Animal & Aquatic Sciences

If animal health, welfare and conservation and the underpinning scientific principles are a priority for you, then the broad range of courses we offer at Aberystwyth University will set you on the right career path in these important and highly employable fields.  

You will learn how and why animals behave in the ways that they do in order to improve their well-being, and will develop valuable scientific skills relating to domesticated and wild animals. You can study the nutrition, breeding, fertility, health, behaviour, physiology and anatomy of a wide range of domesticated and wild animals, including farm animals, horses, companion animals and aquatic species. 

We make full use of our surroundings so you can develop your fieldwork skills when you study with us. You'll do all this within the wild and beautiful setting of West Wales, which is home to bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals, pine martens, otters, ospreys and red kites.  

Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
  • Top 10 in the UK for overall student satisfaction for the subject of Animal Science (National Student Satisfaction Survey 2022)
  • Top 10 in the UK for Student Experience and Teaching Quality for the subject of Animal Science (Good University Guide, The Times and Sunday Times 2022)
  • 3rd overall in the UK for the subject of Animal Science (The Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide 2021)

Why study Animal & Aquatic Sciences at Aberystwyth University?

  • We offer an exciting blend of academic theory and practical field skills, and you'll have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork overseas as well as in the UK.  
  • Our teaching staff are passionate about their subject and conduct research in all areas of animal and aquatic sciences.  
  • We offer a wide range of modules, allowing you to specialise or maintain a broader scope of study.  
  • You will have access to a range of small and large domestic animals for animal behaviour research purposes via our university farms, equine centre and veterinary education centre.  
  • You will have opportunities to view common and rare UK animal species which live in and around Aberystwyth.   
  • You can explore some of our beautiful habitats on our doorstep, including marine, moorland, mountain, grassland and coast, providing you with a fabulous variety of fieldwork and recreational opportunities.  
“Studying Animal Science at Aberystwyth was the best experience I have ever had. It not only gave me an insight into the field I wished to build a career in, but it also prepared me for my life outside of University. Modules in nutrition, animal breeding and animal health, just to name a few, all feature greatly in my day to day life within my job. From lecturers to the course content, there isn’t one part of University or my course I don’t miss and look back fondly on.”
Sarah Sarah BSc Animal Science
“Doing Animal Science at Aberystwyth University was the best decision of my life – it has moulded me into the person I am today. Everyone was so friendly and the course was set at just the right level with great facilities from studying in the libraries to the practical sessions in the labs and field. My course helped me by giving me an insight into the farming industry alongside an in depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the animals I work with on a daily basis.”
Dawn Dawn BSc Animal Science
“The best part about the MSc Equine Science at Aberystwyth was having the opportunity to challenge the conventional wisdom about many common equine practices in an environment where research and learning are encouraged with an open mind and a lively spirit.”
Anna Babin Anna Babin MSc Equine Science
“Choosing to attend Aberystwyth University for my undergraduate degree is one of the best decisions I have ever made, the experience is so unique when compared to the experiences of my friends who went elsewhere. The facilities are brilliant, the equine staff are supportive and welcoming, and the town is like no other you will ever visit. I am where I am today because of Aberystwyth and for that I will be forever grateful”
Lois Upton Lois Upton BSc Equine Science
“I enjoyed my time studying Marine and Freshwater Biology and I am able to now apply various aspects of what I was taught during my three years to my current job role, even though it is not directly related to my course. The practical elements of my course were excellent, especially the two 3rd year field trips.”
Rebecca Rebecca BSc Marine & Freshwater Biology
“The course gave me a good grounding in all aspects of marine and freshwater biology. There were plenty of opportunities for fieldwork in the course, including the dissertation project, which prepared me for the survey skills needed in my current job.”
Laura Laura BSc Marine & Freshwater Biology

Employability

Studying animal and aquatic sciences is appropriate for students wishing to improve their employability within fields such as animal conservation, animal care and welfare, or animal behaviour, but also develops a broad range of skills such as observation, research, data analysis and behavioural skills which are demanded by employers in a variety of graduate professions. 

Career opportunities may include: 

  • animal nutrition  
  • ecological consultancy  
  • environmental management and conservation   
  • aquaculture  
  • animal passport officer  
  • RSPCA inspector  
  • Wildlife Trusts  
  • officers in government organisations including the Environment Agency and Centre for Environment, and fisheries  
  • NGOs 
  • scientific journalism  
  • agri-businesses 
  • teaching and research. 

Facilities

  • The University has over 800ha of farmland, including lowland and upland sheep farms, a 350 cow dairy herd, and intensive and extensive beef production systems. 
  • We have a fantastic Equine Centre with Olympic size indoor arena, all-weather manège, round pen, horse walker, loose boxes and demonstration boxes, and a full set of show jumps and fillers. It is the only dedicated fully-licensed equine research yard in the UK outside of veterinary colleges and a British Horse Society (BHS) Approved Training Centre.  
  • We have a modern aquarium housing cold-water and tropical, marine and freshwater species.  
  • We have two marine research vessels: a 6.5m rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) and a purpose-built 10m Cheetah catamaran that can carry up to 12 passengers and crew and associated oceanographic sampling and scientific diving equipment.  
  • We have an extensive collection of zoological specimens housed within our museum.  

Research

The Centre of Excellence for Bovine Tuberculosis (CBTB) undertakes interdisciplinary research to understand the biology of M. bovis infection to underpin the development and use of new diagnostic tests and vaccines for bTB. It also provides expert advice and support to government and other key stakeholders on bTB eradication.  

VetHub1 facilitates academic-industry collaboration in animal health, zoonoses and veterinary diagnostics to enable new and improved products and services to be developed in support of the animal health industry. VetHub assists in pathogen detection, and by providing Mid Wales’s only (business accessible) high-level containment laboratory facilities (CL3 and CL2) for working with pathogenic micro-organisms, VetHub1 engages with companies to develop research/commercial activities targeting diseases of animal and public health importance.  

The Aquatic, Behavioural & Evolutionary Biology research group employs interdisciplinary approaches towards a unifying interest: how animals adapt to their environment. They use a wide range of field- and lab-based techniques to investigate key questions in ecology, evolution and behaviour of wild populations.  

The Aquatic, Behavioural & Evolutionary Biology research group employs interdisciplinary approaches towards a unifying interest: how animals adapt to their environment. They use a wide range of field- and lab-based techniques to investigate key questions in ecology, evolution and behaviour of wild populations.