Dogfish shark
Studying reproductive behaviour in the Dogfish shark

What is the Master Programme in Ethology?

The Master's programme provides broad and deep insights into the complete subject of Ethology. You will study for example how animals communicate and solve conflicts, animal cognition and learning, the social structure of animal communities, sexual selection in animals, how competition and cooperation develop, and human behaviour. Moreover, the genetic background, evolution (both at the micro- and macro-evolutionary scale) and function of behaviour are thoroughly covered.

A willow warble attack on a stuffed bird
A willow warble attack on a stuffed bird

Knowledge of ethology is important in many fields of biology, such as ecology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology and conservation biology. Ethology also has applications outside of the scientific sphere. For instance, one important application for ethology concerns the requirements of ethical treatment of animals and animal welfare.

The master programme includes lectures, seminars and practical studies in the natural world, either in a laboratory or at our research station. The following courses are compulsory within the programme: Ethology I (15 credits), Ethology II (7.5 credits), Animal Cognition (7.5 credits), Human Behaviour: Biology and Culture (7.5 credits), and a degree project in ethology covering 30-60 credits. In addition, other selected and freely selected courses of a minimum of 22.5 credits are included.

The Master's Programme in Ethology aims to provide the background required for continued work within those parts of society in which aspects of animal behaviour are important. Graduated ethologists can thus work with fundamental research at universities or in more applied jobs dealing with domestic animals, conservation biology, zoos, the pharmaceuticals industry and animal welfare.