Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Practical 1 x 3 hour practical per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Understand the scientific principles that underpin the nutrition of animals, especially ruminant animals;

2. Appreciate the methods used to study nutrition;

3. Follow future developments in this field.

Brief description

The module aims to outline the fundamental biochemical and microbiological principles that underpin animal nutrition. Although it focuses on ruminants, descriptions of the relevant processes in monogastrics will also be given where appropriate.


The lectures cover selected key topics including nutrient metabolism, microbial population and ecology and estimation of the kinetic parameters of feed digestion. Other topics covered include anti-nutritive properties of feeds, the nutritional basis of the major metabolic diseases and feed intake regulation, measurement and prediction.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
Students will undertake laboratory practicals in groups and this will contribute to developing their team work skills. However, the subsequent calculations, literature review, validation of analytical results and conclusion will be done on an individual basis. This will develop skills related to independent project work.

.2 IT and information handling
Students will need to use spreadsheets to store data obtained from laboratory practicals and will be required to word process assignments. Graphics programmes will also be employed in the presentation of the laboratory results.

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
The application of numeracy will be developed and assessed through laboratory practicals which will require the calculation and validation of the chemical composition of certain feedstuffs.

.4 Writing in an academic context
Skills related to academic writing will be developed and assessed through write-ups on the laboratory practicals. Brevity, coherence, and relevance of discussion, citation and use of references, ( and to a lesser extent grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax) will form part of the assessment criteria for such essays.

.5 Oral discussion and presentation
This skill will be developed by encouraging students to discuss lecture topics amongst themselves and constructively criticize the lecturer and each other. The lecturer will also attempt to ensure active student participation in lectures by asking several questions.

.6 Careers need awareness
This skill will be developed by regular references to how the information presented during lectures assists in decision making in animal nutrition - related careers.

.7 Self-management
The use of initiative and self management will be developed by the provision of reading lists and assessed by the students preparedness for lectures, answers to oral and examination questions and assignments.

.8 Group activity
Students will undertake laboratory practicals in groups and this will contribute to developing their team work skills.

Reading List

Church D C (1994) Digestive physiology and nutrition of ruminants 3rd O and B Books, Corvallis, Oregon USA Primo search Forbes J M and France J (1993) Quantitative aspects of ruminant digestion and metabolism CABI Primo search McDonald P, Edwards R A and Greenhalgh J F D (1988) Animal nutrition 4th Longman Scientific and Technical Primo search van Soest P J (1994) Nutritional ecology of the ruminant Cornell University Press Primo search Recent advances in animal nutrition. Proceedings of conferences held at Nottingham University since 1967 Butterworth Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6