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Masters Degrees (Livestock)

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Humans are dependent on and live in close proximity with their livestock and the interfaces of livestock with wildlife are permeable and complex. Read more

Humans are dependent on and live in close proximity with their livestock and the interfaces of livestock with wildlife are permeable and complex. This programme addresses a clear need to integrate ecological disciplines with studies of disease in wildlife, livestock and human populations, with concepts of land management, livestock production and wildlife management. 

Why this programme

  • You can carry out a research project in an internationally recognised centre of excellence, working with world-leading researchers in animal science and ecology.
  • Being an online programme, we are equally able to access true experts, regardless of their national base. Recognised authorities will contribute to the programme from their home countries, including South Africa, Botswana, USA, Brazil, India and Australia.
  • This programme closely examines the often conflicting needs of land users and strives to obtain balanced input from individual land users, from special interest lobby groups, NGOs, government organisations, corporations and service providers to provide a rigorous theoretical background to understanding the practical causes of land-use conflicts involving livestock, wildlife and other drivers.
  • After completing this programme you will have gained a valuable understanding of the complex drivers of animal management, have developed a range of analytical and practical skills and will be able to construct well-founded, practical solutions to animal management problems.
  • This programme is unique in its approach to the 'One Health' concept. Whereas most programmes in this domain examine animal and human health, this programme broadens the concept to include environment and land management, both of which are major drivers of the health of wildlife, livestock and the humans that depend on them.

Programme structure

The aims of the programme are to

  • integrate ecological disciplines with studies of disease in wildlife, livestock and human populations with basic concepts of land management, livestock production and wildlife management.
  • comprehensively examine the factors that influence the managment of wildlife and livestock species, including human culture and the physical environment.
  • provide training in the use of analytical tools for wildlife, livestock and land management.
  • develop the ability to critically analyse wildlife and livestock management processes and critically analyse and evaluate solutions to the important challenges of sustainable wildlife and livestock management.

Career prospects

This programme will suit students who need to broaden their knowledge and skills to improve their employability in organisations that have a mandate to provide services to diverse stakeholders in complex systems. Veterinarians in government agencies with wide ranging responsibilities, in conservation organisations and NGOs would find this particularly useful. Similarly, conservation biologists who have little or no familiarity with livestock production or animal health will benefit.



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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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The Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE) is now offering £125,000 worth of scholarship funding for 2018-19 academic year. Read more

The Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE) is now offering £125,000 worth of scholarship funding for 2018-19 academic year. Find out more here.

  • This new, distance-learning programme provides you with an in-depth understanding of livestock production and sustainability in a variety of global contexts.
  • You will learn to address key issues created by the world’s population growth and dramatic rise in demand for livestock and animal products such as meat, milk and eggs.
  • Find out about the growing competition for land and water, concerns about environmental and health impacts, and the calls for greater efficiency and use of resources.
  • You’ll gain vital skills needed to work in the sector regardless of whether it’s with the government, advisory and consultancy services, or the private sector.
  • This is a part-time programme facilitated through distance learning and can be used as a building block for a full MSc qualification.

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • What is Sustainability?
  • Sustainable Livestock Production
  • Agri-Food Value Chains
  • Livestock, Livelihoods and Food Security

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Graduates from the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Livestock Production will be well suited to careers in livestock production, management and science. This may be within both international and national corporations, non-governmental organisations and policy bodies, and research and higher education institutions.

If you're already in a related career you can use the PGCert to increase your skills, change direction, or build directly on your existing qualifications. The PGCert can also be used as the basis for a full master's qualification.

Assessments in each module will be designed to develop and assess the analytical and communication skills required for these careers. If you are currently working in the field, assessments are also designed to be relevant to your current employment, and you will be encouraged to discuss particular projects with your employer to ensure research questions of relevance to your particular situation are addressed.  



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Study for a prestigious MSc in Livestock Health and Production. by distance learning. Relevant to vets, animal health specialists and livestock farmers, the programme addresses contemporary issues of livestock production that have worldwide relevance. Read more

Study for a prestigious MSc in Livestock Health and Production

by distance learning

Relevant to vets, animal health specialists and livestock farmers, the programme addresses contemporary issues of livestock production that have worldwide relevance. The subject areas covered include breeding, nutrition, welfare and disease processes and management.

Programme aims

Graduates of this programme will be able to improve the health and production of livestock through:

- understanding the interaction of livestock with people and the environment

- gaining an overview of the factors that influence livestock production

- implementing control strategies by integrating this knowledge with the principles of epidemiology, economics and disease control within the context of management and infrastructure

- communicating 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.

Prestige

The programme has been developed by academics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the oldest and largest veterinary school in the UK and one of the leading veterinary research centres in Europe. In 1999, RVC became the first UK veterinary school to be granted approval by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The RVC also provides support for the veterinary profession through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses.

Career progression

Graduates of the programme are employed in a variety of organisations including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), university veterinary faculties and international organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Comprehensive study materials and support

The support you receive includes:

- academic feedback on written assignments

- tutorial support concerning academic matters from RVC staff

- opportunities for local networking and mutual support from other students on the programme

- as all of the study materials you require are mailed to you, there is no requirement to purchase expensive textbooks or spend time trying to locate journals, which may not be available to you locally.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.



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Staying in step with international developments. Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Read more

Staying in step with international developments

Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Stakeholders in these livestock production chains have to respond to the changes brought by technology and they also have to deal with an ever increasing number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food-quality standards and sustainable labels.

As primary producers are affected by international trade agreements, local livestock production can no longer be seen in isolation from such developments, which is precisely what this programme is designed to anticipate. It therefore examines each actor in the chain (suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers), particularly in the stages from input to processing. It also approaches the overall chain aspects from the perspective of economics, logistics, quality control, certification, marketing channels, and information flows.

The programme is meant for mid-career livestock professionals in the public or private sector involved in management or consultancy. Others may be involved in regional development policies or development projects or they may be lecturers at institutes of higher education. These managers have the task to facilitate the actors and supporters of the chain or to mainstream the concept of value chain development.

Competences

In line with the educational principles at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences, this programme ensures that participants develop competences with regard to:

• facilitating the governance of sustainable value chains

• initiating innovative chain processes and projects

• supporting business service entrepreneurs

• showing a professional attitude in a changing international business environment

• conducting applied research that contributes to an efficient and sustainable value chain

• developing policies for inclusive value chains

• effectively communicate value chain developments to specialists and non-specialists

Career opportunities

Managers and advisors of programmes and companies related to livestock chains will gain specialised competences that enable them to improve the management and innovative capacity of their organisation. By integrating livestock chain subjects with management skills and by addressing entrepreneurial and institutional aspects of agriculture, the programme will train them to anticipate changes in demand and policies at local, national and international levels. It will thus enhance their ability to manage and innovate.

Scholarships

Our Master programmes are eligible for the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP), formerly the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. The Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) is targeted at professionals from selected developing countries who, after their studies in the Netherlands, will be able to further develop and strengthen the organisations at which they work.



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To gain an internationally-recognised University of London Masters qualification, you don’t need to study in London. We understand the difficulties many people face with full-time study and have joined forces with the University of London International Programmes, to offer study by distance learning. Read more

To gain an internationally-recognised University of London Masters qualification, you don’t need to study in London. We understand the difficulties many people face with full-time study and have joined forces with the University of London International Programmes, to offer study by distance learning.

The programme includes can lead to MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate or Individual Modules in Livestock Health and Production.

Developed by academic experts at The Royal Veterinary College, studies are aimed primarily at veterinarians, animal health specialists and livestock farmers, however, optional modules make our studies suitable for people from a range of professional backgrounds. The programme addresses contemporary issues of livestock production and has a worldwide relevance.  

Our graduates find that the international recognition and prestige of their degree opens doors and creates opportunities in their careers.

Programme aims

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

An introduction from Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever Distance Learning Programme Director:

Providing distance learning courses, as part of the University of London International Programmes, is a challenging but very rewarding role. We have students from all over the world and our team works very hard to ensure that we offer them programmes that are of an academically high standard and relevant to the contemporary needs of livestock farming and veterinary medicine. It’s a wonderfully rewarding experience to see our students successfully completing their courses and graduating. To find out more, please view the Distance Learning Programme Leaflet 2017/8

How you study

If your job requires frequent travel or you work irregular hours, distance learning offers a means of furthering your studies without having to attend the University in person. You also avoid additional travel, accommodation and living expenses of being a full-time student in London. 

How we support you  

Although you are provided with the materials you need to successfully complete your study with a minimum of direct academic support, you do receive support in several ways:  

You may contact the RVC Programme Office on a day-to-day basis with general queries and academic support is offered via on-line tutorials.

For each module, you can submit up to three written assignments for tutor comment and assessment.   

Your career

Our graduates find that the international recognition and prestige of their degree opens doors and creates opportunities in their careers.

Graduates of the programme are employed in a variety of organisations including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), university veterinary faculties and international organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Please refer to the Programme Specification for 'Educational Aims and Learning Outcomes' and 'After Graduation'.



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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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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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Livestock are vital to the lives of millions of people, but endemic and epidemic diseases that affect livestock limit productivity and exacerbate poverty. Read more

Livestock are vital to the lives of millions of people, but endemic and epidemic diseases that affect livestock limit productivity and exacerbate poverty.

The diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people also threaten the health of livestock keepers, their families and their communities. In many developing regions farmers and animal health workers are often ill equipped to deal with this risk.

This programme draws together expertise from across the University to deliver first-class teaching and research to tackle these issues.

Building on a solid foundation of biological, immunological, pathological and epidemiological principles, this online MSc will equip you with the skills needed to identify, control and manage animal diseases and the expertise to tackle the international animal health challenges of the 21st Century.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

Students may study to certificate, diploma or masters level.

Year 1: certificate

  • Applied Epidemiology and Surveillance
  • Host Responses to Infection
  • Pathogen Strategies for Transmission and Survival

Year 2: diploma

You will undertake the following compulsory course:

  • Zoonotic disease

Choose one one of the following two courses:

  • Surveillance and control of transboundary diseases affecting international trade
  • An introduction to transboundary diseases and their impact on trade and wildlife populations

Then choose from the following electives (up to 60 credits):

  • Control of economically important parasites
  • Environmental and nutritional diseases of livestock of international importance
  • New developments in epidemiology and the control of vector borne disease
  • Veterinary vaccinology
  • Wildlife animal health and environment
  • Technology advances in veterinary diagnostics
  • Animal disease survey design and analysis
  • Project planning and decision support for animal disease control
  • Animal healthcare systems in the post-privatisation era
  • Introduction to health and production of aquatic species
  • Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
  • Advanced GIS and spatial epidemiology and modelling
  • An Introduction of Project Cycle Management
  • Globalisation and health
  • The Modern Zoo
  • The Use of Artificial Reproductive Technologies in Threatened Species
  • Pastoralism and herd health
  • Zoonotic diseases in a global setting
  • Socioeconomic Principles for One Health

Year 3: masters

For a masters, you will choose either to conduct a written reflective element of 10–15,000 words or to take Project Cycle Management and Funding Application Preparation.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

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.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to enhance your career in animal management throughout the world with first-rate expertise and a highly regarded qualification.



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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

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 language of instruction is English. 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.

Study programme

Today’s specialists in livestock and companion animals need a fundamental scientific training, combined with a critical attitude towards all aspects constraining sustainable development of animal husbandry. The master Animal Sciences, which is unique for the Netherlands, offers the multidisciplinary training necessary for a future career in this field.

On the Programme of Animal Sciences page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.

Specialisations

Within the master programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.

  • Genetics and Biodiversity
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Global and Sustainable Production
  • Adaptation, Health and Welfare
  • Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning
  • Animal Ecology

Professional tracks

Next to your specialisation, you can also choose a Professional track. These tracks prepare you for a specific type of career.

Your future career

Now that you have read all the information about the MSc programme Animal Sciences, you can find at this page what kind of work you can do after you graduate from this programme. Animal scientists find work primarily at universities or in the business sector, such as in the feed and pharmaceutical (veterinary medicines) industries.

Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.

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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The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. Read more
The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. The organic sector requires highly trained individuals to work as certification officers, advisers, agronomists, farmers, farm managers and livestock specialists. SRUC offers this programme to enable students with a variety of academic and working experiences to gain a fast-track understanding of the key technical production, marketing and management aspects of organic farming and food.

This enables students to build on their existing expertise and aspirations, and to give them enhanced career opportunities as practitioners, promoters and facilitators within the sector.

The organic farming courses are offered on a part-time distance learning basis to allow those in continuing employment or with family commitments to be able to participate. Course participants come from a wide range of backgrounds, including farmers, growers, vets and other agricultural and food sector workers who wish to develop their career and businesses in the organic food and farming sector, as well as those from unrelated backgrounds wishing to increase their knowledge and understanding of organic systems.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:
- An ability to critically appraise organic farming as an agricultural system
- A good understanding of the organic sector
- A sound knowledge of the science underpinning organic farming
- An understanding of the marketing, business & quality assurance requirements for organic produce
- Work placement experience
- Research skills (MSc only)

The course is accessible through its delivery by part-time on-line distance learning.

Course Content

The course modules comprise of a mix of technical production, marketing and management, and skill development modules.

Organic Forage and Livestock Production

This module will provide an understanding of the role of forage legumes in organic systems and describe grassland management systems that maximise the contribution of legumes. Students will also be given an understanding of the organic approach to livestock production, particularly in terms of animal welfare, preventative health management and nutrition.

Soils and Nutrient Cycling

This module will aim to provide the students with the tools for optimal management of their soils. Ultimately, they should be able to describe soil properties, evaluate soil fertility and assess management requirements in the context of organic farming. The module provides an understanding of the chemical, physical and biological features of soil fertility and nutrient cycling and develops practical skills in soil assessment and whole farm nutrient budgeting.

Organic Crop Production

This module will provide an understanding of methods of crop production for arable and vegetable field crops, with particular reference to organic farming in the UK. The module will develop an understanding of breeding, establishment, nutrition, protection, harvesting and storage in the context of organic crop production of field crops.

Organic Farming Case Study

This module will improve the student's ability to undertake whole farm analysis and in particular organic conversion planning. Whole farm analysis involves a range of skills and examination of a wide range of issues: technical, financial, marketing and environmental. The module will require the student to integrate the knowledge gained in other modules, to provide an evaluation and plan for the conversion to organic production of an actual farm example.

Organic Farming Profession

This module will provide an overview of the philosophy, principles, history and development of the organic farming industry. The organic standards will be introduced and the ways in which they are used to regulate the organic food and farming industry at UK, European and world levels will be covered. The roles of the main UK organisations that influence the development of the organic sector will also be explored.

Organic Farming Work Placement

This module will allow students to become familiar with an organisation or business in the organic food and farming sector during a 6-week (or equivalent) work placement. The student will gather relevant and unique material to enable them to carry out a technical and business analysis and make recommendations for future development of the organisation or business in question. The material will also be used in class discussion and to contribute to group learning.

Issues in Organic Farming

This module explores the public goods delivered by organic farming. It develops an understanding of food quality and the role and application of Quality Assurance (QA) Schemes in the organic food sector to meet the needs of relevant legislation and consumer concerns. The module also provides an overview of the principles of environmental management in the context of organic agriculture, helping students gain an appreciation of the potential impacts of agricultural enterprises on the environment, measures for minimising such impacts, and opportunities for incorporating positive environmental management measures into farm business plans.

Marketing and Business Management in the Organic Farming Sector

This module will provide an understanding of the concepts, principles and techniques involved in marketing management and how they are applied in the context of the organic farming sector. Financial accounts are one source of information regarding an organic business, and aid the process of planning and control. This module will provide an understanding of accounts to assist in the process of setting goals within a business and assessing the financial consequences of alternatives.

Course Format

This course is studied part time through on-line distance learning. This allows those in continuing employment or with family commitments to participate. With the exception of several weekend schools and a short study tour, the learning is carried out in the student's home or work place.

The MSc Project (taken following successful completion of taught modules)
Provides an opportunity for in-depth individual research on a topic related to organic farming.

Postgraduate Diploma

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level for students who opt not to progress to the Masters. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study 4 modules per year and complete the PgDip in two years. This would normally take an average of 12 to 15 hours study time a week.

Study Tour

The study tour is used to visit a range of organic and conventional farms as well as businesses operating in the organic food supply and distribution chain. In the taught modules an element of student choice is often built in through the use of essay and other course work topics that cover areas of potential interest. There is also a Work Placement module. Students following the distance learning course may gain exemption from the practical element of the placement but will require to complete a report of their work experience.

The study weekends and short study tour are an integral part of teaching delivery and students are strongly recommended to attend these if they are to succeed in this course.

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Research profile. The Neurobiology Division conducts research in the fields of neurobiology and neuropathology. We investigate mechanisms that regulate normal brain function as well as the causes and consequences of dysfunction during ageing and in acute or chronic neurodegenerative disease. Read more

Research profile

The Neurobiology Division conducts research in the fields of neurobiology and neuropathology. We investigate mechanisms that regulate normal brain function as well as the causes and consequences of dysfunction during ageing and in acute or chronic neurodegenerative disease.

The division has an excellent track-record in the supervision and training of postgraduate students by staff highly experienced in teaching and research. It has 13 Group Leaders and 1 career track fellow who supervise more than 10 postgraduate students.

Why our work is important

Some of our current research focuses on:

  • identifying new TSE strains and their zoonotic potential, examining routes of transmission and the genetics of host susceptibility to disease
  • characterising the pathways and cells involved in the uptake and transport of TSE agents to the brain using rodent models and our natural scrapie sheep flock
  • understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration associated with both chronic and acute neurodegenerative disease using unique disease models
  • understanding the long-term consequences of adverse experiences in early life on future health
  • identifying novel mechanisms regulating homeostasis and responses to stress in neuronal networks

In addressing these fundamental questions we contribute to the improvement of both animal and human health, livestock productivity and welfare.

Students will be able to take advantage of our multidisciplinary tools including proteomics, bio-imaging, computer-aided behavioural analysis, genetics, molecular biology, in vitro cell models, transgenic rodent models and natural diseases of large animals to dissect biological networks in the nervous and immune systems. The Roslin Institute is uniquely placed to transfer our experience of rodent models into livestock species such as sheep and pigs.

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.



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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 Graduate Diploma in Agriculture is particularly appropriate for students who are re-directing their careers towards agriculture. Read more
The Graduate Diploma in Agriculture is particularly appropriate for students who are re-directing their careers towards agriculture. In addition to developing the pure agriculturist, the course provides students with a detailed knowledge of the UK agricultural industry.

Students are able to handpick their modules from a broad range of subject areas, to create a bespoke course, tailor made to meet their individual requirements. The ability to customise course content makes this the ideal opportunity for graduates, and professionals from other disciplines, looking to re-direct their career towards agricultural and associated rural industries.

A summer study tour, and £250 worth of rural skills training, are included in the cost of the course.

Structure

The course may be studied full-time over one academic year, or part-time over two, three or four years.

You will complete three compulsory modules, followed by four modules selected from a wide range of undergraduate modules allowing you to tailor the course to meet your career aspirations. You can undertake practical skills training courses at the Rural Innovation Centre to further enhance their employability.

You will participate in lectures, farm walks and visits, case studies, assignments, and management projects to develop your knowledge across curricular themes. You will also take part in a summer study tour, which exposes you to a variety of agricultural enterprises.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to complete pre-course reading in order to secure a minimum basic knowledge of agriculture and to highlight possible areas of weakness.

Modules

• 2256 Applied Agricultural Science
• 3100 Farm Business Management
• 3227 Agricultural Management

Plus choice of FOUR elective modules from:

• 1008 Agricultural Mechanisation and Buildings
• 1046 Human Nutrition, Health and Society
• 1054 Introduction to Food Production
• 2086 Red Meat Chains
• 2087 White Meat Chains
• 2232 Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship and Enterprise Development
• 3006 Emerging Agricultural Issues
• 3008 Advanced Livestock Production
• 3009 Agricultural & Equine Journalism
• 3010 Game & Deer Management
• 3011 Rural Business Diversification
• 3020 Advanced Crop Production
• 3067 Farm Machinery Management
• 3084 Entrepreneurship
• 3087 Advanced Dairy Food Chains
• 3090 Forestry and Woodland Management
• 3093 Farmland Ecology
• 3096 Wine Industry
• 3097 Small Scale Farming and Local Food Supply
• 3104 Food and Agri-business Strategies
• 3205 Management Information Systems for Farming Businesses
• 3207 Farming and Integrated Environment Local Delivery
• 3210 Applied Agricultural Finance
• 3218 Sustainable Business and Agrifood Supply Chains
• 3228 Integrated Organic Systems

Career prospects

Many graduates enter practical farming or take up commercial or administrative posts in the related land-based industries. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers as:

• Farm Managers
• Farm Workers
• Senior Planners
• Project Managers
• Livestock Skills Instructors

Graduates may qualify for progression on to a Masters course.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.rau.ac.uk/STUDY/POSTGRADUATE/HOW-APPLY

Funding

For information on funding, please view the following page: https://www.rau.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/funding

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Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. Read more

Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. We explore applications of basic animal sciences to veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

The programme is held in the world-famous Roslin Institute, which is housed in a state-of-the-art research building on the Easter Bush campus, adjacent to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. As a member of staff at the Institute, you will benefit from our world-class reputation for research in a vibrant, successful academic community.

You will acquire expert scientific knowledge and practical skills in animal sciences, veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

Programme structure

The programme involves courses that are a blend of lectures, guided practical studies and independent research. You will also complete your own dissertation.

Courses include:

  • Foundations of Animal Science
  • One Health and Comparative Animal Models
  • Laboratory Tools for the Biosciences
  • Avian Biology and Development
  • Analytical Methods in Animal Biosciences
  • One Health, Zoonoses and Emerging Infections
  • Semester 1 courses
  • Semester 2 courses

Dissertation

You will prepare a research proposal based on your laboratory or bioinformatic research project and will carry out this project under the supervision of a staff member of the Roslin Institute.

Career opportunities

This programme develops theoretical knowledge and practical skills, giving graduates a number of potential career development options in academia or industry.

We envisage that at least 50 per cent of our graduates will find a PhD placement after this MSc.

Our programme has been tailored to fulfil industry demand in vivo skills and a wide range of our industrial partners have told us that graduates from this programme will be attractive employees.



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