Programme description

The 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, including nutritionists, breeders, vets and other poultry sector workers, all of whom wish to develop their career and businesses.

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

Online learning

This course is an online, intermittent programme of study and has two elements: the taught element and the research project/dissertation element.

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.

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 of progress is achieved through presentations, essays, critical reviews of literature, short answer questions, scientific posters and group wiki events. 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.

Programme structure

The MSc programme can be completed over three years, or up to 6 years if done intermittently. Each academic year consists of three teaching blocks, each running over a period of 11 weeks.

Year 1

Three core 20 credit courses. Students successfully completing Year 1 and exiting the programme will be awarded a PG Certificate (60 credits).

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

Year 2

Students successfully completing Year 1 and 2 and exiting the programme will be awarded a PG Diploma (120 credits). In Year 2 40 credits are core and 20 are electives.

Core 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)

Year 3

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 a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses, you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to study towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. 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. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in many different poultry related organizations across the globe such as research establishments, education, industry, government organizations, welfare organizations and some set up their own poultry businesses.

Often they are students are already employed in agricultural sciences, biological science, veterinary medicine, as well as professionals from agriculture, rural industries, government officials, international organizations, and research technicians in poultry science and completion of the programme has enhanced their career opportunities.

Entry requirements

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 the certificate level only in the first instance.

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Program taught in:
  • English
The University of Edinburgh - College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

See 13 more programs offered by The University of Edinburgh - College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine »

Last updated February 2, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
1 - 6 years
10,335 GBP
(MSc). 10,335 GBP (PgDip). 5,170 GBP (PgCert).
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date