Institution code: H12
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement
Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)
Do you enjoy studying science and finding out how scientific principles can be used to prevent disease and improve the health of animals?
Are you interested in learning more about the biology of a range of animals (farm, companion and equine) in order to know what is best for their overall health? Then this four-year course could be the right choice for you. It is a highly vocational course where the underpinning sciences are relevant and useful. So time spent in the laboratory will be balanced with the study of live animals. Basic health sciences such as anatomy, physiology, immunology, nutrition and molecular biology are studied as are the sciences of animal disease – epidemiology, microbiology, parasitology, and pharmacology.
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The one-year work placement allows you to put theory into practice, tackling real world situations and problems. We will help you to find a placement that suits your career aspirations and when you graduate you will do so with an enviable combination of education and experience.
Recent placements have included veterinary pharmaceutical companies, local authority animal health departments, research facilities, zoos and wildlife parks, veterinary practices, and commercial livestock farms.
Modules in the early part of the course are concerned with normal body structure and functioning along with aspects of molecular biology and genetics. The principles underlying animal health are followed by a study of the processes involved in animals’ responses to disease and how animal diseases are spread. Companion animals and farm livestock are given equal weighting on the course.
There are also opportunities to choose modules which relate to horses, companion animals and animal welfare. This ability to choose allows you to specialise or gives you the flexibility to study over a wide area.
Lectures are complemented by tutorials, visits and practical classes. Depending on the module, practicals may take the form of laboratory work, behaviour/welfare assessments or animal handling in the Companion Animal House or on the University Farm.
A wide range of assessment methods are used. Depending on the module these include examination, assignments, practical spot-tests and presentations.
Whilst a student’s prior experience or qualifications should prepare them for Higher Education, most will find that study at university level is organised differently than they might have experienced at either school or college. Higher Education sets out to prepare students to think and learn independently, so that they are able to continue learning new things beyond their studies and into the workplace, without needing a tutor to guide them. This means that the time spent in classes with tutors provides direction, guidance and support for work that students undertake independently through:
In order to develop the skills of a graduate (whether at Foundation Degree or Honours Degree levels), students are expected to not only be able to recall and explain what they know but also to be able to:
Tutors will expect students working towards a Degree to be able to use what they know to solve problems and answer meaningful questions about the way in which aspects of the world work and not just rote-learn information that they have been told or read, for later recall. This means using all the bullet-pointed skills and to think critically by questioning information, whilst also being rigorous in checking the value of the evidence used in making one’s own points. Students will be expected to become increasingly responsible for recognising the areas where they themselves need to develop. Taking careful note of tutor feedback can help to identify the skills and abilities on which attention could usefully be focused. To be successful, students need to be self-motivated to study outside of classes, especially since in higher education, these higher level skills need to be practised independently.
At Harper Adams students are gradually supported to become less reliant on class-based learning, so that they are able to spend a greater proportion of their time in their final year working on projects of interest to themselves and in line with their future career aspirations. Whilst in the first year of a course, a student might spend around one-third of their time in class, they will typically spend 15 - 20% in class by the time they reach their Honours year. At Harper Adams, we are fortunate to have not only an extensive estate and great facilities for students to use as a source of information and inspiration, we also have a well-stocked library and access to countless specialist sources of paper-based and online information. Many of the staff at Harper Adams are involved in research work, which helps ensure the content of the courses is at the forefront of the discipline. This also means that amongst the library books and online journals that students use, there may be some familiar names.
The Bamford Library and Faccenda Centre each have spaces in which students can work, either individually or in small groups, using either their own laptop computers or the provided desktop computers, all of which can access the network. Working spaces are zoned to reflect different working conditions, so there is a study space for everybody, whether they need silence or work better in a livelier environment.
The grounding provided in both science and applied animal studies also opens up opportunities in many areas of research. It is important to realise that by studying this course you will not qualify as a vet (i.e. you can’t diagnose and treat animals) but there are opportunities to work alongside vets and other scientists in the veterinary pharmaceutical companies that produce animal health products as well as in the animal nutrition or biotechnology industries.
Some graduates have gone on to study at veterinary school to eventually qualify as a veterinary surgeon.
You would also be well qualified to work as an animal health inspector for a local authority or Defra.
For course related enquiries please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000