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Masters Degrees (Animal Breeding)

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Programme description. The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Genomics and Experimental Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics. This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering three specialist routes, which also include Human Complex Trait Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

  • An understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required
  • In-depth knowledge of animal improvement and complex trait analysis
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure. Read more

Overview

This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure.

Course Modules

The MSc programme is delivered over 1 year on a full-time basis during two teaching blocks (semesters one and two) and a period of supervised and independent study (summer). It may also be completed over a two-year period on a part-time basis. The first two semesters (15 weeks each) include 4 taught modules. The dissertation is studied during the subsequent 20 week period in the summer. Each taught module is worth 15 credits whilst the dissertation is 60 credits.

Programme

Semester One (September to January)
Animal Physiology / Comparative Animal Nutrition / Wildlife Resources / Research Methods
60 Credits

Semester Two (January to May)
Animal Ethics and Welfare / Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation / Behaviour / Current Issues in Animal Science
60 Credits

Summer (May to September)
MSc Dissertation
60 Credits

The full MSc degree course consists of 120 compulsory taught credits plus 60 core credits from the dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) can be awarded with 120 taught credits. Whilst a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) can be awarded on the successful completion of any 60 taught credits. Credits obtained from the dissertation can also be used when considering whether a postgraduate diploma can be awarded. Before progressing onto the Masters dissertation from the Diploma, students would need to complete the Research Methods module or its equivalent as a prerequisite.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a good BSc Honours degree (2.2 or above) from a recognised university in a related science subject such as animal science, agriculture, biological sciences, zoology, veterinary or bioveterinary science or other appropriate life-science degree. Applicants with a BSc (Hons) 3rd class pass, with extensive industrial experience may also be considered for the Masters programme. Applications from non-UK students are particularly welcome. All applications received will be reviewed and decisions for admission to the programme will be made on individual merit. Applicants may be interviewed if there is some doubt over the extent of academic qualification or linguistic skills.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate a level of competence that enables them to study at a postgraduate level. A test score of 6.5 is required in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) tests.

Learning & Teaching Methods

The teaching methods are a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, visits and student managed learning. The self-guided study takes place under the supervision of experienced staff from the Centre of Equine and Animal Science at Writtle University College. Students are assessed using a number of methods, for example written examination, reports, essays, seminars, debates, oral presentations, case studies and project dissertation.

The research project is an essential part of the MSc programme and provides the opportunity to carry out an independent piece research, critically analyse data and write a dissertation. The project will normally include hands-on practical experimentation to teach students how to gather and process data and problem solve. The project is supervised by an academic member of staff and takes place over an extended period during the spring and summer. The project can be based either at Writtle University College or other suitable external institution.

Potential areas for dissertation projects

Investigation of keeper-animal relationships in zoos
Animal behaviour and welfare research in collaboration with Colchester Zoo
Assessment of prevalence and risk factors for obesity in companion animals
Lameness detection and measurement in dairy cows
Estimation endangered wild animal population densities
Use of molecular biology techniques in conservation genetics of captive wild animals
Incidence of small mammals in agricultural landscapes
Diet selection and nutrient intakes in captive animals
Behavioural indicators of welfare and performance using different castration methods in lambs

Careers

Graduates are likely to use their award to secure management-level jobs and/or to improve their promotion prospects if they are already employed both in international and national organisations. Many opportunities exist in either government services or related agencies services: for example senior positions in DEFRA as quarantine officers or animal health inspectors. There are also numerous career opportunities in companies specialising in farm animal nutrition and pet food manufacturing, breeding and reproduction, veterinary medicines and pharmaceuticals. There also opportunities in charities engaged in animal welfare such as the RSPCA, zoos, animal rescue centres and safari parks. Also, independent wildlife agencies such as the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, and the Countryside Council for Wales would be interested in Animal Welfare and Conservation graduates. Some graduates may take up lecturing positions in universities and colleges or proceed to do further postgraduate study e.g. PhD.

Fees and Financial Support

Part-time student fees for each semester will be charged on a pro-rata basis. There are limited bursaries for part-payment of fees (for UK students only) from the Alice Noakes Memorial Trust. Applications for these bursaries can only be made via the course manager on admission to the course.

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The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Quantitative Genetics & Genome Analysis is part of a suite of programmes offering specialist routes in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, or Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

Applicants who wish to select their area of specialisation during the programme should apply for this umbrella programme. Applicants with a preferred programme option should apply via the following links:

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Compulsory courses

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses (selected according to degree specialisation):

  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife. Read more

MSc Animal Sciences

The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife.

The focus is to deliver skilled professional animal scientists who are well equipped to tackle problems related to sustainable livestock development as well as to the management of livestock and companion animals. The animal-human interaction plays an important role in this study programme. Themes like animal nutrition, animal health, animal welfare, levels of management, genetic diversity and socio-economic factors are all widely discussed.

Programme summary

Humans interact with animals in many different ways, ranging from raising livestock for food to keeping pets for companion. Animal husbandry and livestock development are not only constrained by technical factors, such as feed supply, animal health, management and genetics, but also by infrastructural and socio-economic factors. Consequently, today’s animal scientists need in-depth scientific training combined with a critical attitude towards all factors that limit the sustainable development of animal husbandry. Our individually tailored programme trains students to become expert animal scientists, well-equipped to tackle relevant issues of livestock and animal management.

Specialisations

Within the MSc Animal Sciences you can choose from various specialisations. Each of the specialisations trains you to become an expert in the field. The specialisations in MSc Animal Sciences are:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Understanding how genetic differences work and how they can be used in a sustainable manner in a wide range of species plays a central role in this specialisation. Students learn how breeding and genetics can contribute to safe and healthy food from animal origin and how it contributes to the health and welfare of animals.

Animal Nutrition
This specialisation deals with the interaction between animals and their nutrition. Students learn about the way animals digest and convert food by studying the nutrient flows and the physiology of the animals in relation to the composition of feeds. They also learn about the effect of feed in relation to health, welfare and behaviour of the animal.

Applied Zoology
Understanding the relationship between structure and function of all systems within the body is the main focus of this specialisation. Students look at organ structures, hormones, bone structure or the immune system of animals and learn how these systems respond to external influences.

Animal Health and Behaviour
Knowledge of the adaptive capacity of animals is required to be able to determine how to keep an animal healthy and how changes affect the animal. Students learn to study behaviour, stress or immune parameters or energy metabolism to determine e.g. which housing system or feed regime is best for animal health and welfare.

Animal Health Management
How can the risk of transmission of infectious diseases be quantified between and within groups of animals? And which factors are of influence on this process? In this specialisation, students learn to combine animal health management at population level with socioeconomic aspects by studying aspects of veterinary epidemiology.

Animal Production Systems
In this specialisation, students will look at animal production systems in relation to the environment worldwide. Students learn about human and animal interaction. They will also study the environmental, economical and social impact that animal production has on the world.

Professional Tracks and International Programmes
In addition to a specialisation, students can choose a professional track that leads to a specific type of career. You can focus on Research, Education, Communication & Policy, or Business & Management. We also offer international programmes that lead to a double master degree, i.e. in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding, European Animal Management, or Animal Welfare Assessment.

Your future career

Our graduates work as nutritionists, policymakers, breeding specialists, advisors, managers, researchers or PhD students. They work for feed manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies or breeding organisations but also within regional and national governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations or research institutes and universities.

Alumna Linda van Zutphen.
"I work as a Communication Officer for the Research & Development and Quality Affairs department of Nutreco. This company is a global leader in animal nutrition and fish feed. I am involved in marketing and group communication about innovations, quality and sustainability. During my MSc Animal Sciences, I did my internship at Nutreco’s research facility in Spain. The MSc programme provided me with multidisciplinary knowledge on animal production and the skills to apply this. My job gives me the opportunity to combine my scientific background with my passion for communicating about the applications of our research in products for animal health."

Related programmes:
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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Our MSc in Animal Science provides students with the research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching, education and professional training required to pursue leading careers in a wide range of Animal Science related fields throughout the world. Read more

About the course

Our MSc in Animal Science provides students with the research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching, education and professional training required to pursue leading careers in a wide range of Animal Science related fields throughout the world. Throughout this course you will be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to explore collaborations with veterinarians, scientists and the industry, learning about the latest scientific advances in the field of animal science. Through a strong emphasis on student centred study you will encounter many opportunities to develop your skills in original thought, analysis, interpretation and reasoning; as well as encouraging you, where appropriate, to pursue your own specific areas of interest. As such you will develop into a reflective, autonomous researcher. On graduation you will be ideally placed to ensure that the demands of production and welfare are appropriately balanced through the development and implementation of innovative management practices and dissemination
of knowledge and advice to practitioners.

Why study MSc Animal Science at Aberystwyth University?

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has an internationally renowned reputation for teaching and research in animal sciences.

With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (2016), with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. IBERS has previously been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Our joint submission with Bangor University to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) displayed that 78% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent, and 97% of our research is internationally recognised with 76% judged as world-leading in terms of research impact.

Opportunity to attend conferences with lectures from international animal science experts.

Undertake a challenging course taught by enthusiastic, helpful and research-active staff, and further enhanced by contributions from experts and academics, many of whom are of international renown.

IBERS has an equine teaching yard and the only dedicated and fully licensed equine research yard in the UK outside of veterinary colleges.

IBERS has 1000 ha of farmland, a 400 cow dairy unit, upland and lowland sheep and beef units and a flock of layer hens.

Course structure and content

This course can be studied one year full-time or up to 24 months part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (six 20 credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practicals, field trips, workshops, and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your master’s dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

Core modules:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Infection and Immunity
Research Methods in the Biosciences
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Equine Nutrition or Livestock Nutrition
Equine Reproductive Physiology and Breeding Technology
Grassland Science
Livestock Production Science
Understanding Equine Action: from Anatomy to Behaviour

Assessment

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment is via a mix of written assignments (essays, reports, case studies, research projects, research critiques, research proposals, critical reviews, and abstracts), written examinations, seminar presentations, and online assignments.

Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc.

Skills

This course will empower you to:

Advance your specialised knowledge in Animal Science
Enhance your problem-solving and data handling skills
Develop study and research skills
Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
Develop your skills of original thought, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reasoning
Enhance your communication skills
Work effectively independently and as part of a team

Careers

Our Animal Science students often progress to careers in:

Academia
Scientific research and development
Public and private commercial enterprise
Scientific publishing
Animal nutrition
Animal welfare
Teaching and training
Animal breeding
Consultancy and advisory work
Laboratory work
Government agencies and non-government organisations
All throughout the world.


Many of our previous graduates have also progressed to PhDs or veterinary medicine.

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The Masters Degree in Livestock Science offers biological, scientific and professional training that will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue leading careers in the livestock industries, in scientific research, in consultancy services, and in education. Read more

About the course

The Masters Degree in Livestock Science offers biological, scientific and professional training that will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue leading careers in the livestock industries, in scientific research, in consultancy services, and in education. Livestock Science remains central to meeting the challenge of food security. Satisfying the demands of food quality and quantity can only be met by the development and implementation of innovative concepts and ideas by suitably well-qualified postgraduates, who will also then drive forward these exciting developments in livestock science and production.

Why study MSc Livestock Science at Aberystwyth University?

With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (2016), with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. IBERS has previously been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Our joint submission with Bangor University to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) displayed that 78% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent, and 97% of our research is internationally recognised with 76% judged as world-leading in terms of research impact.

The Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Aberystwyth University has 1000 ha of farmland, a 400 cow dairy unit, upland and lowland sheep and beef units and a flock of layer hens.

IBERS livestock-related research was worth in excess of £20 million in the last 5 years.

IBERS received the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' award at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards

Course structure and content

This course can be studied one year full-time or up to 24 months part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (six 20 credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practicals, field trips, workshops, and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your master’s dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

Core modules:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Grassland Science
Infection and Immunity
Livestock Nutrition
Livestock Production Science
Research Methods in the Biosciences
Dissertation

Assessment

Assessment is via a mix of written assignments (case studies, research proposals, research critiques, essays, and reports), written examinations, seminar presentations and online assignments.

Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc.

Skills

This course will empower you to:

Develop an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the key contemporary topics affecting the Livestock Sciences
Enhance your problem-solving and data handling skills
Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
Develop study and research skills
Develop your skills of original thought, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reasoning
Enhance your communication skills
Work effectively independently and as part of a team

Careers

Our graduates often progress to careers in:

Academia
Scientific research and development
Scientific publishing
Animal nutrition
Animal welfare
Teaching and training
Animal breeding
Technical Sales
Consultancy and advisory work
Laboratory work
Government agencies and non-government organisations
All throughout the world.

Many of our previous graduates have also progressed to PhDs or Veterinary Medicine.

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to animal health and welfare, environmental impact of livestock systems, and safety and quality of livestock products. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to animal health and welfare, environmental impact of livestock systems, and safety and quality of livestock products.

The school of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Animal Sciences, drawing on fundamental research and applying it to areas of societal, industrial and policy importance.

Our research primarily involves:
-Farm livestock, domesticated animal and wildlife applied research
-Integrated livestock system development and evaluation
-Animal behaviour, health and welfare
-Survival, health and efficiency of nutrient utilisation

Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:
-Animal health and welfare
Work ranges from understanding animal behaviour and behavioural problems, through development of practical on-farm monitoring and assessment methods to mechanistic studies of health and disease at the molecular level.

-Environmental impact of livestock systems
Our work examines the consequences of modifications in nutrition and husbandry and alterations in breeding strategies to improve the efficiency of resource use.

-Safety and quality of livestock products, including milk, meat and eggs
Our 'field to fork' expertise allows us to study the relationships between husbandry systems and nutritional inputs of animals and the composition of their products, with further implications for human diet and health.

Delivery

We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.

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Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Read more
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Study factors affecting animal behaviour, conservation, welfare and their interactions, as well as international zoo management and collaboration. Our partnership with Paignton Zoo gives you regular access to their connections, research and expertise – so you’re primed to make a difference.

Key features

-Delivered in conjunction with the staff at Paignton Zoo and its parent body, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which also owns Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts.
-Develop your scientific knowledge, professional and technical skills as a conservation biologist. Learn how to manage animal collections for the purpose of education, conservation and wildlife research.
-Study aspects of animal behaviour and ecology, as well as how welfare, housing, nutrition and health all have a part to play in species management.
-Learn to troubleshoot problems at the level of a social group within a particular zoological collection, right up to the level of a species globally. Explore how breeding programmes for endangered species are international in scope.
-Benefit from the knowledge and guidance of Plymouth University’s expert staff with specialisms including the behaviour of captive animals, animal nutrition, the welfare of captive birds and the application of population genetics to captive and natural fish populations.
-Find out how the science of zoos is used to inform government policy. Two of our teaching team are the only academic representatives on the government’s Zoos Expert Committee.
-Get behind-the-scenes insight with a day of study each week with our partners at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Deepen your understanding of the business and conservation work of zoos, and how networks and collaborations work between them.
-Access the latest research and information from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, including information on their co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species.
-Be inspired by opportunities to visit a range of zoos in the region – including Dartmoor, Bristol and Newquay – and to travel abroad for research projects. A recent student travelled to Louisiana Zoo for her research project on golden tamarin monkeys.
-Graduates work in zoos as educators, researchers, managers and keepers. Many go on to PhD study or work in further education. Other employers include the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria; the Natural History Unit (BBC); national and international conservation organisations.

Course details

As a full-time student, you’ll study seven modules taking in everything from genetics to environmental enrichment, preventative health to budgeting. We update modules to reflect current thinking and you can specialise within them. If you’re interested in working with tigers, for example, this can be reflected across your work. You’ll be assessed through coursework with practical tasks focused on your future career. Core modules include introduction to zoo organisation, animal conservation, applied animal behaviour and management, animal metabolism and nutrition, animal health and welfare and business management. You’ll then do a final three-month research project of your choice. Previous investigations have included everything from female mate choice in white faced saki monkeys to how peripheral and/or invasive activity affects the behaviour and enclosure use of captive sand tiger sharks.

Core modules
-BIO505 Research Project
-ANIM5006 Contemporary Zoo Management
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-ANIM5005 Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-ANIM5007 Small Population Conservation
-ANIM5008 Conservation Ecology and Society
-ANIM5009 Zoo Animal Health, Nutrition and Management

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This programme is designed for veterinarians, animal health specialists and livestock farmers. It addresses contemporary issues of livestock production using innovative and interactive teaching methods. Read more

Under the microscope

This programme is designed for veterinarians, animal health specialists and livestock farmers. It addresses contemporary issues of livestock production using innovative and interactive teaching methods. It has a worldwide relevance and reputation and offers options that are suitable for people from a range of professional backgrounds.

The course aims to provide you with:

- Knowledge on agents of animal diseases and how animals respond to them
- Advanced knowledge in animal nutrition, breeding and management to optimise animal health and production
- Farming systems approach to animal production and an understanding of how to appraise and monitor livestock production systems through development and execution

Modules

Students are required to study three compulsory modules:
- Animal disease
- Developing and monitoring livestock production systems
- Principles of livestock productions

PLUS four further optional modules selected from:
- Animal welfare
- Economics for livestock development and policy
- Epidemiology and animal health economics
- Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations
- Reproduction and fertility: a species approach
- Research design, management and grant application writing
- Research project in livestock health and production
- Sustainable livestock farming in the environment
- Veterinary public health

How will I learn?

The modules are designed for self-study using materials provided and with full support from RVC academic experts. Everything you require will be mailed to you, including textbooks and reading material. A Virtual Learning Environment and an on-line library are also available.

You will receive a Study Pack at the start of the course, consisting of a study guide, reader and textbooks/CDs, and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) allows studies to be portable by offering on-line access to the student handbook, study guide, student discussion board, occasional academic tutorials, as well as past exam papers/examiners reports (for the previous 2 years). A tutorial calendar will be released at the beginning of the academic year and students are advised to plan for these sessions, as academic queries will be answered during tutorials only.

Although non-compulsory, indicative study calendars are available and provide an indication of the time to spend on each section.

Examinations take place annually in October, however, the flexibility of the programme allow exams to be deferred, if necessary.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates are able to:
- Improve the health and production of livestock
- Understand the interaction of livestock with people and the environment
- Gain an overview of the factors that influence livestock production (including components on nutrition, reproduction, disease, welfare and the environment)
- Implement control strategies by integrating this knowledge with the principles of epidemiology, economics and disease control within the context of management and infrastructure
- Address the interaction between livestock and the public, in terms of zoonotic disease and clean food production
- Communicate effectively on the health of animal and human populations to a range of audiences, including the general public, farmers, politicians and other key policy makers
- Comprehensive appreciation of welfare and ethical issues connected with farm animal practice
- Formulate a hypothesis and undertake a research project, analyze and present data and how to develop a grant application.

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The Masters Degree in Equine Science at Aberystwyth is a long established, internationally recognised course and will provide you with a research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching and education, allowing you to acquire the advanced subject knowledge and professional skills required to enter the top careers in the equine industry and related professions. Read more

About the course

The Masters Degree in Equine Science at Aberystwyth is a long established, internationally recognised course and will provide you with a research-led, high quality postgraduate teaching and education, allowing you to acquire the advanced subject knowledge and professional skills required to enter the top careers in the equine industry and related professions. Throughout this course, you will be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to explore collaborations with veterinarians, scientists and industrial partners, and you will learn about the latest scientific advances and their application to horses. Through a strong emphasis on student centred study you will encounter many opportunities to develop your skills in original thought, analysis, interpretation and reasoning; as well as encouraging you, where appropriate, to pursue your own specific areas of interest. As such you will develop into a reflective, autonomous researcher. On graduation you will have a wide and expert understanding of animal, in particular equine, biology and its applications.

Why study Equine Science at Aberystwyth University?

The Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University is the longest-established provider of equine related higher education in the UK. Our MSc in Equine Science was established in 1978.

IBERS has an internationally renowned reputation for teaching and research in equine science.

With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (2016), with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Our joint submission with Bangor University to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) displayed that 78% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent, and 97% of our research is internationally recognised with 76% judged as world-leading in terms of research impact.

Opportunity to attend conferences with lectures from international animal science experts

Undertake a challenging course taught by enthusiastic, helpful and research-active staff, and further enhanced by contributions from equine experts and academics, many of whom are of international renown

IBERS has an equine teaching yard and the only dedicated and fully licensed equine research yard in UK outside of veterinary colleges

Course structure and content

This course can be studied one year full-time or up to 24 months part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (six 20 credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practicals, workshops and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your master’s dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

Core modules:

Equine Nutrition
Equine Reproductive Physiology and Breeding Technology
Animal Breding and genetics
Infection and Immunity
Understanding Equine Action: from Anatomy to Behaviour
Research Methods in the Biosciences
Dissertation

Assessment

Assessment is via a mix of written assignments (case studies, essays, research projects, critical reviews and abstracts), written examinations, seminar presentations, online assignments and scientific posters. Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc.

Skills

This course will empower you to:

Develop an in-depth knowledge of the key contemporary topics affecting the Equine Sciences
Enhance your problem-solving and data handling skills
Develop study and research skills
Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
Develop your skills of original thought, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reasoning
Enhance your communication skills
Work effectively independently and as part of a team

Careers

This course will prepare you for a wide range of careers within the equine industry.

Our graduates often progress to careers in:

Academia
Scientific research and development
Public and private commercial enterprise
Scientific publishing
Equine/ animal nutrition
Equine/ animal welfare
Teaching and training
Equine/ animal breeding
Consultancy and advisory work
Laboratory work
Government agencies and non-government organisations
All throughout the world.
Many of our previous graduates have also progressed to PhDs or veterinary medicine.

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Programme description. The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

Programme description

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which also include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to undertake research in evolutionary and quantitative genetics, population genetics and evolutionary genomics.

  • A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • In-depth knowledge of evolutionary genetics
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Research Project Proposal
  • Dissertation.

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in the biomedical industry, and to undertake research in quantitative and population genetics and genome analysis.

  • A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • In-depth knowledge of complex trait genetics in humans
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?. Read more
Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?

Join the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences on the Viikki Campus to find solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. The University of Helsinki is the only university in Finland to offer academic education in this field.

In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you can pursue studies in plant production sciences, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science, depending on your interests and previous studies. For further information about the study tracks, see Programme contents.

Upon completing a Master’s degree, you will:
-Be an expert in plant production science, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science.
-Be able to assess the sustainability and environmental impact of food and energy production.
-Be able to apply biosciences, ecology, chemistry, physics or statistics, depending on your study track, to the future needs of agriculture.
-Have mastered the key issues and future development trends of your field.
-Have mastered state-of-the-art research and analysis methods and techniques.
-Be able to engage in international activities, project work and communication.
-Be able to acquire and interpret scientific research information in your field and present it orally and in writing.
-Have the qualifications to pursue postgraduate studies in a doctoral programme or a career as an expert or entrepreneur.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks:
Plant production sciences – plants as sources of food, feed, energy, beauty and wellbeing
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to apply biology to the breeding, cultivation, protection and production ecology of crop or horticultural plants. Producing sufficient food is one of the great challenges facing humanity. Plant production sciences have an important mission in finding solutions to this challenge. Plants are cultivated not only for food and feed, but also for bioenergy, green landscapes and ornamental purposes; plant production sciences seek new, improved solutions for all these purposes.

Animal science – animal health and wellbeing
During your studies, you will become familiar with issues pertaining to the wellbeing, nutrition and breeding of production and hobby animals as well as with the relevant biotechnology. In this study track you will apply biochemistry, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology for the benefit of sustainable animal production. The Viikki Research Farm, in urban Helsinki, provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning!

Agrotechnology – technology with consideration for the environment
This study track provides you with the opportunity to study technologies that are key to agricultural production and the environment, from the basics to the latest innovations. Advances in technology and automation offer new horizons to fearless inventors interested in developing machinery and engineering for the reorganisation, implementation and adjustment of production in accordance with the needs of plants and animals.

Environmental soil science – dig below the surface
These studies allow you to literally dig beneath the surface. The soil is a central factor for the production of renewable natural resources, the diversity of nature, and the quality of water systems. As an expert in environmental soil science you will know how the soil serves as a substrate for plants and affects the quality of food, and how it can be improved.

Selection of the Major

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks, allowing you to focus on a specialisation according to your interests and previous studies: plant production sciences (quota of 40 students), animal science (quota of 25 students), agrotechnology (quota of 15 students), and environmental soil science (quota of 5 students).

You can be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences either directly from the relevant Bachelor’s programme or through a separate admissions process. A total of 80 students will be admitted through these two admissions channels.

Programme Structure

With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s programme can be completed in two academic years. The degree comprises:
-60 credits of advanced studies in the selected study track, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
-60 credits of other studies from the curriculum of your own or other degree programmes

The study tracks of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to construct thematic modules around importance topical issues: the bioeconomy, the recycling of nutrients, food systems, and the production and exploitation of genomic information.

You must also complete a personal study plan (PSP). Your studies can also include career orientation and career planning.

Various teaching methods are used in the programme, including lectures, practical exercises, practical laboratory and field courses, practical training, seminars, project work and independent study.

Career Prospects

As a graduate of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you will have the competence to pursue a career or to continue your studies at the doctoral level.

According to the statistics of the Finnish Association of Academic Agronomists, the current employment situation for new graduates is positive. Graduates have found employment in Finland and abroad as experts in the following fields:
-Research and product development (universities, research institutes, companies, industry).
-Administration and expert positions (ministries, supervisory agencies, EU, FAO).
-Business and management (companies).
-Teaching, training and consultation (universities, universities of applied sciences, organisations, development cooperation projects).
-Communication (universities, media, companies, ministries, organisations).
-Entrepreneurship (self-employment).

As a graduate you can apply for doctoral education in Finland or abroad. A doctoral degree can be completed in four years. With a doctoral degree you can pursue a career in the academic world or enter the job market. The qualifications required for some positions may be a doctoral rather than a Master’s degree.

Other admission details

Applications are also accepted from graduates of other University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes as well as from graduates of other Finnish or international universities. In these cases, admission will be based on your previous academic performance and the applicability of your previous degree. For the latest admission requirements see the website: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/masters-admission-masters-programme-in-agricultural-sciences-master-of-science-agriculture-and-forestry-2-years/1.2.246.562.20.29558674254

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In the first academic year of the MSc. Program the students of the 3 main subjects have several courses in common, aiming in giving them all an in-depth knowledge and know-how related to nutrition and rural development related topics, creating a common academic level between all program students of diverse backgrounds. Read more
In the first academic year of the MSc. Program the students of the 3 main subjects have several courses in common, aiming in giving them all an in-depth knowledge and know-how related to nutrition and rural development related topics, creating a common academic level between all program students of diverse backgrounds. The common part of the programme consists on the one hand of basic knowledge, insights and skills in the areas of production, transformation, preservation, marketing and consumption of food products. On the other hand, it contains a practically oriented component that enables the alumni to identify problems by means of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analytical techniques, to assess and rank causes, and to plan, to execute and to evaluate appropriate interventions.

The other part of courses given during the first year are main subject specific courses. The academic second year provides a more in depth understanding of the specific problems and their solutions for the main subject and major chosen and consists of main subject and major specific courses, elective (optional) courses and Master Dissertation research (30 ECTS).

The specific expertise the students receive depends on the main subject, major and optional courses chosen.

Tropical Agriculture

Delivers technical knowledge related to agriculture focussing on developing countries. The students can specialize in animal production or plant production by choosing the specific option. The major on Animal Production delivers in depth knowledge on production biology, animal nutrition, pasture management, animal genetics. The major on Plant Production focuses on themes like ethno-botany, crop protection, plant breeding, plant biotechnology. The courses are applicative and aim at presenting solutions for production problems in developing countries in an interdisciplinary way.

Structure

Semester 1 (Sept-Jan)
-Preceded by introduction courses.
-Common and main subject specific basic courses.
-Fundamental, in depth and high level knowledge.
Semester 2 (Febr-June)
-Main subject specific courses with special attention to ‘in field’ applications.
-Possibility to do internships in summer holidays.
Semester 3 (Sept-Jan) and Semester 4 (Febr-June)
-Specialised courses (fine-tuned individual programme).
-Master dissertation (at Ghent University, other Belgian institutes/organizations/multinationals or one of our partners in the South or Europe).

Learning and Outcomes

Have thorough knowledge and comprehension (theory and practice) l in the interdisciplinary domains: food and feed production, socio-economic, (public health) nutrition and management concepts, theories and skills, and in the main subject specific domains and the chosen major domains. The program additionally focuses on international collaboration.
-Major: Public Health Nutrition : Have profound insights in public health nutrition realities and compare public health nutrition issues, approaches and policies within the international context
-Major Nutrition Security and Management: Have profound insights in different food/nutrition security realities and compare nutrition security issues, approaches and (nutrition) policies within an international context
-Major Plant Production: Have profound insights in plant production realities and compare plant production issues, and approaches within the international context
-Major Animal Production: Have profound insights in animal production realities and compare animal production issues, and approaches within the international context

Apply theories and methodological approaches to characterize and analyse specific problems: food, nutrition and agricultural chains, food sovereignty /safety and security, natural resource management, sustainable production, economic and social problems of rural areas, national and international agriculture.

Design and implement adequate instruments, methods, models and innovative tools to analyse, evaluate and solve interdisciplinary related problems in the context of sustainable development.

Apply the interdisciplinary tools to design, implement, monitor and evaluate national and international agro-nutrition policies and programs. More specifically:
-For Human Nutrition: construct innovative tools and instruments for the development of a better nutritional health status of a country/region/area and its inhabitants/households.
-For Tropical agriculture: a more efficient and economic feasible agricultural balanced, food production guaranteeing a better food security situation per country respecting local environment.

Assess the importance and magnitude of a problem, define strategies for intervention and/or identify knowledge gaps. Develop a research protocol based on the analysis of existing evidence and set up a research plan, analyse and interpret the data and present the findings.

Identify, select and apply appropriate research methods and techniques to collect, analyses and critically interpret data.

Critically reflect on program specific issues, and on ethical and value driven aspects of research and intervention strategies.

Take up a trans-disciplinary role in an interdisciplinary ((inter)national) team dealing with global challenges, and develop a global perspective.

Dialogue and professionally interact with different actors and stakeholders from peers to a general public to convincingly communicate evidence based research findings and project results.

To effectively use appropriate communication and behavioural skills in different language and cultural environments.

Learn to continuously critically reflect (individually and in discussion with others) upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes, functioning, and develop an attitude of lifelong learning. This includes:
-Design and plan own learning processes.
-Self-Directed Learning: work independently, take initiative, and manage a project through to completion.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology. Read more

MSc Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology.

Programme summary

Due to rapid technological developments in the genomics, molecular biology and biotechnology, the use of molecular marker technology has accelerated the selection of new plant varieties with many desirable traits. It also facilitates the design, development and management of transgenic plants. At present, plants are increasingly used to produce valuable proteins and secondary metabolites for food and pharmaceutical purposes. New insights into the molecular basis of plant-insect, plant- pathogen and crop-weed relationships enable the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for integrated pest management. A fundamental approach is combined with the development of tools and technologies to apply in plant breeding, plant pathology, post-harvest quality control, and the production of renewable resources. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the ethical issues and regulatory aspects, including intellectual property rights.

Specialisations

Functional Plant Genomics
Functional genomics aims at understanding the relationship between an organism's genome and its phenotype. The availability of a wide variety of sequenced plant genomes has revolutionised insight into plant genetics. By combining array technology, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics with bioinformatics, gene expression can be studied to understand the dynamic properties of plants and other organisms.

Plants for Human and Animal Health
Plants are increasingly being used as a safe and inexpensive alternative for the production of valuable proteins and metabolites for food supplements and pharmaceuticals. This specialisation provides a fundamental understanding of how plants can be used for the production of foreign proteins and metabolites. In addition, biomedical aspects such as immunology and food allergy, as well as nutritional genomics and plant metabolomics, can also be studied.

Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology
Molecular approaches to analyse and modify qualitative and quantitative traits in crops are highly effective in improving crop yield, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance. Molecular plant breeding focuses on the application of genomics and QTL-mapping to enable marker assisted selection of a trait of interest (e.g. productivity, quality). Molecular plant pathology aims to provide a greater understanding of plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed interactions in addition to developing new technologies for integrated plant health management.These technologies include improved molecular detection of pathogens and transgene methods to introduce resistance genes into crops.

Your future career

The main career focus of graduates in Plant Biotechnology is on research and development positions at universities, research institutes, and biotech- or plant breeding companies. Other job opportunities can be found in the fields of policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and both governmental and non-governmental organisations. Over 75% of Plant Biotechnology graduates start their (academic) career with a PhD.

Alumnus Behzad Rashidi.
“I obtained my bachelor degree in the field of agricultural engineering, agronomy and plant breeding, at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. The curiosity and interest for studying plant biotechnology and great reputation of Wageningen University motivated me to follow the master programme Plant Biotechnology. I got a chance to do my internship at State University of New York at Buffalo, working on biofuel production from microalgae. Working with this small unicellular organism made me even more motivated to continue my research after my master. Now I am doing my PhD in the Plant Breeding department of Wageningen University, working on biorefinery of microalgae.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Nutrition and Health
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Biology.

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