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Course overview

Studying animal science focuses on the health, productivity and care of managed animals.

  • Choose modules based on your interests
  • Practical sessions and field trips bring your learning to life
  • Learn from academics at the forefront of animal science research
  • Gain practical animal handling experience including guinea pigs, horses, dogs, hens and cows

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

Sutton Bonington Campus is home to the University Farm and Dairy Centre. The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching. Farm staff contribute to the teaching on our degree programmes.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide 2021 for agriculture, forestry and food
  • Study at Sutton Bonington Campus, known internationally for applied animal science research
  • Experience field trips and guest lectures. We work with organisations such as The Stabiliser™ Cattle Company and charity, the PDSA.
  • See scientific principles applied in practice on our University Farm
  • You can do your final year project at other research institutes or zoos. We have links with Twycross Zoo and the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey
  • Study abroad for a semester or an additional year

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer ABB-BBB biology required
Required subjects

A level biology

GCSE mathematics and English language with 4 or above

IB score 32-30 including 5 in biology at Higher Level

A levels

ABB-BBB, biology required

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

GCSE's

Mathematics and English language with 4 or above.

Alternative qualifications

We accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management. For details on other qualifications please see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem-based learning
  • Computer labs
  • Practical classes

How you will be assessed

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
  • Oral exam
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

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.

Study abroad

We offer designated support to guide through the entire process of studying abroad:

  • study in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA. We'll help you apply to spend a semester of your second year at one of our highly ranked international partner universities
  • study in France, Austria or Spain for an additional year between years two and three
  • the university offers a wide range of summer schools worldwide

Year in industry

We have excellent links with companies, and can help to find the best placement for you. Often a placement year can help you to secure to a graduate job.

Our students have been on placement with:

  • Mars Waltham Centre
  • Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • McDonald's
  • Port Lympne Animal Rescue

The industry placement takes place between years two and three of your degree. You can apply during year two of your degree, subject to meeting minimum academic requirements.

Centre for Dairy Science Innovation

The centre brings together existing expertise in dairy science, dairy herd health and welfare, and dairy food science. These facilities offer the latest research technologies for studying a range of dairy-related topics.

Modules

During year one, you'll study modules in subjects including biology, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and nutrition. These will be taught in 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.

Animal Biology

Through lectures, practical animal handling sessions, zoo and farm trips you’ll study:

  • animal evolution and diversity across the animal kingdom
  • animal ecology, biodiversity, and bioethics
  • animal development and behaviour
  • livestock production in relation to global food security 
  • management requirements for keeping livestock species
  • techniques for manipulating livestock growth and development 

This is a 20 credit module.

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.

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
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.

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
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.

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.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

From year two, you will be able to select one of the following options:

  1. Bioveterinary Science
  2. Ecology and Conservation
  3. Livestock Production
  4. Physiology and Biotechnology

Core modules

Bioveterinary Science option

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.

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.

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.

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

Ecology and Conservation option

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

Livestock Production option

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Physiology and Biotechnology option

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

Bioveterinary Science option

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. 

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.

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

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.

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. 
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.
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.

Livestock Production option

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. 
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.

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

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

You'll work on your research project, supervised by academics and researchers. You can study livestock, companion or zoo animals. Research can be carried out in the laboratory to study animal physiology, biochemistry or biology.

Core modules

Bioveterinary Science option

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.

Ecology and Conservation option

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.
Reproduction and Fertility

This module covers the advanced study of fertility regulation and manipulation in mammals. You’ll learn about the artificial control of reproductive cycles in the female and mechanisms involved in pregnancy recognition and maintenance. You’ll explore recent developments in reproductive technology and embryology as it applies to farm species, endangered species, and humans. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practical sessions to apply your learning.

Livestock Production option

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.

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.

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.

Physiology and Biotechnology option

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.

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.

Reproduction and Fertility

This module covers the advanced study of fertility regulation and manipulation in mammals. You’ll learn about the artificial control of reproductive cycles in the female and mechanisms involved in pregnancy recognition and maintenance. You’ll explore recent developments in reproductive technology and embryology as it applies to farm species, endangered species, and humans. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practical sessions to apply your learning.

Optional modules

Bioveterinary Science option

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.

Reproduction and Fertility

This module covers the advanced study of fertility regulation and manipulation in mammals. You’ll learn about the artificial control of reproductive cycles in the female and mechanisms involved in pregnancy recognition and maintenance. You’ll explore recent developments in reproductive technology and embryology as it applies to farm species, endangered species, and humans. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practical sessions to apply your learning.

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

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 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.

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.

Livestock Production option

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.

Reproduction and Fertility

This module covers the advanced study of fertility regulation and manipulation in mammals. You’ll learn about the artificial control of reproductive cycles in the female and mechanisms involved in pregnancy recognition and maintenance. You’ll explore recent developments in reproductive technology and embryology as it applies to farm species, endangered species, and humans. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practical sessions to apply your learning.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

£25,000*
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.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost £40 each.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. You will be given £5 worth of printer credits a year. You are welcome to buy more credits if you need them. It costs 4p to print one black and white page.

If you do a work placement, you need to consider the travel and living costs associated with this.

Personal laptops are not compulsory as we have computer labs that are open 24 hours a day but you may want to consider one if you wish to work at home.

Scholarships and bursaries

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/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Animal science opens career options in:

  • para-veterinary sciences
  • the pharmaceutical and biotech industries
  • animal nutrition
  • research or postgraduate study
  • science teaching
  • business consultancy in management
  • sales and marketing in the feed and human food industries

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. 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

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. "

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

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.