BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation

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Why Wolverhampton?

  • The course provides a thorough grounding in the study of animal behaviour, with emphasis on biological diversity, evolution, physiology, ecology and behaviour itself.
  • Conservation is at the heart of the course and there is a strong focus on applying behavioural knowledge in different conservation contexts from site-based management to landscape-scale.
  • Animals are studied from the molecular level up to the whole organism and are considered as members of communities and populations.
  • There are two compulsory week-long field courses, one in the UK and a second in Europe. There are further options to participate in international field courses worldwide as well as opportunities to study abroad with partner institutions in the USA and the EU.
  • The course incorporates an optional work-based placement, for example, at local or regional zoos, wildlife collections, and wildlife-related NGOs.
  • You will find a strong practical emphasis in your studies, putting theory into practice, which prepares you for employment in this field.
  • The course staff have extensive fieldwork, research and consultancy and work experience which feeds directly into teaching.

For more detailed information, check our Animal Behaviour & Wildlife Conservation FAQs

 

Aims

  • Develop students’ interest, knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of animals in their natural environments.
  • Enable students to use the knowledge of the behaviour and biology of animals in order to effect the protection and conservation of species and their habitats.
  • Develop practical skills in species and habitat survey alongside techniques in behavioural observation to prepare students for employment.

The emphasis will be on wildlife species and their conservation in the UK, with field visits and residential fieldwork integral to the course. There will also be opportunities to study more exotic species through participation in international field courses and engagement with zoos, aquaria and wildlife parks.

 

Course Content

Year 1 offers a thorough introduction to animal behaviour and the fundamentals of conservation. It also introduces key aspects of ecology, evolution and diversity, biogeography, physiology and ethology. A particular emphasis is placed on the techniques and the skills required for effective fieldwork.

Year 2 looks more closely at the theories behind the ways in which animals interact with each other and with their physical environments. A strong emphasis is put on developing research skills alongside experience of planning and undertaking data collection outside of the classroom. Aspects of conservation biology such as landscape ecology, conservation genetics and the role of captive populations are examined. Options for international field courses and work placements are available.

Year 3 offers an optional sandwich year or alternatively you could progress directly to your final year. This provides more detailed study of animal behaviour and its application in practical wildlife conservation in a range of settings from reserve design and landscape-scale conservation initiatives through to management of captive populations. Further opportunities for international field courses may be offered and you will also undertake and write up your own research project.

 

Outcomes

You will develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • The theory of how and why animals behave both individually and in social groups;
  • The legislative framework for wildlife conservation and conservation practice;
  • The diversity of living organisms, their structure and life processes;
  • The classification and identification of animals and their habitats;
  • Recent advances in behavioural and conservation science and the philosophical and ethical issues involved;
  • How to use the knowledge of the behaviour, ecology and biology of animals in order to effect the protection and conservation of species and their habitats.

Employability 

A graduate of Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation is qualified to seek employment opportunities within a range of careers. Whilst some may continue to higher degree studies (PGCE, MA, MSc, MPhil or PhD), many others enter into employment with organisations in both the public or voluntary sectors such as Natural England, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Those graduates with a strong behavioural interest often follow careers with zoos, aquaria, game parks and other animal collections where they can bring their expertise to bear on all aspects of species management.

The mix of field-based information collection/recording, practical activity and office-based work is unmatched in most other subject areas. A degree in the relevant area gives individuals a head-start in securing the interesting careers that others envy and will guarantee experiences that will last a lifetime.