Course overview

This course is designed to introduce you to the latest research and contemporary practices in animal science, and the challenges and opportunities that this field faces in making livestock production sustainable in the 21st century.

Through online lectures and discussions, delivered through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment, the course will provide you an overview of the key issues, including producing healthy and safe animal-based foods; using fewer resources; and minimising negative environmental and health impacts associated with livestock production, while maintaining or enhancing the welfare status of the animal. You will explore the ways that animal science offers solutions to each of these problems, and the practical tools that can be developed from advances in scientific research.

After completing the course, you will have developed a well-rounded knowledge of animal science, its latest advances, and the ways that these can be applied to current problems facing livestock production in the UK and beyond. This would be of obvious practical use to those working with livestock at any point in the supply chain, but would also be of benefit to any industry professionals looking to develop their understanding of animal science and its role in modern livestock production systems.

This module is availabe for CPD (£450) or for credit (£850).. Modules taken as CPD can later be converted to credit for a fee of £250.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the key issues facing livestock production in the 21st century
  • Critically evaluate the challenges and opportunities facing applied animal science research in addressing these issues
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between fundamental and applied science
  • Use appropriate tools to identify reliable information and literature on a given topic
  • Communicate research findings clearly

Additional Course Information:

Topics within this course will include:

  • Animal products and human health
  • Evaluation of animal product quality
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production
  • Addressing antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance in livestock production
  • Precision livestock farming
  • Assessing ‘real welfare’
  • The role of the gut microbiome and the animal metabolome in livestock production and health.


The course will be assessed by written coursework and a screencast/ online presentation.  The report will review the contribution that different scientific interventions can make to improve the sustainability of livestock production.  This would comprise 70% of the overall course assessment.  An online presentation (screencast) will be prepared that will evaluate the challenges and opportunities associated with one such intervention.  This will be uploaded for viewing by peers and academic staff as part of an online conference/discussion.  The presentation and the contributions made to the online discussion will comprise the remaining 30% of the overall course mark.

Key facts:

Dates 09 Jan 2023
Type/Duration 8 Weeks online
Entry Requirements Graduate level or relevant experience
Credits 10
Cost £850.00
Fee info Discounts available for multiple bookings & CPD version
CQFW Level 7
Course Provider University of Reading
Provider Reference Number APMA114
Course Arrangements Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location Online, University of Reading
Cohort EPTH Cohort
Course Logistics Delivered entirely online through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment over an eight week period, it is suggested that material is reviewed on a weekly basis, however, participants may vary their speed of learning to suit their own requirements. The course is available to be completed for Continued Professional Development, or with the award of 10 academic credits where participants successfully complete the formative assessment requirements within four weeks of completing the online content.
Tutor Dr Rachel Neal

Contact details:

Contact Name for Enquiries: Fiona Lee or Cathy Crips

Email address:

Telephone Number: 0118 378 3312 or  0118 378 8722

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