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International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law MSc

Level: SCQF 11

Available at these campuses: Distance Learning

About the Course

SRUC and University of EdinburghThe overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to provide knowledge and an understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on the international issues arising from animal use in all its forms.

The programme is delivered by researchers and teachers from both SRUC and the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) with a series of guest lecturers from around the world.

The programme offers courses in a variety of areas, including:

  • history, culture and concepts of animal welfare
  • animal behaviour
  • animal welfare assessment
  • animal ethics
  • recommendations and policy
  • legislation, regulation and enforcement
  • science communication
  • applied animal welfare - production, companion and captive wild animals

This programme is affiliated with Edinburgh University's Global Health Academy.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:

  • An enhanced knowledge and understanding of animal welfare, ethics and law so as to address welfare concerns form a global perspective
  • An awareness of the importance of the application of science based evidence for advancing animal welfare
  • An understanding of animal welfare that can be applied in veterinary practice, animal research, animal management and care, animal production, welfare inspection, welfare assessment and the preparation of animal-based legislation
  • The skills and confidence to undertake ethical debate relating to animal welfare and animal use.

The MSc International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law is awarded by the University of Edinburgh.

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree, with an excellent/very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK), in animal science, biology, psychology, zoology or veterinary science.

Course Content

For more information please download our course leaflet.

A blend of online learning methods are utilised, such as discussion forums, podcasts and live tutorials. The programme is modular, allowing us to offer a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied.
Students may choose to study to certificate, diploma or masters level.

Students can take up to 6 years to complete the full MSc programme and there is also the option to graduate with either an International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Year 1: Certificate

You will take two compulsory courses - International Animal Welfare Science and Animal Ethics, Policy and Law - plus an optional course.

Year 2: Diploma

You can choose up to 60 credits of optional courses, which include:

  • Production Animal Welfare
  • Cat and Dog Welfare
  • Captive and Free-ranging Wild Animal Welfare
  • Animals in Research, Testing and Education
  • Clinical Animal Behaviour
  • Equine Behaviour and Welfare
  • Equitation Science
  • Anthrozoology (new for 2017)

Year 3: Masters

You complete a dissertation of between 10,000-15,000 words which can be a research project or an extended systematic review of the literature in a topic of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics or Law.

For more information and to apply visit The Edinburgh University course pages.

This programme is taught entirely online via the University of Edinburgh’s Learn online environment. All learning materials are made available for the course duration, so students can access them regardless of geographical location. Students are also expected to spend a large proportion of time in ‘out of class’ study.