Applied & Pure Sciences

Postgraduate courses in Behavioural Biology

The behaviour of organisms from humans to animals can be quite fascinating. There are so many factors that influence our behaviour and one of the big ones is biology. 

It is so interesting to see how biology has such an influence on organisms, what they do and how they live their lives. If you’ve an interest in this area then you have come to the right place. 

A postgraduate course to help develop your knowledge and understanding of this area could be exactly what you’re looking for and luckily for you, we have the information!

What is behavioural biology?

Behavioural biology is exactly what you would expect. It is an interdisciplinary field of science that looks closely at the interaction between behaviour and biology. It studies the biological and evolutionary basis changes in the behaviour of organisms. 

What does a behavioural biologist do?

As a behavioral scientist you study people and other organisms and try to figure out why they behave the way they do. In this role you will typically work __ hours a week. You will observe and record behaviour. 

The job is mostly based around analyzing and researching in an attempt to explain behaviour and figure out why people and animals behave how they do and the impacts of their behaviour. You may carry out observations and experiments such as putting people or animals in a particular environment or position and see their reaction. You will seek patterns in behaviour through data analysis and attempt to understand the reasons behind the results as well as trying to identify and predict future behaviours. 

Another area of working in his profession may see you work with mentally disabled patients in hospitals or living facilities. They assist in the development of new treatments for behavioural disorders as well as assist in training others to treat patients. Continuous research in disorders and how to treat them is expected. There is the opportunity to go in the direction of an FBI Behavioral Scientist working on criminal investigations. 

This role is massively based on researching and implementing research into investigations, data and treatment while assisting scientists in figuring out the reasons behind behaviour and it’s patterns. 


There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. There are courses available in this area across a number of colleges and are very similar. Courses include:

Evolution and Human Behaviour

Postgraduate courses in Evolution and Human Behaviour are mainly suited to those with a degree in life sciences, psychology and anthropology. A course in this discipline includes training in research approaches relevant to the topic of Evolution and Human Behaviour. Modules studied include comparative cognition, sensory systems and the biological basis of psychiatric illness and treatment. 

Evolution and Behaviour

A slightly different title to the course above but very similar content is covered and close to the same areas. This course looks at organisms in general and not just human behaviour. Topics touched on in courses like this include animal behaviour, molecular energy, sexual selection and conflict, speciation, the evolution genomics of adaptation, evolutionary development and ecological immunity among other topics.  

Entry requirements

Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1. A degree in biology, life sciences, anthropology or psychology is mostly required.


Your salary may depend on your experience and the company you are working for. It is believed that the average salary for a s behavioural scientist in the UK falls anywhere between £51,600 and £55,555. All figures are intended to be used as a guide only. 

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements helpful in this area include: 

  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to work with others 
  • Observation skills
  • Research and interpretation skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Interest in human and animal behaviour
  • A want to learn and develop
  • Strong people skills
  • Critical thinker
  • Organisation skills
  • Time management skills

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