Kirstin Mcilvaney (MSci, FHEA)

Masters Programme Co-ordinator


I joined the Programme Team for the MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour (CAB) full time in January 2024. I am a joint Course Organiser for Research Methods and Data Analysis B (10 credits) and Anthrozoology (20 credits) and also provide support for the Pre-dissertation and Dissertation courses (60 credits).

From the start of 2019 to the end of 2023 I coordinated the MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, an on campus programme that has been running for over 30 years. I arranged teaching, led practical sessions and visits and supported students with their studies. I was a Course Organiser for Scientific Methodology (20 credits), Animal Welfare Applications (40 credits) and the Dissertation course (60 credits) that all sit within the AABAW programme. During this time I also worked on the online programmes in Clinical Animal Behaviour (CAB) and International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law (IAWEL) carrying out Programme Coordinator roles and acting as a dissertation supervisor.

Prior to joining the University in 2019 I worked as a Research Assistant for 14 years in the Animal Behaviour and Welfare team at SRUC, working predominantly in maternal behaviour research with many farm animal species. I routinely helped develop and advance novel and practical methods of on farm data collection. Cultivating current technology to fit research needs, refining data recording efficiency and accuracy developed my awareness in the need to teach practical research skills to post graduate students, which led me to my current role.

I am interested in all things feline, supporting students with their studies and promoting good research practice.


MSci (with work placement) from University of Glasgow (2004)

Fellowship of Higher Education Authority (FHEA) (2023)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Teaching committees for MSc AABAW, MSc CAB, MSc IAWEL, R(D)SVS Post graduate taught Learning and Teaching Committee (PGTLTC)

Exam board for MSc CAB (previously for MSc AABAW and MSc IAWEL)

Special Circumstances committee - MSc CAB (previously for MSc AABAW)

R(D)SVS Postgraduate Student Support Advisory Group (PG SSAG)


Postgraduate teaching

Currently a Course Organiser for Anthrozoology (20 credits) and Research Methods and Data Analysis (B) (10 credits)

Previously a Course Organiser for Scientific Methodology (20 credit), Animal Welfare Applications (40 credit) and MSc AABAW Dissertation course (60 credits)

I provide marking and moderation for Principles of Applied Animal Behaviour (20 credits), Clinical Animal Behaviour (20 credits) and CAB Dissertation course (60 credits)

Areas of interest for supervision

I supervise up to four MSc dissertation students each year on a range of topics suitable for Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare and Clinical Animal Behaviour programmes.

Current students:

Gleanna Doyle 2023-2024 MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour

Alison Wilson 2023-2024 MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour


MSc students previously supervised to successful submission include;

MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare

  • Katrina Mackay (co supervised with Rae Foreman-Worsley) An investigation looking at the impact of multi-cat households and other environmental variables on the prevalence and treatment success of Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis and the impact of Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis on owners and cats’ quality of life 2023
  • Holly Clements (co supervised with Rae Foreman-Worsley) An investigation into stress-related factors associated with the social and physical environment that may contribute to occurrence of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) in pet cats, Felis catus 2022
  • Kathryn Voelkner (co supervised with Bryony Lancaster), Future developments in utilising monitoring sensors to non-invasively record thermal comfort and activity levels in geriatric and chronically ill equids 2022
  • Chloe Pate (co supervised with Lisa Yon) The Social Management and Reproductive Success of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in European Zoos 2020
  • Alice Tough (co supervised with Lisa Yon ) An Investigation into the Effects of Social Environment on the Reproductive Output of the Captive Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) European Population 2020


MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour

  • Folakanmi Adenugba (co supervised with Kevin McPeake) Exploring the Relationship Between Behaviour and Dysphoria 2023
  • Erica Cheung (co supervised with Karen Overall), Effect of Dog-Human Relationship On Behavioural Responses To Physical Touch Over A Spectrum Of Body Regions 2022
  • Suzanne Ruby (co supervised with Fiona Cooke) Donkey Matchmaking: Furthering our understanding of donkey bonding 2022


MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law

  • Ariane Aquilina (co supervised with Melanie Connor) Factors Influencing the Keeping of Reptiles as Pets 2021
  • Jillian Gordon (co supervised with Fritha Langford & Gura Bergkvist) The relationship between grimace expressions of dairy cattle and post-mortem dental health; and the implications for welfare and production in dairy cattle 2019