Behaviour of Farm & Companion Animals

Subject DASC90009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 09-May-2016 to 26-May-2016
Assessment Period End 26-May-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 12-May-2016
Census Date 13-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 20-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Up to 44 hours of lectures/practicals/tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison


Prof Paul Hemsworth



Subject Overview:

This subject aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the study of the research methods of animal behaviour; domestic animal behaviour, its causation and its biological function; and the application of animal behaviour principles to animal behaviour problems.

The topics covered will include:

  • Describing, recording and measuring behaviour
  • Development of behaviour
  • Stimuli and communication
  • Motivation and decision making
  • Learning and memory
  • Genetic influences on behaviour
  • Hormonal and neural influences on behaviour
  • Social behaviour, including sexual behaviour, maternal behaviour and dam-neonate interactions
  • Behavioural problems
Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to:

  • Extend the student's knowledge of the content covered in Applied Animal Behaviour subjects in the undergraduate programs
  • Provide students with a knowledge and understanding of applied animal behaviour that can be applied effectively in farm, companion, zoo and laboratory animal research, management, care and production

  • A 2000-word assignment - part A due during the delivery period and part B due within three weeks after the intensive delivery period worth a total 50%
  • Six group presentations during the delivery period, up to an equivalent of 10 minutes per student worth 25%
  • A 15-minute seminar presentation a week after the intensive delivery period worth 25%
Prescribed Texts:

Barnard, C. (2004) Animal Behaviour: Mechanism, Development, Function and Evolution. Pearson/Prentice Hall

McFarland, D. (1999) Animal Behaviour. Pearson/Prentice Hall

Broom, D.M. and Fraser, A.F. (2007) Domestic Animal Behaviour and Welfare. 4th Edition CABI

Jensen, P. (2009) The Ethology of Domestic Animals. An Introductory Text. 2nd Edition CABI

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • academic excellence
  • greater in-depth understanding of scientific disciplines of animal behaviour

The student will develop:

  • critical thinking and analysis, and problem solving
  • flexibility and level of transferable skills should be enhanced through improved ability to communicate ideas effectively in both written and verbal formats

This subject involves the use of animals. Students should be aware that this is an essential part of the course and exemption from this component is not possible.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences
Master of Animal Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
100 Point (B) Master of Agricultural Sciences
150 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences

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