Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)

UCAS code: D402

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)

There are fewer bigger global challenges than feeding the growing human population well, while protecting the natural systems on which we depend.

With the world population expected to reach 11 billion by the end of this century and demands on systems already at an all-time high, it is essential that we find new ways to feed the growing population without destroying the planet.

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 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Research power

At the University of Edinburgh, we already make a significant contribution to tackling these issues at national and global levels. Following the UK government's Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 Edinburgh was ranked first by research power (Research Fortnight REF 2014) in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science.

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

Our programmes are currently being reviewed and course names may be subject to change, however course content will remain the same.

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.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2018/19)

Our facilities

Our programmes are delivered at the Easter Bush Campus, where our world-class educational facilities are being expanded. Collaborative work takes place here across a wide range of disciplines, all within easy reach of our students.

Easter Bush is home to three of the UK’s four agritech innovation centres and a network of more than 100 industry partners. Our teaching partner, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has many of their extensive research and education farms within close reach.

The campus is also 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 the world-renowned Roslin Institute where many animal scientists are based.

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


You will take part in a short work placement in 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 your final project.

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.

You may, however, take your work placement either internationally or in the UK. You are expected to meet any associated costs, which will vary according to your preferred location.

Our programmes include a compulsory three-week placement, which you should budget for. From Year 3 on, further placements, of up to 12 months, are optional.

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.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

Our programmes aim to equip you for careers in:

  • agri-food research, such as PhD and ultimately postdoctoral positions;

  • national or international policy roles, including researchers, research project commissioners or managers, or science advisers for either 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.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 30 points with 5 at HL.

Access threshold

The access threshold for a contextual offer is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 30 points with 5 at HL.

Find out more about access thresholds and contextual offers

Detailed requirements for all applicants

To be considered for an offer of a place all applicants must meet the following 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 at least two of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Business Management, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing or Mathematics, which must include Biology or Chemistry. Qualified applicants are advised to take Biology or Chemistry at Advanced Higher level where possible. National 5: Mathematics, Geography or Economics at grade B and English at grade B.

    (Updated 19/07/18 to correct an error. Business Studies replaced with Business Management.)

  • A Levels: BBB in one sitting, to include at least two of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Business Studies, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing or Mathematics, which must include Biology or Chemistry. GCSEs: Mathematics, Geography or Economics at Grade B or 6 and English at Grade B or 6.
  • IB: Overall score of 30 points, including HL Biology or Chemistry, at Grade 5. Mathematics, Geography and/or Economics 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 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 56 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA, GCSE and IB 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
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

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.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)

Additional costs

You will require compulsory protective clothing (estimated at £50), locker deposits (£15) and will incur costs getting to Easter Bush campus. Using public transport from the city centre will cost around £500 a year, which we will proportionally subsidise in line with your year of study.

In addition, some Year 3 mini work placements and your final project may incur further accommodation and travel costs.

For international students, please note 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