Certificate in Higher Education in Animal Science and can contribute to the final award or be studied alone.

The module would benefit anyone who currently/or are aiming to, work with animals and could form part of recognised continued professional development.

Programme Content


  • Reasons to study behaviour; history of the study of behaviour; ethics and the study of behaviour.
  • Behaviour and natural selection; evolution and adaptation; genetics & heritability.
  • Behaviour in social groups: costs; benefits; communal (altruistic) behaviours.
  • Feeding & breeding behaviours; courtship, parental care and kin recognition.
  • Territorial behaviours; conflict resolution communication; signals; sensory anatomy.
  • Spatial aspects of behaviour: habitat selection; migration; dispersal; coordination; navigation.
  • Physiology and behaviour: rhythms; hibernation; aestivation; diapause; torpor; biological clocks; hormonal influences; thermoregulation; stress.
  • Behaviour in captive environments: abnormal behaviours; stereotypes; environmental enrichment; welfare implications.
  • Ethogram design and practical application.
  • Interpretation of primary behaviour observation data, production and comparison of time budget graphs. 

Method of Assessment


Ten separate sessions of study, each session incorporating developmental structured activities to aid the distance learner in developing the underpinning knowledge and skills required to complete the assessments.

Portfolio of tasks and assessments from each session and a Practical behaviour observation and research portfolio.

Entry Requirements


Entry will be granted to applicants who demonstrate the academic ability and potential to benefit from the module study, Students entering study will be considered if they have a Level 3 qualification or who have previously worked at a level 3 standard. Students need to be over 18 years old. Mature students (over 21) will be considered on an individual basis as industrially relevant qualifications and experience can be taken into consideration.

Additional Costs


There is no additional fee, however, it is likely that you will incur additional costs for personal equipment.