BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Top-up)

Course overview

Merrist Wood is highly regarded in the animal industry as the leading animal education establishment in Surrey, with a wide range of animal care courses. There are well-equipped animal management resources including collections of domestic, companion, and exotic animals as well as a grooming parlour and supporting facilities for canine care. The College has wide links with industry and tuition is by highly qualified and experienced tutors who will ensure you gain the best possible grounding in your chosen career.

This programme validated by Kingston University is designed for students who have already completed a Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare or equivalent qualification. It allows for more in-depth specialist knowledge development and the opportunity for research into a chosen field of study.

You will assess animal welfare and behaviour in a range of settings, including farming, zoos, the leisure and entertainment sectors, laboratory and domestic environments.


During this course you will benefit from the following:

  • Taught by expert, passionate tutors with industry experience.
  • Extensive grounds which include ancient woodland, species rich grassland and wetland areas. Rich fauna, including protected species of bats and amphibians.
  • Friendly learning environment with small class sizes and excellent student support.
  • Merrist Wood College is highly regarded in the animal industry as the leading animal education establishment in Surrey
  • Animal Management Centre including facilities such as a desert biome, tropical biome and nocturnal room.
  • Industry experience provides an invaluable opportunity to work in a variety of settings to support your chosen career path.


Course duration: 1 Year full-time. This course can also be taken on a part-time basis over 2 years.


Tuition Fees

Home/EU* Fee for September 2023 entry: £8,000 per year. 

Please note: Tuition fees are published for the first year of entry only and may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the Office for Students.

*Fee information for European Union (EU) students: If your course starts on or after the 1st August 2021, you will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you are able to benefit from the citizens’ rights agreements
  • you are an Irish national living in the UK or Republic of Ireland – benefits of Irish nationals under Common Travel Area guidance arrangement will continue

Additional costs include:

Optional trips for work experience, especially if you wish to volunteer overseas, as some of our previous students have done. Additional printing over and above the £10 allowance provided by the college, and the cost of books that you might wish to purchase.

We strongly recommend purchasing a laptop to support you in your studies on the course.

If you need any further information or guidance, please contact us 

Practical experiments in animal behaviour (30 credits), animal cognition (30 credits), concepts in animal welfare (30 credits), research project (30 credits). Total 120 credits.

All students are supported with academic development and you will have access to a personal tutor.

There will be a range of theory, practical, and work placements. Assessment is by course work and exam.

Animal Behaviour Welfare Foundation Degree or HND (or suitable equivalent subject) with a minimum Pass profile.

Plus a minimum of Grade C at GCSE for English, maths and science.

A minimum IELTS score of 6 /TOEFL equivalent is required for those for whom English is not their first language.

Continue your studies with a Masters degree in a range of specialist areas or apply for membership of professional bodies including the Zoological Society of London, Institute of Biology or the British Ecological Society and attend further courses.

You could become a zoo keeper, animal behaviouralist, welfare officer or post-graduate researcher with organisations such as the RSPCA or WWF, zoos, safari parks, local government agencies or consider teaching.

Applicants should apply through the UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. All courses will be listed under Activate Learning on the UCAS website.

You are advised to ensure that anti-tetanus protection via a course of injections or booster is up to date prior to the commencement of the course. You should also ensure that you have adequate clothing for outdoor work in inclement weather. You will also need a pair of boots or wellingtons.

Applicants should apply through the UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website.

Merrist Wood offers accommodation for new and existing full-time students who wish to live in our halls.

Course Starts in 107 Days
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