Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare*

Course Details

  • Department

    Animal Management
  • Qualification

    Level 7
  • Course Type

    Part Time
  • Length

    1 Year
  • Location(s)


Course at a glance

The PgCert in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare is open to applicants who are due to graduate or have graduated in a related subject area. Alternatively, you may be employed within the animal industry with significant experience and would like to develop higher level skills relating to clinical behaviour in animals. *Subject to validation for 2024 entry

Application Information

No UCAS Code for MSc, Students apply direct to UCAB.

Awarding Body: Harper Adams University

Study around your job

The MSc will now be delivered one day per week (day to be confirmed), alternating between on site face to face delivery and online delivery each week (one week in college, one week online etc).

If you’re interested in further study but you don’t have time for a full Masters and you’re not keen on writing another dissertation a certificate (PgCert) could be the perfect qualification for you. PgCerts are Masters-level qualifications equivalent to one third of a Masters with no need to undertake a dissertation.

Animal welfare is increasingly becoming a focus in all animal related industries, with demand for clinical behaviourists and trainers across the UK and internationally. You will explore the theoretical concepts associated with animal learning processes and appraises these in relation to behaviour modification and training practices. As well as gain a theoretical understanding and practical awareness of animal ethology and relationship between companion species and behaviour.

Key organisations such as the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust are requiring more behaviour and welfare specialists as the industry moves towards increased regulation.

Additionally, on the course you will gain an appreciation of how scientific research is conducted and reported in the field as well as undertaking statistical analysis to test data.

This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the animal behaviour and welfare community, combining classroom and vocational learning.

Postgraduate certificates are beneficial because they:

  • give you the opportunity to obtain a postgraduate qualification without the financial or time commitments of a full Masters degree
  • allow you to kick-start a career in a professional area.
  • give you specialist knowledge, for example to progress to a Masters or PhD
  • improve your career prospects and increase your earning potential.

Additional key reasons to study:

Assessments are designed in relation to tasks you would be expected to perform in employment.

University Centre Askham Bryan can offer you a flexible way to gain a postgraduate qualification.


• Applied Learning Theory

This module facilitates an exploration of the theoretical concepts associated with animal learning processes and appraises these in relation to behaviour modification and training practices. It is intended to support individuals working in practice and those who are working towards becoming a professional companion animal trainer and/or behaviourist.

• Research and Analysis

This module will ensure students can produce work that is of a level 7 standard as well as further their skills in quantitative data analysis. Students will gain an appreciation of how scientific research is conducted and reported in their field. Methods of evaluating what students read and how information from the literature is synthesised and assembled to give new insights will be considered. Software to analyse quantitative data will be introduced to the students. Students will be encouraged to find out about statistical tests themselves to continue life-long learning. This will help them complete research projects during their degree and in their future careers.

• Applied Ethology

This module provides the learner with an in-depth theoretical understanding and practical awareness of both non-companion and companion animal ethology and allows them to explore the relationship between these groups of species and behaviour. Learners will develop skills in recording and analysing animal communication.

• Animal Welfare Science

This module aims to allow students to critically think about animal welfare in a range of situations. Students will be asked to identify a range of welfare concerns and to think deeply about the impact these concerns have on the animals and our interactions with them. Throughout the module, students will assess animal welfare issues and appraise a range of animal welfare assessments that can be used to identify poor welfare. Students will develop their observational skills by implementing a range of welfare assessments on a chosen species, and critically evaluating their usefulness in industry.

Key Information

Applicants would typically have a BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons) at a 2.1 classification or above in a related subject. Applicants with a BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons) 2.2 classification as above, postgraduate diploma in a related subject and/or with relevant industry experience may also be considered.

References will be requested.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) will be considered on an individual basis. If you have any queries in relation to entry qualifications, then please contact the University Centre team directly.

Following the completion of this course you may decide to continue your studies onto Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or on to the full MSc

Or consider careers such as self employment as a clinical behaviourist or trainer, dog school coach, welfare specialist and research officer.

Fees: £2,665

Please note that the fee status of each applicant will be assessed prior to any offer being made (Home Fee or Overseas/International Fee). Where required further information may be requested ensure the correct fee status is allocated. For further information about on studying in the UK and fee status, please visit UKCISA

Postgraduate programmes will be eligible for a postgraduate student loan, details available at:

There is no requirement for students to undertake work experience as part of postgraduate study.

However, we would always encourage students to continue their professional development with undertaking experience in their own time.

Assessments have been designed to give students the opportunity of performing tasks that they would be asked to do in employment.

There is a range of assessment methods used, including reports, case studies, presentations and exams. Typically each module involves two assessments.

In addition to tuition fees and accommodation if applicable., students will need to budget for extra costs as part of this course and will be responsible to cover them. Below is a list with approximate cost to help with your budgeting.

Optional course trips £20 – £2000 (Dependant on the trip/tour)

Additional Course Costs (UCAB)

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