Curriculum Policy of the Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science

The following are knowledge and abilities that the Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science (abbreviated as PWS) expects its students to gain through their program participation. The curriculum under the Program’s charter requires acquisition of knowledge, skills, and values that emphasize hands-on experience based on fieldwork, or field research, and cultivation of ability to cooperate and collaborate from an international perspective. Specifically, the curriculum consists of (1) practical fieldwork training, (2) exchange and training with international partner institutions, (3) practical training at domestic experimental research facilities, and (4) cultivation of knowledge, information gathering techniques, and information transmission skills for research, as well as acquisition of multiple languages as communication tools.

First, the fieldwork training will utilize domestic field training bases owned by Kyoto University. The curriculum includes ecological observation of wild Japanese macaques on the Natural Monument of Koshima and field research in a forest on Yakushima, a Natural World Heritage site, where Yakushima macaques and deer coexist; master’s-equivalent students must complete these activities.

Second, the exchange and training with international partner institutions are mainly for students in their second year or later. Practical training will be conducted using domestic and international education and research sites established by the Wildlife Research Center and other institutions as interconnected bases.

Third, the practical training at domestic experimental research facilities will utilize those owned by Kyoto University, such as Kumamoto Sanctuary, and cooperating zoos and aquariums, such as Kyoto City Zoo. Students will learn about the relationship between humans and other animals from a broad perspective of the mind, body, living, and genome.

Fourth, the knowledge for research, information gathering techniques, cultivation of information transmission skills, and acquisition of multiple languages as communication tools, will be achieved through lectures and practical training. Each year, students are required to take seminars organized by PWS. Regarding the acquisition of multiple languages, it is recommended that students learn three languages including English. Animals listed in Appendix I or II of CITES, also known as the Washington Convention, inhabit various parts of the world; as such, international cooperation is essential for their conservation. For this reason, the ability to communicate proficiently in multiple languages is critical. However, the goal of language acquisition should be flexible to meet the career objectives of students who are pursuing jobs at museums and zoos. To help students achieve their language goals, PWS offers a multilingual acquisition program based on one-on-one instruction, in which participants learn practical language skills through daily interactions with a variety of foreign collaborators.

Each student’s learning progress through the activities that form the above four pillars of the curriculum is evaluated annually in accordance with the Diploma Policy by the “PWS Research Supervision Evaluation Committee”, which is composed of the core members of the project called HQ, the student’s faculty supervisor in their graduate school, and the student’s PWS faculty mentor. Specifically, the evaluation is based on non-exam assignments such as reports of practical training and contents of English presentations at symposia, seminars, etc., organized by PWS. The evaluation produces a grade on the three-level scale of Excellent/Good/Unsatisfactory (S/A/C), with a grade of “Good” or better being required for the student’s continued participation in the program .

Approved at the PWS Staff Meeting: March 14, 2014 
Revised and approved: January 11, 2022
Revised and approved at the PWS Staff Meeting: June 16, 2022