APS-20806 Systems Approach in Animal Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EAM Bokkers
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. EAM Bokkers
dr. R Ripoll Bosch
Examiner(s)dr. ir. EAM Bokkers

Language of instruction:


Internet site:


Continuation courses:

APS-30306 Sustainability Assessment of Animal Systems; APS-31306 Future Livestock Systems.


The course gives an introduction into the systems approach. This approach is practised using examples from current animal production practices
This course is also available as Distance Learning course; see for more information http://www.distancelearning.wur.nl/UK/

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- define the system that corresponds to a specific research question. This implies that, given the research question, the student is able to define the system boundary, the components of the system and their mutual relations, and the context of the system;
- apply the systems approach and the different methods/techniques used in different steps, as applied by the Animal Production Systems group to explore sustainable development options of animal production systems;
- analyse farm characteristics statistically;
- simulate the behavior of a system in time using STELLA software;
- apply linear programming and scenario analysis as tools to study sustainable development options in animal production systems;
- use measurement instruments to detect human preferences and perceptions regarding animal production systems;
- assess the contribution of various animal production systems to sustainable development based on quantification of sustainability indicators.


This course contains six chapters. Each chapter deals with a topic, which is introduced by a general lecture. Subsequently, students study the lecture material and prepare the assignment individually. Each week is concluded with a lecture in which feed back on the assignment is presented and discussed.


Written test with open questions (in English to be answered in English or Dutch).


Study guide and reader in English.

Compulsory for: BASAnimal SciencesBSc4WD
Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScC: Global and Sustainable Production4WD