University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Animal Production

About the major

Contemporary animal production aims to yield high-quality products in an efficient, sustainable and humane fashion. As a student in the Animal Production major, you will learn how environment affects livestock productivity, how physiology affects production and reproduction and how to improve animal performance through the application of underpinning animal sciences. You will also study animal behaviour and learn about production systems that promote animal wellbeing and welfare. You will acquire a sound understanding of resources required to address the challenges associated with achieving sustainable and profitable animal production enterprises. You will graduate with a recognized industry-oriented and science-based education with a strong focus on enhancing the health, well-being and productivity of animals used in production systems, through innovative approaches.

Requirements for completion

A major in Animal Production requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

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

A minor in Animal Production is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major in Animal Production 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 Production major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Animal Production major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1 or 2

Selective: BIOL1XX6 Life and Evolution or BIOL1XX8 From Molecules to Ecosystems

Semester 2

Core: AVBS1002 Concepts of Animal Management


Semester 1 or 2

Core: AVBS2004 Animal Nutrition

Semester 1 or 2

Core: AVBS2006 Animal Production Systems


Semester 1

Selective: 3000-level units listed for major

Semester 2

Core: ANSC3106 Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science 3

Semester 1 or 2

Core: AVBS3005 Production Systems Analysis


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 Production 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 Production: 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
Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Animal Production will be able to:

  1. Describe and understand the nature and working framework that underpin animal farming systems and develop solutions for the many challenges faced by producers.
  2. Handle production animals in a safe manner to minimise risk and stress for both human and animal.
  3. Describe and explain animal body systems, specifically maintenance of homeostasis and the animals’ response to environmental factors and stressors.
  4. Develop an integrated understanding of animal nutrition in relation to animal health, wellbeing and productivity.
  5. Apply a knowledge of animal husbandry in the context of optimising meat, milk or fibre production for humans and ensure product safety prior to consumption.
  6. Apply innovative technologies and systems to enhance ethical, efficient and sustainable animal production.
  7. Demonstrate and communicate ethical animal farming through applied best practices adhering to social demands and acceptance.