MSc / MA Human-Animal Interaction

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Learn from our noted experts in human-animal interaction across a wide range of contexts, from pet owning to animal-assisted interventions, zoos, farms and conservation.

Human-Animal Interaction

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MA
  • Start date September 2021, September 2022
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Humans share this planet with other animals and our interactions are at the core of our everyday lives. We farm and eat animals, we keep them as companions and for work, as models for humans in laboratory research, in animal-assisted interventions for positive behaviour change, and in education, entertainment and ecotourism. Depending upon our perceptions and attitudes towards animals, and in relation to the impact they have on us and the environment, we may actively attempt to conserve them, domesticate them or eradicate them.

In this Masters in Human-Animal Interaction you will learn interdisciplinary approaches and a diverse range of methods used to research our relationships with other species. The Masters covers a broad range of topics and looks at human–animal interactions across a wide range of contexts – from pet owning to animal-assisted interventions, zoos, farms and conservation.

You'll learn about the importance of both human and animal behaviour in shaping human animal interaction, and the associated ethical issues, as well as learning to critically evaluate methods for measuring attitudes, interactions and their outcomes.

You'll carry out a practical placement and research project to get direct experience tailored to your individual career goals. You will also learn from our recognised experts in human–animal interaction, whose specialisms include:

  • the study of animal behaviour and animal welfare
  • animal-assisted activities and interventions
  • human and animal coexistence

This Masters course can be studied as an MA or MSc. It depends on whether your focus is on qualitative (MA) or quantitative (MSc) methodologies. Selected components of this Masters course count as continuing professional development for those already working in this area.

Top reasons to study with us

Work placements

You’ll carry out a placement and research project to gain direct experience tailored to your individual career goals. You may be able to undertake a placement or conduct data collection for your research project at suitable organisations outside the UK.

We have experience in delivering placement modules and we have excellent links with partners in industry and the third sector. Established partnerships with relevant organisations also offer research projects to students, within the Making the Most of Masters framework.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

The Psychology department has outstanding laboratory space fitted with high-quality equipment. It has excellent computing infrastructure, and both research and teaching activities are supported by in-house technical staff with computing, programming, electronic and audio-video expertise.

Psychology Masters students have access to a dedicated suite of study and teaching rooms.

Research overview

Psychology at the University of Stirling has a vibrant research culture and is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014). It was one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (source: Times Higher Education magazine).

Our quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. The relevance of our psychology research activity to society received the highest possible rating, which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

As a postgraduate taught student you’ll be part of our lively research community, meeting up for weekly research seminars and informal specialist discussion groups.

What our students said

Kirsty-Marie Moran
Kirsty-Marie Moran
Scotland
MSc Human Animal Interaction
This course not only provided me with a place of belonging with friends of like-mindedness but it also provided me with amazing opportunities.
Read Kirsty-Marie's story
Michelle Stolte
Michelle Stolte
USA
MSc Human Animal Interaction
The core class, taught by very knowledgeable and accessible professors, allows for much group discussion and self-directed study in topics that interest the individual, as well.
Read Michelle's story
Gillian Cross
MSc Human Animal Interaction
The MSc Human Animal Interaction course is a brilliant and unique opportunity, the first of its kind in the UK.
Read Gillian's story

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

Which course would you like to apply for?

MA Human Animal Interaction

MSc Human Animal Interaction

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