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Animal Science

A cow in the dairy at Sutton Bonington

Animal science is the study of the biology of animals that are under the control or care of humans. This includes the production and management of farm animals, nutrition and foods of animal origin such as meat, eggs, and dairy. It also encompasses the behaviour, nutrition, care and welfare of companion animals.

At Nottingham, students are also encouraged to consider more broadly the interaction of humans upon domesticated and wild populations of vertebrates. Since the subject is so broad, graduates go on to challenging careers in a huge variety of different areas. 

 

What skills will I gain during my degree?

In addition to your subject specific knowledge, your animal science degree will equip you with a range of transferable skills including the ability to:

  • develop a creative approach to problem solving
  • handle and evaluate complex information and synthesise ideas
  • critically evaluate information and ideas
  • accurately operate laboratory equipment
  • communicate experimental results clearly and concisely
  • present and articulate information coherently
  • obtain experience in animal handling techniques
  • manage and organise time effectively and work to deadlines
  • work productively as an individual and as part of a team

Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies

You will also develop 12 competencies which have been  divided into these four headings:

  • Fundamental skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal aspiration and development
  • Professional responsibility

Explore the Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies

 
 

How can I develop my skills and experience during my degree?

Regardless of whether you are a first year or final year, developing skills outside your degree will enhance your CV and allow you to provide evidence of these in applications and at interviews. There are a wide range of opportunities at the University and beyond for to explore.

Volunteering

Many charities who work with animals are supported through volunteers, so they are always happy to hear from people eager to help out. Charity Choice have produced a comprehensive directory of the UK’s leading animal charities.

Charity Choice

The Students’ Union Volunteer Centre has opportunities with local animal charities such as Cats Protection, Stonebridge City Farm and Riding for the Disabled. 

University of Nottingham Students' Union - volunteering projects

You can also find voluntary opportunities directly through animal charities such as the RSPCABluecrossDogs Trust or the Wildlife Trusts 

Temporary work

Many kennels and livestock farms hire seasonal workers to help during busy times of the year. For example, kennels and catteries seek extra help around summer and Christmas and farms take on staff to assist during the lambing season.

National Sheep Association - seasonal lambing work experience

Work shadowing

To learn more about a particular job role you could ask for work shadowing opportunities.  For example if you are interested in going into sales, shadowing an experienced sales representative in the field can give you a real insight into what the job is like and a competitive edge in the recruitment process. 

Attending conferences and making use of professional networking websites such as LinkedIn are great ways to start connecting with and approaching professionals. 

Advice on using LinkedIn to connect with professionals

Summer internships

Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies

Companies such as IDEXX, Boehringer Ingelheim and Covance offer animal-related summer internships.

Charities

Some charities, such as Sea Watch offer unpaid internships. that can result in a paid role at the end. Original Volunteers provides a list of grants and funding which students can apply to for help with costs towards unpaid volunteering opportunities. 

Societies and research organisations

Some societies and research organisations offer opportunities, such as The Fisheries Society of the British Isles which has funded summer research internships.

Other sources of vacancies include:

Nottingham Internship Scheme

My Career - vacancy board

Sources of vacancies for internships

Summer research opportunities

The School of Biosciences offer summer research opportunities - it is worth approaching the academic staff working in the area of research that interests you.

There are also other sponsored opportunities and funding for summer research placements through organisations such as the  BBRSC.

Work abroad

If you are interested in working further afield, there are many global short and long-term animal-based opportunities. Check out:

Year in Industry

Why not take an optional industry placement, between years two and three of your degree? This will extend your degree to a four-year programme. Find out about what's on offer:

Year in Industry

Nottingham Consultancy Challenge

The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge offers the chance for you to gain hands-on experience of managing a short term project for a local business or charity as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  

Nottingham Consultancy Challenge

Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop and reflect on your employability. With over more than 200 modules across our three campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia. 

Nottingham Advantage Award

Students' Union

The Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering options both locally and internationally which you can fit around your studies.

Alternatively you could get involved in a society or sports club - there's so many, you're bound to find one that interests you!

Students' Union

Animal Science Society

 
 

What are the range of careers I could enter? Includes videos from two alumni

Many of our animal sciences graduates have moved into animal science roles but we have also seen them use their skills, experience and knowledge to enter a diverse range of employment areas.

Examples of employers who have recruited our animal science graduates

  • AB Agri
  • Cargo
  • Covance
  • Engage Tech
  • Jobs in Science
  • KWS Biotest
  • One Scientific Ltd
  • Mole Valley Feed Solutions
  • Moy Park
  • Peasbrook Equine Clinic
  • Pet Blood Bank 
  • Peters Frazer and Dunlop
  • Public Health England
  • Royal Mail
  • Shaldon Wildlife Trust
  • Vets4Pets

Examples of roles undertaken by our graduates

  • Animal care assistant
  • Animal husbandry
  • Animal technician
  • Business development executive
  • Commercial and technical graduate
  • Feed formulator
  • Graduate operations manager
  • Graduate management trainee
  • Lab technician 
  • Nutrition graduate scheme
  • Quality control technician
  • Publisher
  • Recruitment consultant
  • Veterinary assistant
  • Veterinary nurse
  • Zoo keeper
 

Spotlight On: Katy Hogg

Alumna Katy Hogg is a regional technical account manager for Rentokil. 

Katy talks about how she uses the skills she learned during her degree on a daily basis at work. She offers her advice to students considering their next steps.

Spotlight On: Sarah Johns

Sarah Johns, Project Manager and animal sciences alumna talks about what her roles in project management within the science sector. 

She explains the relevance of her degree to project management and gives advice to students considering their future career path.

 
 

What are my further study options?

A large proportion of our animal science graduates progress onto further study. If you want to pursue a research-focused career either in industry or academia, a postgraduate qualification is usually a prerequisite. 

Examples of masters and PhDs our students have gone onto study. 

  • MPhil or MRes Animal Sciences
  • MRes Animal Behaviour
  • Msc Animal Nutrition
  • Msc Conservation
  • Msc Marine Biology
  • Msc Veterinary Epidemiology
  • Msc Veterinary Physiotherapy
  • PGDip Animal Nutrition
  • PhD Animal Sciences

Other graduates have opted to take a postgraduate qualification which will allow them to pursue a particular career interest such as conservation.

Veterinary surgeon or nurse

A degree in animal science does not qualify graduates to work as veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses, although many go on to study veterinary degrees after graduating from their first degree.

British Veterinary Association

Named Animal Care and Welfare Officers (NACWO)

Some animal technology roles may require a NACWO licence. The following companies run introductory courses accredited by the Institute of Animal Technology. 

A career in nutrition

If you're interested in pursuing a career in nutrition, registered nutrition status is recommended for greater credibility. Students who have gone down the nutrition pathway of the course here are eligible to apply to become professional nutritionists with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).

Association for Nutrition - find out UKVRN

A career in teaching

A number of animal science graduates undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in science or biology in order to train to become a teacher - a profession for which science students are currently in high demand.

Find out about teaching

 

Find out more about further study - courses, applying and funding 

 

Explore more...

 

 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk