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Animal Science FdSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Foundation degree
  • UCAS Code(s): D325; D326
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Two years full-time or three years with placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

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.

  • This course will maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers. 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.
  • 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.
  • We're ranked 3rd in the UK for the number of undergraduate students on sandwich courses studying animal science (HESA, 2020/21).
  • We're in the top 15 in the UK for Agriculture and Forestry courses (The Guardian University Guide 2022).

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.

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.

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.

Animal 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.

Further information on what you'll study

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.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Our current students and recent graduates tell you all about their time at NTU and what they've gone on to do next.

Student Profiles

Emily Walker

Animal Science

The transition from further education to higher education was swift and I was given a lot of help to transition to the higher level of education. Studying both an FdSc and a college course course at Brackenhurst was really beneficial and also an amazing experience.

Adam Barrett-Drylie

Animal Science

Being a student here is, amazing! There’s so much to do and so much to see, if you’re not busy doing course work then Nottingham is the best place to just wander around because you will almost always find something interesting.

Alex Kemp

Animal Science

After I graduated from the course I continued to study an MSc in Animal Nutrition at The University of Nottingham and have now returned to NTU Brackenhurst Campus to study for a PhD in Poultry Nutrition.

Anna Weightman

Animal Science

The course tutors are very helpful and give you good tips to help with your studies.

Robyn Yearl

Animal Science

Brackenhurst Campus has great facilities, meaning my course can be studied to its full potential. The labs and animal unit make studying here even better.

Imogen English

Animal Science

The wide range of modules and animal species covered in my courses when I was at NTU helped to confirm my desire to work in the agriculture sector.

Hope Clay Belsham

Animal Science

I’ve also made some of my closest friends through the course and I’m so glad I came to NTU. I’ve been given tons of support from staff and student mentors alike, which has made the rough journey so much easier.

Idaira Martinez Negrin

Animal Science

I enjoy the practicals and hands-on experiences the course has to offer.

Video Gallery

Adam Barrett-Drylie explains what studying FdSc Animal Science is like at NTU. You can also watch our facility tour video to get an insight into the equipment you'll use and what you'll study on the course.
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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.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (26%), independent study (74%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%), independent study (65%), placements (11%)

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

Staff Profiles

Alexandre Bordin

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Alex is originally from Brazil, where he did his veterinary degree at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande Do Sul (UFRGS). During his degree, he developed an interest in animal…

Emily Burton

Professor

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Emily Burton

Jaime Martin

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Dr. Jaime Martin is a lecturer/senior lecturer in the department of animal and equine sciences. He is a departmental lead for statistical analysis and zoology.

Frank Ruedisueli

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Frank Ruedisueli

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (60%), written (27%), practical (13%)
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), practical (33%)

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.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Animal Unit

During this course, your theoretical studies will be complemented by the use of our specialist Animal Unit. Housing over 250 animals and more than 70 species, you'll get the opportunity to study a diverse range of companion animals, reptiles, birds, fish and other small animals, as well as larger animals including donkeys, horses and goats. Qualified and experienced academic and technical staff provide expert tuition in animal handling, animal training, environmental enrichment and much more.

You'll also use our specialist cattle roundhouse that can be used for animal observations and to develop your handling skills of larger breeds.

Research

You’ll find a variety of equipment available at the Animal Unit to support your research project:

  • A thermal camera
  • Digital camcorders with specialist software
  • Time lapse camera
  • Mammal traps
  • Digital video recording facilities in some animal rooms

Volunteering

Why not broaden your horizons and give something back by taking part in our Animal Unit’s successful volunteer programme?

The animal unit volunteer programme is an extra-curricular opportunity open to all students at Nottingham Trent University. You’ll get the chance to work closely with our qualified and skilled team of technicians on a variety of tasks such as maintenance, health checks, medical administration and behaviour management such as enrichment and training.

These sessions are recognised and verified by the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to support your CV and boost your employability.

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?

  • 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.

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

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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 some students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential text books are available both in paper format at the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library, and also in online access format.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK which will contribute towards the cost of travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. There will be a maximum charge of £400 for overseas residential fieldwork that is compulsory to your course. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee; other non compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered and these will be charged at additional cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas and vaccinations 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.

Tuition fees for September 2022 entry

Mode of study

International tuition fee

Full-time

£15,600

Full-time with placement

£15,600 + £1,385 (placement year)

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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 some students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential text books are available both in paper format at the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library, and also in online access format.

Field trips

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK which will contribute towards the cost of travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable. There will be a maximum charge of £400 for overseas residential fieldwork that is compulsory to your course. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee; other noncompulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered and these will be charged at additional cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas and vaccinations 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.

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.

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

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

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  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.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Advice on writing a good personal statement

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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