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Masters Degrees (Animal Husbandry)

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The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role. Read more

MSc Biosystems Engineering

The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role.

Programme summary

During the master Biosystems Engineering, students are educated in finding innovative solutions. The programme combines knowledge of technology, living systems, natural and social sciences with integrated thinking using a systems approach. Solutions can be applied to either the field of food or nonfood agricultural production. During the programme, you develop independence and creativity while acquiring skills that enable you to analyse problems and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Biosystems Engineering is a tailor-made, thesis oriented programme based on the specific interests and competencies of the student.

Thesis tracks

Farm Technology
This topic consists of four main themes, namely automation for bioproduction, greenhouse technology, livestock technology and soil technology. All these topics have the shared goal of designing systems in which technology is applied to the demands of plants, animals, humans and the environment. Examples of such applications include precision agriculture, conservation tillage, fully automated greenhouses and environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems that also promote animal welfare.

Systems and Control
Production processes and various kinds of machinery have to be optimised to run as efficiently as possible; and with the least amount of possible environmental impact. To achieve this, computer models and simulations are developed and improved. Examples include designing control systems for a solar-powered greenhouse to include a closed water cycle and designing a tomato-harvesting robot.

Information Technology
Information and communication play a vital role in our society. It is necessary to acquire, use and store data and information to optimise production processes and quality in production chains. This requires the design and management of business information systems, software engineering, designing databases and modelling and simulation.

Environmental Technology
Environmental technology revolves around closing cycles and reusing waste products and by-products. Processes have to be designed in such a way that they either reuse waste or separate it into distinct and reusable components. Examples include the production of compost, the generation of green energy or the design of environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems and greenhouses.

AgroLogistics
The goals of agrologistics are to get the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right time and to the right place as efficiently as possible while fulfilling the requirements of the stakeholders (such as government legislation and regulations). This requires the design of effective, innovative logistics concepts in agrifood chains and networks. Examples are the design of greenhouses developed for optimal logistics or designing a dairy production process with minimal storage costs.

Biobased Technology
The importance of biobased economy is increasing. Energy savings and the use of renewable energy are directions for achieving an environmentally sustainable industrial society. Biomass of plants, organisms and biomass available can be turned into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. In this track, you learn more about process engineering, biological recycling technology, biorefinery and how to abstract a real system into a physical model and analyse the physical model using dedicated software.

Your future career

Most graduates are employed in the agrofood sector, or related sectors of industry and trade, from local to international companies. They are project leaders, product managers, technical experts, sales specialists or managers at many kinds of companies including designers of agricultural buildings (animal husbandry systems, greenhouses) and bioenergy production systems. Others find jobs with IT companies (climate control computers, automated information systems) or firms in the agro-food chain that produce, store, process, distribute and market agricultural products. In the service sector or at governments, graduates enter careers as consultants, information officers or policymakers in the fields of technology and sustainable agricultural production, while others enter research careers at institutes or universities.

Alumnus Patrick Honcoop.
"I am working as a product manager at 365 FarmNet in Germany. 365FarmNet supports farmers to manage their whole agrarian holding with just one software application. I am responsible for the content of the software. I am the link between the farmers, the agrarian holdings and the software developers. I really enjoy these dynamics and variety within my function. Just like during my studies, when we visited farmers, companies and fairs during courses and excursions organised by the study association."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Geo-information Science
MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications
MSc Organic Agriculture

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Stand out from the crowd. The Master of Science will allow you to stand out from other animal science graduates. Find out more about the . Read more

Stand out from the crowd

The Master of Science will allow you to stand out from other animal science graduates

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Science (Animal Science) will allow you to make a major contribution to animal science.

Whether you want to take a first step in a research career or would like a specialised role in livestock or animal industries, a MSc (Animal Science) will give you the skills you need.

A wide range of specialities

Animal science is a broad subject and you could engage in study and research in one of many subjects from livestock production, genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, lactation, animal behaviour and welfare.

Develop specialised knowledge

A master’s builds your capability in sourcing, generating and interpreting quality information to make informed decisions. You’ll develop specialised knowledge in your chosen field.

Massey University provides an excellent environment for your animal science masters. We have an active research programme in many areas of applied and theoretical aspects of animal science and much of this is funded by industry. This means as a master’s student you have the opportunity to research a relevant issue and generate solutions for the real world.

Join a world-leading agricultural university

Massey University’s proud record in land-based study dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture.

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Massey University’s veterinary school has been ranked first in the world by employers in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking. We are ranked no.15 for our veterinary science programme.

Relevant learning

At Massey you will not just be studying animal science, you will be part of this world-leading animal and agricultural science hub. Massey’s Manawatu campus is surrounded by working farms and state-of-the-art animal science research facilities.. You are able to access our extensive research and working facilities as part of your study. These include:

  • Two dairy farms
  • Sheep and beef blocks, in the Manawatu and Wairarapa
  • Dedicated feline and canine units
  • Intensive livestock facilities
  • A deer farm
  • New Zealand’s only veterinary science teaching facilities including
  • 24-hour pet hospital
  • Wildbase hospital which treats native New Zealand animals
  • Equine hospital

We also host The International Sheep Research Centre which leads the world with its investigations into sheep husbandry and related areas.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Animal Science) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Programme details

This is a 180 credit taught degree which will take 1.5 years if you study full time. You can choose to include 60, 90 or 120 credits of research.



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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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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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We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering. Read more
We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering: Behavioural development; Motivation and sensory systems; Evolution and behaviour; Pain, stress and welfare; Navigation; Cognition; Endocrines and pheromones; Communication and Welfare of farm, companion and zoo animals; Behaviour and conservation; Fear and sterotypies and Practical measures for enhancing welfare. We also have visits to Belfast Zoological Gardens, Castle Espie Wildfowl Centre and Farms. In semester two we cover practical topics that include defining and recording behaviour, experimental design and analyses, presentation of results in various formats and getting to grips with primary literature. That is a period in which students also focus on preparing for the project and they give a seminar onhow they intend to approach the research project. The latter is a 5-month, fully-supervised Research Project that can involve field work abroad, field work on UK farms, exerimental work in the labortaory or field. It can involve welfare or fundamental animal behaviour. We have a team of ten that currently offer diverse projects for this course and nine of these are involved in the delivery of lectures (check our web site). Project supervisors will also supervise a literature review in the broad area of the project. Knowledge gained form the course can be applied to fundamental scientific research and to practical areas such as conservation, animal husbandry and zoo environments. Formal teaching is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, one year full time two years part time.

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Do you want to develop your technical pig production practice to postgraduate level?. Harper Adams University has developed a Masters degree in Pig Production. Read more
Do you want to develop your technical pig production practice to postgraduate level?

Harper Adams University has developed a Masters degree in Pig Production.
The course

Recognise the global context within which food production now operates.
Explore the sciences underpinning food animal husbandry and animal production systems
Support students to identify, analyse and solve biological, technological and economic problems encountered in pig production systems,
Support students to evaluate the wider global, environmental, economic, social, ethical and political issues associated with pig production systems.

How will it benefit me?
The course will:
Prepare students for a career in Pig Production.
Offer vocational training in the area of applied Pig Production.
Prepare students for PhD studies.

Example modules:
Pig Production Systems
Mono-gastric Nutrition and Ration Formulation
Pig Breeding
Genetics and Product Quality
Pig and Poultry Environment, Health and Welfare
Emerging Issues in Mono-gastric Production Systems
Major Research Project (MSc)

Elective Modules:
Elective modules from the list below can be studied in addition to the core modules identified above.

Food chain related
Food Product Development
Meat Science and Public Health
Animal Production, Meat Processing & Quality
Food Policy and Ethics

Farm Business Management
Farm Business Management
Farm Business Analysis
Farm Business Strategy

Agri-Business Management
Leadership & People Management
Principles of Finance
Strategic Management & International Agribusiness
Food Business Operations Management
Agri-Food Marketing

Systems Related
Precision Farming Technology
Animal Welfare and Bioethics

Modules are usually delivered as an intensive short course, taught over a one week block, with a maximum of 5 days per 15 credit module providing in the region of 35 hours of contact time.

Teaching may consist of formal lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises, laboratory sessions, study visits or the use of guest speakers.

The PgC, PgD and MSc are offered full-time and part-time to allow those in work to study towards an award at a pace that suits their needs and time available.

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Food from aquatic systems is essential for much of the world’s population – but wild catches are declining. Fortunately Aquaculture (farming of aquatic animals) is an alternative source of high quality nutrition and employment. Read more

Introduction

Food from aquatic systems is essential for much of the world’s population – but wild catches are declining. Fortunately Aquaculture (farming of aquatic animals) is an alternative source of high quality nutrition and employment. Aquaculture has been very successful but diseases can be damaging. Aquaculture has over 40 years of experience in investigating and controlling fish and shrimp diseases worldwide, which it utilises to improve your problem-solving skills, equipping you to make a real contribution to the sustainability of aquaculture.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Trevor Telfer

Course objectives

The course is specifically aimed at students with a veterinary science qualification with the object of giving training in the wide range of disciplines and skills necessary for the investigation, prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases. You will gain an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species, in addition to specialist expertise in aquatic animal diseases. It is also intended to prepare students who plan to pursue a PhD in the area of aquatic animal health or disease.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The full Master’s course for each degree outcome is divided into four taught modules containing 12 subject areas or topics; two Foundation modules, two Advanced modules and a single Research Project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:

- Foundation modules
The Foundation modules are taught between September and December. There are six compulsory topics of study within two taught modules, taken consecutively, giving instruction in basic aquaculture concepts and skills. Successful completion of both Foundation modules will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.

- Advanced modules
The two Advanced modules consisting of six compulsory topics of study are taught between January and April. Successful completion of the advanced modules, subsequent to the Foundation modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Pathobiology.

- Research Project module
The Research Project module is normally completed between April and August, and involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects mostly laboratory based and often result in peer reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Studies.

Delivery and assessment

The course is delivered through a variety of formats including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study. Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on activities undertaken during the project, the thesis and a presentation you make in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by internal and external examiners.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.

Strengths

The degree has been taught for almost 40 years and only one of its kind. It gives students the unique opportunity to study the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms in one of the top institutions of the world.

Career opportunities

The course has run for almost 40 years and has trained over 200 students (in combination with Aquatic Pathobiology) from all over the world. It equips you with expertise applicable to a wide range of potential careers. Our graduates generally find employment in their area of interest, and the world employment market in the area of aquatic animal health remains buoyant.
The course provides a natural career progression for most candidates and a conversion course for others wishing to enter the field. It also provides training for those who wish to pursue a PhD, especially in aquaculture, aquatic health, fisheries and aquatic resources management.
Over the last five intakes, in combination with the Aquatic Pathobiology degree, about 30 percent of graduates have gone on to a PhD or further research, about 25 percent have taken employment as fish health consultants or veterinarians, about 20 percent work in government fisheries departments, about 15 percent are university lecturers and the remainder are managers of farms or aquaria or have other types of employment.

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*Subject to validation by the University of Portsmouth. Read more
*Subject to validation by the University of Portsmouth

What will I learn?

Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and off-site visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Where can I go from here?

Career pathways include zoo or conservation research, environmental education or zoo management. Alternatively you may choose to study a doctorate or a career in lecturing.

Units Covered

Research Project and Research Methods
The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community.

Evidence-based Husbandry

Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition.

Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology

This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery.

Visitor Studies and Interpretation

Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision a key theme.

Course Tutor
Steve Nash MSc, PGCE (PCET), BSc (Hons), Dip Zoo An Man, SFHEA

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The Institute of Aquaculture is one of a handful of institutions worldwide wholly devoted to aquaculture science and is the only university department of its kind in the UK. Read more

Introduction

The Institute of Aquaculture is one of a handful of institutions worldwide wholly devoted to aquaculture science and is the only university department of its kind in the UK. The Institute is internationally recognised for both research and teaching and has more than 70 staff and 80 postgraduate students.
Our goal is to develop and promote sustainable aquaculture and in pursuit of this carry out research across most areas of aquaculture science including:
- Reproduction and Genetics
- Health Management
- Nutrition
- Environmental Management
- Aquaculture Systems and International Development

Key information

- Degree type: Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September The course is available on a block-release basis (by selecting individual or a series of modules) over a period not exceeding five academic years.
- Course Director: Dr Trevor Telfer

Course objectives

You will gain an understanding of the biology, husbandry and environment of farmed aquatic species, in addition to specialist expertise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms. It is also intended as preparation for students who plan to pursue a PhD in the area of aquatic animal health or disease.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The full Master’s course for each degree outcome is divided into four taught modules containing 12 subject areas or topics; two foundation modules, two advanced modules and a single Research Project module. The overall course is divided into three parts:

- Foundation modules
The Foundation modules are taught between September and December. There are six compulsory topics of study within two taught modules, taken consecutively, giving instruction in basic aquaculture concepts and skills. Successful completion of both Foundation modules will qualify you for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Aquaculture.

- Advanced modules
The two advanced modules consisting of six compulsory topics of study are taught between January and April. Successful completion of the advanced modules, subsequent to the Foundation modules, will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Aquatic Pathobiology.

- Research Project module
The Research Project module is normally completed between April and August, and involves research in many areas of aquatic animal health. These projects are mostly laboratory based and often result in peer-reviewed publications. Successful completion of the module, subsequent to foundation and advanced modules, will qualify you for an MSc in Aquatic Pathobiology.

Delivery and assessment

The course is delivered though a variety of formats including lectures, practical classes, seminars, field visits and directed study. Assessment consists of a number of assignments in a range of formats. The Research Project is graded on your activities during the project, your dissertation and a seminar presentation made in front of your peers, supervisors and examiners. The dissertation is examined by Aquaculture and external examiner.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

The Institute of Aquaculture, with a rating of 2.45 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), was graded the top aquaculture department in the UK.

Strengths

The degree has been taught for almost 40 years and only one of its kind. It give students the unique opportunity to study the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of aquatic animal diseases in cultured organisms in one of the top institutions of the world.

Career opportunities

This course has run for almost 40 years and has trained over 200 students (in combination with Aquatic Veterinary Studies) from all over the world. It equips graduates with expertise applicable to a wide range of potential careers. The career path selected depends on your personal interests, as well as your previous experiences. Our graduates generally find employment in their area of interest and the world employment market in the area of aquatic animal health remains buoyant.
The course provides a natural career progression for most candidates and a conversion course for others wishing to enter the field. It also provides training for those who wish to pursue a PhD, especially in aquaculture, aquatic health, fisheries and aquatic resources management.
Over the last five intakes, in combination with the Aquatic Veterinary Studies degree, about 30 percent of graduates have gone on to a PhD or further research, about 25 percent have taken employment as aquatic health consultants, about 20 percent work in government fisheries departments, about 15 percent are university lecturers and the remainder are managers of farms or aquaria or have other types of employment.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Biosciences at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.

All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.

The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.

Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.

Research Pathways

1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology

Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.

2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology

Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.

3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture

From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.

4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology

Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.

5) Population and Community Ecology

Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.

6) Whole Organism Biology

Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.

7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control

Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.

Facilities

As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:

Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.

Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.

Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.

Research

We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)

93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.



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Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in a number of the global grand challenges relating to disease control, food security and climate change. Read more

Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in a number of the global grand challenges relating to disease control, food security and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to improve our ability to understand, predict and respond to patterns and dynamics of disease and to control outbreaks.

The R(D)SVS and SRUC partnership creates the greatest concentration of research power in veterinary and agricultural sciences in the UK. The MSc draws on this wealth of experience and research activity to provide scientific knowledge of the fundamental biological processes (e.g. behaviour, physiology, immunology, ecology) and environmental and farming management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade) driving disease transmission, persistence, prevalence and spread in livestock production systems. This enables in-depth understanding of complex environmental patterns of disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control. This multidisciplinary systems approach will provide you with the skills to make significant contributions to tackling food security, climate change and disease control in your role as an animal health professional.

By the end of the programme you will not only have a detailed understanding of the biology driving disease persistence and prevalence, but also how the biology scales up from individuals to populations. You will understand how this interacts with agricultural management practices to determine the efficacy of disease control strategies and livestock production (i.e. interdisciplinary systems thinking and communication). Furthermore, the systems approach offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales (e.g. from veterinarians tackling specific outbreaks to the consequences of climate change on disease risk). To this end the programme provides training in methodological skills for the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies, disease surveillance and disease control in animal populations and wider host communities.

Courses are delivered by active researchers presenting their own research, which is placed into context with global grand challenges. As such, you will be exposed to and taught skills appropriate for developing a research career.

Online learning

The programme will use the University’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, web-based discussion forums and expert tuition.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered part-time by online learning over period of 3-6 years.

You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a time limit of:

  • 1 years for the Certificate (maximum period 2 years)
  • 2 years for the Diploma (maximum period 4 years)
  • 3 years for the MSc (maximum period of 6 years including a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your written reflective element to it being completed)

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied; other than the three core courses required for the certificate, students may choose to study individual courses, to complete a sufficient number of credits to be awarded the:

  • Certificate (60 credits)
  • Diploma (120 credits)
  • MSc (180 credits)

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Learning outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge about disease systems in livestock production environments and the interactions between the biological and livestock management processes driving disease dynamics.
  • Acquire specific skills to link individual farm environments and management practices to disease risk and production efficiency at farm and national scales.
  • Be able to interpret, be critical of and communicate scientific results and information in research.

Career opportunities

The courses and programme as a whole will provide:

  • general postgraduate training (e.g. for people in education, government, policy-making, agricultural and veterinary organisations) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment
  • general postgraduate training for people considering a career in research (e.g. a precursor to a PhD)
  • topic-specific postgraduate training (e.g. for veterinarians for continuing professional development) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment


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