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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This is a course about human relations with other animals.  We begin by looking at how people have thought about humans and animals as both different and similar.  Then we explore the history of relations through hunting, domestication and social attitudes, before examining ethical and political questions about welfare, rights and conservation.  The course places a big emphasis on students debating ideas and thinking about their own relations with animals and is taught through a mixture of lectures, films and tutorials by staff from across the University.  

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Andrew Whitehouse

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Animals have played a pivotal role throughout human history. They provide us with resources but are also companions, symbols and spectacles. This course explores human-animal relations by examining themes such as evolution, domestication, animal rights and welfare, pets and conservation. Through diverse disciplinary, historical and cultural perspectives, students are introduced to the complexity of human-animal relations, gaining deeper understandings of the differences and similarities between humans and animals, and developing a more informed appreciation of contemporary and historical issues in human-animal relations.  Through tutorial work and assessments students are encouraged to think about their own relations with animals, whether those are with domestic or wild animals or through the media or the food they eat.  The course is taught by staff from both biological and social sciences but will be of interest to anyone who is concerned about animals.

Further Information & Notes

This course is only available to students registered in Programme Years 1 and 2.
Attendance at sixth century courses is compulsory. Students who do not attend all classes (including lectures) for a sixth century course, without exceptional cause, will not pass the engagement component of the course and will therefore fail the course.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (100%). Three online journals (30%), group tutorial minutes (30%), tutorial contribution (10%), Essay (30%).

Resit: Continuous assessment (100%). Two 1,500-word essays.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Detailed feedback will be provided to students on their assessed work, with a particular emphasis on developing the skills outlined in the course aims. This will normally be given within two weeks of the submission of assignments.

Course Learning Outcomes


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