Masters degrees in Agricultural Zoology provide advanced study and training in all agricultural aspects of animal biology, including breeding, behaviour, physiology, disease, development, and interactions with the environment.
Specialisms related to this subject include topics such as Animal Welfare and Conservation, Animal Nutrition and Applied Animal Biology. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant field such as Biology or Animal Sciences.
Masters degrees in Agricultural Zoology examine the significance of animal biology in agricultural activities, by exploring scientific solutions to everyday issues like food production and distribution for an increasing population.
You may focus your studies on different aspects of animal biology, for example breeding and genetics, and their effect on agricultural cultivation. You may even explore the means of manipulating these factors for the purpose of rearing livestock efficiently and sustainably.
Careers traditionally include roles in the agri-food industry, such as food production management and quality assurance. You would also be suited to consultancy within governing bodies and agencies.
A Masters in this field is also ideal preparation for further research at PhD level, perhaps exploring issues such the effect of livestock on the environment.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
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.
The programme will use the University’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, web-based discussion forums and expert tuition.
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:
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:
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.
The courses and programme as a whole will provide: