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Gain practical knowledge and skills through a mix of theory and hands-on experience. With studies covering farm, companion and captive animals, you can learn about the area of animal science that fascinates you most.

Based on our Whiteknights campus and with visits to our working farms and animal-related organisations in the local area, your degree will be built on a foundation of core modules that ensure that you'll meet the industry's expectations for highly qualified University of Reading graduates.

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Diversity in your studies

You will cover the branches of biology relevant to understanding how animals function, including physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, nutrition and metabolism. You'll also cover applied sciences such as animal health, behaviour and welfare, and will have opportunities to learn about other branches of biology such as ecosystems and the agricultural sciences, so you'll understand how animals interact with the world we live in.

You will also have the opportunity to take modules from our zoology and biology departments if you're interested in ecology, wildlife, conservation or biomedical-based sciences. You can also opt to take more agriculture-focused modules.

You will get a broad view of the animal science industry. Many of our lectures involve hands-on project work on our farms, so you'll get an insight into cutting-edge animal production and animal science research, and you'll be trained to use certain laboratory facilities.

Put theory into practice

In addition to the access to animals you'll have on our working farms and research facilities, you'll benefit from our collaborations with several local animal organisations that provide us with access to teaching resources.

These include small animal collections, such as small mammals, birds and exotics, as well as zoo species and horses, ensuring there are opportunities to put the theory you have learnt into practice.

Learn from industry experts

Our academics and researchers influence government policy, new innovation and product development.

We're a significant contributor to the University-wide centres for food security, climate change, and cardiovascular and metabolic research.

We also work with other institutions, many of them overseas.

Because our staff are actively engaged in world-class research, they tailor their teaching to reflect changing trends and emerging technologies within the sector. And when transferred to a teaching environment, our research excellence enables students to develop similarly excellent research skills that are highly regarded by employers.

Study abroad

Stand out from the crowd by considering our Study Abroad option. By choosing to do a four-year degree, you can apply to study at one of our partner institutions for a year, or spend six months abroad and another six months working in the sector.

In an increasingly international and mobile world, studying abroad can help boost your future employability. It provides an exciting opportunity to acquire numerous transferable and desirable skills, and study specialisms additional to what's offered at Reading. It's also a fantastic life experience.

To qualify for the Study Abroad option, you must meet the requirements of the host institution. This option is highly competitive and is therefore not guaranteed.

All courses offered by our partner universities are taught in English.

Learn more about studying abroad

Placements

A placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience, develop industry-specific knowledge and skills, and network with potential future employers.

Getting the balance right between theory and practice is a vital part of maximising your future career prospects. We've developed links with industry contacts in the sectors that are relevant to you, and we offer the chance for work experience opportunities during term time and in the vacation periods.

View our placements brochure (PDF, 524 KB)

Professional placement year

If you're doing a four-year degree, you'll have the opportunity to spend 12 months on a placement year and work with one of our industry partners.

We have strong links with a diverse mix of companies that offer relevant placements for students. Many are often looking for Reading undergraduates.

Recent students have undertaken their year with Danisco Animal Nutrition (part of DuPont), Chester Zoo, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust at Jersey Zoo and the RSPCA.

You will be supported by our advisory services and a dedicated member of staff, who will assist in finding and supporting your year out.

Six-month placements

On a four-year degree, you have the option to spend six months on a placement with the other six months spent studying abroad.

Summer placements

Many of our students undertake three months of paid work experience during the summer vacation to gain further insight into the career path they want to pursue.

You can also participate in a six-week placement linked to research undertaken at the University. These placements are generally completed in the summer before your final year.

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Undergraduate courses

Our BSc Animal Science degree focuses on domestic and captive animals, their biology, and the science behind how humans manage them to ensure they thrive in our society. We also offer the course with a Foundation or Placement Year.
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Why study with us?

Benefit from our links with the animal science community including the British Society of Animal Science, and our excellent large animal research facilities. Gain the skills you need for a career in animal health, nutrition, welfare or research.

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Life in the Department

Join our friendly, research-active department to take part in seminars, where you'll hear from our community of staff, PhD researchers and guest speakers at the forefront of the discipline.