Newcastle University

Newcastle University

Animal Behaviour

Our Animal Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research. The study of animal behaviour is an exciting and theoretically rigorous area of the biological sciences with possible applications in conservation, animal welfare, biomedical science and agriculture. The Centre for Behaviour and Evolution at Newcastle University brings together world experts in Behavioural Ecology, Comparative Cognition, Neuroethology and Animal Welfare. Experts at Newcastle have discovered, among other things, that bees learn better when exposed to caffeine; that starlings who were hungry as babies become heavier as adults; and that mice have pain faces. You too can be part of this exciting research community. The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD. The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of animal behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. The modules Comparative Cognition (MMB8043), Applied Ethology (ACE8074) and Sensory Systems (MMB8019) in particular are recommended for this course. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills. The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to animal behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on comparative cognition, on sensory systems (including neuroethology) and on applied ethology for animal welfare. Research-led seminars, delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover a wide range of taxa (insects to humans), topics (olfaction to cooperation), and methodologies. Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of animal behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field. The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos. Animal Behaviour MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in Biotechnology and Business Enterprise MRes; Cancer MRes; Cardiovascular Science in Health and Disease MRes; Diabetes MRes; Epidemiology MRes; Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes; Immunobiology MRes; Medical Genetics MRes; Medical Molecular Biosciences MRes; Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine MRes; Molecular Microbiology MRes; Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) MRes; Neuromuscular Diseases MRes; Neuroscience MRes; Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine MRes; Systems Biology MRes; Toxicology MRes; Translational Medicine and Therapeutics MRes; Transplantation MRes. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in research and in zoos. Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare. Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence. You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system.

Assessment methods


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Master of Research - MRes Full-time September 2017 - 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Main Campus Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU North East

Get in touch

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Key information

Director of International Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Medical Sciences
Telephone number: 
0191 208 7433