Postgraduate Courses in Animal Science

By Gemma Creagh - Last update


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From budgies to bulls, microbes to mares, and absolutely everything in between; are you tempted to take on a postgraduate course in Animal Science?

Whether your preferred career is in veterinary medicine, agriculture or beyond, a postgraduate qualification is something that will set you apart from other graduates when the time comes to start sending out those CVs. Be it Diploma, Masters or PhD level, here are a few things to consider before making that plunge:

Course Topics

You’d be surprised at the variety of topics that make up postgraduate courses in Animal Science. Yes, anatomy and biology certainly make it into the mix, but you could also find yourself studying diseases, behaviours, health and safety or ecological factors. In fact, there’s such a massive scope when it comes to what you might be covering, the onus is on you to do your research on each course’s suitability.  Is this something that will make you more hirable to potential employers?

Common fields of study include livestock production, genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, lactation, animal behaviour, environmental conservation, biology, research, food production, biotechnology, bioremediaton, bioenergy, data management, and statistics. Some programmes might have a business focus, some might be purely science-based, some could lean towards agriculture, while others might concentrate on marine ecology.

What to consider when you’re applying

Animal Science is a broad term which covers a host of disciplines. It’s hard to get onto a programme in this field, and even harder to stay on it; your competition is fierce and your workload will be heavy. So be prepared! If you’re thinking about taking one of the many postgraduate courses in Animal Science out there, make sure you budget ample time. You’ll need it, especially when it comes time to study and focus on your project work. This is a highly demanding subject and you’ll need to up your game from what you delivered as an undergraduate. As Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

Each and every course you might be considering is different, complete with varying focuses and disciplines. When you’re deciding between them, it’s so important to keep your career goals in mind and then work backward. Does this programme have what you need? For example, if you want to work in agriculture, make sure you pick a course which covers biotechnology or animal husbandry. Want to work in research? Then make sure your programme focuses on the field you have your eye on. And no matter what you choose, keep those grades high!

No potential Animal Scientist is an Island!

If you are unclear when it comes to what you need, or what the syllabus might cover, don’t be afraid to reach out to the course providers themselves. This is absolutely mandatory if you hope to take on a research postgraduate programme. They won’t bite. Most will be glad to hear from you and happy to point you in the right direction.

Chat with your potential tutor/supervisor about your goals and thesis pitches. It’s helpful to know exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to applicants. Before you do, however, it’s essential you do your homework; research the course, your supervisors and tutors. What papers have they published? On what topics? Wow them with your knowledge and enthusiasm, as having a great mentor can lead to an even greater career.

Possible Careers

If you’re an expert in Animal Science, there’s a whole arena of industries and jobs out there for you, and the vast majority of these will be well paid. You could gain employment in any of the fields below…

  • Veterinary practitioner
  • Journalism
  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Research
  • Academia
  • Agriculture
  • Business Owner

.. and then specialise in the diverse subcategories within each one.

While studying on your postgraduate course in Animal Science, make sure you stay goal-oriented throughout;  ensure all your projects, assignments and thesis relate to your chosen field. Reach out to people working with and expand your network. It’s who you know, as much as what, that will help you land the job of your dreams.

Enjoy

Once you are prepared for the workload and enjoy a challenging experience, a postgraduate course in Animal Science is a rewarding endeavor. No matter what your future holds, whether it’s healing animals, manufacturing on a large scale, advocacy, or admin, you will get paid handsomely for doing something that you love. Who wouldn’t want that?


Gemma Creagh

MSc Biology: Doing a Postgraduate Degree in Biology
Thinking of taking a Postgraduate Course in English Literature?


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