Bachelor of Applied Animal Science
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences
The animal sector is highly dynamic. In the Netherlands alone, 415,000 people ride horses. Some 70,000 companies are involved with horses, their turnover totalling EUR 1.3 bn. Things are also changing fast with regard to farmed animals. While the number of dairy farmers is falling, farm production is rising rapidly.
None of this would be possible if the fullest attention were not paid to the care, health and welfare of animals. Together with business management, marketing and innovation, these lie at the heart of this degree programme.
But nowadays a growing number of farms are adding extra activities to their core jobs as producers. A dairy farmer might start a campsite, for example.
As an entrepreneur, service provider or consultant, you will be involved in all such changes – though you will need expertise in several domains: breeding, trade, horsemanship, animal behaviour, sport, and welfare. By then, however, you will have an excellent understanding of animal and business management, of the various business types involved in the livestock and dairy industries, and of the many suppliers they depend on.
The sector needs well-trained specialists like you! Upon graduation, you will qualify for a wide range of jobs – as an entrepreneur or business manager, as a business advisor, or as a supplier. You will also qualify for a job in banking or insurance, or as an organiser of sporting events. You could become a manager, project manager or strategic policy assistant. Or how about a job with the British Horse Society? Because this internationally focused degree programme has been shown to open doors worldwide The Applied Animal Science programme will help you specialise in the species of your choice. By studying physiology, performance factors, nutrition, animal health, animal welfare, disease control, epidemiology, biosecurity, project management and other subjects, you will be able to instigate projects for policy change, applied or scientific research, and to translate results into recommendations for everyday practice.
First and second year
In the first year you will get an overall picture of the broad context of European livestock farming. You will be discussing, for example, the influence of EU policies on national agricultural systems, or talking about the best way to feed your cows if you want to optimise milk production. Working in collaboration with other institutions and agribusinesses in the Netherlands, you will also gain a broad range of practical knowledge – for example, of agricultural businesses that simultaneously operate a variety of farm systems.
During a 10-week work placement in the beginning of year two, you will be participating in and analysing an organisation in the livestock sector, and apply your knowledge and skills acquired in year one.
Your knowledge will be deepened and applied in the second year. There will be many subjects relating to animals, for example Health Care and Disease Control, Reproduction, Welfare and Ethics. Other subjects will be related to farming, such as Stable Design, Ventilation and Milking Machines.
Then there are business issues, involving business plans and business economics; customers, involving marketing, market research and consumer behaviour; and communication, involving analysis, criticism, presentation and sales techniques. All this will be executed within the animal husbandry sector.
Third and fourth year
In the first semester of the third year you will work on your chosen species, covering subjects such as nutrition, reproduction, immunology, environmental conditions and their influence on animal welfare and performance. You will also work for an external commissioner (e.g. Animal Health Service or For Farmers) on an actual topic on sector level.
Your work placement in the second semester will take you to a research institute or an organisation active in animal health or policy-making, where you will specialise in a range of subjects including epidemiology and reproduction.
In the first semester of the fourth year you will either take a minor course at Van Hall Larenstein, for instance in Livestock Management or Equine Leisure and Sports, or a course at Wageningen University or at a university abroad.
Finally, in the final semester, you will prepare your thesis, working at Van Hall Larenstein, but collaborating with an animal husbandry specialist in the Netherlands or abroad
As food production increasingly comes to dominate political agenda, your opportunities will be wide and varied. You might become a pig-feed and bio-security specialist at an international organisation such as Nutreco, or a cattle reproduction specialist in a bull station. Or you might help a farmers’ organisation implement policy changes on optimal livestock keeping. How about informing and supporting extension workers who work with problems in animal care, feeding and performance? Or conducting research? Whatever you choose, you will be fully equipped to implement the results of research and projects in the daily practice with the chosen species in certain farming systems.
Leaving Certificate [6 Passes inc 2 at Honours C]