BSc Animal Science

UCAS Code: D320 / D300
Course length: 3 years full time (D320) or 4 years including a placement year (D300)

HorseAnimal Science is concerned with understanding and applying the scientific disciplines that underpin the management of productive, companion and captive animals. This an essential degree subject for students wishing to pursue careers in the animal industry and related fields including the nutritional sciences, agriculture and captive species management through to veterinary biosciences.

The degree provides students with an understanding of the scientific principles of how animals work; from how interventions in an animal's nutrition and environment can influence the physiology and biochemistry of major organ systems and tissues, down to the structure and function of cells and biomolecules. We give particular emphasis to the study of growth, reproduction, nutrition and lactation of farm and companion animals and how these processes may be optimized to improve animal productivity, health and welfare. Through optional modules, the course also provides the opportunity to develop an understanding of more exotic species, whether as captive animals or ranging within their natural habitat.

Course overview

We have our Animal Science brochure available for you to download, which provides further details of the course structure and modules.

In Year 1 you will cover the fundamental scientific disciplines in animal science and other branches of biology. Year 2 includes a range of modules in animal and agricultural science which explain the control and integration of life processes at all tiers of organisation from biomolecules to ecosystems. In the final year you choose from a diverse range of advanced courses, some of which address biological problems (and solutions) in animal production or focus on the biology and management of companion and zoo animals. It also allows you to put your knowledge into practice in a research project. Topics chosen by previous students include:

  • Factors associated with the variation in iodine concentration of organic and conventional milk
  • Influence of age, weight and body condition on canine urinary glucose as an indicator of diabetes risk
  • A comparison of chemical components, digestive value and intake of two commercial rabbit feeds
  • Effects of production system on concentration of vitamin D3 in eggs
  • Relationship between lameness and fertility in dairy cattle

Staff at Reading welcome specific questions you may have, either about the nature of the courses themselves, or potential career areas you feel you might be interested in hearing more about. Email if you would like to get in touch. In the meantime, browse through more detailed course information by selecting from the tabs to the left.

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