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Animal welfare and behaviour Vs zoology degree

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between these two degrees what jobs I could get with each degree? I'll be going to university next September and I don't know which one I want to do. I love animals and want to be around them BUT I do love academics. But if I go into zoology will I even spend time with live animals?
I am doing a Zoology degree and it is pretty much Biology with no plants, so is twice as in depth about animals. It depends on the University as to how much animal contact there will be and their facilities. You can choose modules to suit what you like, so I did two about animal behaviour, within a Zoology degree. I am at Newcastle and there are two Uni Farms with cattle, and I am doing my final dissertation on cattle so will have quite a lot of live animal experience.

Animal welfare and behaviour is much less scientific from what I can see, and more of a psychological outlook on animals rather than biological.
Original post by chessfurst
I am doing a Zoology degree and it is pretty much Biology with no plants, so is twice as in depth about animals. It depends on the University as to how much animal contact there will be and their facilities. You can choose modules to suit what you like, so I did two about animal behaviour, within a Zoology degree. I am at Newcastle and there are two Uni Farms with cattle, and I am doing my final dissertation on cattle so will have quite a lot of live animal experience.

Animal welfare and behaviour is much less scientific from what I can see, and more of a psychological outlook on animals rather than biological.

Thank you very much this helped a lot!!
Original post by mikaeladoran
Hi, I was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between these two degrees what jobs I could get with each degree? I'll be going to university next September and I don't know which one I want to do. I love animals and want to be around them BUT I do love academics. But if I go into zoology will I even spend time with live animals?

Hi my daughter is looking for 2023 both courses. The degrees are quite varying. Like for Lincoln for example. The animal behaviour is more based on farm/pet animals, where zoology more on zoos. But at Chester, animal behaviour there is more based on zoo and less on farm/pets. Shes limited because she did not take chem or physics, but took psychology , geography and biology. So places like Manchester are out. Reading uni is also good and they love the ecology and conservation as well as animal behaviour and zoology.
You have to read up on the modules and what each one entails. She scrapped lincoln animal behaviour because she does not want to be involved with farm/pet side of things and more zoo. If you want to work in a zoo, choose modules and unis that are more geared up for that. If you want more farm pet/rspca welfare kind of thing, then Lincoln animal behaviour is perfect.
Original post by Ghostlady
Hi my daughter is looking for 2023 both courses. The degrees are quite varying. Like for Lincoln for example. The animal behaviour is more based on farm/pet animals, where zoology more on zoos. But at Chester, animal behaviour there is more based on zoo and less on farm/pets. Shes limited because she did not take chem or physics, but took psychology , geography and biology. So places like Manchester are out. Reading uni is also good and they love the ecology and conservation as well as animal behaviour and zoology.
You have to read up on the modules and what each one entails. She scrapped lincoln animal behaviour because she does not want to be involved with farm/pet side of things and more zoo. If you want to work in a zoo, choose modules and unis that are more geared up for that. If you want more farm pet/rspca welfare kind of thing, then Lincoln animal behaviour is perfect.


Thank you very much! Much help :smile:!
Original post by mikaeladoran
Hi, I was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between these two degrees what jobs I could get with each degree? I'll be going to university next September and I don't know which one I want to do. I love animals and want to be around them BUT I do love academics. But if I go into zoology will I even spend time with live animals?


Hey @mikaeladoran,
Some great points made here about the difference between courses - it definitely varies depending on the university, so have a think about your future goals and what topics you would need to have knowledge about and experience in, and then conduct your research from there! I would absolutely look at finding a course with a placement year too, obviously there will be a lot of academia involved in these subjects, so you want to balance it with some practical experience too. From your post, it looks like you love to be around animals, but want to keep the academic side of things too, so our courses on Animal Science (BSc with the option of a placement year), Zoology (again with the option of a professional placement), or perhaps something a little different in BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation with a Professional Placement could be a good place to start! on each of these Undergraduate Profiles you'll find a tab labelled 'Careers' that can give you a little insight into some of the careers previous graduates have gone into. For example, non-governmental conservation organisations, charities, agriculture, and ecotourism to name a few! Reading, and lots of other universities, have their own dedicated careers team for students who can support and advise you on potential careers and opportunities you could look into.

It's also worth pointing out that if you have the end goal of working with live animals or in a specific zoo/animal-based workplace, you could use sites such as LinkedIn to find current employees and view their work and volunteering experiences to see how they got there, and get some more ideas for yourself. Or if its a super specific job like a zookeeper, check out the entry requirements at a few different places offering that job, and see how you can meet them! Is there a specific establishment that feeds a lot of employees into these places, or maybe a course, qualification or work/volunteering experience that's really popular? Here at Reading we have our Cole Museum of Biology and the Centre for Dairy Research that many of our students, especially Animal Science work with.

Most importantly though, don't worry if you haven't got it all figured out. Plenty of people don't know specifically what they want to do when they apply to uni - I'm in my third year and I still only have a vague idea! My best advice would be to do your research, keep your options open by taking a variety of different jobs opportunities (you can find loads of different ones at uni, especially here at Reading :wink:), and to remember that you still have plenty of time to figure it out - you've got your whole life ahead of you.

Anyway, I hope this reply has been helpful for you! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to reply to this comment and ask - we'll be more than willing to help out!

Kath :smile:
3rd Year History Student
(edited 1 year ago)

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