Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)

UCAS code: D402

Duration: 4 years

School: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine


Introducing BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)

Improving the effectiveness and sustainability of agri-food systems is vital to tackling the challenges of global population growth, rapid urbanisation, food and environmental security, and diet and health. These challenges affect affluent and low and middle income countries. Addressing them is key to moving hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and central to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

At the University of Edinburgh, we already make a significant contribution to tackling these issues at national and global levels. Our joint submission with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science ranked top in the UK for research power in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Major contributions to all courses from research-active staff ensure that students will be aware of, and involved in, topical research themes throughout the programme.

Study abroad

We intend to offer a year abroad as part of this programme, however this has yet to be approved and we will not be able to verify this option until the programme has commenced in September 2018.

Year 1

  • Introductory Topics in Agricultural and Food Economics;
  • Science for Agri-Food Systems: Cells to Organisms;
  • Science for Agri-Food Systems: Interactions within Systems;
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 1.

Year 2

  • Applications in Agricultural and Food Economics;
  • Animal Systems;
  • Crop Production Systems;
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 2.

Year 3

  • Global Animal Health & Welfare;
  • Global Animal Production;
  • Global Agri-Food Systems 1;
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 3.

Year 4

  • Future Livestock Production;
  • Global Animal Products;
  • Global Agri-Food Systems 2;
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 4.

Our facilities

These programmes will be delivered mainly at our Easter Bush Campus, where our world-class educational facilities are currently being expanded.

The campus is already home to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS), which has an international reputation for its research, teaching and clinical services and occupies a £45 million veterinary teaching building, next to the existing small and large animal hospitals, designed to support top class veterinary education in the 21st century.

The internationally-renowned Roslin Institute is incorporated and co-located at Easter Bush in a £60 million state of the art building. Many animal scientists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are based in the Roslin Institute and many of SRUC’s extensive research and education farms are close to the campus.

The Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC) brings together the science of the Roslin Institute, the R(D)SVS, SRUC and the Moredun Research Institute, forming one of the largest groups in the world focused on the biology of companion and production animals.


Our agricultural science programmes include a short work placement during Year 3. Suitably qualified students may also undertake a work placement of up to a year, at the end of Year 3 at their own, or their employer’s expense. This may be non-credit bearing, may include additional credits for Student-Led Individually Created Courses (SLICC), or may include preparatory work for the final year project.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning.

In Years 3 and 4, there is more emphasis on self-directed study and discussion sessions with internationally renowned research scientists.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through in-course assessments and examinations. A research project or dissertation will form an important part of your final-year assessment.

These programmes aim to equip you for careers in:

  • agri-food research, such as PhD and ultimately postdoctoral positions;
  • national or international policy roles, such as researchers, research project commissioners/managers, or science advisers in government or inter-governmental departments or agencies;
  • non-governmental organisations, as science advisers or research managers for agri-food/planetary health/international development/aid-related charities;
  • the agri-food industry, for example as farming or agri-food industry consultants, technical experts, researchers, research project commissioners/managers for multinational agri-food companies, or as food product supply chain managers for retailers.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by end of S5 or ABBB/BBBBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6, to include Biology or Chemistry and at least one of: Economics, Business Management, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing Science or Mathematics. Qualified applicants are advised to take Biology or Chemistry at Advanced Higher level where possible. National 5: Mathematics or Physics at grade B, English at grade B. Revised 04/10/2017 to provide more accurate information.
  • A Levels: BBB in one sitting, to include Biology or Chemistry and ideally one of: Economics, Business Studies, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing or Mathematics. GCSEs: English at Grade B or 6. Mathematics or Physics at Grade B or 6.
  • IB: Overall score of 30 points, including HL Biology or Chemistry, at Grade 6. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. SL: English at Grade 5 and Mathematics at Grade 4.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with a minimum of 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with a minimum of 169 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 witha minimum of 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" section (the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinctions in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Additional costs

You will require compulsory protective clothing (estimated at £50), locker deposits (£15) and transportation to Easter Bush. Using public transport from the city centre will cost around £525 a year, which we will proportionally subsidise in line with your year of study.

In addition, some Year 3 mini work placements and final year projects may incur additional accommodation and travel costs.

For international students, your immigration application may include a healthcare surcharge of around £150 a year.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding