What degrees would mean working with animals but not veterinary?

(18 Posts)
chicaguapa Mon 30-Sep-13 21:33:06

DD loves animals and had always wanted to be a vet. She's a high achiever and great at science, so I'm sure she'd succeed if that's what she wanted to do. But now she's saying she doesn't want to do the operating side of the job, the yucky bit, but still wants to do a job working with animals.

What could she look at doing instead and what degrees are available? We'd never really looked at anything other than veterinary tbh so not sure what the other options are. I'm sure there are loads.

Should say DD is at secondary school, but is looking for a new focus/goal. Thanks.

Great thread OP, DS in same position.year 11. Starting look at colleges for A levels this next few weeks. Will watch with interest. He is a huge animal lover.

Ruralninja Mon 30-Sep-13 21:45:03

zoology, biology, neuroscience, pharmacy, animal husbandry, agricultural studies, ecology, conservation, behavioral sciences.... I'll post again if I think of any more!

georgettemagritte Mon 30-Sep-13 22:16:10

Marine biology, zoology, could lead into research science in related areas, all sorts of stuff. I have a colleague who works in animal behaviour and anthropology whose job is to sleep in tree platforms observing monkey colonies in Africa! Fascinating stuff!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Sep-13 22:30:08

There are veterinary science degrees that cover all the science, but none of the medicine and surgery. Then animal science, animal behaviour, agriculture, zoology to name a few.
Any of these could lead to a career in the associated industries around veterinary medicine. The best paid roles are with the drug companies they would look for veterinary science, animal science or veterinary nursing (also degree course, but you have to do some of the yucky stuff).
I am a business advocate for the veterinary sector if you have other questions.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Sep-13 22:30:41

There are veterinary science degrees that cover all the science, but none of the medicine and surgery. Then animal science, animal behaviour, agriculture, zoology to name a few.
Any of these could lead to a career in the associated industries around veterinary medicine. The best paid roles are with the drug companies they would look for veterinary science, animal science or veterinary nursing (also degree course, but you have to do some of the yucky stuff).
I am a business advocate for the veterinary sector if you have other questions.

bringbackopalfruits Mon 30-Sep-13 22:31:30

Equine physiotherapy?

chicaguapa Mon 30-Sep-13 23:01:25

Thanks everyone. At this stage she's wanting to do direct work with animals, but it could all change. Will do some research into some of the ones mentioned.

sashh Tue 01-Oct-13 07:18:00

Does she need a degree? Link below to my local, what used to be the agricultural college, no idea how good/bad it is but certainly lets people experience wotrking with animals.

www.southstaffs.ac.uk/about-us/rodbaston-campus/

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 01-Oct-13 20:00:55

I study Animal Behaviour and Welfare (BSc). It's actually a degree that's becoming more widespread (University of Bristol have recently started one) because behavioural knowledge is becoming more highly valued in lots of areas of animal husbandry, and being able to perform natural behaviours is now considered a really important part of welfare/wellbeing (which is now being considered seperately to health).

It varies a bit from university to university, so if she is interested, she should look at the content of the courses. Some do cover aspects of physiology and health as part of the welfare side of things, so if this interests her then it might be a good degree. It is a science degree, so there will be some statistical elements, and the dissertation is a research project, not a lit review.

It prepares you for a wide range of animal related jobs, including nutrition (where a lot of the money is!), agriculture, working in a zoo, working for a welfare charity, conservation, working with animals used for experimentation (obviously not for everyone, but some people want to improve the welfare for these animals from the inside).

I think it's a good degree because it's not too narrow (obviously a degree like zoology would have this advantage too). Some degrees, such as conservation, probably don't teach you as much about animal husbandry, and the one at my university is really aimed at people specifically wanting to do in-situ conservation and fieldwork, where there aren't really that many jobs available.

If she any more specific info, then feel free to PM me smile

chicaguapa Tue 01-Oct-13 22:07:16

All really really interesting! I mentioned to DD about zoology and animal behavioural psychology and she was very interested in the latter. Hopefully she'll get some really good careers advice in a couple of years and by then will have a better idea where her interest lies.

She's definitely capable of getting into one of the better unis for whichever course she decides on. Would it help to have done some work with animals too? Ie volunteer for RSPCA or similar? I know A grade A-levels alone aren't always enough to get in where places are competitive.

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and giving me so much info.

2rebecca Tue 01-Oct-13 22:55:53

I think being a vet is in many ways one of the least interesting jobs involving animals. I think animal bahaviour/ zoology etc is much more interesting. Working with well animals in their natural environment sounds much more fun than ill animals in unnatural "pet" environments, putting animals down and working with modern intensively farmed animals.
If she's bright I think something like Cambridge's Natural science degree sounds great fun. It's a really flexible course as well so she can change tack if she prefers another aspect of science.

2rebecca Tue 01-Oct-13 22:57:52

Hmm, last week I was looking at my son's personal statement and pulled him up for using "fun" too often. I can now see where he gets it from!

PurpleFrog Wed 02-Oct-13 13:23:22

I'll keep an eye on this thread. DD wants to be a vet, but I keep telling her she needs to think of a Plan B in case she doesn't get in. She is only in S4, so has lots of time before she actually has to apply for anything.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 02-Oct-13 13:28:25

Purple as a vet myself I think you need to be enormously single minded to get there. To have the tenacity to do the job as there are situations where failure is not an option, so you have to have a high level of confidence in your ability to achieve.
If she wants to be a vet I would encourage her to be single minded about it.

PurpleFrog Wed 02-Oct-13 13:39:31

Oh! blush

It's not that I don't have confidence in her abilities - more that I know it is very competitive. OK - I'll shut up about a Plan B for now then, and wait until it is a necessary evil.

PurpleFrog Wed 02-Oct-13 13:41:55

Aarghh! That sounded negative as well. What I mean is, we'll think about a Plan B IF it becomes a necessary evil.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 02-Oct-13 15:32:48

Yes it is very competitive that is why you have to be single minded. It is worth remembering that a near miss for vet med makes you very attractive of other courses as you have good grades and a wealth of work experience way beyond most applicants.

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