Solihull College & University Centre students excel in research
Wednesday, 8 June, 2016

Students who are studying towards their University Level qualification are researching into a number of interesting, current topics to contribute towards their final grade.

Students across a number of subjects including Animal Management and Veterinary Nursing and Sport and Exercise Science have been busy finishing off their qualifications by completing their research projects.

Students such as Amy Neale, who is studying towards her BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, have worked on their research projects over the past year at the College to go towards their overall grade for their degree level course. The research projects see the students debating and researching into current topics, allowing them to use the research skills they have learnt within their higher education course alongside the knowledge developed throughout their course.

Amy began studying at Solihull College & University Centre after completing her A-Levels and initially started studying towards a HND in Animal Management before completing her Top-Up degree to gain her BSc qualification. Amy comments “I was really impressed with the facilities the college had to offer, especially the Animal Care Unit, which many universities I had looked at didn’t have to offer. Also, as I already had a good part time job, I did not really want to move away to university.”

“The tutors are able to help everybody individually and although we were still made to feel like university students by the way lessons were delivered, we were also provided with extra support, such as organised group activities and given journal articles to help with assignments, so we had the best of both worlds. I feel this helped me greatly, as I feel I may have struggled a little at an actual university where I would have just had the information presented in a lecture and no additional support, as this is not really the way I learn. Without the support I received, I doubt I would have been able to achieve the distinction I got in my HND Animal Management and was encouraged to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare Top-Up Degree, which I am really glad I chose to do. I definitely feel I made the right decision for me by choosing to take my degree at Solihull rather than anywhere else.”

Amy’s research topic, which contributed to her honours degree, looked into euthanasia of dogs. Amy, who works in animal rescue comes across the topic on a regular basis and had discovered that many people euthanise their dogs for reasons other than medical and wanted to ascertain public opinion on the matter and if there was a difference of views from those who work or study in the animal care industry to those who do not.

When looking around for her literature search, Amy found that there was a lack of research in the UK. This increased Amy’s motivation to complete her project as she felt it was an important area that needed addressing.

Amy comments “My research topic investigates whether the public in the UK agree with euthanasia of the domestic dog for non-health related reasons, such as behavioural problems whereby the dog has developed a behavioural problem which is affecting the daily life of both dog and owner. This could include aggression towards other dogs, human strangers and family members; physical or non-physical, toileting in the house, resource guarding, separation anxiety and being destructive in the house. Another reason could be for convenience euthanasia, which can occur when changes happen in the owner’s lifestyle leaving them unable to keep the dog, reasons for this could be the owner being financially unstable, the owner changing job/work hours or moving to another location/country and being unable to take the dog, a family member being allergic to the dog, the dog growing bigger than the owner anticipated, relationship breakdown of the owners/family and new born baby/pregnancy in the family. Furthermore, it was investigated whether those who work, study or have worked or studied previously in the animal care industry, have a different opinion to those who have no involvement in the industry.”

Throughout her research project Amy was able to turn to the tutors at the College to guide her and offer support where necessary.

Amy commented “My tutors provided me phenomenal one-to-one support and without them I definitely would not have been pushed and motivated to achieve my maximum potential in my dissertation.”

Now that Amy has completed her BSc honours degree she has been offered a full-time contract at her current part-time job as an Animal Welfare Assistant at the Blue Cross Rehoming Centre. Amy is also planning to continue with her studies by completing a Master’s Degree within the next few years.

Amy concludes “I would recommend studying towards a degree at Solihull College, the support you receive from tutors is brilliant. There are a range of courses at the College and the entry requirements are not as limited as with a normal university. I’m very glad I chose to study my degree at the College.”

For more information on the courses available at Solihull College & University Centre including the university level qualifications visit the courses page of the open evening on Tuesday 14th June at the Blossomfield Campus and Wednesday 15th June at the Woodlands Campus or call 0121 678 7000.

Animal Care student at Blue Cross