Master of Animal Science

Course MC-ANISCI (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Ian Bland


Postgraduate Office, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, The University of Melbourne, Phone: +61 3 8344 7834, Email:
Course Overview:

Candidates will graduate with an excellent understanding of the many factors underpinning animal systems and an awareness of methods for sustainable food and fibre production and their markets. The aims of the Masters of Animal Science (coursework) are to further develop an understanding of the biology of domestic and captive animals, their care, management and use as a resource for food, fibre, recreation and companionship; to develop an in-depth knowledge of the biology of animals, the complexities of the ethical and moral issues encompassing care, management and use as a resource will be examined in light of advances in human endeavour. The masters will allow a degree of specialisation based around analysis of animal systems management of a chosen species or classification of animals. The course design comprises theory and technology applications, with a focus on improving current cropping and animal production systems for increased product yields and qualities within Australian and International environments.

Animal science masters also comprises many existing and novel emerging areas in the animal and associated sciences, aimed to create opportunities for advances in the manipulation of biological systems for increased productivity. The scientific tools and advances are evolving fast and are being directly applied to food and fibre industries worldwide.


The objectives of this course are to:

  • enable students to explore the interdisciplinary nature of animal science at an advanced level
  • provide students with a sound foundation in the scientific principles and analytical skills behind improved animal systems (farm and companion animals) and their sustainability
  • introduce the student to advanced research topics and practical applications within the disciplines of animal science
  • develop competence in the design, conduct and analysis of experimental work
  • introduce students to industrial applications of animal science and the commercial outcomes
  • develop a critical understanding of environmental, economic, social and ethical factors related to animal-derived food and fibre production in Australia and globally.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Master of Animal Science (coursework) consists of 200 credit points of study at level 400 and above. The Master course may be undertaken as either full time study over two years or part time study over four years and will be delivered at the Parkville campus. International students may only enrol in the course on a full time basis.

Year 1 comprises five core subjects (two of which are selectives and including a 25 point research project subject) and two other elective subjects. Students will be able to choose elective subjects from a range of subjects offered in the Master of Agricultural Science, Master of Food Science and Master of Agribusiness as well as from a list of approved subjects offered by other University of Melbourne faculties, subject to approval by the Course Coordinator.

Year 2 comprises a further four core subjects and a 50 point research project. The core subjects are 'systems based subjects' that evaluate critical areas of the animal industries. The electives can be drawn from a range of bespoke subjects that are cognate to animal science. Students must complete a masters' research project of 50 points in their final year of study.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

These subjects are core to the Master of Animal Science (Coursework) Program.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long

Core Selective Subjects 1

These subjects are core selectives as part of the Master of Animal Science (Coursework) program. You MUST choose one of the following two subjects.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Core Selective Subjects 2

These subjects are also core selectives as part of the Master of Animal Science (Coursework) program. You MUST also choose one of the following two subjects.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Year Long

Elective subjects (Animal Science Discipline)

The following subjects are electives within the Master of Animal Science (Coursework) program.

202 xxx Animal Reproduction (available in 2011)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2010
Semester 2

Elective subjects from within the Melbourne School of Land and Environment

The following subjects are electives within the Master of Animal Science (Coursework) program.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2010
Not offered in 2010
Entry Requirements:

i. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue the course using the following criteria:

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification. Or
  • Undergraduate tertiary qualification with a weighted average of 65% or better in the final year of study. Or
  • Successful completion of a Graduate / Postgraduate Diploma with a weighted average of 65% or better.

ii. Completion of an Honours program or a Postgraduate Diploma in Animal Science and Management (or equivalent) will give an advanced standing of 100 points into the Master of Animal Science.

iii. The course is primarily designed for students with a science-based background with biology and/or chemistry. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison Unit (8344 7068 or Students enrolling in the Melbourne School of Land & Environment are advised that some courses of study may put them at an increased risk of contracting Q Fever. Q Fever is a relatively common, preventable condition which while rarely fatal, can cause a severe acute illness and can result in damage to heart valves and chronic fatigue. It is recommended that students consider undertaking screening and vaccination for Q Fever prior to commencement of study. Students may be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to undertaking some coursework. Your course coordinator will advise you of this requirement prior to commencement of the study semester. Vaccine costs for students are not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), Medicare, or by the University. Some students with full private health coverage (which has hospital and ancillary cover) may receive partial re-imbursement for vaccine costs.
Further Study: There is a clear progression pathway from masters by coursework programme to PhD.
Graduate Attributes: The graduates from the Master of Animal Science (coursework) will have achieved academic excellence in their chosen field(s) of study. They will possess in-depth knowledge in those fields(s) and have been equipped with all necessary tools and skills to become leaders at both national and global levels.
Generic Skills:
  • A profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the
    ethics of scholarship
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed
    learning and research
  • An ability to derive, interpret and analyse social, technical or economic
    information from primary and other sources
  • Awareness of and ability to utilise appropriate communication technology and methods
    for the storage, management and analysis of data
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across a relevant discipline to solve problems in
    applied situations
  • Highly developed computer - based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and
  • Highly developed written communication skills to allow informed dialogue with
    individuals and groups from industry, government and the community
  • Highly developed oral communication skills to allow informed dialogue and liaison
    with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community.
  • Appreciation of social and cultural diversity from a regional to a global context
  • Ability to participate effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects

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