Animal Welfare Science

Understanding animal welfare is important to optimise animals’ health and productivity, to improve their quality of life and to safeguard the reputation of New Zealand’s animal production industries. This course explores how measurements of animal behaviour and physiology can be used to understand mental experiences such as pain, breathlessness, thirst, nausea and fear and thus the welfare states of domestic animals. These concepts will be applied to enable students to construct robust strategies for practical assessment of animal welfare in various production systems.

Course code

Qualifications are made up of courses. Some universities call these papers. Each course is numbered using six digits.



The fourth number of the course code shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).



Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.



Animal Science

Course planning information

Course notes

All amendments are compulsory.

Prerequisite courses

Complete first

You need to complete the above course or courses before moving onto this one.


Similar content

You cannot enrol in this course if you have passed (or are enrolled in) any of the course(s) above as these courses have similar content or content at a higher level.

General progression requirements

You must complete at least 45 credits from 200-level before enrolling in 300-level courses.

Learning outcomes

What you will learn. Knowledge, skills and attitudes you’ll be able to show as a result of successfully finishing this course.

  • 1 Describe in detail current scientific understanding of animal welfare.
  • 2 Relate the physiology of various organ systems to the development of, and changes in, specific mental experiences.
  • 3 Demonstrate links between specific mental experiences, physiological states and behaviour, and justify the selection of appropriate indicators of animal welfare.
  • 4 Critique measures of animal welfare and select suitable options for welfare assessment in various animal production systems.
  • 5 Evaluate animals' welfare states in various animal production systems using appropriate knowledge of animal welfare and indicators of mental experiences.

Learning outcomes can change before the start of the semester you are studying the course in.


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Participation 3 4 5 25%
Test 1 2 3 25%
Written Assignment 1 2 3 4 5 25%
Oral/Performance/Presentation 1 2 3 4 5 25%

Assessment weightings can change up to the start of the semester the course is delivered in.

You may need to take more assessments depending on where, how, and when you choose to take this course.

Explanation of assessment types

Computer programmes
Computer animation and screening, design, programming, models and other computer work.
Creative compositions
Animations, films, models, textiles, websites, and other compositions.
Exam College or GRS-based (not centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by a college or the Graduate Research School (GRS). The exam could be online, oral, field, practical skills, written exams or another format.
Exam (centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by Assessment Services (centrally) – you’ll usually be told when and where the exam is through the student portal.
Oral or performance or presentation
Debates, demonstrations, exhibitions, interviews, oral proposals, role play, speech and other performances or presentations.
You may be assessed on your participation in activities such as online fora, laboratories, debates, tutorials, exercises, seminars, and so on.
Creative, learning, online, narrative, photographic, written, and other portfolios.
Practical or placement
Field trips, field work, placements, seminars, workshops, voluntary work, and other activities.
Technology-based or experience-based simulations.
Laboratory, online, multi-choice, short answer, spoken, and other tests – arranged by the school.
Written assignment
Essays, group or individual projects, proposals, reports, reviews, writing exercises, and other written assignments.