Masters degrees in Livestock train postgraduates in the most efficient means of rearing animals for agricultural and commercial purposes. This includes exploring breeding, genetics, immunology and food safety, animal nutrition, and the relationship between livestock and wildlife.
Specialisms in this field include Livestock Management and Livestock Health. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant field such as biological, environmental, or veterinary science.
Postgraduate study of Livestock and Livestock Science offers more than just an analysis of supply and demand. Expect to gain wide-ranging knowledge of the agri-food industry, including its commercial viability and environmental implications, as well as government policy on food safety and modification.
You can opt to focus your studies on particular kinds of livestock care and management, such as poultry or bovine farming. You may even choose to explore how farming methods and landscaping can effect livestock production.
Possible careers include farm and factory management, consultancy in environmental and governing bodies, or even marketing, advertising and communications.
Alternatively, you may wish to use your Masters degree as a basis for further PhD research in fields such as veterinary science or industrial analysis.
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.
The aims of the programme are to
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.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
There has never been a more urgent need to train food security researchers who are equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. As outlined in The Royal Society’s 2009 report Reaping the Benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture, it is of vital importance that we increase crop yields significantly over the next 50 years, while also decreasing our dependency on chemical intervention and fertilizers.
This interdisciplinary programme was developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including: the agricultural industry, government agencies (including Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (fera)), and farmers and food manufacturers. Research-led teaching in molecular plant pathology, plant sciences, and microbiology is strongly supplemented by Rothamsted Research, North Wyke expertise in grassland management, soil science, and sustainable farming systems. The combination of expertise in both arable and pastureland systems ensures a truly rounded learning experience. Leading social scientists also provide valuable input on land use and economic practices in rural areas.
The curriculum is designed to address critical shortages of experts capable of working in government agencies, agriculture, and the food industry as researchers, advisers, policy developers, and managers. The programme provides opportunities to gain industrial and practical experience and observe food security issues first-hand during field trips.
Teaching is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry. Scientific staff from Fera provide specialist lectures as part of the Crop Security module, members of the Plant Health Inspectorate cover field aspects of plant pathology, and a LEAF1 farmer addresses agricultural systems and the realities of food production using integrated farm management. In addition, teaching staff from the University and BBSRC Rothamsted-North Wyke will draw on material and experiences from their academic research and scientific links with industry.
All students will have opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences. Teaching visits will be made to the Plant Health Inspectorate in Cornwall to see quarantine management of Phytophthora, and to a local LEAF farm to review the challenges and approaches to food production in integrated farm management systems. You will gain specialised experience in practical science or policy making through a dissertation or project placement with external agencies. Defra and Fera, for example, are offering five dissertation and/or project placements annually.
The programme is made up of modules. The list of modules may include the following;
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand. Please see the website for an up to date list (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/foodsecurity/#Programme-structure)
The MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture curriculum has been designed in collaboration with the agricultural industry to tackle the skills shortage that exists in this vital interdisciplinary area. This programme will provide the highly skilled individuals required in government agencies, agriculture and food industries for critical roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security.
With food security and sustainable agriculture a global concern, opportunities for specialists in the areas of agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant improvement will be worldwide. By combining expertise across the natural, social and political sciences, this programme provides valuable interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in both arable and pastureland systems. Graduates will be prepared to take on the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture, being able to adapt to farming systems across the world and identify cross-disciplinary solutions to local agricultural problems.
The programme is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry, with specialist lectures, teaching visits to observe the practical application of techniques, and industrial placement opportunities for project work or dissertations in practical science or policy making.
This programme is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in agriculture and sustainable development in the private sector, research, NGO or government communities. It provides a firm grounding in research methods applicable to the study of sustainable agriculture and the intellectual tools for understanding sustainable agriculture systems. The courses combine theoretical approaches and empirically based learning from case studies of real projects and agricultural scenarios.
Many of NRI's academics are research active. Teaching will focus on case studies from NRI's corporate experience. You will look at how research into agricultural issues, both in the natural and social sciences, can be translated into knowledge and products that have real impact on increasing the effectiveness of agriculture in enhancing livelihoods for all stakeholders. The potential role of agricultural innovations, both in technology, including biotechnology, knowledge systems, extension services and institutional partnerships in promoting development are also a strong theme in courses.
The aims of the programme are:
As of the 2018/2019 session the courses offered on this programme will be revised and the programme title may change, but the content will still focus on sustainable agriculture.
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses
Students are required to choose 60 credits from this list of options
All courses are subject to student numbers
Assessment consists of a combination of:
This programme provides specialist expertise for those working or seeking to work in agricultural development or research, or pursuing an advanced agricultural or development qualification in the UK and overseas. Students graduate with a broad general knowledge of agricultural applications in sustainable development and also more focused in-depth knowledge.