Postgraduate study
This vocational course offers the unique opportunity to integrate an in-depth scientific knowledge of animal nutrition with the acquisition of business skills.
MSc Animal Nutrition
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£9,450 - Terms apply
International fees
£24,030 - Terms apply
Sutton Bonington Campus



Study farm, companion and zoo animal nutrition to develop a detailed operational understanding of the international animal feed industry.

  • Gain industry knowledge through a series of case studies, guest lectures and site visits, accessing the latest developments in the animal feed industry
  • The programme is managed by the school’s Division of Animal Sciences, which has an international reputation for research in animal nutrition, development, reproduction and biotechnology
  • Access the University Farm and Dairy Centre, which is taking the national lead for dairy research as the Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock


Key facts

  • The school is ranked the no. 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, with 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science judged to be of international quality
  • Academic staff in the school have links with the University's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, also based on the Sutton Bonington Campus

Full course details

The MSc requires 180 credits. Two semesters of taught modules (120 credits) are followed by a Research Project and Dissertation (60 credits). A diploma is also available.

This programme will cover:

  • Principles of nutrition including the sources and functions of macro- and micronutrients and animal metabolism
  • A range of methods for acquiring and interpreting biological and epidemiological information
  • Feeding systems for livestock production, and dietary regimens for zoo and companion animals
  • Role of diet in the causation and prevention of disease and the promotion of animal health
  • Feed manufacturing industries, including business organisation, operational management, raw ingredient sourcing, processing and feed evaluation
  • A series of case studies involving dietary evaluations and formulations on commercial premises, including livestock species, zoo and companion animals 
  • Latest trends and scientific developments in animal nutrition and of philosophical and ethical issues associated with those trends
  • Experimental design, research techniques in animal nutrition, data analyses and interpretation, and means of presenting scientific data

Course venue

The course is based on the Sutton Bonington Campus, a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham.

Sutton Bonington is a 25-minute bus or car journey to University Park Campus and Nottingham city, with free bus services between campuses. Two other cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7km away, plus there are fast rail links close by to London.



All modules are compulsory:

Fundamentals of Nutrition

This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in the field of nutrition, including requirements for macronutrients (e.g. proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals).


Non-ruminant Nutrition
  • Digestive physiology and metabolism
  • Review of international comparison of feed evaluation and nutrient requirement systems
  • Diet formulation for non-ruminants in different physiological states (maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation, egg-laying)
  • Feed supply and management in a range of global non-ruminant production systems and environments
  • Implications of nutrition for feed efficiency, product quality, fertility, health, welfare, and environmental impacts and other topics as deemed appropriate to the module content.

Ruminant Nutrition
  • Digestive physiology and metabolism; rumen microbiology; voluntary feed intake
  • International comparison of feed evaluation and nutrient requirement systems
  • Diet formulation for ruminants in different physiological states (maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation)
  • Feed supply and management in a range of global ruminant production systems and environments
  • Implications of nutrition for feed efficiency, product quality, fertility, health, welfare, and environmental impacts and other topics as deemed appropriate to the module content.

Feed Industry Business and Case Study
  • Develop an in depth understanding of the nature, structure and organisation of the industries that provide feedstuffs for farm, companion and zoo animals.
  • Develop knowledge of raw ingredient markets, industry regulatory structures and associated legislation, feed evaluation systems and veterinary clinical nutrition.
  • Demonstrate, through a series of case studies, a detailed understanding of feed manufacturing, and diet evaluation and formulation for various classes of farmed livestock, companion and zoo animals.

Molecular Nutrition
  • Examine the regulatory effects of nutrients, either directly or indirectly, on cellular signaling processes and gene expression and how this influences metabolism and growth in eukaryotic systems. The mechanisms of controlling gene expression will be described.
  • Explore the regulation of signaling processes as well as gene expression and the potential for manipulating metabolic processes through nutrient supply.
  • Understand the molecular mechanisms by which nutrients regulate cell function, the basis of their effects on whole organisms and how variation in genomic sequence is likely to impact on nutrients influence on gene expression.

Companion and Zoo Animal Nutrition

This module considers:

  • Comparative Digestive physiology, feeding behaviour and metabolism
  • Feed preferences, effective feed distribution and optimum choice of feed raw materials
  • Diet formulation for companion and zoo animals, to emphasise whether diets offered are adequate for different physiological states
  • Implications of nutritional inadequacies on health and well-being; clinical nutrition and other topics as deemed appropriate to the module content

Research Techniques in Animal Nutrition

This module considers:

  • Research processes in animal nutrition
  • Government and industry funded research
  • Knowledge transfer and communication of nutritional research
  • Techniques in animal and laboratory research
  • Experimental design, data analysis and interpretation and other topics as deemed appropriate to the module content

Research Project
You will carry out a primary research project in an area related to animal nutrition, supervised by a specialist.

Modules will be delivered through a combination of lectures, field visits, tutorials and practical classes which will be taught by subject specialists from within the school and by external speakers from industry.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

UK/EU students

General information on funding for both research and taught degrees, applicable to UK/HEU students is available from the University's Graduate School.

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

You will have the in-depth knowledge and practical skills to work in areas such as: livestock feed industry, livestock consultancy, pet-food industry, government, teaching or research.

Career destinations have included biochemists, lecturers, medical scientists and scientific researchers. Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include ADAS, SRUC, ABVista, BOCM Pauls, Domantis GSK, GE Healthcare, Lonza Biologics, Mars Confectionary, Q Chip and Unilever.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,000 with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers** and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

** The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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