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ACE8211 : Precision technologies and global challenges in managed animal behaviour and welfare

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Catherine Douglas
  • Lecturer: Professor Lucy Asher
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to enable students to explore the application of precision technologies in managed animals and critique the complex issues of animal welfare, from a scientific, ethical, policy and global. The module also develops an understanding of the applied animal behaviour.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module introduces principles of: precision technology for managed animals, animal welfare, applied animal behaviour, animal ethics, animal legislation, then using case studies We explore the big global challenges in managed animal welfare, considering issues including commerce, sustainability, food security, biosecurity.

The assessments are:
i) To devise and undertake an assessed welfare audit of managed animals (of your choice)
ii) A group project in science communication on a topic of your choice

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials161:0016:00Short lecture-like recordings
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion31:003:00Short online quizzes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00In person or online student seminars
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Preparation for assessed practical class
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Write up of animal welfare assessment report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Group project work (research, meetings and presentation of final submission)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading112:0022:00Tasks to research (often very directed reading) to cascade back in student seminar groups
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork14:004:00Practical class on welfare assessment (3 hr) Precision techniques practical (1 hr)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study191:0091:00Preparatory reading, background reading, on-line tasks including optional activities; lecture follow
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Blended learning through: lectures, seminars, pre-recorded presentations; guided independent reading and activities (such as on-line quizzes) form the compulsory content and provide the theoretical background. Thereafter students choose from various directed learning activities and independent study to suit their interests.

Teaching methods are a blended approach incorporating some pre-recorded instructional/lecture-type material
supported with present-in-person and synchronous-online-breakout-room seminars to consolidate, enhance and
apply knowledge. Additionally question and answer / drop-in sessions are run present-in-person and synchronous online. Use of zoom enhances skills development aligned with increased use of online meetings in the workplace.

Face-to-face sessions are valued however the module can work switching present-in-person to on-line synchronous
using breakout rooms for discussion / online animal welfare assessments if required due to Covid restrictions.

An assessed practical exercise on welfare assessment allow this knowledge to be applied to real-world situations. The assessment involves a report which allows students to integrate information from different areas of the module as well as developing skills in information acquisition.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M50A welfare assessment report (1,500 words)
Prof skill assessmnt2M50Group task - Communicating science (1,500 words equivalent)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The in course assessment requires students to design, implement and critically evaluate a practical welfare assessment protocol for a farm or companion species, with commentary on precision techniques and legislation.

The group project ‘communicating science’ develops a range of skills while deepening their learning of precision technologies and behavioural topics of interest to the students.

Reading Lists