FdSc Canine Science and Welfare

About the course

The course is delivered via blended learning both online and at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. The course has been designed for students wishing to pursue a Higher Education course linking science with vocational study of the canine industry and welfare. From those already professionally qualified pursuing a change of career direction to those students where full-time study is not possible, this qualification provides a combination of on-line learning opportunities alongside the provision at the University Centre Myerscough study weekends.

Course modules

Year 1

Academic and Vocational Skills

This module provides students with first-hand experience using a relevant work environment to develop academic, practical and technical skills. Students will be encouraged to record and reflect on their own personal development during the module. The module is fundamental to the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment and will provide the foundation for further development through study on the ‘Industry Project’ module at Level 5.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

The module aims to enable the students to describe the natural anatomical and physiological mechanisms that control behaviour, reproduction and defence against disease and impact on an animal’s welfare.

Canine Learning and Training Theory

This module aims to develop an appreciation of the natural behaviour patterns of dogs and where these are relevant when considering how a dog actually learns. The module will explore factors that can influence dog behaviour and also examine how these can be adapted to meet the complex and varied roles demanded of dogs in our present day society. The module will also outline the biological principles of canine behaviour and help build an appreciation of how this impacts on their learning capacity. Learning and training theory will be explored in depth to enable a sound knowledge of how dogs learn and fulfil the varied roles expected of them, for example as companion or assistance animals.

Introduction to Canine Behaviour

This module aims to develop an appreciation of the natural behavioural patterns of dogs and how they are of key relevance when determining the behaviour of dogs within the domestic environment. The module will outline differing evolutionary biological principles of animal behaviour and ethology and help students develop an appreciation of the origin of dog behaviour.

Year 2

Business and Entrepreneurism (Option)

The overall aim of this module is to examine the entrepreneurial process and develop the entrepreneurial mindset by examining personal attributes and characteristics necessary to take an enterprising idea forward and formulate a successful business. Business planning skills will therefore be developed to ensure that the key elements of business such as marketing and finance are competently addressed to aid sustainable business plans.

Canine Reproductive Management

This module aims to introduce students to the requirements of managing the reproduction of canines with consideration for genetics and breeding and learning from the advancements made in alternative species

Canine Welfare and Legislation

Throughout this module, students may develop a detailed understanding of the current legislation and codes of practice that determine how animals should be managed, an appreciation of how animal welfare concerns become translated into law and the ability to identify the key roles and responsibilities of the various organisations and agencies concerned with animal welfare. The aim is to also determine how animal management in the UK and EU meets the criteria specified in the legislation and codes of practice.

Principles of Canine Health and Nutrition

The module will discuss the aetiology of diseases and associated characteristics. The module will develop plans for canine health enhancement and disease control strategies and introduce the concept of sustainable pharmacological control. The module also aims to explore the biological and biochemical principles that underpin canine nutrition. The module will also develop a critical interest in the application of nutrition to canine management with due consideration of commercial, health, environmental and welfare factors.

Research Methods (Option)

An understanding of the methods we use to collect data and the subsequent analysis techniques is a fundamental part of functioning within a scientific discipline. Furthermore, technical professions require graduates who can solve problems through the use of background research and are capable of testing concepts using the appropriate methods. The module examines experimental design and the validity of the findings. Students will be taught to design experiments so that the data collected can be assessed for accuracy and reliability. The appropriateness of a range of investigational methods will be explored together with suitable data analysis techniques. The module will enable students to develop a scientific approach to problem solving, which can act as a firm foundation for appraising research throughout their careers. They will gain an understanding of appropriate and inappropriate experimental design and this will enable a critical evaluation of investigational methodology and so enable the student to both conduct, and evaluate the quality of, investigations in their area of study.

Applied Canine Research

This module aims to examine current canine research, its development and future and how it may be applied to the canine industry. The successful communication of research to a wider audience and the acquisition of skills necessary to carry out investigations in order to contribute to future discoveries is also part of this aim.

Year 3

Canine Problem Behaviour and Modification Techniques

This module aims to explore the aetiology of problem behaviours in the domestic dog, and to appraise the many motivational factors that can be explored when accurately diagnosing why a dog behaves in such a manner. The module will investigate the importance of social behaviour between individuals of the same species and also in human-animal interactions. The module will also explore the variety of behaviour modification techniques at our disposal and analyse their effectiveness in the control of a given behaviour problem in the dog

Canine Roles in Society

This module aims to introduce students to the use of canids in society and the justifications for such use. The module also aims to provide an insight into the moral, ethical, cultural and philosophical aspects of canine welfare. The module will investigate viewpoints concerning the treatment of animals and explore and explore key features of relationships between humans and animals and assess the significance of human/canine interactions.

Industry Project

This module builds upon the practical, technical and personal skills developed in the Academic and Vocational Skills module. It will provide a structured work environment for students in which to identify a suitable project, work with their supervisor in developing the project and report on the outcomes. Students will be encouraged to develop professional working relationships, manage their own time and workload and provide evidence of this. Project management skills will be developed through supporting lectures. The module encapsulates the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment for students to investigate a particular project in relation to a specific industry sector.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

· 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

· BTEC/C&G Level 3

· 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

· 3 Irish Highers at C or above

· International Baccalaureate at 24 points

· NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on the course are in the main, via the online learning platform and these may involve live or recorded lectures and tutorials. This course also makes use of the on-site animal resources. During the study weekends there will be lectures with possible demonstrations from outside organisations and tutorials.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.

Assessment:

Students will complete a variety of assessments including examinations and tests, practical assessments, essays, presentations, reports and group work.

Additional Information:

Mindful of the support required by students taking the blended learning route and each of our learners will have differing needs. The three study weekends at the University Centre Myerscough campus will provide additional opportunity to receive personal tutorials on a one-one basis. Outside of the study weekend time discussion boards are the best way to keep in contact and raise issues with group members and tutors. Personal tutorials can also be mutually agreed and may be conducted at University Centre Myerscough, by telephone or e-mail.

What work experience can I get?

There is no formal work placement on this course. The Academic and Vocational Skills and Industry Project modules may utilise both on and off site working environments to provide the opportunity for students to develop real practical and technical skills and help prepare them for employment in their chosen subject area, however it is the students responsibility to locate a place in industry in order to facilitate these modules.

Progression

On successful completion of the course providing the Research Methods option has been successfully completed, students may apply for the final year of the BSc(Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare course.

Careers

The course is designed with the intention that its graduates will be able to function effectively within the canine industry from a fundamental scientific base. Examples of possible careers include:

Rescue Centre work

Training assistance dogs

Kennel Managers

Animal Insurance Advisors

Zoological education/research/keeping

Research and development

Local authority/Defra/HM customs animal welfare officers

Behaviour advisors

Teaching

Professional accreditations

All students are encouraged to pursue membership of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) and British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) as well as pursuing scholarships and travel awards with other professional animal organisations. Students will also be encouraged to form links with local and national animal organisations such as the RSPCA, Blackpool Zoo and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Special requirements

Laboratory coats are required for laboratory practical sessions. Waterproof clothing for field and outdoor visits

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

  • Laboratory Coat - £15
  • Accommodation during study periods at Myerscough College

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include

  • Waterproofs and Boots £50
  • Field Study trip to Shamwari Game Reserve (S. Africa) £3,500

Animal Studies

Britain is well regarded as a nation of animal lovers, from companion pets to large animal collections. This has resulted in a multi-million pound industry, ranging from well known national pet feed companies to pet stores, catteries and kennels and numerous other businesses providing for the needs of animals.

If you care about animals and have a deep interest in their health and wellbeing, Myerscough provides an excellent opportunity for you to further your studies. You'll develop a range of skills and have the opportunity to care for a range of animals including dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets, farm animals, reptiles and amphibians and a range of invertebrates.

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.