BSc single honours or in combination with another subject Animal Science 2017/18

Year of entry

Our learning resources in Animal Science have a 85% rating.

National Student Survey, 2016

Recent changes in animal welfare laws in Britain have meant that there is now more control and regulation of all animal-based enterprises. This has resulted in a greater need for a scientific approach to animal management and welfare across all businesses that work with animals. These sectors require well-prepared animal scientists able to apply their knowledge to emerging management issues.

This course seeks to provide you with a stimulating and challenging experience, and is intended for those aspiring to work in animal care, welfare or animal-based industries, from zoos and wildlife parks, to pet shops, veterinary situations, farms and wildlife conservation. Special consideration is given to scientific understanding of animal physiology and welfare.

This programme also provides a vehicle for the development of a set of transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of animal care, welfare and management settings, and for further advanced study.

This course is for you if you are passionate about animal welfare and conservation. It will provide an inspiring and demanding experience and is ideal for students who aspire to work in animal care, welfare or animal-based industry. The degree is also suitable for those wishing to work in microbiology and in agriculture. You will gain a broad background knowledge and essential practical skills.

93% of Animal Science graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies.

DLHE 2013-14

During your first year, a set of compulsory modules covers introductory biology, plant taxonomy and environmental science. The course’s ethos is to integrate the biological and physical sciences together. There is also an emphasis on experimental science, so you learn a wide range of practical techniques, including microbiology and cell culture.

In year two, modules probe deeper into animal physiology, animal nutrition, developmental biology and animal behaviour. In year three, modules examine the scientific background to animal health and welfare, and animal pathology. You also carry out a practical research project as part of a final year Individual Study.

Work experience

You will be able to compete for internships over the summer breaks. These usually involve working with lecturers on their research projects.

“Over the course of my degree, with the help of patient lecturers and kind fellow students I developed the mental and technological tools to necessary to ask questions of the world of animals. I am now a lecturer in one of the most student-centred Universities I know of. If you want to develop in your own direction, with the full support of active researchers in your field of interest, or if you do not yet know what your field of interest is, then come and see us.”

Dr Phil Buckley , Animal Science Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

Year one

Core modules

Core Science

This double module gives you the background skills in science necessary for the rest of the course. These include sufficient laboratory skills to perform experiments safely and successfully; the necessary mathematical and statistical skills for quantitative analysis of data. It also introduces the broad body of knowledge of chemical, biological and physical sciences necessary for the study of the biological and environmental sciences.

Variety of Life

Life on earth is amazingly diverse, colourful and multifaceted. The Variety of Life module introduces you to this diversity, tracing the tree of life from its roots to its branches. Beginning with simple, single-celled organisms like bacteria and protists, you discover the various forms of complex life that have evolved and how to classify them in a taxonomic system using characteristic features of each group. The module features a large number of practical sessions in which you engage with plants, animals and other organisms.

The Organism and its Environment

You will learn about the physiological, genetic and behavioural mechanisms that organisms employ to cope with the dynamic nature of Earth’s environment. This course has a significant practical component, so in addition to the theory you will hone your lab and field skills. The first half of the course focuses on behaviour and physiology, the second half is devoted to applied population genetics.

Microbiology and Cell Culture

This will introduce you to principal taxonomic groups of micro-organisms; examines their growth, physiology and culture, and their importance to humans and the biosphere. The module equips you with the necessary skills to carry out safe, aseptic practices with such organisms in a laboratory environment. It is an intensive module in which you spend an entire week in the laboratory. Currently, the laboratory week is during the Easter vacation.

Optional module

Introduction to Environmental Systems

You will investigate animals and plants living in selected habitats and review factors which control populations and methods of determining distribution and abundance. This module will also introduce you to the concept of energy in physical and biological systems. In this way the theme of energy will be seen as unifying all the various aspects of the relationships between organisms and their environments.

Year two

Core modules

Communication and Analysis in Science

Scientists must be able to effectively analyse, present and communicate scientific data, whether it originated from their own research or whether they are engaging with literature produced by other researchers. In addition, successful research depends on the careful and considerate planning and design of experiments and studies in the laboratory and field. This module helps you to develop their critical thinking skills as scientists, introduces you to various mathematical and statistical methods for analysing and presenting scientific data and explores important concepts relating to experimental design, measurement and sampling. 

Chemistry for the Life Sciences

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental concepts and practical applications of chemistry in a biological context. It aims to introduce you to the study of organic compounds and the links between molecular structure and properties, establishing connections with the behaviour of these compounds in biological systems. The module also aims to introduce some of the different methods that can be used in the identification of chemical compounds, and to encourage a critical approach to these methods.

Reproduction and Development

This module examines the genetic and endocrine control of reproductive behaviour and other aspects of reproduction, of embryological growth and subsequent ontogeny of selected vertebrates and invertebrates. This allows you to develop an understanding of how the processes underpinning animal reproduction and development function and have evolved.

Anatomy and Physiology

By examining mammalian anatomy and physiology and comparing these systems with those of a range of other animal groups you will develop an integrated understanding of animal form and function. Throughout this module, communication, evolutionary history and homeostatic processes are used as unifying themes.

Animal Care and Behaviour

You will examine animal care and management issues and studying these in the context of understanding the behavioural needs of wild, free-living, captive and domestic animals. By studying and undertaking methods of assessing and analysing animal behaviour you will develop your understanding of behaviour.

Optional modules

Molecular Biology

The Molecular Biology module offers you a unique practical experience of diverse laboratory skills associated with the isolation, handling and manipulation of DNA and proteins. During two weeks of intensive practical sessions, lectures and tutorials, this module will cover the main areas of theoretical molecular biology knowledge and its practical applications in current research. The module currently takes place during the summer vacation.


Underpinning all of the biosciences, evolution is central to understanding the diversity of life and the behaviour of biological systems. By studying the processes and drivers that result in evolutionary change, you will consider the nature of evolution, developing an understanding of both macro- and micro-scale evolutionary change.

The Earth as a Planetary System

This module looks at environmental systems from two different but complementary ways, from the small and from the large. You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of systems feedback control at an ecosystem and develops the skills relevant to the investigation of physicochemical factors relevant to the environmental sciences. Biological systems control in relation to inter-specific and intra-specific competition will be discussed. On a global scale, you will study the flow of energy, the structure of the atmosphere and the oceans. Finally, all of the mechanisms will be set in the context of a hypothesis of a non-sentient Gaia.

Year three

Core modules

Pests, Parasites and Pathogens

This module aims to teach you about pests, parasites and pathogens which affect animals and plants, and how they affect the wider world. The course begins with introduction to the taxonomy and biology of these organisms, the economic impacts they have on societies around the world, and the ways in which plants and animals have evolved to fight infection and infestation. We then discuss and critique the mechanisms by which humans have attempted to control pests, parasites and pathogens such as the use of antibiotics, pesticides, vaccination and biological control.

Animal Husbandry

The aims of the module are to explore the importance of animals in society and the scientific background to animal welfare issues. This includes the study and analysis of nutrition, good husbandry, pain perception, the ability of animals to cope with their environments and the physiological and behavioural aspects of welfare.

Animal Health and Genetics

Here you will study the major causes of ill-health in animals and will then examine the role of the immune system in fighting diseases and the effects of stress upon it. Diseases which pose zoonotic or anthroponotic threats and those which are notifiable will be emphasised. With a focus on student-led seminars of case studies you will gain an in-depth understanding of the biological, ecological and biochemical problems associated with a selection of the more important diseases.

Individual Study

This module provides you with autonomy in your learning as you pursue in depth the study of a topic of your own choice. In doing so, you will gain practice at organising your thinking in a scientific context and will increase your confidence in dealing with scientific problems and issues. With a broad scope, this module allows you to work with external businesses and partners and to potentially produce work that can be either published as a peer-reviewed article or that may be of real world value to a partner organisation.

Optional modules

Introduction to Bioinformatics

This module examines all aspects of the gathering of biological sequence data, and introduces the application and approaches to their analysis. Particular reference is made to the manipulation and analysis of DNA sequence data and three dimensional protein structural data. Topics include: molecular biology, genomics, phylogenetics, proteomics, metabolomics and online databases. A major focus is on practical use of bioinformatics tools and techniques and on understanding how bioinformatics can be used to address real research questions. The module aims to develop a systematic understanding of the role of computing in biological research, the fundamentals of molecular biology and to introduce the key concepts and techniques in bioinformatics.

Practical Ecology

You will spend 8 days in the mountains and coastlines of Snowdonia, North Wales. During this intensive course you will go from being a novice at quantifying habitats and asking ecological questions of the environment to an expert at turning the natural world into a form that can be quantified and objectively measured. Due to its intense nature, this module is one of the most mentally challenging of all the science modules you will take at Christ Church, but according to our student feedback, also one of the most enjoyable, both from an academic and general life skills point of view. There is a limit on the number of students who can take this module. This module is currently taken during the summer vacation.


Through the study of the fundamental science of radiobiology, you will bring together many aspects of physics, chemistry and biology, especially in the context of the damage done by ionising radiations to biological information processing systems. You will also be introduced to some of the medical and industrial applications of radioactivity.

Biological Imaging and Photography

This module will enable you to use a range modern photographic and other image capture and processing techniques as tools for studying of biological organisms. With a focus on using these techniques to extract biological information, and on developing an awareness of the limitations of the different approaches, you will learn to critically evaluate imaging approaches in a contextual setting

Ecology and Conservation

In order to conserve we must first identify underlying ecological issues that make conservation necessary. In the first two thirds of this course you will explore the underpinning ecological concepts that help us to effectively plan and carry out conservation work. In the final third of the course, which is partly student led, you will apply these concepts to modern conservation themed issues.

Applied Biological Chemistry

The focus of this module is on analytical chemistry techniques applied to biological systems. You will gain practical experience in protein purification techniques such as ion-exchange, gel filtration and affinity chromatography using modern fast protein liquid chromatography equipment. Combined with a solid theoretical foundation you will become familiar with many analytical spectroscopic methods including infrared (IR), UV-VIS, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and crystallography, together with separation techniques like gas chromatography (GC), fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). By the end of this module, in addition to the practical skills, you are expected to be able to interpret and analyse experimental data independently. There is a limit on the number of students who can take this module.

This course provides opportunities for careers in key positions in a range of animal-based fields, including zoos, the pet trade, stables or kennels, veterinary practice management, wildlife conservation management and the pharmaceutical industry. Some graduates have become teachers and others have gone on to postgraduate study.

Transferable skills developed by this course are valuable in other non-scientific areas of industry, commerce and the media. These include time management, statistical and planning skills, communication and presentation skills, and an ability to think critically.

Scientific training is a key skill in the economy, but such personnel are in short supply. Graduate employment is generally becoming harder to find but science graduates find themselves at a distinct advantage in the job market. Most of our animal science graduates find employment in the sciences.


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Our academic support in Animal Science has a 91% rating.

National Student Survey, 2015

Each taught module has a standard 60 hours of student contact. This will typically be composed of lectures, seminars, practical work, labs, workshops, field based activity, tutorials, feedback on assignments. You will also be expected to engage in 140 hours of self-directed study per taught module.

Academic input

All of the modules you will study are led by experienced academic staff and all lectures are delivered by staff with PhDs and who have, or are studying for, a higher education teaching qualification or membership of the Higher Education Academy.

Within this framework, modules may feature guest lectures by subject specialists undertaking research on a specific topic, or from those working in that particular field. The lecturing staff includes those specialists in many areas of biology, and also chemistry and physics.

Assessment of the modules is varied. Some modules are assessed entirely by coursework and some by a combination of coursework and examination. Coursework may include essays, calculation and problem solving exercises, practical write ups, portfolios, log books, group and or individual work, group projects, oral presentations, assessed practical, laboratory work, graph drawing exercises, (group) poster presentation, computer based assessment, group presentation, data handling exercises, multiple choice questionnaire, seminar presentation, paper presentation, seminar papers, case study (involving the analysis of biological data) audio or video presentation.

Opportunities to work at industry-quality research facilities.

October 2015 saw the launch of the Life Sciences Industry Liaison Laboratory at Discovery Park. Discovery Park, the enterprise zone based at Sandwich, is a fabulous site with well over 100 companies now based there.

The potential of the Liaison Laboratory lies in the work we and our students will do with the businesses based at Discovery Park. The Lab will allow all of our students to have the chance to experience an industry environment and will, for those seeking to work in the field, allow them to do research or study in that environment for a substantial period. This represents a major change in the scale of student opportunity and there are exciting times ahead.

BSc Hons Animal Science with Science Foundation Year

This course can also be studied over four years with an additional foundation year (Year 0) for those without the formal entry qualifications. The foundation year is designed to provide you with the grounding you need to progress on to the degree.

Find out more.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS code

  • C300 Animal Science
  • C301 Animal Science with Foundation Year

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

    6 years part-time


  • September 2017

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 21/04/2017 15:39:00