MSc Animal Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Animal Science is suitable for students who wish to undertake advanced studies in pursuit of a career in the livestock sector. This unique programme was designed after comprehensive consultation with leading stakeholders including animal nutrition and health industries. This new MSc aims to equip graduates with cutting edge skills and position them for leadership roles in a dynamic and critically important sector of the global economy.

This innovative programme enables students to focus their studies on specific aspects of animal science including genetics & genomics, reproduction, nutrition and health. For those with an enquiring mind, a deeper understanding of scientific principles relevant to solving issues currently limiting system sustainability will be reflected in new modules developed for this MSc, including immunobiology, sustainable livestockand global food systems.

Flexible programme choices enable students to focus their studies on an area of specific interest for the development of deeper expertise or tailor their module choice for a broader selection. A key strategy of the MSc is to foster the development of communication and transferable skills to enable the student to best represent their skillset and become leading ambassadors for sustainable animal production systems. 

The MSc Animal Science has been designed in collaboration with Industry stakeholders and will be delivered by internationally renowned discipline experts. Guest lectures and new modules will showcase the latest developments in national and international research informed by innovative projects taking place at UCD Lyons Farm. 

This programme is delivered and assessed entirely online and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The minimum registration to the MSc is one year, however students have four years in which to complete the programme thereby affording flexibility.The online format of the programme enables students enrolled to combine studying while in employment. 

Careers & Employability

There are a wide range of potential employment opportunities for graduates from this programme. Agriculture is a global enterprise and as such progressive individuals will identify the contribution this MSc can make across a wide range of career trajectories.

Graduate Roles include: 

  • Further education including PhD programmes nationally and abroad
  • Policy and advisory roles within governmental departments
  • Senior positions within leading nutrition, health, breeding and pharmaceutical companies

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The global agricultural industry is under enormous pressure to meet the increased demand for animal protein from an expanding and increasingly affluent human population while minimising its impact on the environment. The FAO predict that meat consumption is projected to rise nearly 73 percent by 2050 and dairy consumption will grow 58 percent over current levels. Practices and technologies employed to meet these dual demands have implications for animal welfare, farm sustainability, the food chain and ultimately human health. Within the environmental constraints, the Irish government has ambitious plans to sustainably grow our agri-food sector (as reflected in FoodWise 2025), which is our largest indigenous industry and a critical pillar in our economic recovery. Therefore, from an international as well as a national perspective, there is considerable potential for UCD graduates to play key roles in responding to the challenges that agriculture faces both at home and abroad.   

This MSc in Animal Science aims to provide advanced education and training in the application of the sciences underpinning best practice in animal science, to enable the development of key transferrable skills, such as communication and research expertise, and prepare students for opportunities in animal science-related industries. The MSc in Animal Science is unique in its orientation to develop a new generation of graduates with the ability to translate knowledge of specific aspects of animal science into practice and develop competence in research methods relevant to specific areas of animal science. 

 

Graduates of this programme will acquire:

  • A spectrum of understanding of core foundational principles in Animal Science including the latest developments in each discipline.
  • A deep understanding of the current and future challenges of animal production enterprises and how research is meeting these challenges.
  • The ability to comprehensively synthesize and articulate the role of education, strategic and applied aspects of agriculture in identifying the solutions for the Agri-food systems of tomorrow. 
  • The ability to apply animal science knowledge (e.g. Nutrition, Genetics, Reproduction and Health) for the sustainable production of livestock in a welfare-friendly and ethically responsible manner.
  • The capacity to demonstrate and apply a foundation knowledge of how cutting-edge developments in Animal Science ensure a safe food supply for consumers.
  • Knowledge on how to employ a range of media to effectively communicate with the multiple and diverse stakeholders in the Irish and International Agri-food sector.
  • The ability to apply relevant scientific evidence and other knowledge, to positively affect policy, regulation and public health relating to animal production systems.
  • The self-actualisation skills to occupy leadership positions and to take active roles in societal discussions surrounding sustainable animal production systems.

MSc Animal Science (D076) Full Time
EU/NONEU    fee per year - € 9230

MSc Animal Science (D080) Part Time
EU/NONEU    fee per credit - € 102.86

***Fees are subject to change

  •  Applicants must hold a minimum of a second class honours degree in a related science discipline.
  • Mature candidates have previously been accepted on the basis of relevant experience and prospective candidates are  encouraged to contact the Programme Director to discuss their eligibility.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.  

Associate Professor Kieran Meade, Programme Director

Since I graduated from UCD with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Animal Science), my studies on livestock infectious disease have brought me from North America to Africa and back to Ireland. Completing a PhD and subsequently working in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin alongside human medics and researchers gave me a deep appreciation for the unique role that the animal scientist plays in securing human health. From controlling infectious disease on-farm, to safeguarding the food chain and protecting human health, animal scientists make an important contribution to society on many levels. 

This MSc will showcase developments at the interface where technology meets biology and is ripe for driving innovative solutions for agriculture. Building on the unique strengths of UCD, this MSc will equip graduates with the big-picture perspective of critical issues in Animal Science but will be securely grounded on providing the scientific foundation for evidence-based innovation. 

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Animal Science FT (D076)
Duration
1 Years
Attend
Full Time
Deadline
Rolling*
MSc Animal Science PT (D080)
Duration
2 Years
Attend
Part Time
Deadline
Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised