AP3A67-Animal Welfare

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Students must normally have successfully completed modules in animal biology and/or A-level in Biology. If you have not done so or have queries regarding the suitability, please contact the module convenor prior to selecting the module.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Ms Holly Vickery

Email: h.m.vickery@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

How can we scientifically assess animal welfare? How do we evaluate animal welfare in the context of accepted ethical frameworks? How can animal welfare be protected and improved? These key questions and many more are considered in this module, where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of animal welfare science in relation to farm, captive, and companion animals, and you'll have an opportunity to consider solutions to animal welfare problems. You'll learn through lectures and project work. 

This module aims to provide a reasoned, objective understanding of the issues raised by a number of human activities which intimately involve animals and where the welfare of the animal is commonly perceived to be compromised by the actions of humans.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to: • Discuss the ethical issues related to animal welfare and evaluate the legal protection afforded to animals • Evaluate scientific methods by which animal welfare may be assessed • Analyse the extent of animal suffering resulting from human activities • Design and evaluate a plan to implement solutions to particular animal welfare issues.

Additional outcomes:

Develop transferrable skills including team work, enquiry and critical analysis, written and verbal communication, time management, and creativity.

Outline content:

Outline content:

The module provides a wide-ranging review of issues related to animal welfare. Lectures consider the ethics of animal suffering, legal protection provided to animals, and the means by which animal welfare may be assessed. Consideration is then given to the effects of experimentation, farming and captivity of non-domesticated specie s. Much of the course will be of interest to animal scientists, zoologists, biologists and agriculture students with a livestock interest.

The Lecture Contents cover:

• Animal welfare and ethics

• Physiological and behavioural measures of welfare

• Problems, solutions and implementation of improved animal welfare

• The welf are of animals in research

• The welfare of farm animals

• The welfare of companion animals

• The welfare of zoo animals

The project work covers:

Project work in student teams involves researching a specified issue of animal welfare. The scale and severity of the issue should be considered, and possible solutions formulated including an educational or legislative tool to be used in the development of the solution. Students will then present their welfare issue and plan for implementing these solutions  in a mini-conference.

Global context:

The module critically explores animal welfare, a key topic in relation to ethics and global sustainability.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be two-hour lectures (with a short break in the middle). Student participation will be encouraged. Supporting video material may be shown. There will be the opportunity for staff and peer feedback on the plans for implementing a solution to the welfare issue identified in the student project in a class session before the mini-conference.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Project Supervision 2
Supervised time in studio/workshop 8
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A two hour exam.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A student mini conference (with supporting material uploaded to Blackboard in advance) will be held during the Autumn term in which teams of students will present their chosen welfare issue, and proposed solution (legislative or educational) tool(s) to mitigate this issue. Students will be expected to orally defend their work during the conference.

Formative assessment methods:

There will be the opportunity for discussion with peers and staff on the proposed solution to the welfare issues during a preparatory session before the ‘mini-conference’.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By re-examination in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: approximately £5 for posters or similar, depending on students’ choice 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 30 September 2020


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