Ethology is the branch of biological sciences that examines the behaviour of animals. The Master's programme provides a broad insight into the complete subject. You will study how animals communicate and solve conflicts, the social structure of animal communities, pair formation and reproduction in animals, and how competition and co-operation can develop. How behaviour develops during the life of the individual and how learning and experience influence patterns of behaviour is discussed. Moreover, the genetic background, evolution (both at the micro- and macroevolutionary scale) and function of behaviour are discussed. Knowledge of ethology is important in many fields of biology. These fields include 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 well-being. The 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 II (7.5 hp), Animal cognition (7.5 hp), Human behaviour: Biology and Culture (7.5 hp), and a degree project in ethology covering 30-60 hp. In addition, selected and freely selected courses of a minimum of 22.5 hp 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. Ethologists can work with fundamental research at the university or in more applied jobs dealing with domestic animals, conservation biology, zoos, the pharmaceuticals industry and animal welfare.