Animal Sciences (BAS) / BSc


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, genetics, nutrition and environmental and animal ethics issues. 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 in two specialisations. The specialisation 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 specialisation Biological Functioning of Animals has a more physiological focus. In this specialisation you need sophisticated molecular techniques to unravel the why and how of physiological responses.
Students complete their specialisation with a BSc thesis, a short research project that aims to integrate all (disciplinary) knowledge and skills of the previous years. 
Broaden your Horizon.
The Broaden your Horizon programme takes place in the third year of our BSc programme and will help you to explore and experience what it means to be globally engaged in Animal Management and Production. In this optional element you will be visiting a research university abroad to complete your BSc thesis and, if you are interested, follow courses for a period for at least 2-4 months. During your stay abroad you will build relationships with international peers, develop leadership skills, reflect on animal ethical perspectives in a different country and context and reflect on the problems of worldwide husbandry of livestock and pets. The skills and experiences you will acquire will help you to develop to become an Animal Scientist in a world-wide community.

Learning Outcomes

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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- critically evaluate the concepts, approaches and methodologies of the various disciplinary domains within animal (terrestrial and aquatic) sciences including breeding, health, behaviour and nutrition;
- 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;
- 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.


A - Animal Management and Care;
B - 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.

Programme Director

Dr. ir. R.P. Kwakkel
Phone: 0317-(4)82468 / -(4)83147 (secretary: Francine Wartena)

Study Adviser(s)

- T. van Soest - Bosman MSc (student name A - K)
Phone: 0317-(4)84593
- Dr. I. Palm (student name L - Z)
Phone: 0317-(4)86191
- F. Wartena MSc (International Students)
Phone: 0317-(4)83147

Programme Committee

Chair: Prof. dr. ir. H. Bovenhuis
Secretary: Dr. ir. S. Kranenbarg


Study Association

'De Veetelers'

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MAM Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management;
MAS Animal Sciences;
MBF Bioinformatics;
MDR Development and Rural Innovation;
MOA Organic Agriculture.