Animal Sciences (BAS) / BSc

Profile

The BSc programme Animal Sciences can be regarded as an applied area of zoology. It provides a learning environment for students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the biological basis and concepts of the functioning of domesticated animals, as well as basic knowledge on mathematics, statistics, chemistry and economics.
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) and zoo-animals, 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 behavioral responses of individual or groups of animals. Animal breeding plays an integral role in ensuring genetic (bio)diversity and disease resistance by using quantitative, biological and molecular techniques.
All of these aspects are covered by two majors (focusing on either terrestrial animals or aquatic organisms) within the BSc programme Animal Sciences.
Students complete their major with a BSc thesis, a short research projects that aims to integrate all (disciplinary) knowledge of the previous years.

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 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 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;
- demonstrate a scientific approach by the ability to retrieve and select relevant literature for 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 simple research project, either by executing an in vivo experiment or by collecting and reviewing (literature) data;
- work in a team of students to perform a small project within the context of a course;
- communicate the results of a research project to a (semi-) professional audience, both verbally and in writing, in Dutch, and if relevant, in English;
- reflect (under supervision) individually or in group sessions upon their personal knowledge, skills and attitude, and design and plan a learning path.

Majors

- Terrestrial Animals;
- Aquatic Organisms.

Programme Director

Dr ir R.P. Kwakkel
Phone: 0317-(4)82468 / -(4)83147
Email: rene.kwakkel@wur.nl

Study Adviser(s)

Dr ir E. Kanis
Phone: 0317-(4)83617
Email: egbert.kanis@wur.nl

Programme Committee

Chair: Prof. dr ir M.C.M. de Jong
Secretary: Dr W. Hazeleger

Internet

http://www.bdw.wur.nl

Study Association

'De Veetelers'
Internet: http://www.veetelers.nl

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MAM Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MAS Animal Sciences
MBF Bioinformatics
MDR Development and Rural Innovation
MFQ Food Quality Management
MOA Organic Agriculture