MA Anthrozoology

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
By Distance Learning only
  • Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The inter-disciplinary study of human & animal interactions

The MA in Anthrozoology will be of interest to anyone who would like to investigate the many and varied ways in which humans perceive, engage, compete and co-exist with non-human animals in a range of cultural contexts.

The distance learning MA Anthrozoology is especially relevant in terms of Continual Professional Development for individuals who are involved with the care of non-human animals in a professional capacity (eg, vets, veterinary nurses/technicians, animal trainers, dog wardens, zoo keepers, conservationists, charity workers etc.), as well as for students who have completed social science undergraduate degrees or who have a science background and would like to expand their research interests into the social sciences. The distance learning format is sufficiently flexible to enable you to fit it in around your existing professional and personal commitments.

Programme Director, Professor Samantha Hurn, is the author of a core textbook on anthrozoology.

I can honestly say the MA Anthrozoology has been been life changing in very unexpected ways. I began it for personal interest and to expand my research skills; I've ended up hoping for a complete career change with a focus I wouldn't have even dreamt of a few years ago. The freedom to explore personal interests for the assessments is a very welcome educational experience being both challenging and liberating. The course has been engaging, fun, challenging, educational and inspirational.

Amanda Newell, MA Anthrozoology student.

Programme structure

Overall, the MA Anthrozoology programme consists of 180 credits and will normally occupy 12 months for full time students and 24 months for part-time students.

Students will take a total of 120 credits as compulsory modules.  A further 60 credits will be made up from four 15 credit modules.

The distance learning format is sufficiently flexible to enable you to fit it in around your existing professional and personal commitments.

The full-time variant is studied over three terms and the summer. The taught components of the programme are delivered over terms one, two and three; you then have a three-month period in which to undertake your Dissertation. The entire programme is offered via distance learning and does not require any physical attendance on campus, although there is an optional residential module which can be taken as an accredited module. The part-time variant follows the same pattern as the full-time, but is studied over 24 months. Where the programme is taken part-time students will normally take at least 90 credits in the first year and 90 credits in the second year. Where taken over a longer time period, students will discuss their learning programme with their tutor or the Course Director.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

This is a distance learning programme, and as a result you will be expected to take responsibility for your own learning.
For every module you will be provided with access to the module page on Exeter's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you will find detailed module descriptions, online discussion forums where you can share your thoughts with fellow students and the module tutors, audio lecture podcasts with accompanying powerpoint presentations and links to required and supplementary reading material. You will also be given the opportunity to participate in regular Skype, e-mail or phone tutorials (whichever is most convenient for you) with the module tutor where you can discuss particular issues and seek clarification on points of concern or interest. Some modules also require you to participate in practical activities including fieldwork. You will be given plenty of guidance on how to conduct fieldwork and will remain in regular contact with your tutor throughout the fieldwork process (which may be anything from a day to several weeks depending on your chosen project).


The different modules on the MA are assessed by a range of assessment types.
These include:

  • essays
  • research reports
  • posters and photo essays
  • reflexive journals and fieldwork diaries
  • presentations
  • reviews

You are also required to complete a range of formative (non-assessed) exercises which are designed to monitor your academic development and understanding of the subject matter. These formative assessments also help you to think through complex theoretical ideas and to plan your assessed assignments. They also enable you to interact with your peers and module tutors, participate in lively discussions and feedback on the work produced by other students. These activities create a sense of community between students studying at a distance, and helps to alleviate the sense of isolation which studying away from the campus can create.

My favourite thing about studying for my MA at Exeter has been the level of support and group moral that exists among students and teachers alike. Although it is a long-distance course, you never feel like you are alone and the existence of blogs and virtual group discussions allows you to be in constant contact. Read more.

Lucy McCrae, MA Anthrozoology.


The programme will give you an insight into the many and varied ways in which humans think about and interact with other animals in a range of cultural, historical and geographical contexts. You will acquire a range of transferable skills which will stand you in good stead for a career working with or thinking about nonhuman animals. Moreover, because every aspect of contemporary human life involves nonhuman animals in some capacity, from the food we eat, the clothes we wear  and the medicines which sustain us, then regardless of your field of employment, you stand to gain new perspectives on life arising from a deeper understanding of the human-nonhuman bond.

Several of the modules require you to undertake independent research on a topic of your choosing. These assignments can be approached strategically, with career aspirations or professional development in mind. For example, if you wish to pursue a career in the zoo sector, then you might decide to focus your assignments on different issues relating to zoos and wildlife parks. There is also a specific module devoted to the practical application of anthrozoological knowledge (Applied Anthrozoology) where you will be invited to explore the ways in which academic research can and does inform the treatment of animals on the ground, along with the theoretical, ethical and methodological issues associated with such activity.
On successful completion of the MA you will have the skills to pursue a PhD or follow a career working anywhere that species meet. You will also have the skills to enable progression into research and the communication skills required for a wide range of careers.

Exeter’s reputation amongst graduate employers has helped postgraduates into successful careers in research, high technology industries, management, personnel, legal and advertising services amongst others.

Current MA Anthrozoology students and graduates work in the following areas:

  • wildlife conservation
  • veterinary nursing
  • animal behaviour
  • teaching and university lecturing
  • dog training
  • fundraising and PR for national and international animal charities
  • zoo keeping

Many also utilise their anthrozoological knowledge and skills working with a range of organisations (in both paid and voluntary capacities) including the Guide Dogs Association, Battersea Dogs Home, the Blue Cross and the PDSA.

Entry requirements

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter (normally a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline). While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Also, as this is a specialist and multi-disciplinary programme, then students who do not meet the general admissions requirements but who have substantial professional or personal experience which is directly related to the programme will be considered. Students who wish to be considered on the basis of professional or personal experience should submit a detailed personal statement outlining their relevant experience. Students who do not fulfil the general admissions requirements may also be required to attend an interview and/or complete an assignment in order to assess their academic ability.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £8,750 full-time; £4,375 part-time
  • International: £18,500 full-time; £9,250 part-time

University funding

The funding section has information on all available Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

College of Social Sciences and International Studies

Current students

Phone: 01392 723301 

Applicants and offer holders

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of our programmes or activities, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.


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