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BSc (Hons)

Animal Biology

Animal Handling
  • UCAS code(s): C301 / C302
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

Explore the fascinating animal kingdom and the scientific principles that underpin this important and wide-ranging subject area. The course will give you a sound knowledge and understanding of animal biology. Your lectures will cover major scientific principles, including anatomy and physiology, behaviour, genetics, ecology, and nutrition. The course focuses on the study of companion and livestock species. Core scientific study is supported by practical animal handling in our specialist unit.

If you have any questions about our Animal Biology course, you can now chat to our experienced lecturers and course leaders through Unibuddy.

Why choose this course?

  • We're top ten in the UK for our animal science courses (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021).
  • You will have access to our modern Animal Unit on campus which houses over 250 animals from 70 different species.
  • Based at our Brackenhurst Campus you'll also benefit from our working farm, including a herd of Lincoln Red cattle, a specialist cattle roundhouse and a flock of sheep.
  • You'll have the opportunity to complete research or a work placement abroad.
  • Throughout the course you'll hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and visits to a range of animal establishments.
  • We've recently redeveloped this course in conjunction with external academic and industry professionals to ensure your learning is right at the forefront of advances in the subject area.

Which course is right for you?

We offer four animal science degrees, each with a different focus:

  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology (this course) - focuses on managed domestic species such as companion, working and farm animals.
  • BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology - focuses on captive housed zoo animals and exotic species.
  • BSc (Hons) Zoology - covers a diverse range of invertebrate and vertebrate species in relation to their biology, evolution, taxonomy and identification.
  • FdSc Animal Science - is more vocational, with greater emphasis on practical and applied skills.

What you'll study

Your lectures will cover major scientific principles, including:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • behaviour
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • nutrition.

You'll apply these principles in a range of contexts and focus on the key aspects of animal welfare, breeding and management. The course focuses on the study of companion and livestock species, and their housing, management and nutrition.

  • Year One

    Animal Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species.

    Animal Husbandry

    Learn how to successfully manage animal collections and develop practical handling skills across a range of species.

    Animal Behaviour

    Study patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do in managed housing systems.

    Nutrition Principles

    Learn the nutrition principles associated with nutrients’ classification, digestive systems in animals and the basics of animal metabolism.

    Animal Reproduction and Genetics

    Learn the underpinning principles of animal genetics and how these link with reproductive physiology. Practical sessions will investigate assisted reproductive technologies and how these increase an animal’s reproductive success in captivity.

    Animal Health and Disease

    Gain an understanding of the causes of disease, the function of the animal immune system and influences of management on animal health. Develop technical and analytical laboratory skills relevant to the animal industry and gain an understanding of how these techniques are utilised in animal disease investigation.

  • Year Two

    Disease Investigation and Epidemiology

    Study the causes, processes and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases of current veterinary and/or conservation importance. Apply knowledge of pathogen biology and disease processes to contemporary management issues in animal populations.

    Animal Genetics

    Learn the principles and techniques of molecular genetics in relation to animal science. Explore the mechanisms of change within a genome. Develop an awareness of genetic applications and associated ethics within modern society.

    Physiology of Behaviour

    Explore the way in which animals behave in relation to their environment. Learn and understand key areas of mammalian physiology and pharmacology, and how this relates to behaviour.

    Research Skills

    Explore the principles of scientific investigation in relation to animal science. Topics covered include experimental design, data generation and collection, and data analysis. You'll also explore commonly used statistical packages.

    Nutritional Health

    Investigate how nutrition affects animal health and understand diet formulation in a variety of species.

    Animal Adaptations

    Study the physiological challenges presented by different environments and the adaptations that enable animals to overcome them. Explore how features of animal form and function have arisen and the factors that have likely shaped them.

  • Year Three

    This is a placement year for students on the four-year course

  • Final year

    Advanced Animal Nutrition

    Study advanced topics in nutritional science. These include clinical nutrition, recent advances in the field, ethical and sustainability issues in nutritional provision for animals under human care, and research methods relevant to the nutritional sciences.

    Comparative Performance

    Develop a knowledge and understanding of animal performance across a range of contexts and how performance (both athlete and production) can be impacted or optimised by a range of factors.

    Sustainable Animal Management

    Explore the practical application of research aimed at improving the sustainability of the managed animal and its environment. Skills will be developed through a field course.

    Welfare Science

    Evaluate methods of assessing and monitoring animal welfare, including physiological and behavioural indicators of good and poor welfare. You'll apply your knowledge to a variety of situations in various management systems and levels of confinement, and across a range of species.

    Dissertation

    You will undertake an independent research project. This is an opportunity to take an in-depth look at a subject of personal interest to you within the field of animal biology.

NTU is ranked 7th in the UK for courses in Animal Science (The Times and The Sunday Times League Table, 2021).

How you’re taught

Throughout the course, you’ll hear from external industry professionals through guest lectures and visits to a range of animal establishments. Your assessment will be based on coursework and formal examinations.


You’ll also be encouraged and supported to gain important and relevant industry experience at appropriate companies, such as welfare organisations or feed manufacturers, throughout the course. Our students have previously been placed with companies such as Pfizer, the Animal Health Trust, the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, GLW Feeds, and at commercial farms.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (67%), written (33%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%), written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (30%), independent study (64%) and placements (6%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.

95% students would agree the staff at NTU are good at explaining things (BSc (Hons) Animal Biology full-time, NSS 2020)

Careers and employability

Your future career

Developed in conjunction with representatives from industry, the course is designed to maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers.


Your potential areas for employment include:

  • welfare organisations
  • feed companies
  • governmental department
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Our graduates have become animal feed scientists, laboratory technicians, research assistants, animal health coordinators and programme managers in a range of animal-based organisations. They have gone on to work for companies such as the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and AB Agri. You could also progress to postgraduate study.

Placement opportunities

During your course you'll be supported to gain relevant industry experience and have the opportunity to take a year-long placement. Our students have previously been based at places such as welfare organisations or feed manufacturers.

Students have carried out placements at companies such as:

  • Pfizer
  • the Animal Health Trust
  • the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition
  • GLW Feeds
  • commercial farms.

You will be given the opportunity to focus your studies/work placements on the species of animal that is of most interest to you.

Teaching on this course is supported by our purpose built Animal Unit - home to around 250 animals from 70 different species.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC, including Biology grade C and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in Biology and excluding General Studies; and
  • GCSEs – English, maths and science grade C / 4.

Other requirements: Work experience in the animal sector is highly desirable – examples include pet shops, zoos, animal conservation projects, wildlife sanctuaries, stables, veterinary practices, kennels, the RSPCA and similar.

Applicants without A-levels will have their applications assessed for subject compatibility.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Please remember to include any information about relevant work experience.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK, and a maximum of £300 for compulsory overseas residential field courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee and other non-compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at full cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons and waterproof trousers and coat and overalls for working on the animal unit.

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK, and a maximum of £300 for compulsory overseas residential field courses, as a contribution towards travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee and other non-compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at full cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Other costs

All students will also be expected to provide their own appropriate fieldwork clothing, including walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons and waterproof trousers and coat and overalls for working on the animal unit.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418