University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 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.
  • Study animal behaviour and learn about production systems that promote animal wellbeing and welfare.
  • Acquire a sound understanding of resources required to address the challenges associated with achieving sustainable and profitable animal production enterprises.
  • Graduate with a recognised 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-level selective units
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level major core units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units
(vi) 12 credit points 3000-level or higher selective units

A minor in Animal Production requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

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

First year

Core: BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems.
Selective: AVBS1002 Concepts of Animal Management or BIOL1XX6 Life and Evolution

The first-year units provide a strong foundation in biology (BIOL1XX6 and BIOL1XX7) essential for further learning in the area of animal production. Students will also have the opportunity of being introduced to the varied animal production industries and develop some hands-on experience with animal farming systems (AVBS1002).

Second year

Core: AVBS2004 Animal Nutrition and GEGE2001 Genetics and Genomics.

Students completing the second year of the Animal Production major will gain detailed knowledge on animal nutrition essential to sustain and optimise various animal production systems.

This will be complemented by a detailed understanding of animal genetics provided in the genetics and genomic unit (GEGE2001) which will enable student to gain a perspective on importance of animal genetics in allowing animal farming systems to continue to improve animal products and develop new and novel strains or breeds.

Third year

Core: ANSC3888 Production Systems Analysis or SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project, ANSC3106 Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science
Selective: 12cp from: ANSC3102 Animal Reproduction, AVBS3008 Intensive Farming Systems, AVBS3009 Aquaculture, AVBS3010 Livestock Production Systems, AGRO4006 New and Emerging Tech in Animal Science

Third year students undertaking the Animal Production major will complete a unit which will underpin their capacity to tackle an array of animal production challenges through an interdisciplinary project-based problem-solving unit (ANSC3888 or SCPU3001), where issues faced by the animal farming industries are analysed and explored to produce real-world solutions.

Students will also have their experience infused by a unit which will ensure that any farming interventions are explored in an ethical manner with the welfare of the animal as a paramount concern (ANSC3106).

Students also have the option of selecting two units from an array of five units that can enable the student to gain detailed knowledge of farming technologies (AGRO4006) or animal reproduction (ANSC3102) to complement their general knowledge of animal production systems or they may wish to explore in detail the management and production systems used to farm pigs and poultry (AVBS4008), ruminant livestock (AVBS3010) and aquatic creatures (AVBS3009).

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, with a minimum of 24 credit points at 4000-level or above. Of these 24 credit points, you must complete a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Advanced coursework will be included in the table for 2020.

Meritorious students in the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies may apply for admission to Honours within a subject area of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies. Admission to Honours requires the prior completion of all requirements of the Bachelor of Science, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units. If you are considering applying for admission to Honours, ensure your degree planning takes into account the completion of a second major and all OLE requirements by the end of your Honours year.

Unit of study 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 9351 5819

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

Example pathways

Those with a strong interest in beef or sheep production may choose the below pathway in this major:

1000-level: AVBS1002, BIOL1007
2000-level: AVBS2004, GEGE2001
3000-level: ANSC3888, ANSC3106, ANSC3102 and AVBS3010

Those with a strong interest in aquaculture may choose the below pathway in this major:

1000-level: AVBS1002, BIOL1007
2000-level: AVBS2004, GEGE2001
3000-level: ANSC3888, ANSC3106, AVBS3008 and AVBS3009

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Animal Production will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent knowledge of animal nutrition, reproduction and body systems and evaluate disturbances to homeostasis that occur from production systems.
  2. Integrate a deep understanding of the principles and concepts of the structure and function of animal body systems to evaluate the responses of animals to environmental factors and stressors.
  3. Optimise meat, milk or fibre production for humans and assess product safety prior to consumption.
  4. Handle production animals in authentic farming settings both individually and as part of diverse teams, conducting themselves in a professional and ethical manner and minimising risk and stress for both human and animal.
  5. Communicate concepts and findings in animal production through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  6. Evaluate the impact of animal nutrition and genetics on the health and wellbeing of animals used for production purposes.
  7. Develop solutions for challenges faced by producers across diverse social and cross-cultural settings, applying detailed knowledge of animal farming systems.
  8. Enhance ethical, efficient and sustainable animal production through the application of innovative technologies.
  9. Communicate and advocate for the principles of ethical animal farming by applying best practice, both within and across diverse social and cultural groups.
  10. Address authentic problems in animal production, working responsibly and ethically within diverse, collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.