FdSc

Animal Science

Animal Handling
  • Level(s) of study: Foundation degree
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Starting: October
  • Course duration: Two years full-time or three years with placement

This course teaches a combination of scientific knowledge and animal management skills. It is highly vocational in nature, with a strong emphasis on practical learning and work experience.You'll focus on animal welfare and its application across a host of sectors.

Why choose this course?

  • 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.
  • Study is supported by our purpose-built Animal Unit - home to around 150 animals from 40 different species.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in a study trip to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey.
  • You'll also have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus library.
  • We're ranked fifth in the UK for our animal science courses (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2019).
  • This course is developed in conjunction with industry and designed to maximise your potential in a broad range of animal-related careers.
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 applied during work experience and career planning. Lectures cover the major principles of:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • behaviour
  • animal management
  • nutrition.

The FdSc involves a slightly different pace of learning, compared to the BSc (Hons) Animal Biology, 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

    Animal Health and Disease

    Study the concepts of health and disease. You will examine the symptoms, prevention and treatment of a variety of common diseases affecting domestic animals.

    Animal Management and Welfare

    Successfully manage animal collections and develop practical handling skills across a range of species.

    Fundamentals of Animal Biology

    Learn the basic scientific principles required to underpin animal science. These include aspects of physiology, genetics and basic zoology, alongside laboratory and field techniques.

    Professional Skills for the Animal Industry

    You'll develop your understanding of the challenges facing the animal industry as well as the employment opportunities within it.

  • Year Two

    This is a placement year for students on the three-year course.

  • Final year

    Animal Nutrition

    Learn the principles behind the production of a diet for various species living in different environments.

    Disease Control and Epidemiology

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

    Animal Reproduction and Breeding

    Examine reproductive physiology, the principles of inheritance and the application of these principles of inheritance and the application of these principles in animal breeding programmes.

    Animal Training

    Develop training skills to enable you to apply different approaches to training and behavioural problems.

    Animal Industry Placement

    Undertake a minimum of 150 hours of work experience, enabling you to gain first hand relevant experience and develop employment skills.

    Animal Project

    Undertake a project exploring the principles of scientific investigation in relation to Animal Science. This will be across a subject and species of your choice.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

NTU is ranked 5th in the UK for courses in Animal Science (The Times and The Sunday Times League Table, 2019).

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, including the ability to safely handle a wide range of animal species in our Animal Unit and cattle roundhouse.

The course includes the opportunity to go on a unique field trip to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey. You’ll also complete a project in an industry setting of your choice.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (80%), written (13%) and practical (7%).
  • Year 2 coursework (41%), written (17%) and practical (42%).

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 (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%) and placements (0%).

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

This course includes the opportunity to go on a field trip to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey.

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.

100% of students on the FdSc Animal Science course would recommend studying at Nottingham Trent University to others  (National Student Survey, 2019).

Teaching on this course is supported by our purpose-built Animal Unit - home to around 150 animals from 40 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.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Don't meet the entry requirements? If you're 19 or over and would like to study at degree level but haven't got the usual standard qualifications then our Access to Higher Education (Animal Science) Diploma could be the perfect solution. Advanced learner loan available.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created a UCAS Tariff calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions 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.

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most 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 in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

All students will also be expected to provide overalls, wellington boots and sturdy footwear.

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.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most 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 in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

All students will also be expected to provide overalls, wellington boots and sturdy footwear.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418