Animal Science

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The MSc in Animal Science at Aberystwyth University provides you with high quality research-led postgraduate teaching and education. With a strong emphasis on student-centred study, this degree will enable you to pursue your own interests in animal science, whilst also acquiring the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career across the breadth of animal sciences.

On this course, you will study animal science and its application to nutrition, breeding and animal management. This will enable you to be ideally placed to ensure that the demands of production and welfare are appropriately balanced, through the development and implementation of innovative management practices and dissemination of knowledge and advice to practitioners.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area or equivalent.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Course Overview

Throughout this course you will be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to explore collaborations with veterinarians, scientists and the industry, learning about the latest scientific advances in the field of animal science. You will encounter many opportunities to develop as a reflective, autonomous researcher, with a wide and expert understanding of both animal biology and its applications, and how to ensure that the demands of production and animal welfare are appropriately balanced.

Why study MSc Animal Science at Aberystwyth University?

  • The Department of Life Science (DLS) has an internationally renowned reputation for teaching and research in animal sciences
  • You will undertake a challenging course taught by enthusiastic, helpful and research-active staff, further enhanced by contributions from expert equine experts and academics, many of whom are of international renown
  • DLS has an equine teaching yard and the only dedicated and fully licensed equine research yard in the UK outside of veterinary colleges
  • Aberystwyth University has 800 ha of farmland, which supports a dairy cow unit using a robotic milking system, upland and lowland sheep and beef unit
  • The Pwllpeira‌‌n Upland Research‌‌ Centre at Aberystwyth University is a 500 ha upland grazing system, with sheep, goats and alpacas, used for research into upland farmed ecosystems
  • Our submission to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) displayed that 75% of our research is world-leading or internationally excellent, and 98% of our research is internationally recognised
  • DLS has been recently been awarded the 2023 Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for research carried out in the department.

About this course


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.


Scholarships are available for this course.

Additional funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Course Fees: 

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Breeding and Genetics BRM5820 20
Infection and Immunity BRM1620 20
Research Methods in the Biosciences BRM6420 20
M.Sc. Dissertation BRM3560 60


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Equine Nutrition BRM5320 20
Equine Reproductive Physiology and Breeding Technology BRM5220 20
Grassland Science BRM5120 20
Livestock Nutrition BRM0320 20
Livestock Production Science BRM5420 20
Understanding Equine Action: from Anatomy to Behaviour BRM6220 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh



Our Animal Science students often progress to careers in:

  • Scientific research
  • Scientific publishing
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Welfare
  • Teaching
  • Animal breeding
  • Consultancy
  • Laboratory work.

Many of our previous graduates have also progressed to PhDs or Veterinary Medicine.


This course will empower you to:

  • advance your specialised knowledge in Animal Science
  • enhance your problem-solving and data handling skills
  • develop study and research skills
  • develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study
  • develop your skills of original thought, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reasoning
  • enhance your communication skills
  • work effectively independently and as part of a team.

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied one year full-time or up to 24 months part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (usually six 20 credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practicals, field trips, workshops and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your Masters dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor. This is your opportunity to specialise and investigate in-depth an area that excites you.

What will I learn?

In the first semester, students will study a number of core modules, covering topics such as animal/equine breeding, genetics and infection and immunity. In the second semester students will choose a selection of modules from: equine nutrition, livestock nutrition, equine anatomy, equine behaviour, livestock production, equine reproductive physiology and stud management, and grassland science.

Students will also undertake a research training module, which will give them a strong grounding in statistical techniques and analytical approaches to biological investigations, and will enhance their research skills and techniques in preparation for their MSc Dissertation undertaken in Semester 3 (June to September).

Throughout the course, a strong emphasis is placed on student centred study. This culminates in the master’s dissertation, a key part of the course which allows you to pursue specific areas of interest.

How will I be assessed?

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment is via a mix of written assignments (essays, reports, case studies, research projects, research critiques, research proposals, critical reviews, and abstracts), written examinations, seminar presentations and online assignments.

Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc. 

Student Testimonials

Find out what our graduates thought about their time at Aberystwyth University

Ruth Clamp

After completing a BSc in Equine and Human Sport Science at Aberystwyth, I decided to develop my scientific knowledge of a wider range of animals by undertaking the Animal Science MSc course. The MSc was a challenge which I enjoyed. I liked the course design, giving core subjects that gave a good broad biological knowledge of the subject areas and also option modules which develop the core modules further in either equine or livestock areas. Lecturers on the course were very helpful and willing to help when needed.

Throughout the MSc I developed an interest in immunology and endocrinology. I completed my dissertation looking at the innate immune response within bovine mammary epithelial cells. This and many other skills that I learnt on the MSc course helped me to obtain Aberystwyth Doctoral Career Development Scheme funding to study for a PhD in bovine endometrial endocrinology and immunology.

Laurie Freedman

After completing my BSc in Animal Biology and a Veterinary Technician diploma in Ontario, Canada, I wanted to further my education in order to open the door on new opportunities for myself and my future career. Studying for a MSc in Animal Science at Aberystwyth University certainly did just that. By completing my MSc in a different country from my home environment, I welcomed the challenge of new learning experiences and exposure to innovative research that is emerging in animal sciences in the UK.

I was initially drawn to the MSc Animal Science programme at Aberystwyth University because it gave me the opportunity to learn about both livestock and equine sciences without having to focus solely on one species. I also enjoyed learning about a wide range of topics within the modules that were offered. The dissertation provided me with the opportunity to complete an in depth study of my specific interest whilst creating my own research. Throughout the twelve months of this programme I always found the lecturers to be very supportive and approachable. Whilst at Aberystwyth University I found the academic work to be very challenging. But in looking back on my year of study, I realize what a good foundation I received that along with my previous educational endeavours has helped me prepare for my current studies in Veterinary Medicine. Presently, I have completed the first of four years for my MVB at University College Dublin in Ireland. I thoroughly enjoyed my year at Aberystwyth University and I will always cherish the friends and great memories I made along the way.

Alaeddin Okuroglu

After graduating from Ankara University Faculty of Veterinary Science, I aimed to further improve my skills and knowledge about my work field with a proper English degree through being an MSc student in Animal Science at Aberystwyth University. I was accepted for Animal Science MSc programme and it was at that point that I understood how I am so lucky. At the beginning it was quite tough for me to understand the lecturers and the system of the programme due to cultural differences and my inadequate English. However, thanks to helpful coordinators and lecturers, I had chance to be aware of my mistakes and to correct them. Finally, I got myself into the course. I could enhance my vision and concentrate on my main interests through many assignments and presentations. Moreover, the course provided us with an opportunity to participate in workshops and conferences (BSAS), which opened up a certain avenue for my future career plans. On the other hand, I met many helpful and great people who I am still in touch with.

I have been working for Embryo Transfer Technology in the International Center for Livestock Research and Training in Turkey as a researcher since I graduated from Aberystwyth University. My government and many professor found it a big advantage doing my MSc in Animal Science in Aberystwyth University. The lectures on the MSc programme and my improved English make it easier for me now to do projects and also multidisciplinary research. I definitely suggest and encourage people, especially International students, to do the MSc Animal Science programme at Aberystwyth University.

Sarah Parkinson

I chose to study for my MSc in Animal Science after I discovered my love for nutrition during my studies for my BSc in Bioveterinary Science. I chose this degree to broaden my scientific knowledge and focus more on the specific nutrition for livestock and horses. The MSc pushed me academically and helped improve my knowledge not only in well-established subjects but also opened up areas of new research that is of extreme current importance within the food chain and also the environment.  My dissertation looking at poultry nutrition helped me to improve my critical thinking, planning and scientific writing skills. 

Since graduating from Aberystwyth I moved straight into the animal nutrition sector. I am currently an equine and animal nutritionist working for Allen & Page. The experiences and knowledge that I have gained at Aberystwyth have been invaluable in helping me get to where I am now and preparing me for a career in science.

Amanda Warr

The MSc covered a range of topics, introducing me to subjects I knew nothing about and improving upon my knowledge of molecular genetics and genetics in livestock breeding. My dissertation project involved using Next-Generation Sequencing to identify bacteria in horses with Inflammatory Airway Disease and involved collaboration with Cotts Equine Hospital. The course was certainly challenging, but was also thoroughly enjoyable. The group of students taking the course was quite small, and we all got on extremely well; I am still in touch with many of them. The lecturers were friendly, approachable and organized, and were always willing to help with any problems we were having.

Having completed my MSc I was accepted for a 4-year PhD in Genetics and Genomics at The University of Edinburgh in The Roslin Institute. My project involves using bioinformatics to find genetic variants in the pig genome that could be used to improve pork production or that could be used in medical modelling of human diseases. The use of sequencing in my MSc dissertation project not only helped me to get this position, but let me experience the practical side of genetics and genomics, helping me to really understand my data now. The MSc modules relating to genetics and statistics were extremely important in preparing me for the work I am doing, but I also find I am drawing from my knowledge of many of the other subjects we learned about such as endocrinology, reproduction and immunology.

The MSc in Animal Science at Aberystwyth gave me exactly what I was looking for the knowledge and experience I needed to further my career, some lifelong friends and some wonderful memories.