University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 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

The Animal Health, Disease, and Welfare major and minor requirements are listed in the Animal Health, Disease, and Welfare unit of study table.

Contact and further information


Dr Gary Muscatello

Example pathways

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 IMMU2X11.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in cell, systems and body function, integrating key principles and concepts in the disciplines to evaluate approaches to diagnose and screen diseases and traits in animals.
  2. Utilise a deep and integrated understanding of animal body systems to evaluate animals’ responses to environmental stressors.
  3. Work effectively and ethically in the laboratory and handle animal-derived samples in a safe manner.
  4. Apply integrated knowledge of animal pathobiology and disease processes to distinguish disease from healthy status.
  5. Communicate concepts and findings in animal health, disease and welfare to a range of audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  6. Describe modern molecular techniques used in screening of health and disease status in both domesticated and non-domesticated animals.
  7. Address authentic problems and scenarios in animal disease and welfare, working professionally and responsibly within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
  8. Evaluate how ethical issues, practical welfare concerns and social contexts can be applied in animal disease testing.
  9. Describe the socio-economic importance of animals in various natural and manmade environments and assess how animals are valued and represented in diverse cultural contexts.