Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour)

Communicate across species

Love interacting with animals? Fascinated by pets and their personalities?

Animal behaviour is psychology for the animal kingdom. It’s about understanding the science behind why animals act in certain ways, how we should work with them, and how we can look after their futures. It even informs our understanding of human behaviour.

What will you do?

Explore why cat’s meow, find out if parrots are smart, and play with the odd puppy or two as you build the skills to join this growing industry. You will:

  • study the behaviour of animals big and small, including cats, dogs, birds, horses, livestock, wildlife and insects
  • build practical skills through internship opportunities
  • join a close-knit, animal-loving community at our Roseworthy campus
  • learn about animal development and the biological drivers of behaviour
  • explore your personal animal interests through research projects and case studies
  • draw on the University’s internationally recognised expertise in animal science and veterinary bioscience.

There is also a strong practical element, with opportunities for industry experience, field work and study tours.

Where could it take you?

You could consult with exotic pets, prepare greyhounds for adoption or work in animal management for local government. You might ready dogs for roles guiding the visually impaired, detecting in customs, or even comforting children with autism and anxiety. Perhaps you’ll host your very own animal science show on TV.

  • Largest range of species of any animal behaviour degree in South Australia
  • Learn from world leaders, like COVID detector dogs researchers
  • Linked with industry partners

Entry Requirements

Please note: For programs including placements and/or study-related activities in settings where COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory, it is an inherent requirement that all students be fully vaccinated prior to undertaking the placement and/or study-related activity.
For our students who are studying offshore in 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses.
Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for further information and a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Admissions information

SATAC Code 334171
2021 CSP ATAR 65.1
2021 CSP IB 24
Guaranteed Entry Score - ATAR 75
Guaranteed Entry Score - IB 26
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Selection Criteria
Recent Secondary Education Applicants with recent secondary education are those whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the last two years, however if you completed your secondary education more than two years ago, you may still be able to be considered on the basis of your secondary schooling. You must not have completed more than 2 years full time equivalent university study (48 units). You compete for a place with your Selection Rank (ATAR plus any applicable adjustment factors). Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Higher Education Study You must have completed at least six months full time equivalent higher education study (the number of courses and units will vary depending on your prior institution however at the University of Adelaide, this equates to 4 courses / 12 units). A Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each separate program you have undertaken (apart from some double degree programs where the GPA is combined). You compete on the basis of your best GPA. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) study You must have completed an AQF Certificate IV or above from a Registered Training Organisation. Your application will be ranked according to the level of the award. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Work and life experience To be eligible to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) as as pathway for entry, you must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2022. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2022 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2021 or 2020), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2020). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Other Entry Pathways
How to Apply
SATAC Code: 334171

2021 Admissions Data for school leavers
(raw ATAR, excluding any applicable adjustment factors)
Lowest ATAR to receive an offer 58.25
Median ATAR to receive an offer 74.05
Highest ATAR to receive an offer 96.9
Selection Rank
(ATAR plus any adjustment factors)
Lowest Selection Rank to receive an offer 65.1
Median Selection Rank to receive an offer 80.9
Highest Selection Rank to receive an offer 99.2
Minimum eligibility score 65
Additional criteria considered Selection rank only
Student Profile
Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2021
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher Education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
6 11.5%
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study <5 N/A
(C) Work and life experience
(admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
7 13.5%
(D) Recent secondary education:
  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
    (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors)
28 53.8%
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
    (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
    (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
<5 N/A
International students <5 N/A
All students 52 100.0%

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place: $8,055

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.

More information on Student Contribution Amounts.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

There is a growing understanding that behaviour (both human and animal) is key to a wide range of areas, including policy, economics, law enforcement and resource management. Employment opportunities exist in the following areas:

  • shelters and welfare organisations
  • private animal training
  • zoos and wildlife parks
  • animal management for government agencies
  • research
  • education.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Industry Placement

Throughout your degree, you’ll undertake professional work experience placements at locations such as shelters, training facilities, zoological parks and farms. Placements can often be undertaken throughout Australia. Overseas placements are also possible, pending approval.

You must complete 120 hours of professional work experience at an approved workplace in the Level III course Advanced Applications in Animal Behaviour.  

Potential careers

Laboratory Manager, Laboratory Technician, Life Scientist, Agriculture, Agricultural Service Industry, Livestock Production, Animal Technician, Animal Behaviourist, Animal Breeding, Animal Welfare, Entrepreneur, Quarantine Officer, Research Associates, Research Manager, Research Scientist, Research and Education, Science Communicators, Science Educators, Scientific Officer, Scientist, Welfare Officer, Wildlife Officer, Zookeeper, ...

Degree Structure

You will engage with industry through the 120 hours of professional work experience and have the opportunity to attend numerous industry events throughout your degree.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour)

Example Study Plan

Indicative study plan
Year1 S1

ANIML SC 1015RW Animal Handling & Husbandry I

PSYCHOL 1000 Psychology IA BIOLOGY 1101 Biology I: Molecules, Genes and Cells
BIOLOGY 1401 Concepts in Biology I

SCIENCE 1400 Science or Fiction I
ABORIG 1001 Indigenous People, Country and Protocols or ABORIG 1002 Indigenous Scholarship & Interplay of Knowledges

S2 ANIML SC 1016RW Principles in Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Ethics I

PSYCHOL 1001 Psychology IB

BIOLOGY 1202 Biology I: Organisms STATS 1004 Statistical Practice I (Life Sciences)
Year2 S1 ANIML SC 2506RW Comparative Animal Anatomy & Physiology IIA ANIML SC 2520RW Research Methodology for Animal Sciences II Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 ANIML SC 2507RW Comparative Animal Anatomy & Physiology IIB AN BEHAV 2000RW Foundations of Animal Behaviour Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
Year 3  S1 AN BEHAV 3020RW Animal Management [Summer] AN BEHAV 3000RW Applied Behaviour Analysis for Animals Approved Level III
Elective 1 x 3 units
Approved Level III
Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 AN BEHAV 3010RW Advanced Applications in Animal Behaviour Approved Level III
Elective 1 x 3 units
Approved Level III
Elective 1 x 3 units


I gained the necessary practical experience with dog behaviour and training during my degree, especially through my Honours project.

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Last updated: Friday, 25 Mar 2022