The underlying aim of studying at
this level goes well beyond the subject matter itself, it is not simply a case
of greater detail than lower levels. The overwhelming purpose is to teach the
student the skills required to gather information, to formulate opinion and
communicate those opinions based on evidence. It is a mind-set that enables the
student to engage at a fully professional level beyond that of those who have
simply learned their subject by experience alone.
Module 1. Animal Aggression
module examines the many factors that contribute to aggressive behaviour, it
defines aggression and discusses aggression as an adaptive survival tool and
the different approaches utilised by prey and predator. The effect and
requirements of domestication and how breeding for temperament interacts with
natural drives behind aggressive behaviour are examined along with the
neurology of aggression.
Module 2. Human/Animal Bond
human/animal bond has been the subject of much research and has proven to be a
fundamental factor when examining behaviour. The therapeutic advantages of such
a bond with companion animals are becoming more and more evident with advancing
research and an in-depth understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms at
work are essential part of the education of a behaviour specialist.
Module 3. Companion Animal Loss
is a powerful emotion and companion animal loss inevitably represents the end
of the bond examined in module 2. Different people react in different ways to
grief and it is this process that is examined in this module.
Module 4. Attitudes and Ethics
people develop attitudes, what influences their formation and who they choose
to associate with through a common interest is often then reflected in
society’s values and legislature. Strength of opinion can ultimately cause
problems with cultural and religious differences with regard to the law and
animal rights, it is therefore critical that the student is equipped with the
knowledge to take account of how different people regard their animals.
Modules 5,6,7. Research Methods
order to conduct research and fully understand published research papers the
student must fully comprehend the methods applied to research design, data
collection and analysis as well as how to present their own findings.
Modules 8,9. Research Project
double module is a supervised dissertation, the student must propose their own
topic and have it agreed before commencing. It culminates in a 10,000 word
report that aims to demonstrate the writer’s ability to develop a clear line of
thought in response to a central question. It shows a clear understanding of
research methodology and an ability to work at independently at this level.
In this final module students are required to offer a critical analysis of two 'real' cases that were video recorded. Case notes and the video material is provided. Critical thinking is crucial skill for all behaviourists.