Student wearing white lab coat looking through microscope with another student looking at ipad in background

Animal Science MSci

Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, UK

Course overview

Our courses blend theoretical knowledge with hands-on learning. You will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of research in their fields. You will gain practical animal handling experience including guinea pigs, sheep, hens and cows, with practical sessions and field trips.

You can choose from four options:

  1. Bioveterinary Science – examine the science behind animal health and disease
  2. Physiology and Biotechnology – study animal structure and function, including stem cell and developmental biology
  3. Livestock Production – investigate the science of farm animal nutrition, productivity and fertility
  4. Ecology and Conservation – focus on the science, management and welfare of zoo and captive animals

You do not have to decide which option to focus on until the end of your first year. Whichever option you choose, you can study modules from other options, and other areas of biosciences, including microbiology, nutrition and agriculture.

You will study at Sutton Bonington Campus, home to the University Farm and Dairy Centre. The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching. Farm staff contribute to teaching.

You can enhance your employability with an extra year abroad, on an industrial placement, or studying computer science.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Animal Physiology and Anatomy

Mandatory

Year 1

Animal Biology

Mandatory

Year 1

Sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition

Mandatory

Year 1

An Introduction to Genetics and Biochemistry

Mandatory

Year 1

Essential study skills

Mandatory

Year 2

Reproductive Physiology

Mandatory

Year 2

Research skills for animal scientists

Optional

Year 2

Applied Animal Science

Optional

Year 2

Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology

Optional

Year 2

Nutrition and Physiology Interaction

Optional

Year 2

Reproductive Physiology

Optional

Year 2

Applied Marketing: Agriculture and Food

Optional

Year 2

Evolutionary Biology of Animals

Optional

Year 2

Ecology

Optional

Year 2

Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Optional

Year 2

Principles of Animal Nutrition

Optional

Year 2

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

Optional

Year 2

Physiology of Electrically Excitable Tissues

Optional

Year 2

Epigenetics and Developmental Biotechnology

Optional

Year 2

Computer Modelling in Science: Introduction

Optional

Year 2

Animal Behaviour and Physiology

Mandatory

Year 3

Animal Science Research Project

Optional

Year 3

Companion Animal Science

Optional

Year 3

Coordinated Physiological Functions

Optional

Year 3

Rural Business Management

Optional

Year 3

Biotechnology in Animal Physiology

Optional

Year 3

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Optional

Year 3

Musculoskeletal Physiology

Optional

Year 3

Animal Nutrition

Optional

Year 3

Livestock Production Science

Optional

Year 3

Molecular Nutrition

Optional

Year 3

Principles of Animal Health and Disease 2

Optional

Year 3

Systems Neurophysiology

Optional

Year 3

Conservation

Mandatory

Year 4

MSci Research Project in Animal Science

Mandatory

Year 4

Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists

Mandatory

Year 4

Writing and Reviewing Research Proposals

Mandatory

Year 4

Communication and Public Engagement Skills for Scientists

Mandatory

Year 4

Project Management

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Wednesday 11 October 2023.

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Practical classes

We use a range of assessment methods, including exams, essays, verbal presentations and practical reports. You will receive a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how we will assess your work. Your work will be marked on time and you will receive regular feedback.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained in your second and third years of study.

You must pass each year to progress. This typically means that you will need to achieve marks of at least 40% in each module. Full details on our marking criteria and structure will be provided at your induction.

To study abroad as part of your degree, you must meet minimum academic requirements in year one.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Lab reports
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

In your first year, you will take 120 credits in core modules. As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. You will spend around half of your time in lectures, seminars and practicals. The remaining time will be independent study.

Core modules are typically taught by assistant professors, professors or associate professors. PhD students may support teaching on some modules.

Animal science opens career options in:

  • further study in veterinary, biomedical
    and life sciences
  • biology teaching, after one year of
  • further study (Postgraduate Certificate
    in Education)
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries
  • animal nutrition/feed industry
  • government advisory roles
  • academic and industrial research
  • agricultural consultancy
  • sales and marketing

Many of our graduates choose to progress to postgraduate study and research. Our MSc Animal Nutrition enables you to study farm, companion and zoo animal nutrition at an advanced level.

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science offers a three-year part-time MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy.

Average starting salary and career progression

86.40% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Science secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,834.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017- 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

"The course has a great mixture of practical and theory work that covers a wide range of topics, from micronutrition to physiology of tissues. The staff are also so enthusiastic about their subjects that it rubs off on you too, which creates a great learning environment for everyone. "

Course data

University undergraduate students studying in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.Khaqan Khan (red jumper); Megan Mahoney (blue top); Cole Pearce and Sara Bintey Kabir (yellow top).
Open Day June 2022