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FdSc Animal Science and Welfare (Health Care Management)

FdSc Animal Science and Welfare (Health Care Management)

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. This two-year foundation degree programme blends scientific knowledge, academic theory and practical skills. The increasing public awareness of animal welfare drives career prospects within the animal industry. Opportunities exist in zoos, conservation, retail animal trade, the care of companion animals, regulatory authorities and animal welfare charities. A comprehensive range of subjects are covered on the foundation degree that allow students to relate their academic studies to the wider industry and to develop practical skills, a varied range of vocational opportunities are included.

Depending upon the route selected, a selection of other modules will also be studied. These include:

Animal Health Care Management – Animal Health Care Management and First Aid, Applied Diagnostic Techniques, Animal Therapy and Pharmacology, Research Methods and Animal Sector Entrepreneurism.

Course modules

Year 1

Animal Health and Nutrition (1.5 module)

The module will discuss the aetiology of diseases and associated characteristics and develop plans for animal health enhancement and disease control strategies and introduce the concept of pharmacological control. This module also aims to explore the biological and biochemical principles which underpin animal nutrition and further develop scientific knowledge as a basis for the continuing acquisition of information. The module will develop a critical interest in current applied research in animal health and nutrition and how this may be applied to practical animal management and production with due consideration to commercial, health, environmental and welfare factors.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

The module aims to enable the students to describe the natural anatomical and physiological mechanisms that control behaviour, reproduction and defence against disease and impact on an animal’s welfare.

Academic and Vocational Skills

This module provides students with first-hand experience using a relevant work environment to develop academic, practical and technical skills. Students will be encouraged to record and reflect on their own personal development during the module. The module is fundamental to the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment and will provide the foundation for further development through study on the ‘Industry Project’ module at Level 5.

Animal Health Care Management (1.5 module)

The module aims to develop a knowledge and understanding of animal healthcare encompassing preventative care and the application of nursing skills in the management of injury or disease to include the administration of pharmacological preparations across a range of species. The module will provide an appreciation of the principles and practice of rehabilitation. An additional aim is to provide the student with the appropriate knowledge to recognise common injuries requiring immediate attention across a range of species and to develop the practical skills in order to be able to perform first aid upon an animal casualty or where necessary to support and instruct an animal owner / carer in the administration of animal first aid.

Introduction to Animal Behaviour

This module aims to develop an appreciation of the natural behavioural patterns of animals and how they are of key relevance when determining an animal’s captive requirements. This module will explore the factors that can influence animal behaviour and examine how these may be adapted, so that the animal can meet the needs of various roles including companion or working animals. The module will outline the biological principles of animal behaviour and develop an appreciation of current animal behaviour and welfare issues. Current applied research will be used to develop scientific knowledge in animal behaviour and will allow students to apply this knowledge to the diverse roles of animals in society and the role of the animal caretaker in forming behavioural responses in the animal.

Year 2

Animal Sector Entrepreneurism (Option)

The main aim of this module is to enable the learner to identify and evaluate the factors that affect the demand for recreational facilities and special events relating specifically to the animal industry, considering social and environmental concerns with a long term strategic view. In addition, the on-going processes involved in facility management are emphasised whilst considering organisational constraints. Also the aim is to provide learners with the skills necessary to plan, manage, deliver and evaluate an animal industry focussed event.

Animal Therapy and Pharmacology

The module aims to provide an introduction to animal therapy and the principles of pharmacology.

Animal Welfare and Legislation (Double module)

The module aims to develop a broad understanding of the principles which are used to determine animal welfare and of their relevant welfare legislation. The module will allow the learner to develop scientific knowledge that will act as a basis for the continuing acquisition of information in relation to animal welfare and legislation whilst developing an interest in current applied research in both fields. Current industry concerns of animal welfare will be considered in this module linking animal’s needs with housing and husbandry practices. Current legislation and husbandry recommendations will be considered allowing for the appreciation of their practical application and management across the animal industry. The module will build on theory learnt in the Level 4 module Introduction to Animal Behaviour allowing for industry standards to be discussed and critical evaluation to be developed.

Applied Diagnostic Techniques

The module aims to develop the investigative skills required to analyse haematological, urological, bacteriological, and parasitological laboratory specimens and enabling the student to evaluate the appropriateness of a range of sampling techniques used in the diagnosis of disease. The module will enable the application of knowledge gained from interpretation of clinical findings to the identification of a variety of veterinary conditions.

Industry Project

This module builds upon the practical, technical and personal skills developed in the Academic and Vocational Skills module. It will provide a structured work environment for students in which to identify a suitable project, work with their supervisor in developing the project and report on the outcomes. Students will be encouraged to develop professional working relationships, manage their own time and workload and provide evidence of this. Project management skills will be developed through supporting lectures. The module encapsulates the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment for students to investigate a particular project in relation to a specific industry sector.

Research Methods (Option)

An understanding of the methods we use to collect data and the subsequent analysis techniques is a fundamental part of functioning within a scientific discipline. Furthermore, technical professions require graduates who can solve problems through the use of background research and are capable of testing concepts using the appropriate methods. The module examines experimental design and the validity of the findings. Students will be taught to design experiments so that the data collected can be assessed for accuracy and reliability. The appropriateness of a range of investigational methods will be explored together with suitable data analysis techniques. The module will enable students to develop a scientific approach to problem solving, which can act as a firm foundation for appraising research throughout their careers. They will gain an understanding of appropriate and inappropriate experimental design and this will enable a critical evaluation of investigational methodology and so enable the student to both conduct, and evaluate the quality of, investigations in their area of study.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

· 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

· BTEC/C&G Level 3

· 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

· 3 Irish Highers at C or above

· International Baccalaureate at 24 points

· NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.


Students will complete a variety of assessments including examinations and tests, practical assessments, essays, presentations, reports and group work.

Additional Information:

The course may involve visits or lectures delivered by external speakers who will outline the work/research interests of the various organisations they represent. This provides excellent opportunity to find out about both the technical issues and developments being discussed and the employment and career opportunities available in the various fields.

What work experience can I get?

There is no formal work placement on this course. The Academic and Vocational Skills and Industry Project modules may utilise both on and off site working environments to provide the opportunity for students to develop real practical and technical skills and help prepare them for employment in their chosen subject area, however it is the student’s responsibility to locate a place in industry in order to facilitate these modules.


On successful completion of the course providing the Research Methods option has been successfully completed, students may apply for the final year of the BSc(Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare course.


The course is designed with the intention that its graduates will be able to function effectively within the canine industry from a fundamental scientific base. Examples of possible careers include:

Rescue Centre work


Research and development

Local authority/Defra/HM customs animal welfare officers

Kennel and Cattery Assistants

Animal Insurance Advisors

Animal Collections and Sanctuary work

Animal Technician

Laboratory Technicians

Training Assistance Dogs

Professional accreditations

All students are encouraged to pursue membership of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) as well as pursuing scholarships and travel awards with other professional animal organisations.

Special requirements

Laboratory coats are required for laboratory practical sessions. Waterproof clothing for field and outdoor visits

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

· Laboratory Coat - £15

· Waterproofs and Boots £50

· Black Warehouse Coat - £15

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

· Field Study trip to Shamwari Game Reserve (S. Africa) £3,500