Search results - Animal Behaviour: An Introduction
|Type||Summer Schools - Oxford University Summer School for Adults|
|Dates||Sat 13 to Sat 20 Jul 2013|
|Application status||Applications being accepted|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email email@example.com or telephone +44 (0)1865 270396.|
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This course has been very popular and places are now limited. Enrol online now to secure your place.
OverviewThe study of animal behaviour, less than 100 years old as a scientific discipline, has demonstrated that behaviours, similar to anatomy and physiology, have been shaped by evolution, while at the same time many behaviours show an astounding flexibility that allow individuals to learn and change throughout their life. In this course, you will discover a wide range of fascinating behaviours ranging from social behaviours in ants to tool use in crows and chimpanzees through learning in dogs, while at the same time getting a comprehensive introduction to evolutionary thinking.
The only entrance requirement for a summer school course is enthusiasm for the subject and a commitment to undertake the required coursework before and during the summer school.
Session 1: Introduction to the study and definition of animal behaviour
Session 2: Tinbergen’s four questions
Session 3: Evolution and natural selection
Session 4: Foraging and decision-making
Session 5: Communication and signalling
Session 6: How to measure and analyse behaviour
Session 7: Excursion to Wytham Woods
Session 8: Excursion to Wytham Woods
Session 9: Social behaviour
Session 10: Learning and memory
Session 11: Learning and memory
Session 12: Animal intelligence and tool use
Field trip A morning excursion to Wytham Woods, an area of ancient semi-natural woodland about 5 km to the northwest of Oxford. The excursion includes a general introduction to the history of the site and the long-tern studies of great tits, badgers and chicken welfare followed by a short independent study of a chosen animal, which will involve describing, recording and analysing a behavioural sequence. (There is a compulsory fee of £27.50 for this trip.)
Selection criteriaThere may be specific subject requirements for your course, so do check the selection criteria below. These will be used by the University in assessing your application.
Read full selection criteria
Dr Thomas Hesselberg
Course aimsThis course will enable students to:
- Get an overview of the different types of animal behaviours
- Understand how evolutionary thinking and the scientific analytical approach are applied to the study of animal behaviour
- Apply this knowledge to analyse behaviour in animals
CertificationStudents are assessed during the summer school by either a 1000 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1500 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is expected.
Level and demandsOn acceptance you will be given preparatory reading and a title for a short essay of about 1500 words to be submitted before the summer school begins. The essay is intended to help you clarify your thinking and reading on the chosen subject.
The purpose of the first essay is to get your own ideas down on paper - we will send a guide to writing essays with your enrolment pack. By completing the required preliminary work you will be able to make the most of your time at Oxford.
At your first tutorial your tutor will discuss your essay and make suggestions for a further piece of coursework to be completed during the week. The may take the form of another essay (of about 1000 words) or a presentation, undertaken either individually or jointly with another student. If you decide to work with another student, each student will need to submit individual documentation of the presentation.
Recommended readingBrockmann, H. 2010. Measuring Behavior: Ethograms, Kinematic Diagrams, and Time Budgets.
Davies, N., J. Krebs and S. West. 2012. An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell.
Dawkins, M., T. Halliday, and R. Dawkins. 1991. The Tinbergen Legacy. Chapman & Hall.
Levitis, D., W. Lidicker and G. Freund. 2009. Behavioural Biologists Do Not Agree on What Constitutes Behaviour. In Animal Behaviour 78/103-110. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347209001730 )
Manning, A. and M. Dawkins. 2012. An Introduction to Animal Behaviour. Cambridge University Press.
Martin, P. and P. Bateson. 2007. Measuring Behaviour: An Introductory Guide. Cambridge University Press.
McFarland, D. 1998. Animal Behaviour: Psychology, Ethology and Evolution. Pitman Publishing Ltd.
Teaching methodsAll summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education to support individual research needs.
Teaching outcomesBy the end of this course students will be expected to understand:
- The similarities and differences of a wide range of behaviours found in both lower and higher animals
- How natural, artificial and kin selection modify behaviour
- How evolution has shaped behaviours in the long term through genetic adaptations, and in the short term, through enabling modifications of set behaviours by learning and behavioural flexibility
And students will have gained and/or developed the following skills:
- Analyse behaviours and understand the functional reasons behind the expression of these behaviours
- Employ scientific and evolutionary thinking to understand why animals behave the way they do
AccommodationAll bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished rooms, all with tea/coffee making facilities, TV, telephone and private bath or shower rooms.
The residential course fees including tuition, all meals and accommodation are per person, per course/week.
Accommodation, along with your course, can be booked online using the 'enrol now' icon. You can also apply by post. To do this please print the downloadable application form, complete it, and then post it to the Programme Administrator. If you have a specific question regarding accommodation please contact the summer school administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: + 44 (0)1865 270396.
IMPORTANT: If you require shared accommodation you cannot enrol online. Instead, please download the application form, complete and email or post it to the OUSSA office. You should complete one application form for each student enrolling.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to an unprecedented response, accommodation is temporarily limited. However, accommodation suitable to your needs may still be available. If you are interested in attending a 2013 OUSSA course as a resident, download the PDF application form and return c/o OUSSA administrator via
fax: +44(0)1865 270 429
or post: OUSSA, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD OX1 2JA).
Additionally, if you have not already done so, please register on our website.
LibrariesOUSSA students have full access to the Rewley House Continuing Education Library whilst they are studying on the summer school. Each year the library acquires the books on the individual course reading lists - students should however bear in mind that each year some books are not readily available or are out of print. Students can find out more information about the OUDCE library here.
Please note: Students upon enrolling on an OUSSA course do not have access to the Bodleian library.
In the unlikely event of a course being cancelled, students will normally be notified by Easter; we therefore advise students to wait until after Easter to make textbook purchases.
ScholarshipsThere is a limited number of bursaries available, which include those kindly donated by the Governing Body of Kellogg College, Oxford, and the Ruth Windsor Fund.
Bursaries are provided for UK applicants on low incomes or state benefits who wish to continue or resume studying. Bursaries will normally be offered to first time applicants to the summer school only. Please note that bursaries will not cover more than 50% of the OUSSA fee - and many students will receive less than this amount. Therefore, bursary applicants must be able to pay (at least) 50% of their course fee.
The deadline for bursary applications is 1 March 2013. Please contact the Programme Administrator by email at email@example.com to request an application form. Please note that evidence is required to support bursary applications (eg wage slips, details of income from state benefits, Council Tax bills), and applicants are therefore advised to allow sufficient time to complete the necessary paperwork.
- Programme Fee
- Non-resident: £590.00
- Resident (standard room): £1235.00
- Resident (de luxe room): £1330.00
- Catering (included in fee): £0.00
- Non-EU Supplement: £100.00
- Field Trip to Wytham Woods: £27.50
Apply for this course
You can apply for this course in the following ways:
- Apply online
- to secure your place on this course now