Animal Sciences (BAS) / BSc


The BSc programme Animal Sciences can be regarded as an applied area of zoology, directed to livestock (farm animals such as cattle, pigs and poultry), fish (including fisheries) and companion animals (horses, dogs, cats, etc.) in any function for human use and welfare. Examples of such functions are: food production, companionship, sports, processing of waste, banking, and nature conservation. The programme focuses at an optimisation of aspects such as animal health and welfare, breeding and nutrition, and the quality of products. Systems in which animals play an integral role are highly diverse. Development of such systems is constrained both by technical factors (such as food supply, animal health, level of management and genetic diversity), and by infra-structural, ecological and socio-economic factors. Today's livestock and companion animal specialists need a fundamental scientific training in applied zoology, combined with a critical attitude towards all aspects concerning sustainable development of animal husbandry practices.
In comparison to veterinary sciences, the focus in this programme is not on curing ill animals, but on measures to prevent animals from becoming ill and to prevent the spreading of diseases. The difference with zoology in biological programmes is the emphasis on the use of animals in specific functions for human welfare (companionship) and well-being (food provision).
The profound and broad education of the Bachelor student Animal Sciences is guaranteed by the fact that the programme, besides a fundamental approach in animal physiology and behaviour, also pays a lot of attention to the practice of animal husbandry and its positioning in an ecological and social context. A number of academic skills is included, directed to further studies and the future fields of work. The BSc-programme is concluded with a BSc- thesis elaborating on the integration of animal husbandry with societal conditions. The programme comprises 3 years and consists of compulsory courses up to 2.5 years to provide the future Bachelor with a profound and broad basis in zoology, genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, immunology and health, behaviour, food quality, and economics, as well as some mathematics, statistics and chemistry. Besides there is 0.5 year for optional courses to be used for individual specialization or for broadening the student's scope. The BDW-programme provides a complete basis for a Master programme in the field of (terrestrial) animal sciences or aquatic (marine) sciences, or any related life sciences programme (either technological or social).

Learning Outcomes

After succesful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- apply the principles of animal sciences, including technological, ecological, health and socio-economic aspects;
- integrate these disciplines to obtain healthy animals in a safe environment for food and non-food functions;
- understand 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 welfare;
- evaluate various disciplinary aspects of animal sciences including breeding, health, behaviour and nutrition;
- analyse animal systems, both in a (bio-) technological, and in an ecological, socio-economic, and ethical context;
- interpret the methodology and results of research in animal sciences;
- design a simple research project;
- communicate (verbally and in writing) the results of a research project.


- Terrestrial Animals;
- Aquatic Organisms.

Programme Director

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

Study Adviser(s)

Dr ir E. Kanis
Phone: 0317-(4)83617

Programme Committee

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


Study Association

'De Veetelers'

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

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