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International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law (Online Distance Learning) MSc, PgDip, PgCert, PgProfDev

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MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law (Online Distance Learning) - 6 Years (Part-time Intermittent Study)
PgDip International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law (Online Distance Learning) - 4 Years (Part-time Intermittent Study)
PgCert International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law (Online Distance Learning) - 2 Years (Part-time Intermittent Study)
PG Professional Development in International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law (Online Distance Learning)(ICL) - 2 Years (Part-time Intermittent Study)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Danielle Linkiewicz (Programme Administrator)
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6272
Dr Fritha Langford (Programme Director)
Address: JMICAWE, 2nd Floor
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Easter Bush
EH25 9RG

The 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 the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) and the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) with a series of guest lecturers from around the world.

Entry requirements

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

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • 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)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

With your application you are required to submit a CV, no longer than 2 pages long, and a motivational letter.

The letter of motivation, should outline your relevant work, volunteer or travel experience and the role this programme has in your future plans.

For Postgraduate Professional Development programmes starting in:

  • January 2015 please apply by 15 November 2014
  • April 2015 please apply by 1 March 2015
  • September 2015 please apply by 31 July 2015

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

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

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

  • Why study animal welfare online with The University of Edinburgh

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

Programme structure

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.

The full MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law programme can be completed within two years if students wish to study several courses at any one time so all taught courses are completed in one year and the second year is devoted to a dissertation project.

Alternatively 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:

  • Animal Welfare in Research, Testing and Education
  • Production Animal Welfare
  • Companion Animal Welfare
  • Captive, Free Range and Wild Animal Welfare
  • Clinical Animal Behaviour

Year 3: masters

You complete your dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words, on a topic of your choice.

Postgraduate Professional Development

If you are looking for a shorter course option, we offer online credit-bearing courses that run for 11 weeks at a time. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses through our Postgraduate Professional Development scheme. These credits will be recognised in their own right at postgraduate level, or may be put towards gaining a higher award, such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc.

Online learning

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.

Career opportunities

Graduates can use their qualification to enhance their career prospects in academia, research, governmental and non-governmental organisations and consultancies.

Further information

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