Academic research

Many of our graduates have progressed onto PhD study and joined research projects in the field of animal welfare.

Alex (2010-11)

Alex is now pursuing a career in canine behaviour/welfare research.

"Attending the MSc course in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare was one of the top best decisions I have ever made. I have always had a strong interest in canine behaviour and welfare, and it's unbelievable the huge amount of information I have learnt during the course.

My research towards my dissertation has focused on canine temperament testing, something I care about tremendously. The entire course involved massive amounts of work, both for the taught and the dissertation components, but I enjoyed every bit of it. I never thought I would get to love writing my dissertation, but I did.

I thought being interested in canine behaviour and welfare could at best be a hobby. Now I know it's the one thing I want to do for the rest of my life."

Matt (2009-2010)

Matt currently works at the University of Bristol on a project investigating pet rabbit welfare.

"I knew this MSc would give me an education in animal behaviour and welfare but I didn’t expect it to make me so aware of the challenges society faces in the future. Whether it’s reducing climate change, advancing medical science or trying to feed the world sustainably, animal welfare definitely has a role in ensuring solutions are achievable yet acceptable. This ethical/political dimension is something I never expected to enjoy so much and certainly sparked many interesting, sometimes heated discussions among classmates!

"The MSc was definitely a worthwhile, enjoyable and stimulating course, and stretched me personally as well as professionally. However, I would think seriously about whether doing the MSc is right for you. It’s a big commitment, is challenging at times and doesn’t guarantee employment in a highly competitive field. For me, it was 100% the right choice and has helped kick start a career in animal welfare."

Jen (2007-2008)

Jen went on to study a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College.

"I absolutely loved my year completing the MSc. The combination of a taught component and your own personal research project really gave me the opportunity to build both confidence and skills, and opened up the opportunities to meet so many interesting people and experience a wide range of current research and issues. This, added to the fact that students attending were from such an international range, provided me with many different view-points that I otherwise would never have considered, and challenged any original preconceptions I may have had.

"In my PhD, I'm looking at 'the development of attitudes to and acquisition of knowledge on animal welfare', with particular emphasis on farm animal welfare, and primary/secondary school education. This is an issue I was already interested in, further fuelled by my lectures in Edinburgh, and I am certain that completing the MSc was a huge contributing factor to me being given this opportunity."

Clare (2005-2006)

Clare now works for Bristol University as a research technician on a cattle lameness project.

"I've had a busy start to my second year as a technician - just about to start our second round of visits to 222 dairy farms over England and Wales. We are also busy with training events for vets and farmers to increase their knowledge and awareness of lameness. I am also involved in data collection for a pig welfare project funded by BPEX which involves visiting various farms over England and collecting welfare and behaviour data on individual pigs, in the hope a higher welfare standard can be achieved. I am really enjoying my job as it is very hands on and am so glad I did the MSc as otherwise I would not be where I am now!"

Sian (2005-2006)

Sian now works for the SAC in the Land Economics and Environment Research Group.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the MSc course and the wide variety of topics that it covered. Since graduating in 2006 I have been a research associate at the University of Edinburgh, on a project investigating fatigue in sheep. I am now working for the Scottish Agricultural College in the Land Economics and Environment Research Group investigating the economic effects of welfare issues and changes in agricultural policy. This course has given me a diverse background to enable me to go into a variety of occupations."