Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Applied Poultry Science (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

This programme offers a unique, research-led opportunity to study the different aspects of applied poultry science and aims to equip current and future professionals with skills, knowledge and understanding to address local and global challenges in sustainable poultry production. It is designed to suit those in continuing employment or with other commitments.

Participants typically come from a wide range of backgrounds who wish to develop their career and businesses, including:

  • nutritionists
  • breeders
  • vets
  • other poultry sector workers

How will I learn?

Our part-time, online programme is a fully flexible mix of technical, scientific, nutritional, and environmental and management-skills development modules. You can fit your studies in and around your work and other commitments. It is delivered largely by poultry specialists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), and St David’s Poultry Team (veterinary surgeons).

Our online, intermittent programme of study has two elements:

  • taught
  • research project/dissertation

Online, flexible learning

The programme is delivered in an online environment that provides a dynamic and collaborative learning experience. Expert tutors will support you through every stage of the programme and you can engage with fellow students in supportive and constructive online networks. The flexible learning environment means you learn at the times and locations that suit you best, making this programme suitable for high calibre, busy professionals who want to update and extend their knowledge of poultry science.

How will I learn?

The programme is developed and delivered by specialists from SRUC, the University of Edinburgh, and St David’s Poultry Team (veterinary surgeons), with guest lecturers where appropriate and will draw upon the extensive staff expertise at the University of Edinburgh and at other Institutions internationally.

A blend of online learning methods are used, such as discussion forums and live tutorials, to create a dynamic and collaborative learning experience. You will become part of an online community bringing together students and tutors from all over the world.

Assessment and progression

Assessment of progress is achieved by:

  • presentations, essays
  • critical reviews of literature
  • short answer questions
  • scientific posters
  • group work

In addition to the core learning in Applied Poultry Science, the programme will allow you to enhance your interpersonal, self-management, IT, team working and project management skills.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The degree programme is structured to allow sequential progression from individual courses to Certificate, Diploma and MSc phases. Students may also exit the programme on completion of each phase.

The programme is designed to be taken part-time over three years at 20 hours per week, with the option to complete in up to six years if required.

The completion times are as follows:

  • PgCert: 1-2 years
  • PgDip: 2-4 years
  • MSc: 3-6 years

Each academic year consists of three teaching blocks, each running over a period of 11 weeks.

Year 1

In Year 1, you will complete three compulsory 20 credit courses:

  • Poultry Housing & Environment
  • Poultry Anatomy & Health
  • Poultry Feed, Nutrition & Digestion

Students successfully completing Year 1 and exiting the programme will be awarded a PG Certificate (60 credits).

Year 2

In Year 2, 40 credits are compulsory and 20 are electives.

Compulsory courses:

  • Poultry Behaviour & Welfare in Commercial Systems (20 credits)
  • Poultry Embryology & Incubation (10 credits)
  • Poultry Breeding & Genetics (10 credits)

Elective (option) courses:

  • Research Methods & Data Analysis (APS) (10 credits) – compulsory for progression to year 3
  • Poultry Business Management (10 credits)
  • Leadership Skills (10 credits)
  • Other electives from suitable courses (10 or 20 credits)

Students successfully completing Year 1 and 2 and exiting the programme will be awarded a PG Diploma (120 credits).

Year 3

Year 3 is Dissertation Year (September-June). Year 3 will consist of the final dissertation to attain the award of an MSc Degree in Applied Poultry Science.

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through postgraduate-level learning, without the time, or financial commitment, of a full award.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses from within this degree over two years and gain a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit.

It may also be possible to continue your studies after one year and put credits towards a postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or full Master's degree. Any time spent taking courses through the PPD scheme will be deducted from the amount of time you have left to complete the higher award.

Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScApplied Poultry ScienceUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgDip (ICL)Applied Poultry ScienceUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgCert (ICL)Applied Poultry ScienceUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgProfDevApplied Poultry ScienceUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24

Our graduates work in many different poultry related organisations across the globe such as:

  • research establishments
  • education
  • industry
  • government organisations
  • welfare organisations

Some set up their own poultry businesses.

Often our students are already employed in:

  • agricultural sciences
  • biological science
  • veterinary medicine
  • agriculture
  • rural industries
  • government
  • international organisations
  • poultry science, as research technicians

Completion of the programme has enhanced their career opportunities.

Hear from our Programme Director

How does online learning work?

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in agriculture, veterinary science or a biological science.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant work experience in the poultry industry for 3 or more years. Please contact the programme team to check before you apply. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Application fee




Additional programme costs


Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScApplied Poultry ScienceUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Applied Poultry ScienceUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Applied Poultry ScienceUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgProfDevApplied Poultry ScienceUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

SRUC alumni discount

The SRUC alumni discount aims to encourage SRUC graduates to take up opportunities to study on taught masters (MSc) degree programmes run by SRUC in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh by providing a financial contribution towards the programme tuition fees to eligible applicants.

Eligible applicants will:

  1. have graduated, or be expecting to graduate, with an honours degree delivered through SRUC, and awarded by either the University of Glasgow or the University of Edinburgh, within five years prior to the commencement of the masters programme
  2. have been accepted for admission to one of the following MSc programmes:

  3. have been offered a place for the next academic session
  4. have firmly accepted that offer, or be intending to do so

We will inform you if you are eligible to receive the discount on tuition fees during the application and admissions process. (Please tell us on your application if you are a SRUC graduate, as this will help speed up the process.) For further information please contact the Programme Secretary.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute
  • Easter Bush Campus
  • Easter Bush
  • Midlothian
  • EH25 9RG
Programme start dates Application deadlines
9 September 2024 23 August 2024
9 September 2024 21 March 2025
6 January 2025 20 December 2024
1 April 2025 23 August 2024

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. The deadline for acceptance onto the programme is one week prior to the start of term. If you are also applying for funding we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute
  • Easter Bush Campus
  • Easter Bush
  • Midlothian
  • EH25 9RG