Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Animal Breeding: Genetics and Reproduction
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Animal Breeding Assignment  30%
Semester Assessment Reproductive Physiology Assignment  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   40%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  60%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the key principles of quantitative genetics and their application to the genetic improvement of animals.

2. Discuss the choice of selection objectives for different classes of animal and the design of breeding schemes to achieve them.

3. Detail the anatomy of the female and male mammalian reproductive tract and explain the functions of the constituent parts.

4. Discuss the control of reproduction in the male and female.

5. Explain the role that the maternal system plays both during pregnancy and lactation in ensuring the successful production of offspring.

Brief description

The key concepts of quantitative genetics will be introduced and their use to design breeding programmes for the genetic improvement of performance, health and behaviour in domesticated animals will be demonstrated. The important features of mammalian reproductive anatomy and physiology will be outlined. Areas covered will include anatomy, function and control of reproductive activity in males and females, including spermatogenesis, conception, pregnancy and lactation. The knowledge gained within this module can then be applied in subsequent subject specific, equine, livestock, companion animal modules.


For animal breeding this module considers the:
Definition of selection objectives for domestic animals,
Inheritance of simple, discrete and continuously variable traits,
Concept of heritability and its use in the prediction of response to selection,
Genetic correlation and the problems of simultaneous selection for multiple traits,
Relative importance of selection between and within established breeds,
Effects of crossbreeding (heterosis and complementarity) and inbreeding on animal performance,
Structure and design of breeding schemes
Applications of reproductive technologies and molecular genetics in genetic improvement

For animal reproduction this module considers:
Female reproductive anatomy and ovarian function
Male reproductive anatomy and testicular function
Control of reproduction in the male and female
Pregnancy, fertilization, implantation, placentation
Endocrine control of pregnancy and parturition
Anatomy and control of lactation

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Use of numerical information in the prediction of response to selection and in the interpretation and use of breeding values and selection indices in animal improvement. Assessed by exam.
Communication Written communication skills will be an essential assessed component of students’ assignment work.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-directed study will be supported by the provision of e-learning materials that are designed to improve learning in these subjects. Students will be given detailed feedback on the coursework which will help them improve their subsequent performance in other modules.
Information Technology Use of Word in the preparation of the assignment
Personal Development and Career planning Subject will raise awareness of the skills needed, and the opportunities for employment in the animal breeding industries.
Problem solving The student will be able to identify how scientific knowledge is used to solve technical problems in the development of genetic improvement schemes. Assessed by assignment and exam.
Research skills Assignments will involve elements of literature review and report writing, which will be assessed.
Subject Specific Skills A knowledge of reproductive physiology and animal genetics sufficient to enable an understanding of reproductive management and animal breeding.
Team work Not an element of this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 5