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Psychology of Human and Animal Behaviour

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Psychology and Public Health

UCAS Code: D3C9

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • This course  is accredited by the British Psychological Society
  • Excellent animal facilities offered by the Animal Management Centre at Salford City College
  • Focus your interests in the final year with a range of vocational options
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

The aim of the programme is to give you a thorough grounding in the psychology and behaviour of both human and non-human animals. This is an applied programme and you will be investigating how a better understanding of animal behaviour can contribute to the health and wellbeing of humans and vice versa. For example, the module dealing with Animal Therapy looks at how psychologist might be involved in the treatment of animals with psychological or behavioural problems. This module will also look at how animals are used in animal assisted therapy for the treatment of human psychological and physical health problems.

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

The BSc (hons) Psychology of Human and Animal Behaviour will provide you with a thorough grounding in psychology as applied to human and animal behavior.

You will study for three years; in years one and two you will take six 20 credit modules and in your final year you will complete a disseration (40 credits) and choose four additional modules.

Year 1      
You will be introduced to key factors in human development including social, emotional, cognitive and biological foundation. Within social psychology you will look at how individuals perceive, influence and interact with others.                  
This module will provide a theoretical and practical understanding of human and animal interaction and the factors that influence human attitudes towards animals and the roles animals play in different human cultures.                  
An introduction to statistics and research methods used in psychology.                  
You will be introduced to the basic biological processes and cognitive principles necessary for understanding human psychology.                  
An introduction to the study of personality, intelligence, gender and mental health.                  
Students will make visits to different institutions to assess the animal behaviour in the real world, for example, a Zoo, a Farm, and Wildlife Park (to see deer during the “rutting season”). During these visits students will be asked to carry a range of tasks related to animal behaviour measurement, assessment and interpretation. Following each visit, the students will have classroom-based feedback sessions to discuss the merits of different methods for practically assessing animal behaviour.                  
Year 2          
You will develop the skills learned in year one, designing, carrying out research and analysing your results.                      
You will explore the links between biological and cognitive processes and examine how this relationship influences performance in real-world contexts.                      
The aim of this module is to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of animal welfare science. Students will make visits to different institutions to assess the welfare of animals in the real world, for example, The Dog’s Trust (Manchester), a Farm (free-range poultry), a Pet shop and Wildlife rescue centre.                      
Study the influences of nature and nurture on human development and gain practical experience of conducting social psychological research.                      
Explore the latest theories and research in personality and intelligence, gender differences, and mental health.                      
This module will provide students with knowledge of the structure and evolution of primate societies. It will inform students about primate distribution and the conservation priorities for primate species.                      
Year 3          
You will carry out a research project on a topic area of your interest. The range of skills you develop as you navigate the process of research design, completing an ethics form, recruiting participants and carrying out your research, performing appropriate analysis, and writing up your work, will be valuable any workplace.                      
You will then choose four modules from a range including:          
This module provides students the opportunity to critically evaluate concepts in animal cognition, to learn research methodologies and complex scientific issues relating to the evolution of animal intelligence using a range of primary and secondary information sources.                      
This module on animal therapy will look at how psychologists might be involved in the treatment of animals with behaviour problems. Conversely, the modules also look at how animals are used in animal assisted therapy for the treatment of human psychological and physical health problems.                      
A practitioner-based module which will provide you with a tour of relevant theories and topics (including stress, selection techniques and change at work), as well as an assessment opportunity to apply these in real-world settings, including your own experience in the workplace.                      
This module examines in detail the relationships between behaviour and the nervous system. You will explore these relationships through the consideration of key topics in the field of neuroscience, including learning, psychopharmacology, brain damage, organic brain disorder and mental health.                      
You have the opportunity to undertake a work placement where you will get the opportunity to put what you've learnt into practice.                      
In this module you will consider the psychological aspects of media, and learn about the different approaches to the study of media phenomena. The module focuses on theories and methods in media research which may help to explain the effects of various media, as well as how people process information from media. We look at a range of topics including social media, internet use, advertisement, persuasion, news journalism and TV.                      
This module covers a range of topics within the field of atypical child development including autism spectrum disorders; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, etc.  It also covers interventions for these disorders.                      
This module considers the role of Psychology in a global context. You will have the opportunity to use your psychological knowledge to explore the issues of the day. For example, the psychology of travel & cultural differences, the causes of state-sanctioned torture & terrorism, peoples’ reactions to natural disasters, the psychology of environmentally sustainable behaviour & astronauts’ experiences.                      
This module aims to introduce you to the concepts, theory, methods and applications of health psychology. It is concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness, their treatment and management, and includes what it is that keeps people healthy and well.        
Develops an understanding of the relevance of psychology to education and provides opportunities to apply psychological theory and principles in the field of education and professional practice. This module also raises awareness of opportunities for professional development in the field of educational psychology.        
The Psychology of Mental Health will present up-to-date theories and research in psychopathology and intervention .The syllabus embraces a variety of topics, including eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia, mental health at work and anxiety disorders, with a focus on PTSD. The module also looks at a variety of psychological interventions embracing both traditional and critical psychological themes. Psychology, neurophysiology, developmental psychopathology, psychiatry and behavioural genetics are some of the perspectives which will be covered during the course of the module.        
This module looks at the way evolution has shaped both the development and adaptation of groups of animals to their environments.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Access to HE 112 points
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Five GCSE subjects at grade C/4 or above preferred. Must include GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4.
UCAS tariff points 112 points
BTEC National Diploma DMM
Foundation Degree 60% pass mark
Scottish Highers 112 points BBBCC
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points
International Baccalaureate 31 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

The University offers two routes for entry under the scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course.  As this course is part of the School of Health Sciences you will only be considered under Entry Route 1.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

Your application will demonstrate a good understanding of the discipline of psychology and you should have an interest in applying this to the understanding of animal behavior.. You will have strong written skills and an aptitude for research, together with a desire to explore all areas of psychology and animal behavior with the enthusiasm to discover more about the range of human and animal behaviours.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year


Throughout your course you’ll be supported by expert and award winning staff, including authors of books and papers in a range of specialisms, some of whom have appeared on national television and radio and have been nominated for University of Salford teaching awards. 

The psychology and animal behaviour teams are research active and have been recognised at both national and international levels and for work. We aim to engage with students in a variety of ways, including through the use of new technologies, including the SalfordPsych blog and Twitter account. The team are proud of the quality of courses we deliver and are committed to providing stimulating and rewarding opportunities to study psychology and animal behaviour.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the learning zone, and computer and neuroscience laboratories.

Professor Robert Young is Module leader for: Introduction to Animal Behaviour in the first year and module leader for: Animal Welfare in the second year.

His research interests include Animal Conservation; Animal Behaviour; Animal Welfare; Zoos.

Publications include:

PERILLO, A., MAZZONI, L.G., PASSOS, L.F., GOULART, V.D.L.R., DUCA, C., YOUNG, R.J. 2017. Anthropogenic noise reduces bird species richness and diversity in urban parks. IBIS 159, 638-646.

PENA, J.C.D.C., MARTELLO, F., RIBEIRO, M.C., ARMITAGE, R.A., YOUNG, R.J., RODRIGUES, M. 2017. Street trees reduce the negative effects of urbanization on birds. PLoS ONE 12(3), e0174484.

COELHO, C.M., AZEVEDO, C.S., GUIMARÃES, M.A.B.V., YOUNG, R.J. 2016. The effect of different environmental enrichment items on fecal glucocorticoid metabolites and behavior in captive maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 19, 253-262.


Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by

coursework is as follows:

Year 1*

50% coursework, 40% written exams, 10% practical exams

Year 2

50% coursework, 40% written exams, 10% practical exams

Year 3

70% coursework, 30% written exams

*You must achieve a pass mark of 50 and above in all Year 1 compulsory modules as a prerequisite, before progression to Year 2 optional modules.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessment) and 20 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).


The programme has a work placement module that allows you to make use of existing employment as a work placement, if appropriate. In addition we will be working with Noah’s A.R.T.  a progressive, innovative and therapeutic service developed by an experienced mental health nurse – Sharon Hall (University of Salford alumnus).

Careers & Employability staff work across campus throughout the year to provide students with access to useful resources. You can ask questions at drop-in sessions, get expert help with your CV and job applications and more.

Career Prospects

You will be equipped to work in a number of environments, such as health and social care, animal welfare, business and education. You will also be able to continue your study at postgraduate level. If you go on to become a chartered psychologist, you may specialise in clinical, forensic, educational, health or occupational psychology.

Our graduates have taken a range of jobs within a variety of fields or have continued their studies here on one of our postgraduate courses.

Links with Industry

The British Psychological Society (BPS) accredits this course – if you achieve a lower second class degree or above, Graduate Basis for Registration is awarded. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Because of our close links to industry, you will have the opportunity to go on several fieldtrips which may include visits to Chester Zoo, South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Knowsley Safari Park, Blackpool Zoo, Twycross Zoo, Dudley Zoo and Martin Mere (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust). In addition, staff from some of these institutions contribute lectures to the course bringing more real world examples to your learning.

We also have links with Noah’s A.R.T., a charity that uses pets to help people with a variety of problems, both physical and psychological.

Further Study


The Psychology department offers extensive resources and equipment, and I was able to use the functional neuroimaging facilities for my Dissertation project. All of these resources complement the course.

Ryan McGrath
  • The brand new Animal Management Centre at Salford City College offers outstanding facilities including a farm and zoo zone, outdoor small mammal enclosures, wildfowl area, a natural British wildlife enclosure with hedgehog rehabilitation facilities. Inside the centre there is a large aquarium, nocturnal room, invertebrate collection, a well stocked exotic collection and a small mammal room.
  • In addition to the substantial animal collections, the department also has 3 science labs, a microbiology lab and a brand new veterinary nursing suite which have all been created to industry standards
  • The Directorate of Psychology has a number of student facilities including a new Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory equipped with the most up to date eye tracking and brain imaging equipment.



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