Applications are now open for the new and much anticipated online MSc in animal science programme at University College Dublin.

The programme, which is offered by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, has been developed following engagement with industry stakeholders to ensure graduates will be well-positioned to respond to and address current and future industry requirements.

Agriculture and food will face many challenges and opportunities in the coming years and, consequently, there has never been a more important time to develop highly-skilled graduates.

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science has a long tradition of developing leaders for the sector and graduates of the MSc are anticipated to find employment in a variety of roles, including senior positions within leading nutrition, health, breeding and pharmaceutical companies; within policy and advisory roles in governmental departments and in further education including national and global PhD programmes.

The MSc aims to equip graduates with cutting-edge skills and will position graduates for leadership roles in a dynamic and critically important sector of the global economy.


Graduates will focus on solutions to the numerous challenges faced across livestock production systems.

Delivered entirely online, by leading international experts from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and industry partners, this new MSc is available on both a full-time and part-time basis and is suitable for anyone wishing to undertake advanced studies in pursuit of a career in the livestock sector.

A flexible programme structure comprising full- and part-time options enables students to focus their studies in a timeframe suitable to their lifestyle.

The online delivery format will enable industry professionals to undertake the programme while working, and to upskill and apply the latest developments in research to their roles.

The full-time programme will be completed over one year.

Students on the part-time programme have between two and four years to complete the MSc, affording flexibility.

Innovative programme

This innovative programme enables students to focus their studies on specific aspects of animal science, including genetics and genomics, reproduction, nutrition, and health.

For those with an enquiring mind, a deeper understanding of scientific principles relevant to solving issues currently limiting system sustainability will be reflected in new modules developed for this MSc. These include immunobiology, sustainable livestock and global food systems.

A key strategy of the MSc and an area highlighted as critical by industry is to foster the development of communication and transferable skills to enable animal science graduates to effectively communicate their skillset and become leading ambassadors for sustainable animal production systems.

UCD Lyons Farm.

The MSc will be delivered in three distinct blocks: animal science; transferable skills and associated scientific skills.

Within each of these blocks, flexible programme choices will enable students to focus their studies on an area of specific interest (for the development of deeper expertise) or tailor their module choice for a broader selection.

An optional research proposal within the final block offers an excellent opportunity for students to develop a viable, original research project; allowing for the integration of previous modules studied while applying animal science, research design, and statistical knowledge to the process.

The UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science has an established and extensive tradition of developing leaders across the agricultural and food industry with many graduates occupying leadership roles both in Ireland and abroad.

Ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for the Study of Agricultural Sciences (based on the latest QS Subject Rankings), the MSc in Animal Science programme at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science will be delivered by internationally renowned discipline experts.

In addition, guest lecturers including industry partners will deliver modules on some of the latest developments in national and international research while also providing graduates with industry awareness and insight into commercially relevant areas of development.

UCD Lyons Farm

UCD is unique amongst third-level universities in Ireland by having its own teaching and research farm to provide students and academics with access to large animal and crop enterprises for the delivery of teaching and research programmes.

UCD Lyons Farm is a Centre of Excellence for Animal, Crop, Food and Veterinary Sciences at University College Dublin and it is here on this 280ha research farm that much of the cutting-edge research that will support the new MSc in animal science will take place.


Extensive work has taken place in the development of this new MSc by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

A unique element of this programme, is the development of new content, developed specifically for this MSc and based on the latest and most up-to-date global research including sustainable livestock systems, global food systems and creative thinking and innovation.

Additional information on the MSc in animal science is available at or by contacting the programme director, Associate Professor Kieran Meade at

Contact details:

Name: Associate Professor Kieran Meade


Phone number: 01 716 7194


Twitter: @ucdagfood