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Molecular Biology with Biotechnology (MSc). This taught MSc course in the School of Biological Sciences provides intensive training in this important area of Biology and is designed both for fresh graduates and for those wishing to develop and extend their expertise in this area. Read more
Molecular Biology with Biotechnology (MSc)

This taught MSc course in the School of Biological Sciences provides intensive training in this important area of Biology and is designed both for fresh graduates and for those wishing to develop and extend their expertise in this area. The course has a strong practical emphasis and will provide the advanced theoretical and practical background necessary for employment in the Biotechnology industry, as well as equipping students with the knowledge required to pursue advanced studies in this area.
Course structure

The course consists of a taught component and a Research project. During the taught phase of the degree, you will take modules in Marine Biotechnology, Molecular and Medical Laboratory Techniques, Techniques of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Systems Biology; Plant Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology and Medical Biotechnology.

Topics covered in these modules will include Agrobacterium Ti plasmid based plant transformation vectors and the development of transgenic crops; the use and interpretation of microarrays and proteome systems; the development of transgenic fish and the diagnosis of fish diseases using molecular markers; bioremediation, biomining and the use of bacteria to degrade novel organic pollutants; stem cell technologies and the diagnosis of genetic disease using single nucleotide polymorphisms. image of students in the labDuring this part of the course, you will also take part in intensive laboratory exercises designed to introduce you to essential techniques in molecular biology and biotechnology including nucleic acid and protein extraction, PCR and QTL analysis, northern, southern and western blotting etc. In addition, most of the taught theory modules will have an associated practical component. The Research project will take place during the summer and will be conducted under the direct supervision of one of the staff involved in teaching the course. Students will be able to choose their Research project from a wide range of topics which will be related to the taught material.

Career options

The 21st century post genomics era offers a wide range of job opportunities in the agricultural, medical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture, forensics and environmental science areas. The rapidly developing economies of China and India in particular have recognised the enormous opportunities offered by Biotechnology. Job openings in sales and marketing with companies who have a science base are also common. Some graduates will also choose to extend their knowledge base by undertaking PhD programmes in relevant areas.

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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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The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases. Read more

Master's specialisation in Medical Epigenomics

The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases.
Our skin cells, liver cells and blood cells all contain the same genetic information. Yet these are different types of cells, each performing their own specific tasks. How is this possible? The explanation lies in the epigenome: a heritable, cell-type specific set of chromosomal modifications, which regulates gene expression. Radboud University is specialised in studying the epigenome and is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a Master’s programme in this field of research.

Health and disease

The epigenome consists of small and reversible chemical modifications of the DNA or histone proteins, such as methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation. It changes the spatial structure of DNA, resulting in gene activation or repression. These processes are crucial for our health and also play a role in many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. As opposed to modifications of the genome sequence itself, epigenetic modifications are reversible. You can therefore imagine the great potential of drugs that target epigenetic enzymes, so-called epi-drugs.

Big data

In this specialisation, you’ll look at a cell as one big and complex system. You’ll study epigenetic mechanisms during development and disease from different angles. This includes studying DNA and RNA by next-generation sequencing (epigenomics) and analysing proteins by mass spectrometry (proteomics). In addition, you‘ll be trained to design computational strategies that allow the integration of these multifaceted, high-throughput data sets into one system.

Why study Medical Epigenomics at Radboud University?

- Radboud University combines various state-of-the-art technologies – such as quantitative mass spectrometry and next-generation DNA sequencing – with downstream bioinformatics analyses in one department. This is unique in Europe.
- This programme allows you to work with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life sciences (RIMLS), one of the leading multidisciplinary research institutes within this field of study worldwide.
- We have close contacts with high-profile medically oriented groups on the Radboud campus and with international institutes (EMBL, Max-Planck, Marie Curie, Cambridge, US-based labs, etc). As a Master’s student, you can choose to perform an internship in one of these related departments.
- Radboud University coordinates BLUEPRINT, a 30 million Euro European project focusing on the epigenomics of leukaemia. Master’s students have the opportunity to participate in this project.

Career prospects

As a Master’s student of Medical Epigenomics you’re trained in using state-of-the art technology in combination with biological software tools to study complete networks in cells in an unbiased manner. For example, you’ll know how to study the effects of drugs in the human body.
When you enter the job market, you’ll have:
- A thorough background of epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, which is highly relevant in strongly rising field of epi-drug development
- Extensive and partly hands-on experience in state-of-the-art ‘omics’ technologies: next-generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry and single cell technologies;
- Extensive expertise in designing, executing and interpreting scientific experiments in data-driven research;
- The computational skills needed to analyse large ‘omics’ datasets.

With this background, you can become a researcher at a:
- University or research institute;
- Pharmaceutical company, such as Synthon or Johnson & Johnson;
- Food company, like Danone or Unilever;
- Start-up company making use of -omics technology.

Apart from research into genomics and epigenomics, you could also work on topics such as miniaturising workflows, improving experimental devices, the interface between biology and informatics, medicine from a systems approach.

Or you can become a:
- Biological or medical consultant;
- Biology teacher;
- Policy coordinator, regarding genetic or medical issues;
- Patent attorney;
- Clinical research associate;

PhD positions at Radboud University

Each year, the Molecular Biology department (Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Prof. Michiel Vermeulen) and the Molecular Developmental Biology department (Prof. Gert-Jan Veenstra) at the RIMLS offer between five and ten PhD positions. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.

Our approach to this field

- Systems biology
In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation you won’t zoom in on only one particular gene, protein or signalling pathway. Instead, you’ll regard the cell as one complete system. This comprehensive view allows you to, for example, model the impact of one particular epigenetic mutation on various parts and functions of the cell, or study the effects of a drug in an unbiased manner. One of the challenges of this systems biology approach is the processing and integration of large amounts of data. That’s why you’ll also be trained in computational biology. Once graduated, this will be a great advantage: you’ll be able to bridge the gap between biology, technology and informatics , and thus have a profile that is desperately needed in modern, data-driven biology.

- Multiple OMICS approaches
Studying cells in a systems biology approach means connecting processes at the level of the genome (genomics), epigenome (epigenomics), transcriptome (transcriptomics), proteome (proteomics), etc. In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation, you’ll get acquainted with all these different fields of study.

- Patient and animal samples
Numerous genetic diseases are not caused by genetic mutations, but by epigenetic mutations that influence the structure and function of chromatin. Think of:
- Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Cancer, in the forms of leukaemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer
- Neurological disorders, like Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia and autism

We investigate these diseases on a cellular level, focusing on the epigenetic mutations and the impact on various pathways in the cell. You’ll get the chance to participate in that research, and work with embryonic stem cell, patient, Xenopus or zebra fish samples.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/epigenomics

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The department of pathobiology is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in veterinary and comparative pathology, infectious diseases and immunology. Read more
The department of pathobiology is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in veterinary and comparative pathology, infectious diseases and immunology. research in the department addresses such diverse areas as the pathogens of animals and how they interact with their hosts, emerging and zoonotic pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, the immunologic and genetic bases of resistance to infectious disease, development and progression of cancer, and mechanisms of immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases. We work on diseases of domestic mammals, poultry, laboratory animals, fish, wildlife, zoo and companion animals, from the molecular level to that of the population.

Programs

Research-based Msc or phd degrees are offered to veterinarians and non-veterinarians in all fields of study in the department. Veterinary specialty training is offered through dvsc and graduate diploma programs in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, comparative pathology, laboratory animal science, fish disease, and zoo medicine/pathology for applicants with a dvM degree. Our graduate students typically continue their career in a diversity of positions, including academics, the public sector in Canada (provincial and federal government) and abroad, private industry and laboratories, as well as in speciality practice.

Faculty and laboratories

At the present time, there are 25 faculty, 42 staff members, and 60 graduate students who work in a new building with well-equipped shared laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment for quantitative rt-pCr, flow cytometry, fluorescent and optical microscopy, analysis of microarrays, 2d protein gel electrophoresis, multiplex elisa, laser capture microdissection, and tissue microarray. As well, our investigators have close interactions with other departments and other universities, and with the animal health laboratory, Center for public health and Zoonoses, and the public health agency of Canada.

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Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships or College of Science Postgraduate Scholarships to study Biosciences at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Read more
Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships or College of Science Postgraduate Scholarships to study Biosciences at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

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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The MSc has been devised through input from academics and industry experts and provides a learning environment in which individuals can develop their conceptual approach to the intensive livestock food chain and their proficiencies in terms of skills, knowledge and attitudes as competent and reflective agri-food sector professionals. Read more
The MSc has been devised through input from academics and industry experts and provides a learning environment in which individuals can develop their conceptual approach to the intensive livestock food chain and their proficiencies in terms of skills, knowledge and attitudes as competent and reflective agri-food sector professionals.

Under the microscope

With global demand for farmed livestock and fish products continuing to grow, there are exciting opportunities for professionals working within these sectors. Improvements in productivity are required for the livestock and aquaculture industries to remain competitive, meet global demand, ensure food security and to reduce environmental impact. Our online courses are designed specifically to enable professional development and promote industry specific skills for individuals working with intensively farmed livestock.

By addressing the challenges faced by those working in agricultural industries such as; pig production and poultry production, as well as aquaculture and food safety, our distance learning courses are helping to improve the standards of the intensive farming industries, while allowing individuals from across the globe to expand their knowledge and realise their career goals.

Modules

- Applied animal nutrition
- Infectious diseases of intensively reared pigs
- Infectious diseases of intensively reared poultry
- Animal health economics
- Food safety: a system-wide approach
- Biosecurity
- Genetics and genomics
- Applied animal welfare
- Epidemiology

How will I learn?

This course is delivered on a part-time, distance learning basis. It is structured online and takes between 2 and 5 years, making the most effective use of virtual learning tools, including online library access, discussion forums, and multimedia resources. This delivery allows you to study for your qualification alongside work and family responsibilities. You will however be required to attend campus for induction and some assessments depending on choice of elective modules at PG Diploma level.

Learning outcomes

MSc graduates will be able to:

- Understand and evaluate theories, methods and practice of the agri-food system that can be applied to their area of the intensive livestock production industry
- Demonstrate a critical awareness of current problems and new insights from across the intensive livestock production industry
- Develop new processes/techniques to improve intensive livestock production, supporting animal health and welfare
- Identify, critically assess and address the emerging needs of the intensive livestock sector
- Adopt new techniques to improve skills development
- Be a reflective, self-evaluative and self-managing professional
- Critically appraise research and practices in livestock and related food production fields, and develop skills to undertake qualitative and quantitative research using appropriate methods
- Continue to develop independent and lifelong learning skills to promote their own personal and professional development as producers, researchers and leaders.

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The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global. Read more

Why take this course?

The world’s aquatic ecosystems and environment are increasingly under threat. Pollution, overfishing, global climate change and many other impacts have highlighted the importance for us to understand their function at all levels, from the molecular to the global.

This is what our course sets out to do and thanks to our close proximity to many types of temperate marine habitats and internationally protected conservation areas, we offer the perfect location for investigation.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Research at our internationally-renowned Institute of Marine Sciences or carry out microbiological work at the University’s Field Centre for Environmental Technology at Petersfield Sewage Works
Rear coldwater species for restocking programmes or trial fish food at Sparsholt College’s National Aquatics Training Centre
Study abroad through Erasmus or various other conservation and research schemes

What opportunities might it lead to?

You’ll be taught by leading international researchers and the course has been designed with strong input from outside agencies including environmental consultancies, a range of government bodies and industry. This ensures your training links directly to UK and international employment opportunities.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Consultancy work
Government-based research
Conservation
Teaching
Further study

Module Details

You will cover a variety of topics in advanced laboratory and field skills, and choose from units that cover marine ecology, aquaculture, ecotoxicology and pollution, and scientific journalism. A large amount of your time will also be spent on the research project that will enable you to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained.

Core units are:

• Research Toolkit: This covers a range of key professional skills for research methods (communication skills, ethics and report writing), advanced field skills (boat sampling, taxonomy, and marine and freshwater sampling methods), advanced laboratory skills (genomics, monitoring and pollution monitoring methods) and remote sensing technology (such as GIS).

• Research Project: Your final project allows you to select from a range of marine and freshwater projects provided by staff within the School, government research laboratories, NGOs and private research companies. During the project you will write literature reviews and develop skills in data analysis and presentation.

Then choose any three optional units from:

• Ecotoxicology and Pollution: This provides an introduction to environmental toxicology using model and non-model organisms.

• Aquaculture: This unit focuses on the principles of aquaculture production, global production and diversity of aquaculture species. It is taught by academic staff and staff from the National Aquatics Training Centre at Sparsholt College. Areas covered include larval culture, diseases and pathology, feeding and growth, reproductive manipulation, and business and management.

• Marine Policy, Planning and Conservation: Planning and Conservation: This unit explores contemporary debates on coastal and marine management with a specific focus on marine policy, planning and conservation.

• Science and the Media: Science communication is increasingly becoming an important part of science. This unit firstly addresses the skills required by scientists to effectively communicate with the media and general public and secondly, provides an understanding of the skills needed for a career in science journalism.

• Subtidal Marine Ecology: Selected topics of current interest in marine ecology, incorporating both theory and applied aspects, culminating in a week-long practical field course in the Mediterranean Sea. The unit carries an additional cost for the field trip, and requires a minimum level of training and experience in SCUBA diving to participate.

Programme Assessment

Hands-on laboratory-based work teamed with field trips means that practical learning underpins the theory learned in lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also find that some aspects of your course may be taught online using our virtual learning environment.

You will be assessed using a range of methods from exams to coursework and presentations, with great opportunities to present your final-year projects to industry and researchers from other departments and organisations.

Student Destinations

Once you have completed this course, you will be particularly well placed to enter a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers in the UK and abroad. We will ensure you have all the relevant knowledge and skills that employers require, giving you the opportunity to either pursue a scientific career, enter the teaching profession, or further study should you want to continue your 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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Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models… Read more

Research profile

Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models through the application of numerical and computational approaches in the analysis, interpretation, modelling and prediction of complex animal systems from the level of the DNA and other molecules, through cellular and gene networks, tissues and organs to whole organisms and interacting populations of organisms.

The biology and traits of interest include: growth and development, body composition, feed efficiency, reproductive performance, responses to infectious disease and inherited diseases.

Research encompasses basic research in bioscience and mathematical biology and strategic research to address grand challenges, e.g. food security.

Research is focussed on, but not restricted to, target species of agricultural importance including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep; farmed fish such as salmon; and companion animals. The availability of genome sequences and the associated genomics toolkits enable genetics research in these species.

Expertise includes genetics (molecular, quantitative), physiology (neuroendocrinology, immunology), ‘omics (genomics, functional genomics) with particular strengths in mathematical biology (quantitative genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, modelling).

The Division has 18 Group Leaders and 4 career track fellows who supervise over 30 postgraduate students.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

The University's genomics facility Edinburgh Genomics is closely associated with the Division of Genetics and Genomics and provides access to the latest genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping and microarray platforms (genomics.ed.ac.uk).

In addition to the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility’s high performance computing resources, The Roslin Institute has two compute farms, including one with 256 GB of RAM, which enable the analysis of complex ‘omics data sets.

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