Dissertation project

You will undertake a dissertation project on your chosen research theme from March until August.

Dissertation project

Your dissertation is worth 60 credits and will give you the opportunity to further develop the skills gained from taught component of the programme.

This is a chance to test your newly-improved scientific skills and utilise scientific theory in a less structured environment.

You will begin your project in March and should have it completed by the middle of August. (This depends on study mode.)

Choosing a dissertation project

When you begin the programme in September we will have a list of projects available for you to select from. These projects will cover a range of species and may be in other parts of the UK or abroad.

If you are interested in a particular topic, and have been made an offer on the programme, you are welcome to contact the Programme Director who will help you in setting up your project by finding a location and a supervisor.

Your research project can be about anything, from the study of communication in dogs, or prenatal stress in pigs, to the impact of tourism on wildlife.


We are flexible about your topic as long as your project:

  • is ethical
  • meets the remit of the programme
  • complies with Home Office regulations.

You are encouraged to start thinking about a project as soon as your place on the MSc is confirmed.

Examples of past dissertation topics

  • Welfare of elephants in captivity
  • Tactile communication between cats and humans
  • Enhancing word learning in horses
  • Post-operative pain assessment in dogs
  • Pre-weaning survival in outdoor piglets
  • Effects of foraging devices on activity budgets of woolly monkeys and chimpanzees
  • Mate preferences of female Canna wood mice
  • Effects of urbanization on the social behaviour and food supply of the European badger
  • Effects of captivity on the skeletons of callitrichids