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At the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences on our Brackenhurst Campus, we have five unique laboratories dedicated to teaching and research. Our labs are used for practical sessions such as nutritional biochemistry, proximate analysis of food, DNA gel electrophoresis, water and soil quality, as well as for student and staff research. All courses from across the campus will come through the doors of the labs at some point during their university career.

Students working in lab

Microbiology and DNA laboratory

The DNA laboratory is used for practical lessons where students will have access to various pieces of equipment used for extraction, isolation and visualisation of DNA from various sources. The room is equipped with thermal cyclers, gel electrophoresis tanks, -80oC freezer for DNA/RNA storage, as well as a trans illuminator for the visualisation of DNA bands.

Microbiology practical’s also take place in this room. Students are able to learn how to identify micro-organisms using various techniques such as gram staining and selective use of agar. They also learn the appropriate methods for safely handling micro-organism cultures.

Student working in lab

Chemistry laboratory

The chemistry laboratory is equipped to run proximate analysis of food, including soxhlet (total fat content), kjeldahl (percentage protein content) and bomb calorimeter (gross energy). This room also contains equipment for the analysis of water and soil quality.

Students learn how to use equipment such as the HACH spectrophotometers and a Thermalox Total Organic Carbon analyser to examine the quality of water. In addition to these, students are able to learn to assess soil qualities by various manual techniques as well as the use of a laser diffraction particle size analyser, to analyse soil particle size.

Student working in lab

General laboratory

Our general laboratory is our largest room for holding teaching practical’s and is the most frequently used room. Practical’s in here range from water and soil quality, to nutritional biochemistry and anatomy. Students are able to gain experience in using basic equipment such as analytical balances and pipettes, to ensure that they get accurate results.

By building on their skills, they are able to progress to using equipment such as Plate readers and spectrophotometers to create calibration curves and interpret the data accurately. Like the other laboratories, various other practical’s take place in this room ranging from faecal egg counts to assess the health of animals, to the investigation into the formation of river beds.

Student in food lab

Food processing laboratory

From packaging equipment, to our brand new bakery oven, to various types of processing equipment, our dedicated food laboratory is fully equipped to support you in your studies. Our variety of processing and manufacturing equipment is small scale and representative of technology that is currently used in the food industry.

Our lab is equipped to manufacture products such as cheese, ice cream, sausages, bread, beer, and many other foods, along with packaging equipment such as a modified atmosphere control, vacuum packing, and canning.

Food lab facility tour
Student working in lab

Lyth research lab

Our brand new research and projects laboratory is fully equipped with state of the art features to help you in your studies, this includes a Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer for organic chemical analysis, Elemental Analyser for determination of percentages of C,H,N,O and S in materials and Tecan Spark plate reader for following chemical reactions.

Find out more about the features of our new Lyth research lab.


  • Category: Learning tools and spaces; Research; Science including labs; Food and drink; Teaching facilities; Animal/Veterinary
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus

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