University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

About the stream and program

The Animal and Veterinary Bioscience Program provides students with fundamental and applied knowledge in animal bioscience.

Students will acquire a broad overview of both domestic animals and wildlife species and their environment, and an integrated comparative knowledge in fields such as applied animal biotechnologies, reproduction and nutrition. This will be supported by detailed knowledge of animal structure and function and a focus on application of innovative approaches and technologies to enhance animal management and welfare.

Students will also study animal behaviour and management systems that respect ethical and environmental concerns and promote animal welfare. Graduates will acquire an industry-oriented science-based education which could lead to a career in a wide variety of veterinary and animal science industries.

The program is broader and more detailed than either the Animal Production major or the Animal Health, Disease and Welfare majors, providing graduates with an all-inclusive appreciation of the multidisciplinary sciences involved in veterinary and allied animal science industries including companion animals and wildlife.

Requirements for completion

The Animal and Veterinary Bioscience stream is 120 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level degree core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level degree core units
(iii) A 108 credit point program in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

A program in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience requires 108 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level program core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level program core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000-level program core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 4000-level core units
(v) 24 credit points of 4000-level research units
(vi) 6 credit points of 4000-level advanced coursework selective units
(vii) A 48 credit point major in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

A major in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level major core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level major core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level core major units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level major selective units

First year

Core to major: CHEM1XX1, BIOL1XX7
Core to program: AVBS1002, AVBS1003
Core to stream: ENVX1002
The first-year units provide a strong scientific foundation for further learning within the animal and veterinary bioscience program through providing fundamental understanding in biology (BIOL1XX7) and chemistry (CHEM1XX1) coupled with an introduction to statistics (ENVX1002). The first year of the program has a distinctive animal flavour, with units that introduce students to the nature of animal and human interactions and the relevance of animals in our world (AVBS1003) and the practicality of animal management through an introduction to the varied animal industries (AVBS1002).

Second year

Core to major: AVBS2007, AVBS2004
Core to program: AVBS2005
Core to stream: ENVX2001
Selective to the major: GEGE2001 or BIOL2032

The second year of the Animal and Veterinary Bioscience stream provides students with an opportunity to understand how animals work, through studying anatomy and physiology in a comparative manner (AVBS2007).

Students will couple this with an understanding of the molecular and cellular nature of biochemical processes in animals (AVBS2005) and examine how we can feed animals to enable their optimal wellbeing in both a production and natural setting (AVBS2005).

Students will also expand upon their understanding of statistical methodologies, exploring the application and use of statistical design and methods in both natural and experimental settings as a means of answering questions about animal populations, health and wellbeing through applied animal research (ENVX2001).
Students in this program may also wish to expand upon their knowledge of genetics and genomics (GEGE2001) or Australian wildlife biology (BIOL2032)

Third year

Core to major: ANSC3102, ANSC3106
Core to program: SCPU3001
Selective to the major: ANSC3105 or AGRO4006

Students undertaking the third year of the Animal and Veterinary Bioscience stream will explore and gain in-depth understanding of three key areas of applied animal science; animal reproduction (ANSC3102), animal behaviours and welfare (ANSC3106) and applied animal science technologies (ANSC3105 or AGRO4005).
Student are required to undertake an interdisciplinary project unit where they will team up with other student cohorts to explore and provide solutions to a real-world industry based interdisciplinary problem (SCPU3001).

Fourth year

Core to program: AVBS4000
The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

To enter the 4th year of the program it is expected that you have completed the professional development program outlined in this program which will culminate by you undertaking and completing the AVBS4000 unit.

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 and Veterinary Bioscience: 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

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Animal and Veterinary Bioscience will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a deep understanding of principles and concepts in cell, systems and body function within the context of animal health and wellbeing.
  2. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in animal nutrition, animal biotechnologies and animal reproduction and apply this knowledge to animal health issues.
  3. Appraise and evaluate field and laboratory situations to ensure they work, as individuals or in a team, to handle animals in a safe manner, minimising risk and stress for both human and animal.
  4. Integrate knowledge of animal body systems in evaluating animals’ responses to environmental stressors.
  5. Communicate concepts and findings in animal and veterinary biosciences to a range of audiences through a variety of modes, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  6. Address authentic problems in animal and veterinary biosciences, working professionally and responsibly within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
  7. Evaluate the effects of environment on animal behaviour and welfare within society and assess practical concerns across society.
  8. Investigate how ethical issues, practical welfare concerns and social contexts contribute to animal related industry and research scenarios.
  9. Explore and evaluate the socio-economic importance of animals in a range of natural and anthropogenic environments across cultural settings.