Skip to content

FdSc

Animal Science

Animal Handling
  • UCAS code(s): D325 / D326
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: 2 / 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This course teaches a combination of scientific knowledge and animal management skills. It is vocational in nature, with strong industry links utilised during work experience and career planning. It aims to develop graduates with strong scientific knowledge and technical skills that are sought by the animal industry. You’ll focus on key themes in animal management, including animal nutrition, animal reproduction, animal behaviour and animal health and disease. These key themes are strengthened through on-site lectures and practical field activities. Your experience is further enhanced by the use of visiting speakers and alumni. The FdSc involves a slightly different pace of learning compared to our BSc (Hons) courses, combined with a greater emphasis on applied aspects.

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

Why choose this course?

  • Study is supported by our purpose-built Animal Unit - home to around 250 animals from 70 different species.
  • You will develop applied skills across the key streams of knowledge that are required in the animal industry.
  • You'll also have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus library.
  • We're top ten in the UK for our animal science courses (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021).
  • This course will maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers.
  • Successful completion of this course to a satisfactory level allows progression on to the final-year of BSc (Hons) Animal Biology or BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology. This means you have the potential to gain a full BSc honours degree in three years.
  • 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:

  • FdSc Animal Science (this course) - is more vocational, with greater emphasis on practical and applied skills.
  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology - 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.
Video Icon
Adam Barrett-Drylie
Adam tells us about his life as a student studying FdSc Animal Science.

What you'll study

This course is vocational in nature, with strong industry links utilised during work experience and career planning. Lectures cover the major principles of:

  • animal health and disease
  • animal behaviour
  • animal reproduction
  • animal nutrition.

The FdSc involves a slightly different pace of learning, compared to the BSc (Hons) courses, combined with a greater emphasis on applied aspects. You’ll learn about a range of topics by examining the impact they have on animals. This includes how animals are used for work, recreation, companionship, and food. Your learning will combine the study of wild animal populations with that of captive animals, with an emphasis on companion and livestock species.

  • Year One

    Pathogen Biology

    Learn about the biology of the different microorganisms and common pathogens in animals. This module will mix practicals and theory to establish pathogen classification, structure and reproduction.

    Animal Behaviour and Management

    Learn how animal behaviour affects management in animal collections. Apply handling techniques and the concept of behavioural signs of stress during practicals with a variety of species.

    Anatomy and Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species. Practicals will teach you to identify the different tissues associated with major organs and body functions.

    Nutrition Principles

    Learn the nutrition principles associated with nutrient 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.

  • Final year

    Nutritional Health

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

    Disease Control and Epidemiology

    Gain knowledge of the causes of animal diseases, and their control, surveillance and prevention.

    Applied Animal Breeding

    Gain knowledge of reproductive disorders in animals, their control and prevention. Practicals will cover artificial reproduction technologies and normal gamete morphology.

    Animal Cognition and Training

    Understand how animal cognition affects training. Develop training skills to enable you to apply different approaches to training animals and reducing behavioural problems.

    Professional Development

    Understand the different employment opportunities available in the animal industry. Identify key skills you still need to obtain to progress in your chosen career.

    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.

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

Your learning will benefit from a combination of small lecture groups, seminars and project work. You’ll be given the opportunity to focus your studies on the species of most interest to you. This is all complemented with practical classes, which will teach you a range of fundamental laboratory and field techniques required by industry. These practical activities will make use of our laboratory equipment, Animal Unit, poultry unit and farm.

You’ll also complete a project in an industry setting of your choice as part of your 150 hours of volunteer experience. This will facilitate opportunities for you to network with professionals within parts of the industry that you are most interested in.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (29%), written (29%) and practical (42%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)

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 (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)

A placement year may be taken between year 1 and year 2 of study.

97% students would agree the staff at NTU are good at explaining things (FdSc Animal Science full-time, NSS 2020)

Careers and employability

Your career development

Developed in conjunction with representatives from industry, the course is designed to maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers, or to allow you to continue on to further study.


This course can lead to employment both in the UK and abroad, in various roles that include animal training, education, conservation, and research. There are also graduate employment opportunities encompassing endangered species recovery and marine biology. The transferable skills gained will open up a number of other career options to you.

Our graduates have gone on to work at organisations such as:

  • wildlife parks
  • zoological collections
  • welfare organisations
  • governmental departments.

You can also progress onto our BSc (Hons) Animal Biology or BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology course.

Placement opportunities

During the course, you'll undertake a minimum of 150 hours of voluntary work experience in the animal industry. Our students have previously been placed with companies such as

  • Pfizer
  • the Animal Health Trust
  • Blackpool Zoo
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
  • the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation
  • Logan Bleu Marine Conservation.

This will allow you to become familiar with the different sectors in the animal industry and take your first steps towards your future career.

95% students would agree the academic support here at NTU is good (FdSc Animal Science full-time, NSS 2020)

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 – DDE, including a Science subject grade D and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP, including relevant Science modules; or
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade D equivalent in a Science subject and excluding General Studies; and
  • GCSEs – English, maths and science grade C / 4.

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology, Zoology and Psychology.

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.

This course does not attract Tier 4 sponsorship.

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.

Successful completion of the FdSc Animal Science course to a satisfactory level allows progression on to the final-year of BSc (Hons) Animal Biology or BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology. This means you have the potential to gain a full BSc honours degree in three years.

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.

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.

Please note this course is not open to students who require a Tier 4 visa.

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.

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418