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University of Edinburgh

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

University of Edinburgh via Coursera


Animal welfare has been described as a complex, multi-faceted public policy issue which includes important scientific, ethical, and other dimensions. Improving our understanding of animal welfare, involves the fascinating study of animal behavior as well as the challenge of accessing the emotions of animals.

This is the On-Demand version of this course, which means you can start the course at any time and work through the course materials at your own pace. The materials and quizzes will always be available to you.

You can come and talk about the course on Twitter using the hashtag #EdAniWelf


  • Introduction to the Course
    • In this module we'll tell you who we are, what this course is about, how you can use this course to learn more about animal behaviour and welfare, and how you can earn a certificate.
  • What is Animal Welfare and Why Does it Matter?
    • Introduction, History and Concepts of Animal Welfare
  • What We Can Measure We Can Manage
    • Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Assessment
  • The Truth About Dogs and Cats
    • Practical Animal Welfare: Companion Animal Welfare
  • Down on the Farm
    • Practical Animal Welfare: Farm Animal Welfare
  • Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
    • Practical Animal Welfare: Captive Wild Animal Welfare
  • Optional Module: Welfare Conundrums
    • Emotive Animal Welfare Issues

Taught by

Nat Waran and Fritha Langford


4.2 rating, based on 13 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 4847 ratings

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  • Donato Rossella completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The course was helpful in providing in depth knowledge about the challenges of welfare and behavior in animals. I was already familiar with some concepts and finished it in a week, but I think it is useful also for people who are not in the veterinary field, but want to know "what's going on" with animal production and also gain self-awareness of the issues with their companion animals. Some contents may be upsetting though, so it is required some level of maturity in handling them.
  • Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    An interesting course focusing on animal behaviour and how we treat animals in the context of pets, farm animals, zoos and other interactions. How often do we focus on our own perceptions and desires rather than the best outcome for the animals? Not always a comfortable course, but plenty to think about.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Struggling with my own views vs what is real.. An excellent beginners course here for free .. Looking forward to completing it and possibly moving on to something more difficult
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    Paige D Red

    Paige D Red completed this course.

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  • Iratxe Martínez Hurtado

    Iratxe Martínez Hurtado completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

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