The Agricultural and Livestock Science degree is designed for those students who are interested in the more applied aspects of animal science – the production and management of commercial livestock within animal-based agricultural systems.
The course develops your scientific understanding of the nutrition, physiology and production of animals and how they interact with their physical environment. This scientific approach is combined with modules in business management so that you also gain an understanding of how to manage groups of animals from a business and consultancy perspective.
The degree is based at the Sutton Bonington Campus, known internationally for its applied animal science research in fertility, nutrition, reproduction and product quality. More recently, research has also looked at the effect of diets on methane emissions from ruminants.
The Dairy Centre is a ‘DairyCo’ knowledge transfer site and hosts many demonstration events for the dairy industry. We milk 200 Holstein cows on the Arla ‘Tesco’ contract and rear our own replacements; cows are fed a total mixed ration using forage from the University Farm.
University Farm and Dairy Centre
The 450 hectare University Farm is home to 200 dairy cows (robotically milked) plus 380 hectares of arable crops and land in environmental stewardship.
The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching in crop and livestock management and business management.
Environmentally, the farm has land in an organic rotation, uncropped field margins & corners and two 'beetle banks'.
Recent developments include robotic milking facilities, additional storage capacity for silage and new housing for the dairy young-stock.
One of the big issues at the farm from a management perspective is the introduction of 'NVZ' regulations- storing and spreading of animal manures will be more tightly controlled in the future.
The farm has a role in both our teaching and research: for example, your research project might involve trial work on the farm and financial information is available for case study work. The Farm Manager also gets involved, providing a strong link between the commercial farm and the teaching.
Your final year research project offers the opportunity to become involved in the research activities of one the country's top agricultural research centres on campus.
See our other agricultural sciences degree options: Agriculture; Agricultural and Crop Science; Agricultural and Environmental Science
In the first year, you follow a broad base of modules in the biological sciences, providing an essential building block for future study.
Core of modules include Applied Animal Science, Practical Animal Physiology and Animal Behaviour as well as training to prepare you for your research project.
A major part of your degree at Nottingham this year is your research project. You can either join us in some of the research that we conduct at Sutton Bonington, or choose a topic of your own.
The core taught module is Livestock Production Science plus a range of optional modules, including Rural Business Management, Companion Animal Science and Applied Bioethics.
Industry Placement year
You can take advantage of an optional industry placement between years two and three of your degree. This year-long placement as a paid employee allows you to develop a range of skills and enhance your employment prospects. Read more
International Study Options
Combining Agricultural and Livestock Science with a Certificate in European Studies (D4RZ) offers the opportunity to follow your chosen degree in another European country.
Students can also apply for a Universitas 21 placement at one of our partner universities enabling study periods in a variety of overseas locations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA & China.
A levels: ABB-BBB, at least two science subjects at A level (which can include maths and/or geography) and an additional A level or equivalent.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in listening and writing, 18 in reading and 20 in speaking)
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
Notes for applicants
Our modular courses are flexible and offer the opportunity to combine your main studies with modules in other subject areas (please note that all modules are subject to change).
Sponsorships for this course
Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) Bursary
The ABP offers a competitive bursary for applicants interested in livestock production. More details and Application Form
Scholarships - for details of scholarships, please see www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
More detailed information on course structure and modules
Typical year-one modules
Whole Organism Biology
Contemporary Agricultural Systems
Typical year-two modules
Practical Animal Physiology
Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Typical year-three modules
Research Project in Agriculture 2
Livestock Production Science
A major part of your degree at Nottingham is your research project.
This is your opportunity to tackle some of the current challenges that we face in the agricultural and livestock science. How do we reduce nitrate pollution from farms – without compromising food production? Can atmospheric pollutants be reduced by hedgerows? Can manures be used to produce bioenergy products such as methane in a way that is financially viable for small scale farmers? Are organic farming systems more sustainable than conventional systems? These are the type of questions that you can address in your research project.
Recent research projects include:
Patterns of milking behaviour in robotic milking
Can milk temperature indicate heat stress in dairy cows?
Dietary effects on methane production by dairy cows
A financial appraisal of anaerobic digestion at University Farm
Read BURN the Biosciences Undergraduate Research at Nottingham web pages to find out more about undergraduate research projects. BURN is a freely accessible e-journal which showcases final-year research projects undertaken by biosciences students.
Typical optional modules
Agricultural and Food Marketing
Principles of Animal Nutrition
Rural Business Management
Teaching and Field Trips
As part of our applied approach, teaching and field trips involve staff from a wide range of businesses including:
Local conventional and organic farms
Long Clawson Dairy
The transferable skills that employers value most (team and communication skills, problem solving, IT skills, self reliance, business and technical knowledge) are all components of the degree.
Within agricultural and livestock science, recent job opportunities include:
livestock business consultants
livestock market analysts
managers on farms and livestock-related industries
further study, including veterinary science
PhDs and research positions in further education or industry
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full time graduates of the School of Biosciences was £18,111.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.