The BSc programme Animal Sciences is an academic programme in applied animal biology. It provides a learning environment for students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the biological basis and concepts of the functioning of domesticated animals and aquatic organisms, as well as basic knowledge on mathematics, statistics and chemistry.
The programme is directed to all types of domesticated animals such as livestock (farm animals, mainly cattle, pigs and poultry), fish (including fisheries), companion animals (horses, dogs and cats), zoo-animals and (semi) wildlife, in any function for human use and well-being. Examples of such functions are food production, companionship, sports, processing of waste, banking and nature conservation.
The programme is disciplinary oriented and focuses on aspects such as animal health and welfare, breeding, nutrition and the quality of animal products. Students are particularly trained to become aware of the need for multidisciplinary approaches in animal sciences.
The objective of the programme is to educate academic professionals who are able to explore sustainable development options for complex, society driven problems of a wide range of animal husbandry systems. Development of such systems is constrained by technical factors (such as feed supply, animal health, level of management and genetic diversity) and by infra-structural, ecological and socio-economic factors. E.g. animal-human interactions become increasingly important in high-income developed countries, whereas food security in terms of animal protein is still key issue in developing countries worldwide.
Animal health and welfare play a key role in this field, focusing on the effects of the environment (housing, nutrition and management) on physiological (e.g. the immunological status) and behavioural responses of an individual or groups of animals. Animal breeding plays an integral role in ensuring genetic (bio)diversity and disease resistance, by means of quantitative, biological and molecular techniques.
All of these aspects are covered by two majors. The major Animal Management and Care has a focus on how to manage the animals we care for in terms of nutrition, housing and how to prevent these animals to become ill. The major Biological Functioning of Animals has a more physiological focus. In this major you need sophisticated molecular techniques to unravel the why and how of physiological responses.
Students complete their major with a BSc thesis, a short research project that aims to integrate all (disciplinary) knowledge and skills of the previous years.
After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- explain the biological functioning of animals in relation to their environment, both at a fundamental level and in the various purposes of (captive) animals for human use and well-being;
- critically evaluate the concepts, approaches and methodologies of the various disciplinary domains within animal (terrestrial and aquatic) sciences including breeding, health, behaviour and nutrition;
- apply (chemical) laboratory and dissection techniques, mathematical and statistical methods for the collection and analyses of experimental data in animal sciences, and to evaluate their suitability for addressing specific research questions;
- make judgements on the sustainable development of animal (terrestrial or aquatic) systems, based on the knowledge of the (bio-)technological, ecological, socio-economic and ethical context in a world-wide setting;
- demonstrate a scientific approach by the ability to retrieve and select relevant literature from bibliographic databases and understand the process of testing hypotheses through experimental evidence;
- integrate the acquired disciplinary knowledge to obtain healthy animals in a safe environment for food and non-food functions; as well as identify gaps in his/her knowledge and to review and acquire new knowledge in response;
- design and conduct (under supervision) a short research project;
- work in a team of students with different backgrounds and nationalities to perform a small project within the context of a course and/or the entire programme;
- communicate the results of a research project to a (semi-) professional audience, both verbally and in writing, in English;
- reflect (under supervision) individually or in group sessions upon their personal knowledge, skills and attitude, and design and plan a learning path.
- Animal Management and Care;
- Biological Functioning of Animals.
Professional Track: Qualifying for a teacher in Biology.
It is possible for BSc Animal Sciences students to obtain a qualification as biology teacher in secondary education. Contact your study adviser for the options.
Dr.ir. R.P. Kwakkel
Phone: 0317-(4)82468 / -(4)83147 (secretary: Francine Wartena)
- Dr. I. Palm (Year 1)
- Dr.ir. E. Kanis (Year 2,3)
Chair: prof.dr.ir. J. Keijer
Secretary: dr.ir. S. Kranenbarg
Unconditional Admission to the MSc
MAM Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MAS Animal Sciences
MDR Development and Rural Innovation
MOA Organic Agriculture
Language of Instruction
BSc Minor Coordinator
Dr.ir. E. Kanis