BSc (Hons) Animal Management Degree
The aim of the degree course is to provide education to students who wish to expand their knowledge of animal management systems and who are interested in developing research techniques in aspects of animal welfare and behaviour, animal collections management and wildlife management.
The course is based on a firm science foundation including the key biological sciences, biochemistry, and vertebrate anatomy and physiology.
Previous students have progressed into careers in the industry including some in zoological collections, animal charities and conservation. Other students have continued in education to postgraduate level.
Teaching and Learning
The strong science foundation in year one is built on with the study of nutrition in a variety of species, as well as animal health. The Population Biology, Ethology, and Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare units introduce research skills and provide opportunities for exploring specific topic areas of personal interest. Units covering veterinary science, animal trade and conservation biology provide insight into the diversity of the life sciences jobs market.
The programme’s strong data analysis theme prepares you for research projects in the final year. Employment areas, such as Animal Health Inspector or Field Researcher, as well as opportunities for higher-level study will be explored through coursework, field trips and a broad range of guest speakers. Visits off-site provide experience of an array of animal management industries and support in-class learning, showing theory put into practice. In year three, you will choose, design and conduct an independent research project leading to completion of a dissertation.
Practical animal handling skills, husbandry techniques and important management skills are interwoven throughout the whole three years of the course. The section has strong links with the BIAZA, as well as links with local and national conservation organisations.
Assessment Methods and Research Opportunities
Assessment is mostly coursework based, comprising of practical portfolios, laboratory reports, seminars and essays. Many units also assess through an examination.
Students have opportunities to conduct research throughout the courses including a behavioural observation project in the second year. Work placements offer opportunities for students to gather data for the dissertation project which is submitted in the final year.
Recent dissertations have included studies on the diets of the Malayan Tapir, how kennel size affects stress in dogs in a boarding environment, as well as enrichment studies in a variety of species including Aladabra tortoises, harbour seals and lions.
Sparsholt actively submits student work to outside symposia, giving you the opportunity to present your work to the wider world.
What grades will I need?
GCSE Maths and English at Grade C or above or L2 Functional skills in Maths and English.
Three A Level passes, including two at Grade C or above – one A Level C should be in a Life Science
or BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM
or City & Guilds Ext. Diploma at Merit with at least six units at Distinction or above
or a Merit profile in a relevant Access course with 45 credits at Level 3.
Employment and Progression Opportunities
We encourage to broaden their expertise by seeking work placements in specialist areas. Recent placements have been as varied as the Customs and Excise Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow Airport, Marwell Wildlife (and many other zoos and animal collections), Compassion in World Farming projects, Operation Wallacea (working with field researchers) and ZSL London Zoo.
In the first and second years of the programme, three weeks each year are allocated for work placements. The placements always adjoin a holiday period to allow work placements to be combined with paid or volunteer employment. In the final year of the degree in Animal Management you will have the opportunity to research, investigate and explore a specific career area of your choice to improve your future marketability in this area of employment. You will be encouraged to seek placements that will provide valuable career guidance, as well as enhancing your CV.
Students often choose to do their work experience overseas. Recent placements abroad have been in the USA (Malhever Research Station, Oregon), Indonesia (reptile research with Operation Wallacea), wildlife monitoring in Peru (with Fauna International), Ireland (Dublin Zoo), and big cat tracking in Asia and Africa. More local placements have been conducted at Bristol Zoo Gardens, the New Forest Wildlife Park, Compassion in World Farming, The Donkey Sanctuary and the Entomology Department of the Natural History Museum.