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Applied Animal Science

SRUC Scotland's Rural College

UCAS Code: D300 | Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons)

Entry requirements

GCSE/National 4/National 5

Applicants should be able to offer National 5 (A-C) or equivalent pass in English (for literacy) and Maths (for numeracy)

Scottish HND


Applicants with relevant HND qualifications can be considered for entry to Year 3. Please contact the Admissions Office to discuss further.

About this course

Course option


Full-time | 2022


Animal science

It is an exciting time to be an animal scientist. Animals are at the centre of current global challenges including food security, disease control, climate change and animal welfare. Much of the excitement stems from technological advances that enable us to deliver new insights into the biology of animals and thus address these challenges. To keep up in the vibrant industries surrounding this fast-paced subject you need access to the latest research. SRUC is ranked number 1 for research power in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) in animal science subjects. There is no better place to study animal science, to be exposed to the latest research and its applications and be taught by researchers leading their field.

Animals contribute to human society in many ways. They provide food and clothing materials, perform duties in the workplace, play key roles in some leisure activities and as pets they provide us with companionship. The Applied Animal Science degree course at SRUC will give you an understanding of animals and how they function, grow, reproduce and behave. You will explore how we can use and interact with animals effectively whether as livestock, research, companion or wild animals without compromising their health and welfare or the health and sustainability of our ecosystems.

SRUC Applied Animal Science graduates go on to pursue a range of careers including research assistant, laboratory technician, animal nutritionist, geneticist, supermarket buyer, animal welfare or rehoming officer, zookeeper, animal care assistant, agriculture or extension officer, technical representative for animal health products.

A number of our graduates also choose to enrol in postgraduate study in a range of fields including animal breeding and genetics, marine biology, conservation biology, animal behaviour and welfare, clinical animal behaviour, and statistics. And some use the degree to help them gain access to competitive undergraduate programmes such as veterinary medicine.

**While the full course is offered at the Edinburgh campus, a top up degree (Years 3 and 4 only) is also offered at the Barony campus. Those with a relevant HND or foundation degrees can apply for entry into year 3 at Barony or Edinburgh.**


Each academic year is split into two semesters and each semester you will undertake four modules in a range of subject areas including: physiology, health and disease breeding and genetics, behaviour and welfare, nutrition, ethics, and quantitative and research skills.

Year 1
In the first year you will get a broad introduction to biology and different biological systems from the cellular level up to the whole organism. You will also start to build and develop important transferable skills such as laboratory and quantitative skills.

Modules: Diversity of life, Introduction to genetics, Animal behaviour, Comparative physiology, Keeping and managing animals, Data science and computing, Basic animal nutrition, Animal health.

Year 2
In the second year you will build upon and deepen your knowledge and understanding in the core areas of physiology, genetics, animal behaviour, nutrition and health. In addition, important concepts around animal conservation and the ethics of human animal interactions will be introduced as well as the introduction of research skills and critical thinking.
Modules: Animal breeding selection and technologies, Applications of animal behaviour, Nutrient requirements and diet formulation, Host-pathogen interactions, Animal physiology systems, Animal conservation, Animals and society, Research skills and statistics

Year 3
In year 3 you will study to a greater level of detail and are required to undertake more independent study. Modules such as Advanced research methods will further develop your quantitative skills which will be invaluable in an animal science career or post-graduate study. It will also prepare you for your Honours research project in 4th year.
Modules: Advanced research methods, Reproduction, neonatal mammalian nourishment and lactation, Wildlife and agriculture interactions, Animal welfare concepts, Developing a career with animals, Epidemiology, Advanced physiology of growth and development, Strategic animal nutrition

Year 4
In your 4th year you will undertake an extensive piece of individual research, investigating a subject of your own choice. Your honours dissertation gives you the opportunity to work with supervisors from across SRUC, experts in their field actively conducting research or providing consultancy. Conducting your own research project allows you to develop a wealth of skills as well as building specialist knowledge, all of which will be relevant to your future employment or post-graduate study.
Modules: Animal welfare assessment (Elective), Applied animal nutrition (Elective), Animals at the centre of global issues, Disease surveillance and control, Animal breeding and genetics, Animal and climate change.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed using a range of assessment methods to develop your academic skills as well as important transferrable skills for the workplace. Assessments will likely include: laboratory reports, practical investigations, case studies, essays, exams, scientific reports and reviews, oral presentations, posters, groupwork assignments, digital media, data handling, multiple-choice and short answer questions.

Tuition fees

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Animal and Biological Science

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Animal science

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Animal science

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Agriculture, food and related studies

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Elementary agricultural occupations
Agricultural and related trades
Managers and proprietors in agriculture related services

These stats refer to the prospects for graduates from both general animal studies courses and those for particular animals (such as equine science). Graduates don't generally get jobs as vets when they graduate; much the most common jobs tend to be roles caring for animals, such as veterinary nurses. Some of these jobs are not currently classified as professional level occupations, but in reality, you need a degree to get these jobs (and probably always have done), and graduates in them report that they got the jobs that they wanted. So the stats you see might not completely represent just how useful these degrees are for getting into animal care careers.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Agriculture, food and related studies

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

Explore these similar courses...

Higher entry requirements
Aberystwyth University | Aberystwyth
Agriculture with Animal Science
BSc (Hons) 3.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 96-120
Lower entry requirements
Aberystwyth University | Aberystwyth
Animal Science
BSc (Hons) 3.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 104-120
Same University
SRUC Scotland's Rural College | Edinburgh
Veterinary Nursing
BSc (Hons) 4.0 Years Full-time 2022
UCAS Points: 108-112

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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