This programme provides a flexible postgraduate study designed to specifically address the demand for online clinical animal behaviour teaching within a supported learning environment. The programme will utilise an evidence-based approach to explore the potential motivations, management and treatment options for abnormal and/or problem behaviours commonly expressed by companion animal species living within a domestic environment.
The subject involves a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on knowledge and techniques from the fields of psychology, ethology, neurobiology, pharmacology and veterinary science. This programme will contain teaching and learning that is aimed at your academic preparation for a professional career working with companion animals in a variety of settings, including clinical animal behaviour counselling.
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh's excellent resources but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
This MSc programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. You must complete a sufficient number of course credits to achieve the following awards:
- Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits
- Master of Science: 180 credits
You may undertake this programme by the intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within the following maximum time limits:
- Postgraduate Certificate: 12-24 months
- Postgraduate Diploma: 24-48 months
- Master of Science: 36-72 months (this includes a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your dissertation to its completion)
Year 1: Certificate Courses
You will study Principles of Applied Animal Behaviour and Clinical Animal Behaviour along with either Anthrozoology (recommended for those continuing to Diploma/MSc) or one of two other elective courses.
Year 2: Diploma Courses
You will study Clinical Animal Behaviour in Practice along with two elective courses from a choice of 4.
Year 3: Masters
The dissertation element of the programme will allow further development of scientific skills and may take the form of a short research project, case studies relating to relevant professional experience or an extended literature review.
Postgraduate Professional Development
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses, you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to study towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Alongside the subject content, the programme will also enable the acquisition of a range of transferable skills, such as computer skills, report writing, giving online presentations and time and project management.
You will be able to:
- consider how a scientific understanding of how biology and normal species-specific behaviour can be applied in the management of problematic and/or abnormal behaviour in a range of companion animal species
- develop a thorough understanding of the methods and approaches used for the management and treatment of common problematic behaviour in companion animals
- gain an understanding of the scientific basis to a range of adjuncts used in the management of problem behaviour, including behavioural therapy, psychopharmacology and pheromonotherapy
Students are expected to find work in the field of companion animal behaviour and welfare as well as working in education, or as advisors with non-governmental organisations and governments.
A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with a biological background, for example, a degree in veterinary medicine/science, biological sciences, zoology, psychology or animal science.
We may consider applicants with degrees in other disciplines if you have a minimum of 5 years demonstrable experience working with companion animals in a relevant capacity. Please contact us to check before you apply. You may be admitted to professional development or certificate level, rather than the full MSc in the first instance.
English language requirements
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
- an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
- CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Scholarships and funding
UK nationals, those with settled status, and some EU nationals not resident in the UK could be eligible for a postgraduate loan towards fees - and in some cases living costs.