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Ethology and Animal Welfare (BSc)


Programme code:


Decision by:


Applies to students admitted in
1.    Autumn 2021 -   Visas nedan 

Board responsible:
Programnämnden för utbildning inom veterinärmedicin och husdjur (PN - VH)

To be admitted to the programme Ethology and Animal Welfare (BSc), the following specific entry requirements apply (physics exempt from field-specific entry requirement A12), in addition to the general entry requirements:

• Biology 2
• Chemistry 2
• Mathematics 3b or Mathematics 3c

• Biology B
• Chemistry B
• Mathematics C

The specific entry requirements can also be met by applicants who have obtained equivalent knowledge under the current or a former Swedish national curriculum. The requirements are also fulfilled if equivalent knowledge has been obtained by other means.

There are specific entry requirements for each course included in the programme. These are described in the course syllabus.


General objectives
The general objectives for first- and second-cycle courses and programmes are specified in the Swedish Higher Education Act (Chapter 1, Sections 8–9).

Objectives for a Degree in XX
In accordance with the appendix to the Ordinance for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, for a Degree of Bachelor, the student shall fulfil the following objectives:

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Bachelor the student shall have
• demonstrated knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including knowledge of the disciplinary foundation of the field, understanding of applicable methodologies in the field, specialised study in some aspect of the field as well as awareness of current research issues.

Competence and skills
For a Degree of Bachelor the student shall have
• demonstrated the ability to search for, gather, evaluate and critically interpret relevant information for a formulated problem and also discuss phenomena, issues and situations critically,
• demonstrated the ability to identify, formulate and solve problems autonomously and to complete tasks within predetermined time frames,
• demonstrated the ability to present and discuss information, problems and solutions in speech and writing and in dialogue with different audiences, and
• demonstrated the skills required to work autonomously in the main field of study.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Bachelor the student shall have
• demonstrated the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues,
• demonstrated insight into the role of knowledge in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
• demonstrated the ability to identify the need for further knowledge and ongoing learning.


Degree awarded on completion of the programme
The programme Ethology and Animal Welfare (BSc) leads to a Degree of Bachelor with a Major in Biology, a general degree. Other general qualifications may be awarded, provided the requirements for them are fulfilled. See the qualification requirements and SLU’s system of qualifications.

Students who fulfil the qualification requirements will be issued a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Bachelor of Science with a Major in Biology.

Degree requirements
A Degree of Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology is obtained when the student has a full course portfolio of 180 credits with the following requirements:
• at least 60 credits of courses in biology (G1N; G1F),
• at least 15 credits of courses with specialised study in biology (G2F)
• at least 15 credits of independent project in the field of biology (degree project/G2E)

An additional requirement of 90 credits from courses indicated for the specialisation applies, according to the requirements defined in the programme syllabus. Requirements for a Degree of Bachelor in biology, specialising in ethology and animal welfare:
• a minimum of 35 credits in ethology and animal welfare
• a minimum of 15 credits in evolution and ecology
• a minimum of 25 credits in animal husbandry and animal environment
• a minimum of 15 credits from a degree project/independent project within the main field of study biology, on an issue relevant to the specialisation (first-cycle level degree project/G2E).


Programme description
The programme intends to provide students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of ethology and animal welfare, as well as other types of animal husbandry etc., and how to apply this knowledge in different contexts. Characteristic elements of the programme include active student participation, a dialogue between students and teachers, and variation in the type of instruction. Several courses use problem-based learning, where students work in smaller groups with cases of real-world relevance. The students receive training in general skills such as communication, ethics, group dynamics and personal development, information competence and critical thinking. Students have a high level of responsibility for their own learning. Teaching is designed to promote all students’ learning and counteract discrimination. Students assess various systems of animal husbandry from an ethological and animal welfare perspective, using the Animal Welfare Act as a basis.

Courses in years 1 and 2 provide a foundation in several areas of biology relevant to the general understanding of animals, animal husbandry and animal welfare in relation to ethology and animal ethics. In year 3, students gain deepened knowledge in various subjects. The programme concludes with a degree project which, together with the elective courses in year 3, enables students to create a unique degree profile.

Teaching is based on research, and students will receive training in research methodology. The programme has clear ties with industry as students can take part in study visits and work placements. The programme provides practical skills training via components conducted both within and outside of the university; e.g., in wildlife parks, with authorities, in agriculture, or via other practical experience with animal husbandry.

In accordance with the SLU guidelines for equal opportunities, a well-functioning study environment is characterised by openness, equality and inclusiveness. This promotes a climate that draws upon the diverse backgrounds, lives, and skills of students and staff.

The programme is mostly taught in Swedish. Some courses may be taught in English.

Courses in the programme
Main field of study:
Biology (BI)
Animal science (HV)
Agricultural science (LB)
Statistics (ST)

Course, Credits, Main field of study, Specialisation

Year 1
Evolution and ecology, 15 credits, BI, G1N
Ethology and animal welfare, 15 credits, BI, G1N
Animal husbandry, animal health and infectious disease control, 15 credits, BI/HV, G1N
Biochemistry, cellbiology, and microbiology 15 credits, BI, G1N

Year 2
Systematics and anatomy, 7.5 credits, ST, G1N
Anthrozoology, 7.5 credits, BI, G1F
Physiology of the animals, 7.5 credits, BI, G1F
Animal Feeding, 7.5 credits, BI/HV, G1F
Ethology and anthrozoology, 7.5 credits; BI, G1F
Breeding, 7.5 credits, BI/HV, G1F
Animal welfare and legislation, 7.5 credits, BI, G1F

Year 3
Animal environment, 15 credits, BI, G2F
Advanced ethology, 15 credits, BI, G2F
Animal welfare and ethics, 15 credits, BI, G2F
Animal welfare, assessment, inspection, 15 credits, BI, G2F
Conservation biology, 15 credits, BI, G2F
Independent Project in Biology, 15 credits, BI, G2E

Placement courses
Professional animal and management in practice, 7.5 credits, BI/HV, G1F
Agriculture in Practice – Animal Husbandry 1, 7.5 credits, LB/HV, GXX
Agriculture in Practice – Animal Husbandry 2, 7.5 credits, LB/HV, GXX


General regulations for first- and second-cycle courses and programmes
For more information on semester dates, examination and credit transfer, see the Regulations for education at Bachelor´s and Master´s level available on the SLU student web.

Possibilities for further studies
Students who complete the Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor’s programme and are awarded a degree have the possibility to continue their studies at second-cycle level.