BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day

Introduction

Studying Animal Behaviour at ARU

Study with us in Cambridge and learn why animals behave in the ways that they do, and how this can impact on their health and welfare and influence the management of companion, domestic, captive and wild animals.

Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023 logo

Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Animal Behaviour at ARU?

  • Be part of the longest established animal behaviour course in the UK, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
  • Get hands-on by using cutting-edge technologies and techniques to study animal behaviour, and how it’s used in solving conservation and welfare problems.
  • Engage in our innovative ‘Live Briefs’, designed, developed, and run with zoos, farms, and wildlife charities, giving you exposure to ‘real world’ challenges, including the option to study animal behaviour locally and abroad.
  • Study in Cambridge – a hub of wildlife and conservation research, and home to our £45m Science Centre.
  • Complete projects and internships with our research-active expert staff from the School of Life Sciences, and access work placements with a range of employers.

What is Animal Behaviour?

We know more than ever before about the behaviour of animals. But with so much still left to learn, you could even have the chance to discover a scientific breakthrough as you develop the skills to investigate animals that will allow you to contribute to important discoveries in the future.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry requirements

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Fees and paying for university

Facilities

Field trips

Field trips are a central part of our Animal Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation, and Zoology degrees. You'll have the chance to learn more about tropical ecology and conservation, Dutch zoo design, and wildlife in the UK and further afield. As well as offering unforgettable experiences, field trips provide essential practical experience.

Outstanding facilities and opportunities

As a student at ARU, you’ll be able to take advantage of:

  • state-of-the-art laboratory facilities including a 200-station biosciences laboratory in our Science Centre
  • the chance to gain experience and build your employability skills on an optional placement year
  • award-winning IT and library facilities.

Take a guided tour and meet our students

Accreditation

Royal Society of Biology

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, our degree course offers an integrated, scientific approach with hands-on experiences.

Careers

Studying animal behaviour could give you the opportunity to help future generations to see species live and in the flesh, and not just read about them in a history book.

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023), and ranked third in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates that agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

What can you do with an animal behaviour degree?

What you’ll learn studying animal behaviour could see you helping to manage and enhance the habitats of animals in captivity or educating the public about the importance of animal welfare and conservation.

With the breadth of skills you’ll acquire, you could find yourself working in animal training and behavioural rehabilitation, teaching in a zoo, or even working in a laboratory. Some of the jobs our graduates have gone on to have are:

  • Animal Care Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Animal Keeper
  • Ecological Consultant
  • Invasive Species Surveyor
  • Conservation Research Consultant
  • Postgraduate Researcher
  • Teacher

We have had graduates go on to work at:

  • RSPB
  • RSPCA
  • Colchester Zoo
  • National Animal Welfare Trust
  • JNCC
  • Shepreth Wildlife Park
  • Flora and Fauna International
  • Birdlife International
  • University of Cambridge
  • Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Our Animal Behaviour degree also acts as a foundation for you to become a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB). You’ll need to undertake practical training under the supervision of practising CCABs before presenting case studies and a further clinical examination prior to certification. For more information see www.asab.org/ccab, www.abtcouncil.org.uk and www.apbc.org.uk.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters, such as our renowned MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation or our MSc Animal Behaviour: Applications for Conservation. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

Ben's story

What an Animal Behaviour graduate did next

Being at ARU helped crystallise my love for the natural world. Today I'm here surrounded by papers on primate genetics and schedules for filming another BBC piece.

Olivia

"I realised through my time at ARU how often opportunities arise. I grabbed everything I could to develop my CV, which has worked wonders as I now work at my dream job at Woburn Safari Park! I love being a keeper. It really does bring me so much joy."

Olivia

BSc (Hons) Zoology graduate

Olivia's story

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

Life in Cambridge

Our friendly, bustling campus is a stone’s throw from the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements

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