University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Animal Health, Disease and Welfare

About the major

Animals play a significant role in the lives of people and communities, particularly in the areas of food, fibre production and as pets for companionship.

This Animal Health, Disease and Welfare major will integrate the areas of animal biology and ecology with comparative and veterinary science. You will learn about the science that underpins the biology of animal health and disease, including physiology, molecular biology, infectious agents and animal welfare.

An emphasis of this major is how to prevent, treat and understand disease in production and companion animals and wildlife. Your study could lead to a career in animal health sciences, including areas of infectious disease control, disease surveillance, animal welfare and animal production industries.

Requirements for completion

A major in Animal Health, Disease and Welfare requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iv) 24 credit points of 3000-level core units

A minor in Animal Health, Disease and Welfare is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major in Animal Health, Disease and Welfare are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Animal Health, Disease and Welfare major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Animal Health, Disease and Welfare major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1

Core: BIOL1006 Life and Evolution

Semester 2

Core: BIOL1007 From Molecules to Ecosystems


Semester 1 or 2

Selective: 2000-level units listed for major

Semester 2

Core: AVBS2001 Introductory Veterinary Pathogenesis


Semester 1

Core: AVBS3001 Agents of Disease

Semester 2

Core: AVBS3002 Laboratory Disease Investigation

Core: ANSC3106 Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science 3

Semester 1 or Semester 2

Core: AVBS3XXX Professional Development

Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Animal Health, Disease and Welfare section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000 level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Requirements for Honours in the area of Animal Health, Disease and Welfare: completion of 24 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Honours units of study will be available in 2020.

Contact and further information


T +61 2 9036 5417

School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Level 5, Carslaw Building (F07)
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Dr Gary Muscatello
Phone: +61 2 9114 0790
Pathway through the major

Those with a strong interest in Microbiology should choose these units at 2000-level: AVBS2001 and MICR2X31.

Those with a strong interest in Immunology should choose these units at 2000-level: AVBS2001 and IMMU2011.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Animal Disease, Health and Welfare will:

  1. Understand the function of eukaryotic cells and an application of this knowledge in areas of diagnostics and screening for disease and traits in animals.
  2. Understand the socio-economic importance of animals in various natural and man-made environments.
  3. Handle animal derived samples in a safe manner.
  4. Understand animal body systems, specifically maintenance of homeostasis and the animals’ response to environmental factors and stressors.
  5. Understand animal pathobiology through understanding a range of disease processes and be able to distinguished disease from healthy status.
  6. Apply knowledge of modern molecular techniques used in screening of health and disease status in both domesticated and non-domesticated animals.
  7. Appreciate the ethical issues and practical welfare concerns related to the testing for animal disease and investigations that explore and research animal health topics.