To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers.

The Animal Behaviour Specialisation is offered as part of the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers and requires four years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time). The Specialisation is offered by the School of Biological Sciences, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

This course is designed to offer students of exceptional merit additional challenging material to enable them to maximise their intellectual growth and potential and to provide an environment where students with similar interests and capabilities can come together to pursue their studies, develop their interests and share ideas.

In addition, it aims to develop through a combination of inquiry based learning and students' capabilities, interest and enthusiasm, an enhanced research training experience so that students are particularly well prepared to embark on a larger scale research project, like a PhD.

Specialisations may have different admission requirements to other programs of study available in the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers. In order to undertake a Specialisation students must be admitted to the Specialisation program. The name of the specialisation will appear on the transcript and parchment.

Admission requirements

The minimum requirements for consideration for entry to all undergraduate courses are specified in detail in the University Entry Requirements. Successful completion of at least three of the following SACE Stage 2 (Year 12) subjects; Biology, Mathematical Studies, Specialist Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, or the equivalent are normally required for entry to the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Animal Behaviour) Enhanced Program for High Achievers.

Students will only be permitted to tertiary transfer at the commencement of second year.

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in animal behaviour. The program will examine animal behaviour in captive and wild animals, and will promote an understanding of the role of animal behaviour for assessing animal welfare, survival, and evolution. The course also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in the area of animal behaviour
  • retrieve and present information about animal behaviour effectively, communicate clearly with a variety of audiences in written and spoken forms
  • critically analyse and evaluate information relevant to animal behaviour
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary aspect of studies in animal behaviour and engage positively with people and ideas beyond the discipline
  • work cooperatively and productively within a team
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • appreciate the societal and ethical contexts of conservation biology, animal behaviour, and animal welfare issues

The Honours year provides students with advanced skills that are required for planning, funding and carrying out research projects in a specific area. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles
  • retrieve and present scientific information, including communicating effectively with a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • critically analyse and evaluate information and solve problems
  • analyse and evaluate data, appreciate the multidisciplinary aspect of the science disciplines and engage positively with people and ideas beyond their own discipline area
  • use information technology, work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • appreciate the role of science in society, the regulatory framework within which it operates and the ethical issues it raises

The course provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in biology or another science or non-science related discipline or for a career in a biology related field or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable.

Learning outcomes

Graduates are expected to be able to:

  • know and critically apply theories, subject content, professional methodologies and research procedures relevant to Animal Behaviour; for example focal sampling method, ethogram analysis, and experimental design
  • understand and describe the processes through which current knowledge about the disciplines of animal behaviour, evolution, and sociobiology were developed
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas/information/data and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and carrying out experiments and analysing reported data
  • design and carry out experiments using appropriate techniques, protocols and appreciation of ethics
  • communicate their findings to lay, general scientific and specialised scientific audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate that animal behaviour science is multidisciplinary and has connections to other science and non-science disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • interact effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals

Graduates of the Honours year are expected to be able to:

  • critically analyse the scientific literature and use this as a basis for planning research projects
  • understand how scientific research is funded
    formulate hypothesises and design appropriate experiments to test them
    use appropriate methods, techniques, equipment and instrumentation to ethically collect scientific data
  • use appropriate statistical methods to analyse scientific data
    communicate their findings to a variety of audiences in written and spoken form.

Program of study

To qualify for the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Animal Behaviour) Enhanced Program for High Achievers, a student must complete 144 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic according to the program of study below.

Upon completion of 108 units students will be informed about whether they have been accepted into the Honours year. The entry requirement is normally a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.0 or more in the final 36 units of study prior to the Honours year. Students who are not accepted into the Honours year will be awarded the Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour).
It is possible to elect to exit after three years of full-time equivalent study with a Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour).

No more than 45 units of First Year level topics may be included in the 144 units for the degree.
Elective topics may be selected from any offered within the University or, with approval from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, from outside the University, provided any course and prerequisite requirements are met.

Except with the permission of Faculty Board, students may not enrol in a topic in Fourth Year until they have passed 108 units.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Specialisation - Animal Behaviour - Year 1 topics

36 units comprising:

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1711  Introduction to Animal Behaviour#  (4.5 units)
 SERC1012  Introduction to Research  (4.5 units)
 Plus a 4.5 unit First Year Science topic
 Plus 4.5 units of elective topics^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

Plus one of:

 CHEM1101  Chemical Structure and Bonding  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1201  General Chemistry  (4.5 units)

Plus:

 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Animal Behaviour - Year 2 topics

36 units comprising:

 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2711  Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2712  Animal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2721  Foundations of Animal Behaviour  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2722  Disease and Immunology  (4.5 units)
 SERC2700  Research Project 1  (4.5 units)
 Plus 4.5 units of elective topics^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

Specialisation - Animal Behaviour - Year 3 topics

36 units comprising:

 BIOL3701  Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3702  Marine and Freshwater Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3711  Plant and Algal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3712  Integrative Physiology of Animals and Plants  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3721  Research in Animal Behaviour  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3722  Conservation and Ecological Genetics  (4.5 units)
 SERC3700  Research Project 2  (4.5 units)
 Plus 4.5 units of elective topics^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

Specialisation - Animal Behaviour - Honours Year topics

36 units comprising:

  BIOL7700A  Biology Honours Research Project  (4.5/22.5 units)  
  BIOL7700B  Biology Honours Research Project  (4.5/22.5 units)  
  BIOL7700C  Biology Honours Research Project  (4.5/22.5 units)  
  BIOL7700D  Biology Honours Research Project  (4.5/22.5 units)  
  BIOL7700E  Biology Honours Research Project  (4.5/22.5 units)  
  BIOL7710  Honours Critical Readings  (4.5 units)
  BIOL7720  Honours Grant Writing Skills  (4.5 units)
  BIOL7730  Honours Scientific Methods and Data Presentation  (4.5 units)

 or other topics approved by The Honours Committee, appropriate to a student's program.

#These topics are cognate studies topics which must be taken to complete The Specialisation.

^Specialisation - Animal Behaviour - Recommended Electives

While students are able to select elective units from anywhere across the University, these are Recommended Electives.

 BIOD1102  Introduction to Biodiversity and Conservation  (4.5 units)
 BIOD2701  Biodiversity and Conservation  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1112  Biology and Society  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1301  Introduction to Marine Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3700   Biology Research Project (4.5 units)
 BIOL3703  Vertebrate Palaeontology  (4.5 units)
 EASC1101  Earth and Environmental Sciences  (4.5 units)
 EASC1102  Marine Sciences  (4.5 units)
 ENVS1001  Introduction to Environmental Investigations  (4.5 units)
 GEOG1003  Introduction to GIS  (4.5 units)
 GEOG2700  Geographical Information Systems  (4.5 units)
 PSYC1101  Psychology 1A  (4.5 units)
 PSYC1102  Psychology 1B  (4.5 units)
 SCME1000  Film Form and Analysis  (4.5 units)
 SCME2001  Television: History and Theory  (4.5 units)
 SCME2102  Sex and Gender  (4.5 units)
 WMST2016  Indigenous Women’s Voices: Race, Gender and Colonialism  (4.5 units)
 WMST2017  Gender, Globalisation and International Development (4.5 units)

Combined degrees

The Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Animal Behaviour) may also be studied in a combined degrees program with any Bachelor degree in the Faculty of Science and Engineering .