How To Apply
UCP BSc (Hons) Animal Management and Welfare (Top-Up)

BSc (Hons) Animal Management and Welfare (Top-Up)

The Open University

course overview

This course is aimed at students who strive to be part of an adaptive, responsive, conscientious and welfare focused workforce to deal with the many challenges and opportunities the animal management sector may face in the future.

The course encourages students to develop their analytical and critical evaluation skills through the assessment of animal welfare, application of behavior modification strategies and evaluation of captive husbandry to enhance animal management practices and promote animal health, welfare and conservation outcomes.

The course also focuses on the ethics of animal management and discusses mitigation strategies for growing human-animal conflict issues to encourage sustainable coexistence.

Students will learn about appropriate research methodologies and data analyses in preparation for their dissertation, in which students will undertake an independent research project to analyse a specific research question/hypothesis.

Students on the course will have a unique opportunity to enhance their practical animal management skills and contextualise their learning by working behind the scenes with a range of rare and endangered species at Whipsnade Zoo (part of the Zoological Society of London).

Students will undertake a series of visits throughout the year to learn about exotic animal management and its challenges and get hands on with enrichment building, accommodation maintenance, feeding, handling and undertaking essential research.

Students will also have the opportunity to study in the on-site Animal Management Centre which is home to over a hundred species of exotic and domestic animals ranging from hamsters, rats and budgies to tenrecs, meerkats and pythons.

Download Course Specification

Applicants should hold a relevant level 5 qualification (240 credits) in an animal-related subject (animal studies, welfare, behaviour), such as a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma at Merit grade or above. Applicants will also need a suitable academic reference.

Applicants will also need GCSE grade C/4 in English Language and Mathematics.

We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit The tariff points for qualifications can be added together. We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels, BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education, Scottish Advanced Highers and Level 3 Apprenticeships.

APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.

We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.

It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Animal Welfare and Ethics – (15 credits)
  • Applied Animal Behaviour – (15 credits)
  • Wild Animals in Captivity – (15 credits)
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis – (15 credits)
  • Applied Animal Health – (15 credits)
  • Human-Animal Coexistence – (15 credits)
  • Dissertation – (30 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study. A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study. A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course we will timetable your lectures into one of two full days a week over two semesters per year (see Duration and delivery for exact details). We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

Timetables are available at least one month before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Assessments at level 6 allow students to showcase their evaluative and analytical problem-solving skills throughout the programme. Assessments are delivered through scenario or ‘life brief’ methods to enable students to apply cognitive understanding and practical skills to vocational contexts. A wide variety of assessment strategies are employed, appropriate to the specific learning outcomes which are being assessed. 

Modes of assessment include essays, practical performance, scientific report, research projects, case studies, portfolios, academic posters, presentations, discussions/debates, open-book exams and data-analysis.

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

The level 6 top up offers students a unique employer engagement opportunity to work with industry professionals at the globally recognised Zoological Society of London (ZSL) at Whipsnade. Here students will embark on a series of practical activities and workshops to contextualise theoretical aspects covered in the course modules and provide opportunities for work-based learning. The programme of activities includes animal enrichment design, zoo nutrition and feeding, exotic animal health, animal training and enclosure design.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn vital transferable industry skills in the on-site animal facility which houses a number of exotic, domestic and companion animals. Students have the opportunity to learn about and assess the animal husbandry provision of these species in line with current animal welfare regulations. The facility also offers the perfect venue for independent research for assessments and as a resource for their investigations as part of their dissertation.

As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. The University Centre has strong links with local vets, boarding facilities, shelters and zoos/wildlife parks.

John-Paul Oldham

“I am the Course Leader for the BSc Animal Management and Welfare (top Up) at the University Centre Peterborough (Stamford Campus).
I have been lecturing on animal management programmes at the Stamford College campus since 2008 where I have been instrumental in the curriculum design and provision. Before this I taught at Nottingham Trent University as an Animal Science Lecturer teaching undergraduate zoo biology and animal biology students.
Before embarking on a career in teaching I worked as a Laboratory Manager and HACCP (Hygiene Analysis and Critical Control Points) Coordinator at a leading pet food manufacturer, analysing pet food ingredients to meet quality standards for leading brands such as Nestle, Hills and Mars Pet Care. I have also worked in a number of areas of the animal industry including boarding kennels, pet shops, aquatics centres, livery yards and as a wildlife watch leader for Notts Wildlife Trust.
I recently completed my MSc in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation at Nottingham Trent Universities School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences. My thesis investigated possible mitigation strategies for human-wildlife conflict in the Limpopo province of South Africa, assessing the impact of carnivore predation on livestock and strategies to promote coexistence.
I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science, where, for my dissertation, I studied the impact of perching enrichment on chickens to improve flock welfare and encourage the implementation of perches into modern commercial systems. Prior to this I studied the BTEC National Diploma in Animal Care at Brackenhurst College.
My key research interests are in conservation and species recovery, ecology, anthrozoology, animal behaviour and welfare.
I look forward to working with you all on the HE Animal Management course at the Stamford Campus.”


  • MSc Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation
  • BSc (Hons) Animal Science
  • BTEC National Diploma in Animal Care
  • PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in Post Compulsory Education

Graduates in Animal Management and Welfare at this level will typically acquire employment in managerial or supervisory roles within the industry e.g. section heads and education officers in zoos, senior animal technicians in research facilities, kennel/shelter/farm managers, conservation officers, veterinary technicians, research assistants and animal management tutors/lecturers.


Full-time: 1 year (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

Part-time: 2 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 will be £8,250 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus

Course Modules

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year 1
Level 6
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics (15 credits)
  • Applied Animal Behaviour (15 credits)
  • Captive Animal Management (15 credits)
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Applied Animal Health (15 credits)
  • Human-Animal Coexistence (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (30 credits)
See What our Students Have to say
University Centre Peterborough Case Studies

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I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in conservation and joined Stamford College to study Level 3 Animal Studies and then progressed to the HND Animal Management course at UCP.

Nathan Scott, Former student

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I couldn’t have picked a better degree to prepare me for the role! University Centre Peterborough provided me with support during the application process, plus, the class sizes were small, so I got plenty of one-to-one support.

Bethany Reynolds, Former Student

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From the very beginning to the end of my degree I have learnt, experienced and gained so much knowledge, skill and passion for my subject.

Emily Stack-Humphrey, Former student

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After I presented my final year project at the UCP Computing Conference, which is attended by employers from the IT industry, I was invited to an interview at HIVE Learning who were impressed with my work. That has now led to me getting my dream job in London working on the development of learning technologies.

Maciej Kazimierek, Former Student

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