MSc in Livestock Health and Production

General

Program Description

This programme offers a thorough overview of the factors that influence livestock production - including breeding, nutrition, welfare and disease processes and management.

Gain a thorough overview of the factors that influence livestock production, including breeding, nutrition, welfare and disease processes and management.

How you study

The programme is offered by distance learning and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines), using the study materials provided.

When you register, we will provide access to both the Royal Veterinary College’s Virtual Learning Environment (RVC Learn) and your personal RVC email account:

  • RVC Learn provides access to academic tutorials, study materials, previous exam papers and student discussion forums.
  • Online tutorials provide the opportunity to ask questions of RVC academics and you are strongly advised to plan for these sessions. Typically, two scheduled, online tutorials, are offered throughout the academic year of February to September) and run for one week.
  • The RVC library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated help desk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.

Academics will offer feedback, along with a numerical mark on two written assignments and the highest mark will count towards your overall assessment. Academic feedback helps you to reach high standards and support your preparation for exams.

Study materials

We will provide study materials developed by academics at the Royal Veterinary College. Your materials will include access to a study guide and specially selected readings. For some modules, materials are available via the Virtual Learning Environment only.

Time commitment

To complete the programme in the minimum study period, we recommend that you should study approximately 15 hours per week. (Academic year: February to September).

Assessment

The assessment for each module includes a three-hour written examination which takes place in October (80 per cent of the mark) and you submit up to two written assignments, from which the highest mark will count towards the overall module assessment (20 per cent).

The optional Research Project (MSc only) is assessed through a research paper, written in the style required by an identified scientific journal (80 per cent) and an oral examination (20 per cent).

You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world.

Programme structure

This programme will help you improve the health and production of livestock by providing a greater understanding of the interaction of livestock with people and the environment.

Learn how to implement control strategies by integrating your knowledge with the principles of epidemiology, economics and disease control within the context of management and infrastructure.

Three compulsory core modules:

  • Animal disease (Current concepts)
  • Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems
  • Principles of livestock production

Plus four further optional modules selected from:

  • Animal welfare
  • Economics for livestock development and policy
  • Epidemiology and animal health economics
  • Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations*
  • Reproduction and fertility – a species approach
  • Research design, management and grant application writing
  • Research project in livestock health and production
  • Sustainable livestock farming in the environment
  • Veterinary public health

Entry requirements

Either a second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a scientific subject, veterinary, animal science, agriculture, biological sciences, or medicine. Or a second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline which has included suitable training.

English Language requirements

You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in each sub-test.
  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with 22+ in reading and writing, and 20+ in speaking and listening.

Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Virtual Learning Environment and it is vital that you can access this regularly.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme are employed in a variety of organizations, including the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), University Veterinary faculties and international organisations including the FAO and World Health Organisation (WHO).

What do employers think of our graduates?

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.


This programme will help you improve the health and production of livestock. Hear from USA-based graduate Wendy Weirich.

Last updated November 2019

About the School

We are one of the largest, most diverse universities in the UK with over 120,000 students in London, and a further 50,000 studying across 180 countries for a University of London degree.

We are one of the largest, most diverse universities in the UK with over 120,000 students in London, and a further 50,000 studying across 180 countries for a University of London degree. Read less