Triangle Triangle

Course overview

Ranked 1st for our animal science courses in The Complete University Guide 2020 for a 3rd year running. Animal science is important for understanding the physiology that leads to improvements in the productivity of livestock, and the health and welfare of companion and zoo animals. This requires well-trained and adaptable scientists who can apply their knowledge and understanding.

  • Our MSci programme offers a further year of advanced study, focusing on research, analytical and project management skills.
  • Explore a broad range of topics to build knowledge in animal physiology and reproduction; biochemistry and nutrition; developmental biology and bioethics; and animal welfare.
  • Gain insights through field trips and guest lectures with organizations, such as The Stabiliser™ Cattle Company, AHDB, a levy board funded by UK farmers and PDSA, a UK veterinary charity.

The course offers a choice of four options, enabling you to focus on your area of interest.

Course options

Bioveterinary Science

Examine the science underpinning animal health and disease, which prepares you well for studying Veterinary Medicine post-degree

Physiology and Biotechnology

Learn from specialists undertaking pioneering research, you'll study animal structure and function including stem-cell and developmental biology

Livestock Production

Investigate the science of farm animal nutrition, productivity, and fertility, you'll benefit from the Centre for Dairy Science Innovation and industry collaborations

Ecology and Conservation

Focus on the science, management, and welfare of zoo and captive animals, we have strong links with Twycross Zoo

University Farm and Dairy Centre

Sutton Bonington Campus is home to the University Farm and Dairy Centre - a 450-hectare mixed farm, with arable crops, 300 robotically milked dairy cows, a sheep flock, environmental stewardship land and new and established woodland.

The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching, including a Farm Demonstration Centre; farm staff contribute to the teaching on our degree programmes.

We are taking the national lead for dairy research as the Centre of Dairy Science Innovation. This has led to considerable investment and expansion in our dairy centre to deliver world-leading research in livestock health and production to deliver improved food security and farming sustainability. 


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level BCC in Clearing (C in Biology)
Required subjects

At least two science-based subjects at A level, (biology and chemistry preferred, but can include physics, maths, psychology and geography), and an additional A level or equivalent. Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies not accepted. We may consider ABC depending on predicted grades in specific subjects

IB score 32-30 including 5 in two science subjects at Higher Level (must include at least one of biology or chemistry)

A levels: ABB-BBB, including at least two science-based subjects at A level, (biology and chemistry preferred but can include physics, maths, psychology and geography), and an additional A level or equivalent.

Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies not accepted. We may also consider ABC depending on predicted grades in specific subjects.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

 

British Council accredited

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. 

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through The University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met. 

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our one year science foundation programme. Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.  

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

How you will be assessed

Our courses are assessed in a variety of ways, including exams, coursework assignments, a dissertation, computing assignments, essays, oral presentations, posters and laboratory reports. The final degree classification is based on marks gained for the second and subsequent years of study.

Study abroad

There are a variety of study abroad opportunities from a semester to a whole year. Depending on your subject you can;

  • apply to spend a semester of your second year at one of our highly ranked international partner universities including Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA via the University-wide exchange programme.
  • study abroad for an additional year at one of our highly ranked Erasmus+ partner universities in France, Austria or Spain. If you choose to transfer to this option you would take language modules in the relevant language during year two, and would have the option of studying abroad in your chosen language or in English, subject to availability.
  • take part in a summer school: we have a range of options in subjects such as business, entrepreneurship and languages available.

You can apply to study abroad for a semester or a year, depending on your degree programme, during year one of your degree. You will be guided through an internal application procedure, which varies by programme. Your application will be subject to meeting minimum academic requirements during year one.

Year in industry

The optional year in industry takes place between years two and three of your degree. 

A year in industry can help you:

  • Gain the opportunity to put your learning into practice, giving you a better understanding of your studies and the chance to solidify your knowledge in an industry setting. 
  • Stand out from the crowd as a graduate: many students secure a graduate job as a direct result of their placement year.
  • Learn about what you enjoy doing, and your strengths and weaknesses, putting you in a strong position when considering your future career.

The school has excellent links with a wide range of businesses and research institutes, examples of relevant companies include The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, McDonald’s, Chester Zoo, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Port Lympne Reserve, and AB Agri.

You can apply for an industry placement during year two of your degree, subject to meeting minimum academic requirements. The school placements team will provide support and guidance in finding and applying for appropriate industry placements.

Modules

During year one, you will follow a broad base of modules in the animal sciences, including subjects like biology, biochemistry, physiology and nutrition, with lectures, small group tutorials, and practical sessions.

Core modules

Animal Anatomy

Knowledge of anatomy helps in understanding physiological function. You will study gross and cellular anatomy through tissue dissection and histology. Specific examples of tissue pathology will develop your understanding of clinical consequences.

The body systems you will study include:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Nervous
  • Respiratory
  • Cardiovascular
  • Renal
  • Digestive
  • Reproductive

You’ll learn through practical classes and online tools. This is a 10 credit module that runs in parallel with Introductory Physiology over one semester.

Basic Animal Biology

In lectures on this module you’ll be introduced to concepts in animal evolution (Darwinian evolution, natural selection, speciation), diversity across the animal kingdom (classification of invertebrates and vertebrates), animal ecology (biodiversity, interactions between species, conservation), animal development (fertilization, gastrulation, organogenesis), animal behaviour (costs and benefits of different innate and learned behaviours), and ethical issues related to animal-human interactions. The module also includes a visit to Twycross Zoo and a practical animal handling session.

The Biosciences and Global Food Security

How can you use science to help improve global food security? This module introduces you to the issues of global food security and the complexity existing in different parts of our food generation system. Looking across the food supply chain, you’ll cover the evolution of crops, crop and animal production, and the food industry. Importantly, you’ll also look at sustainable nutrition because food security isn’t just about supply – it’s important that people are getting the right kind of food. You’ll learn about these issues through a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions. You’ll also develop professional skills to work safely in laboratory situations.

Genes and Cells

Cells are the basic functional units of life, but how do they grow and develop? In this module, you’ll follow the lifecycle of cells. You'll focus on mitosis, meiosis, cell division and differentiation. We’ll put cells not just under the microscope, but use advanced laboratory technologies to explore the ultrastructure of cells. These are the parts of cells too small to be seen through ordinary laboratory equipment. You’ll then put this science to the test, to apply cellular biology to applied genetics.

You’ll study:

  • structures and ultrastructures of animal and plant cells
  • microscopic features of bacteria and viruses
  • gene replication, expression and inheritance
  • laboratory methods used to discover how cells work
Biochemistry -The Building Blocks of Life

Have you ever wondered how some crops can resist diseases? This module provides you with the fundamentals for understanding biochemical processes in living organisms. You’ll be introduced to the basic structure, properties and functions of the four key biological macromolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. You’ll also look at the metabolic pathways occurring in cells, such as respiration, photosynthesis and the biosynthetic pathways for the key macromolecules. In addition to lectures, you’ll have practical laboratory sessions to learn how to use key biochemical techniques for the separation and analysis of macromolecules and measurement of the metabolic process.

Introductory Physiology

This 20 credit module introduces the major physiological systems which are essential for life in animals and humans: the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, renal, and digestive systems. You’ll learn about the structures and functions of the major organs and the functions of individual cell types.

Topics covered will refer to genes, proteins and membranes, transport of molecules across membranes, nerve signalling and biorhythms. You’ll have weekly lectures and various practical classes.

Applied Genetics

In a series of lectures, workshops and practicals you’ll further develop your understanding of gene structure, function and regulation and investigate how this knowledge can be applied in recombinant DNA technology through DNA sequencing and genetic engineering. Specialist options within animal, plant and microbial spheres will allow for subject specific applications of genetic techniques and theories which form an underpinning knowledge base for subsequent modules.

Introduction to Nutrition

Nutrients are vital to human and animal health, but how do they work? In this module, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in the field of nutrition. Depending on your interests, you can study human or animal nutrition, or both. Understand how the food we eat influences our health. Explore how the food eaten by animals impacts on food production and the global food system.

You’ll study:

  • micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals
  • macronutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • metabolism, and how nutrients give us energy
  • the influence of nutrition in diseases such as cancer and diabetes
Biosciences Tutorials

This module is intended to enhance your transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your degree. This module includes three generic sessions on ‘study skills and plagiarism’, ‘study opportunities’ and ‘career and personal development’, and a series of small group tutorials with your academic tutor to develop generic skills such as finding crucial information, oral presentation, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations, and essay writing skills relevant to biosciences.

The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 25 August 2020.

From year two, depending on your interests and future career aspirations, you will be able to select one of the four following options:

  1. Bioveterinary Science
    Examines the science underpinning animal health and disease

  2. Ecology and Conservation 
    Focuses on the science, management and welfare of zoo and captive animals

  3. Livestock Production
    Investigates the science of farm animal nutrition, productivity and fertility

  4. Physiology and Biotechnology 
    Studies animal structure and function including stem-cell and developmental biology

Bioveterinary Science option

Core modules

Applied Animal Science

A highly applied module, you’ll learn about animal physiology, nutrition and management and use your knowledge to think critically about production systems. Focusing on the nutrition, growth and welfare of farmed animals, you’ll cover a wide range of subjects, including investigating the energy and protein evaluation systems for ruminants and non-ruminants and the differential maturity of individual carcass components. You’ll compare systems of production for all major species of livestock and explore how these different systems integrate with each other and other enterprises on farms. Visits to local livestock farms give you the opportunity to further develop your understanding within a ‘real-life’ context and are a core component of the module.

Physiology of Electrically Excitable Tissues

Building on the physiology of year one, this module considers the physiology and pharmacology of systems involving the principal electrically excitable tissues in the body i.e. the nervous system, musculature and cardiovascular system. You will investigate how the nervous system controls and modulates these tissues (e.g. muscles including cardiac tissue) in an integrated system. You will have lectures and practical classes to learn how to collect, analyse and present real data from the neuromuscular, somatosensory and cardiovascular systems as well as how to perform a quantitative pharmacological investigation.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

This module will introduce the major effects of diseases on the body’s physiological and immunological systems. The main types of disease will then be systematically discussed using a range of companion, farm and exotic animal species including poultry, equine, bovine and ovine species. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practicals each week.

Research Techniques for Bioscientists

You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.

Nutrition and Physiology Interactions

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body. But how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll look at appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • homeostasis in relation to the diet

Optional modules include:

Reproductive Physiology

In this module you’ll learn about the development, physiology and regulation of mammalian reproduction, the control of avian reproduction, and lactation. You’ll cover mammalian reproduction, including physiological control, cyclicity and reproductive efficiency. You’ll also consider avian physiology and reproduction in domestic fowl, with an emphasis on the nutritional and metabolic challenges associated with commercial rates of egg lay. Lactation will also be covered, where you’ll learn about the development of mammary tissue, the biochemistry of milk synthesis, the endocrine control of milk secretion, and the metabolic correlates of lactation in dairy ruminants. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions for experimental work and dissection.

Principles of Animal Nutrition

How important is protein quality in your livestock’s diet? How can you formulate an optimum diet? In this module you’ll learn about diet formulation and food analysis. You’ll examine topics such as: dietary energy and nutritional energetics, protein and amino acid nutrition, and regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. You’ll be able to calculate the different energy requirements of animals in different physiological or pathological states. There will be a mix of lectures, seminars and computer-based workshops to apply what you’ve learnt. 

Virology

The module will provide an introduction to viruses and their interactions with their hosts (bacteria, plants and animals including humans) as well as discussing the structure of viruses and their significance including pathogenesis and molecular biology. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures studying for this module.

Animal Behaviour
Introduces the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development and adaptive significance in the natural environment. You will have a three-hour lecture once per week for this module. 

Ecology and Conservation option

Core modules

Reproductive Physiology

In this module you’ll learn about the development, physiology and regulation of mammalian reproduction, the control of avian reproduction, and lactation. You’ll cover mammalian reproduction, including physiological control, cyclicity and reproductive efficiency. You’ll also consider avian physiology and reproduction in domestic fowl, with an emphasis on the nutritional and metabolic challenges associated with commercial rates of egg lay. Lactation will also be covered, where you’ll learn about the development of mammary tissue, the biochemistry of milk synthesis, the endocrine control of milk secretion, and the metabolic correlates of lactation in dairy ruminants. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions for experimental work and dissection.

Research Techniques for Bioscientists

You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.

Physiology of Electrically Excitable Tissues

Building on the physiology of year one, this module considers the physiology and pharmacology of systems involving the principal electrically excitable tissues in the body i.e. the nervous system, musculature and cardiovascular system. You will investigate how the nervous system controls and modulates these tissues (e.g. muscles including cardiac tissue) in an integrated system. You will have lectures and practical classes to learn how to collect, analyse and present real data from the neuromuscular, somatosensory and cardiovascular systems as well as how to perform a quantitative pharmacological investigation.

Animal Behaviour
Introduces the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development and adaptive significance in the natural environment. You will have a three-hour lecture once per week for this module. 
Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body, but how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll study appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • Nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • Appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • Homeostasis in relation to the diet

Optional modules include:

Ecology

You will learn about the forces determining the distribution and abundance of species and be able to use models to predict the dynamics of populations under a range of conditions. You will recognise how interactions between species can drive co-evolutionary processes leading to an understanding of the organisation of natural systems working systematically from populations through to communities, ecosystems and biogeographical scales.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

This module will introduce the major effects of diseases on the body’s physiological and immunological systems. The main types of disease will then be systematically discussed using a range of companion, farm and exotic animal species including poultry, equine, bovine and ovine species. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practicals each week.

Biological Photography and Imaging I

Through practical sessions, you will learn the techniques of biological image production and manipulation, including the ability to generate biological images of the highest technical quality and scientific value. You will build an understanding of the principles behind photography and how to get the most out of state of the art photographic and imaging equipment.

Evolutionary Biology of Animals

Introduces key evolutionary concepts and their application in the animal kingdom. Areas you will study include the history of evolutionary thinking, natural selection versus the neutral theory, sexual selection and human evolution. 

Livestock Production option

Core modules

Reproductive Physiology

In this module you’ll learn about the development, physiology and regulation of mammalian reproduction, the control of avian reproduction, and lactation. You’ll cover mammalian reproduction, including physiological control, cyclicity and reproductive efficiency. You’ll also consider avian physiology and reproduction in domestic fowl, with an emphasis on the nutritional and metabolic challenges associated with commercial rates of egg lay. Lactation will also be covered, where you’ll learn about the development of mammary tissue, the biochemistry of milk synthesis, the endocrine control of milk secretion, and the metabolic correlates of lactation in dairy ruminants. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions for experimental work and dissection.

Principles of Animal Nutrition

How important is protein quality in your livestock’s diet? How can you formulate an optimum diet? In this module you’ll learn about diet formulation and food analysis. You’ll examine topics such as: dietary energy and nutritional energetics, protein and amino acid nutrition, and regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. You’ll be able to calculate the different energy requirements of animals in different physiological or pathological states. There will be a mix of lectures, seminars and computer-based workshops to apply what you’ve learnt. 

Applied Animal Science

A highly applied module, you’ll learn about animal physiology, nutrition and management and use your knowledge to think critically about production systems. Focusing on the nutrition, growth and welfare of farmed animals, you’ll cover a wide range of subjects, including investigating the energy and protein evaluation systems for ruminants and non-ruminants and the differential maturity of individual carcass components. You’ll compare systems of production for all major species of livestock and explore how these different systems integrate with each other and other enterprises on farms. Visits to local livestock farms give you the opportunity to further develop your understanding within a ‘real-life’ context and are a core component of the module.

Research Techniques for Bioscientists

You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

This module will introduce the major effects of diseases on the body’s physiological and immunological systems. The main types of disease will then be systematically discussed using a range of companion, farm and exotic animal species including poultry, equine, bovine and ovine species. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practicals each week.

Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body, but how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll study appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • Nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • Appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • Homeostasis in relation to the diet

Optional modules include:

Physiology of Electrically Excitable Tissues

Building on the physiology of year one, this module considers the physiology and pharmacology of systems involving the principal electrically excitable tissues in the body i.e. the nervous system, musculature and cardiovascular system. You will investigate how the nervous system controls and modulates these tissues (e.g. muscles including cardiac tissue) in an integrated system. You will have lectures and practical classes to learn how to collect, analyse and present real data from the neuromuscular, somatosensory and cardiovascular systems as well as how to perform a quantitative pharmacological investigation.

Animal Behaviour
Introduces the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development and adaptive significance in the natural environment. You will have a three-hour lecture once per week for this module. 
Agricultural and Food Marketing

Marketing is a lot bigger than just advertising. In this module, you’ll learn about the importance of a marketing-orientated approach to successful rural and food businesses. A hands-on module, you’ll use an agricultural or food company of your choice as a case study and, in small teams, analyse its market and create your own marketing plan. Guest lecturers will be invited so you can learn more about how marketing theory is applied in practice and there will be a field visit to a local farm to see their marketing strategy in action. 

Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Economic analysis can help you answer important management questions: how much fertiliser should I apply to my wheat? If demand for beer is going up, how will that affect the price I receive for my barley? Through this module you’ll gain an understanding of economic ideas and principles and be able to apply them to a range of problems of interest to agricultural and environmental scientists and managers. You’ll also examine the arguments for government intervention to correct ‘market failures’ with reference to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and investigate what may happen with Brexit. In addition to lectures and farm visits, you’ll have computer-aided learning sessions to teach you planning techniques that will enable you to use your economic skills to analyse the impact of the market and policy environment on business performance and stability. 

Physiology and Biotechnology option

Core modules

Reproductive Physiology

In this module you’ll learn about the development, physiology and regulation of mammalian reproduction, the control of avian reproduction, and lactation. You’ll cover mammalian reproduction, including physiological control, cyclicity and reproductive efficiency. You’ll also consider avian physiology and reproduction in domestic fowl, with an emphasis on the nutritional and metabolic challenges associated with commercial rates of egg lay. Lactation will also be covered, where you’ll learn about the development of mammary tissue, the biochemistry of milk synthesis, the endocrine control of milk secretion, and the metabolic correlates of lactation in dairy ruminants. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions for experimental work and dissection.

Physiology of Electrically Excitable Tissues

Building on the physiology of year one, this module considers the physiology and pharmacology of systems involving the principal electrically excitable tissues in the body i.e. the nervous system, musculature and cardiovascular system. You will investigate how the nervous system controls and modulates these tissues (e.g. muscles including cardiac tissue) in an integrated system. You will have lectures and practical classes to learn how to collect, analyse and present real data from the neuromuscular, somatosensory and cardiovascular systems as well as how to perform a quantitative pharmacological investigation.

Epigenetics and Developmental Biotechnology

This module introduces current concepts of molecular mechanisms in animal development and techniques to study and manipulate animal phenotypes. You will study how developmental programs are remarkably conserved among species, including humans. Insights gained from molecular studies of the fruit fly, zebra fish and chicken are directly relevant to our understanding of mammalian development. Signals and factors regulating key events in establishing the body plan of an animal are discussed. Epigenetic processes in mammals that mediate X-chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting will be described.

Research Techniques for Bioscientists

You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.

Nutrition and Physiology Interactions

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body. But how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll look at appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • homeostasis in relation to the diet

Optional modules include:

Virology

The module will provide an introduction to viruses and their interactions with their hosts (bacteria, plants and animals including humans) as well as discussing the structure of viruses and their significance including pathogenesis and molecular biology. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures studying for this module.

Principles of Animal Nutrition

How important is protein quality in your livestock’s diet? How can you formulate an optimum diet? In this module you’ll learn about diet formulation and food analysis. You’ll examine topics such as: dietary energy and nutritional energetics, protein and amino acid nutrition, and regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. You’ll be able to calculate the different energy requirements of animals in different physiological or pathological states. There will be a mix of lectures, seminars and computer-based workshops to apply what you’ve learnt. 

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

This module will introduce the major effects of diseases on the body’s physiological and immunological systems. The main types of disease will then be systematically discussed using a range of companion, farm and exotic animal species including poultry, equine, bovine and ovine species. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practicals each week.

Animal Behaviour
Introduces the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development and adaptive significance in the natural environment. You will have a three-hour lecture once per week for this module. 
The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on
  • Carry out a major research project in a supervised environment; our academics are at the forefront of research in animal reproduction, development, nutrition and health.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to work with animals (livestock, companion, zoo, or laboratory species) and/or undertake laboratory procedures to study animal physiology, biochemistry or biology at the cellular, tissue, or whole animal levels.
  • Projects can be undertaken at other research institutes or zoos, we have links with Twycross Zoo and the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey. 

Bioveterinary Science option

Core modules

Animal Science Research Project

You will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Your work may involve animals (farm livestock, companion species) or laboratory techniques to study animal physiology, biochemistry, and development at the molecular, tissue, organ, and/or whole animal levels. You may also work on a library-based project that lets you carry out an in-depth study of the scientific literature in an area of your interest. Some projects are undertaken through the University Farm and Dairy centre, while other projects are undertaken offsite; we have links with nearby Twycross Zoo.

Our academics conduct cutting-edge research on reproduction, development, growth and health of domestic animals, including programmes in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, early development, animal biotechnology, neurophysiology, and applied bioethics. You will prepare a dissertation of 5000-6000 words and give a presentation on your project.

Coordinated Physiological Functions

How does the brain control physiology and behaviour? In this module you’ll build on your knowledge from previous modules to examine the detailed physiological basis of integrated behaviours in animals. You’ll cover nervous system control of cardiovascular function, respiration, body temperature, emotion, motivation, appetite and their associated behaviours. You’ll have lectures on above along with practical sessions on the integrative aspects of exercise physiology.

Musculoskeletal Physiology

This module will give you an understanding of the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system in common domestic animals and other selected species. Through identifying key musculoskeletal structures on skeleton models, dissected specimens, radiographs, live animals and microscopy, you will gain an appreciation of the significance and clinical relevance of different structures.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease 2

The module will develop concepts introduced in year two with a series of lectures, leading to an advanced understanding of how to assess the health of animals. The effects of disease in domesticated animals will be covered including their physiological and immunological responses to disease, and the economic, welfare and legal impacts of disease. Examples from companion, farm and rodent species will be used.

Systems Neurophysiology

How does the central nervous system sense the environment and react to it? In this module, you’ll learn about central nervous control of sensory and motor pathways and how these systems interact. In particular, you’ll examine the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of sensory and motor systems and their integration in posture, coordinated movement and protective reflex responses. A strong emphasis will be on the physiology and pharmacology of acute and chronic pain and you’ll study the use of analgesics to treat these conditions. You’ll also gain understanding of the methodology behind a number of neuroscientific techniques and their application in novel research. You’ll have a mix of lectures, computer-based learning and practical laboratory sessions to reinforce and apply your knowledge.

Optional modules include:

Animal Nutrition

This module will further develop your specialised knowledge of animal nutrition. At an advanced level, you’ll learn about the role of micronutrient and trace minerals and organic micronutrients (including vitamins B, choline and essential fatty acids) in the nutritional requirements for animal health and growth in both ruminant and non-ruminant species. You’ll also examine the various factors involved in the regulation of animal growth and product quality and look at selected examples of metabolic disorders. Using the most up-to-date scientific research, you’ll explore specialist aspects of ruminant nutrition and produce scientific work of your own.

Companion Animal Science

Want to know more about the nutrition of your dog or horse, or maybe what an elephant needs to eat? In this module you’ll study the nutrition, health and welfare of major companion species, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and some zoo/exotic species. You’ll learn about the interactions between nutrition, health and longevity within the broad area of ‘clinical nutrition’. Bringing in current research, you’ll look at the problems arising from keeping animals in captivity, and how social interactions between humans and companion animals can impact upon animal health and welfare. You’ll have lectures from current researchers and have a field trip to put what you’ve learnt into practice.

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.

Ecology and Conservation option

Core modules

Animal Science Research Project

You will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Your work may involve animals (farm livestock, companion species) or laboratory techniques to study animal physiology, biochemistry, and development at the molecular, tissue, organ, and/or whole animal levels. You may also work on a library-based project that lets you carry out an in-depth study of the scientific literature in an area of your interest. Some projects are undertaken through the University Farm and Dairy centre, while other projects are undertaken offsite; we have links with nearby Twycross Zoo.

Our academics conduct cutting-edge research on reproduction, development, growth and health of domestic animals, including programmes in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, early development, animal biotechnology, neurophysiology, and applied bioethics. You will prepare a dissertation of 5000-6000 words and give a presentation on your project.

Companion Animal Science

Want to know more about the nutrition of your dog or horse, or maybe what an elephant needs to eat? In this module you’ll study the nutrition, health and welfare of major companion species, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and some zoo/exotic species. You’ll learn about the interactions between nutrition, health and longevity within the broad area of ‘clinical nutrition’. Bringing in current research, you’ll look at the problems arising from keeping animals in captivity, and how social interactions between humans and companion animals can impact upon animal health and welfare. You’ll have lectures from current researchers and have a field trip to put what you’ve learnt into practice.

Conservation

Consider a range of approaches to conservation biology, such as the measurement and monitoring of biodiversity, and the legal frameworks and management strategies that exist to protect it. You will discuss particular threats to biodiversity, such as habitat loss and invasive species. You will spend around four hours per week in lectures and have four three-hour practicals to study for this module.

Optional modules include:

Evolutionary Ecology

Considers current knowledge of, and research into, the ecological causes and evolutionary processes that govern natural selection, adaptation and microevolution in natural populations. You will examine three approaches to the study of evolutionary ecology: theoretical and optimality models; the comparative method; and direct measurement of natural selection in the wild. You will have two-to three hours of lectures each week in this module.

Conservation Genetics

Consider the genetic effects of reduced population size, especially relating to the conservation of endangered species. You will study topics including genetic drift and inbreeding in depth, from theoretical and practical standpoints. You will spend around one and a half hours per week in lectures studying this module, plus a two and a half hour computer practical.

Applied Bioethics 2: Sustainable Food Production, Biotechnology and the Environment

Building on Applied Bioethics 1, you’ll investigate widely accepted ethical principles and apply your insights to contemporary ethical issues in agricultural, food and environmental sciences. You’ll explore the ethical dimensions of prominent issues raised by the agricultural practices (including the use of biotechnology and GM crops) designed to meet the nutritional needs of the global population. You’ll also learn about how ethical theory can inform professional choices and public policies related to food production and environmental management. You’ll have a mix of lectures, tutorials and team-based exercises to develop a sound understanding of ethical principles.

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.

Livestock Production option

Core modules

Animal Science Research Project

You will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Your work may involve animals (farm livestock, companion species) or laboratory techniques to study animal physiology, biochemistry, and development at the molecular, tissue, organ, and/or whole animal levels. You may also work on a library-based project that lets you carry out an in-depth study of the scientific literature in an area of your interest. Some projects are undertaken through the University Farm and Dairy centre, while other projects are undertaken offsite; we have links with nearby Twycross Zoo.

Our academics conduct cutting-edge research on reproduction, development, growth and health of domestic animals, including programmes in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, early development, animal biotechnology, neurophysiology, and applied bioethics. You will prepare a dissertation of 5000-6000 words and give a presentation on your project.

Livestock Production Science

How can production systems be adapted to meet demands for animal products in contrasting global markets? In this module, you’ll use your knowledge of physiology, nutrition, genetics, health, welfare and management to study the production of meat, milk and eggs, and the wellbeing of the animals in these production systems. You’ll undertake a detailed study of the integration of the production, nutrition, product quality, management and health of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry at UK and global scales. You’ll be able to critically analyse key performance indicators and provide solutions to problems encountered in livestock production enterprises. You’ll have a mix of lectures, group work and farm visits to develop and apply your knowledge.

Animal Nutrition

This module will further develop your specialised knowledge of animal nutrition. At an advanced level, you’ll learn about the role of micronutrient and trace minerals and organic micronutrients (including vitamins B, choline and essential fatty acids) in the nutritional requirements for animal health and growth in both ruminant and non-ruminant species. You’ll also examine the various factors involved in the regulation of animal growth and product quality and look at selected examples of metabolic disorders. Using the most up-to-date scientific research, you’ll explore specialist aspects of ruminant nutrition and produce scientific work of your own.

Optional modules include:

Companion Animal Science

Want to know more about the nutrition of your dog or horse, or maybe what an elephant needs to eat? In this module you’ll study the nutrition, health and welfare of major companion species, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and some zoo/exotic species. You’ll learn about the interactions between nutrition, health and longevity within the broad area of ‘clinical nutrition’. Bringing in current research, you’ll look at the problems arising from keeping animals in captivity, and how social interactions between humans and companion animals can impact upon animal health and welfare. You’ll have lectures from current researchers and have a field trip to put what you’ve learnt into practice.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease 2

The module will develop concepts introduced in year two with a series of lectures, leading to an advanced understanding of how to assess the health of animals. The effects of disease in domesticated animals will be covered including their physiological and immunological responses to disease, and the economic, welfare and legal impacts of disease. Examples from companion, farm and rodent species will be used.

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.

Physiology and Biotechnology option

Core modules

Coordinated Physiological Functions

How does the brain control physiology and behaviour? In this module you’ll build on your knowledge from previous modules to examine the detailed physiological basis of integrated behaviours in animals. You’ll cover nervous system control of cardiovascular function, respiration, body temperature, emotion, motivation, appetite and their associated behaviours. You’ll have lectures on above along with practical sessions on the integrative aspects of exercise physiology.

Biotechnology in Animal Physiology

Building on the principles of animal development from earlier modules, you will be introduced to the world of the biotechnology industry, the techniques involved, and to the opportunities offered by this growing sector. You’ll learn about the genetic and epigenetic basis of gene regulation, and how this knowledge is used for developing new disease treatments and for improving livestock production and animal welfare.

Systems Neurophysiology

How does the central nervous system sense the environment and react to it? In this module, you’ll learn about central nervous control of sensory and motor pathways and how these systems interact. In particular, you’ll examine the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of sensory and motor systems and their integration in posture, coordinated movement and protective reflex responses. A strong emphasis will be on the physiology and pharmacology of acute and chronic pain and you’ll study the use of analgesics to treat these conditions. You’ll also gain understanding of the methodology behind a number of neuroscientific techniques and their application in novel research. You’ll have a mix of lectures, computer-based learning and practical laboratory sessions to reinforce and apply your knowledge.

Animal Science Research Project

You will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Your work may involve animals (farm livestock, companion species) or laboratory techniques to study animal physiology, biochemistry, and development at the molecular, tissue, organ, and/or whole animal levels. You may also work on a library-based project that lets you carry out an in-depth study of the scientific literature in an area of your interest. Some projects are undertaken through the University Farm and Dairy centre, while other projects are undertaken offsite; we have links with nearby Twycross Zoo.

Our academics conduct cutting-edge research on reproduction, development, growth and health of domestic animals, including programmes in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, early development, animal biotechnology, neurophysiology, and applied bioethics. You will prepare a dissertation of 5000-6000 words and give a presentation on your project.

Optional modules include:

Molecular Nutrition

This module will examine the concept of metabolic control at the gene, cell and tissue level with particular reference to the role of nutrients in regulating this process. Selected processes by which nutrients and hormones act via receptors and their signal transduction pathways to regulate tissue growth and metabolism will be described along with the mechanisms by which nutrients can act directly on the processes controlling gene expression. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical sessions for this module.

Applied Bioethics 2: Sustainable Food Production, Biotechnology and the Environment

Building on Applied Bioethics 1, you’ll investigate widely accepted ethical principles and apply your insights to contemporary ethical issues in agricultural, food and environmental sciences. You’ll explore the ethical dimensions of prominent issues raised by the agricultural practices (including the use of biotechnology and GM crops) designed to meet the nutritional needs of the global population. You’ll also learn about how ethical theory can inform professional choices and public policies related to food production and environmental management. You’ll have a mix of lectures, tutorials and team-based exercises to develop a sound understanding of ethical principles.

Principles of Animal Health and Disease 2

The module will develop concepts introduced in year two with a series of lectures, leading to an advanced understanding of how to assess the health of animals. The effects of disease in domesticated animals will be covered including their physiological and immunological responses to disease, and the economic, welfare and legal impacts of disease. Examples from companion, farm and rodent species will be used.

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.

The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on
  • You will embark on a sizeable level of research activity that is far more independent than your project in year three.
  • To underpin this you will continue study a number of modules linked to your research work covering how to write research proposals, statistics, project management and public engagement and communication skills.
  • This additional year enables you to graduate with an integrated masters level qualification and is an ideal opportunity to develop a broad range of the skills needed in the co-ordination of research and projects.

Core modules

MSci Research Project

This module will train you in the planning, execution and reporting of an independent advanced level research project. The module will help develop the skills associated with planning, recording and executing an individual research project; presenting research both orally and visually to an audience of peers; writing scientific papers; effective time management and assimilating new research skills associated with a specific project.

Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists

This module explains the major principles and techniques of statistical analysis of research data without becoming too involved in the underlying mathematics.  It explains the importance to collect data in an appropriate and planned manner for later analysis. There are two routes through the module; one focusing on crop improvement and one focusing on more general issues. You will gain an understanding of the major analytical techniques available, and how they relate to each other, and have developed abilities in experimental design, data analysis using appropriate software and presentation of results.

Writing and Reviewing Research Proposals
The overall aim is to consider, practice, write and assess research proposals. In the real world, one may have to communicate to experts within your discipline or to non-specialist professionals. A subsidiary aim is to give students information and teach skills, which will help them in coursework assignments. A third aim is to give students the opportunity to study a topic, which may not otherwise be formally covered, and to communicate that topic to their peers.
Project Management
Project management skills are a highly transferable skill directly relevant to employment sectors. The module will cover the fundamentals of project management, including project lifecycles, leadership in project management, managing risk in projects, analysis of project successes and failures and project management software. Students will produce a documented project management outline tailored to their research project to identify the key constraints, bottlenecks and milestones. This will be supplemented by the production of appropriate project management visualisation diagram, ie a Gantt or PERT chart. They will also present an interim verbal report to their supervisors and the module convenor to rehearse such reporting skills.
Communication and Public Engagement Skills for Scientists

This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills that you need to communicate confidently with a wide range of stakeholders about the research that you are engaged in and the contribution that it makes to society.

The above is a sample of the typical modules 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. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9250
Per year

International students

£23760*
Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

This course, in particular the Bioveterinary Science option prepares you well for studying Veterinary Medicine post-degree.

Many of our graduates choose to progress to postgraduate study and research. We offer a one-year taught postgraduate MSc Animal Nutrition offering the opportunity to study farm, companion and zoo animal nutrition at an advanced level. Nottingham also offers a three-year part-time MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy through the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

Our animal science degree is highly regarded by a wide range of employers. The unique blend of fundamental science, practical application (including human nutrition and physiology) and insight into social perspectives has enabled graduates to follow a wide variety of careers.

Recent destinations of graduates include:

  • para-medical/para-veterinary sciences
  • the pharmaceutical industry
  • technical nutrition involved with research and development for the animal feed industry or within government advisory institutes
  • academic and industrial research programmes in basic and applied physiology, nutritional biochemistry and animal production both in 
    the UK and overseas, often leading to higher degrees
  • business consultancy in management, sales and marketing in the feed and human food industries 

Average starting salary and career progression

89.5% of undergraduates from the School of Biosciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,831.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived 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).

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" 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. "

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Important information

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.