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Animal science courses

This course involves studying animal biology, how animals function and how we interact with them and depend on them for food and leisure. You'll then learn how to apply this knowledge to issues relating to agriculture, livestock production, bio-ethics and sustainable food production. Courses can also include animal behaviour and welfare. The possible careers are diverse and include animal research and advisory services, animal nutrition, consultancy in the agricultural and food industries and food marketing.

Studying animal science at university

Example course modules

  • Principles of animal science
  • Concepts in conservation
  • Animal health
  • Current issues for the animal sciences
  • Animal welfare and disease
  • Animal husbandry
  • Animal nutrition
  • Introduction to business practice
  • Legislation in the animal industry
  • Wildlife conservation in the United Kingdom

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 87%
    Male : 13%
  • Mature : 27%
    School leaver : 73%
  • Full-time : 86%
    Part-time : 14%

What students say about animal science

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Chemistry
  • Biology

Useful to have

  • Psychology
  • Physical education
  • Physics
  • geography
  • Mathematics

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
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; 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, graduates report that their degree was necessary in getting the job, and that they got the jobs that they wanted, meaning the stats you see might not completely represent just how useful these degrees are for getting into animal care careers.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Animal care and control services

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Farm manager
  • Veterinary nurse
  • Fishery manager

Other real-life job examples

  • Laboratory technician
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Animal welfare officer

What employers like about this subject

Studying for a degree in animal science will give you specialist skills including the health, welfare and biology of animals; their care and maintenance and principles and developments in animal sciences. You will also gain useful transferable skills such as good communication, team-working, problem-solving and decision-making skills. This degree does not qualify graduates to work as vets, although animal science graduates do sometimes go on to study veterinary postgraduate programmes after graduating from their first degree. Animal sciences graduates get work in industries such as farming, manufacturing (particularly animal nutrition), pet supplies, zoos and nature reserves and veterinary practices.