MPhil/PhD
Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Key Information


Full-time

MPhil: 1.5-3 years PhD: 2-4 years

Part-time

MPhil: 2-4 years. PhD: 3-8 years.

Entry Requirements

See More

Campus

Brayford Pool

Start Dates in October and January

Programme Overview

The scientific study of animal behaviour and welfare furthers our understanding of why animals behave in the way that they do, and helps us learn how best to respond to the challenges that animals face when living in captive and wild environments. This programme provides students with the opportunity to conduct research in areas such as welfare assessment, animal management, evolutionary biology, and animal cognition.

Students benefit from training courses provided by the University aimed at developing key skills in research. Under the guidance and advice of their academic supervisors, students will also be encouraged to present talks and seminars on their work both at the University of Lincoln as well at national and international meetings and conferences, produce progress reports, develop their ability to write up work for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and, ultimately, to effectively communicate their research and thesis.

Beyond learning how to conduct research and the specialist skills that students are expected to develop within their subject discipline, the process of studying for a research degree can provide transferable skills in problem-solving, time management, independent and team work, and communication.

Key Features

Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from an advisory panel of academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in January or October each year

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How You Study

This research programme relies on independent study and research, supervised by an advisory panel of academic staff. The nature of this research will be specific to the subject area, but is expected to investigate a novel question and provide a novel contribution to science.

Most students are initially enrolled on an MPhil programme. After one year, if sufficient progress can be demonstrated, students have the option to transfer to a PhD programme.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the majority of time is spent in independent study and research, but you might also attend seminars and other research activities. Students will have meetings with their academic supervisor at least once a month, but the precise frequency of these will vary depending on in-dividual requirements, subject area, staff availability, and stage of programme.

How you are assessed

Students will have at least one formal meeting with their supervisors each month where progress will be discussed. After three months students are expected to provide an outline of their research proposal, which will be evaluated. Most students are initially enrolled on an MPhil programme, and after the first year they may apply for transfer to a PhD programme via a written report on which they will be orally examined.

Both the MPhil and PhD are awarded based on the quality of a students thesis and their ability to present and successfully defend their research in an oral examination (viva voce). They are expected to demonstrate how their research findings have contributed to knowledge, or developed existing theory or understanding.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Make an Enquiry

To find out more about postgraduate research study in life sciences, you can contact our postgraduate research leads Dr Jenny Dunn and Dr Tom Pike. Both have broad research interests within animal behaviour and ecology.

Jenny's research mainly focuses on understanding the drivers and impacts of parasite infection, mostly in wild birds. Tom is primarily interested in the evolution and maintenance of visual and olfactory signals, from the perspective of both the signallers and the receivers.

Make an Enquiry

Enrolment

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October or January. In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey.

However, applications are welcome at any point throughout the year, and enrolment can also take place at any relevant point. Alternative enrolment dates should be agreed with your supervisors on an individual basis.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.


https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/


Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements


If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.


https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

A doctoral qualification can be the capstone of academic achievement and often marks the beginning of a career in academia or research. A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills that can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. PhDs and research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities, improve lives, and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.