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BSc Animal Science with Placement Year and Study Abroad.

Why did you choose to study an Animal Science degree?

The agricultural industry has a role in food securitysustainability, and in an environmentally-conscious world. I believe my generation has a big part to play in that.

degree in Animal Science seemed liked the perfect way to combine my love for animals with my interest in science.

What made you choose Animal Science at Newcastle University?

I am interested in the livestock side of animal science. I believe that Newcastle caters for this better than other animal science courses, which are connected with vet schools.


Where did you do your placement and what were your responsibilities?

I did a “Study Abroad” at the University of Vermont for a year. In the second semester (half of the year), I did a placement with a company called Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition.

Why did you choose to do a placement?

During the first two years of my degree, my passion and interest developed in the nutrition side of the course. This narrowed down my thoughts on a potential career path. Towards the end of my second year, I decided I wanted some wider experience before completing my final year.

How did you also do an internship during your “Study Abroad year”?

During my second semester, I further enhanced the opportunity by using half of my credit allowance to add an internship to my schedule. I found Phoenix Feeds via a google search, followed by an email to one of the owners.

How did Newcastle University support you when applying for and undertaking your placement?

The Careers Service offer guidance for placement years. I discussed my ambitions with my Study Abroad tutor. I then researched and secured the Study Abroad and placement.

What advice would you give to someone considering doing an Animal Science degree at Newcastle University with a placement year?

I count myself as fortunate to have had the opportunity to study abroad, as well as gaining industry experience. I would encourage everybody to take a step back and think about what you want from your university experience.

Don’t compare yourself to the people around you. You are on your own journey. Although it can be terrifying to take a different route, more often than not it is worth it. Don’t wait for doors to open; go ahead and open them.

What have been your favourite modules and why?

I enjoyed the Product Quality module this year. It has added a different dimension and compliments the more 'sciencey' modules really well.

At Newcastle, there are so many different disciplines (degree subjects) around you. This enhances multidisciplinary opportunities and broadens the mind. It will be of benefit when I graduate.

I have also attended professional conferences this year. A recent highlight was the British Society for Animal Science, where you immerse yourself in the cutting edge applied research. Before that, I attended the Northern Farmers Conference, where you see the context and future direction of the industry.

Both are great opportunities to network. They enthuse you about your degree and career.

How much laboratory work, practicals or visits have there been?

This year, I have been to:

  • the abattoir
  • kookaburra (a meat processing plant)
  • a sheep farm in Durham
  • one of the University Farms, to carry out an animal welfare assessment as part of the coursework for one of my modules

There have been a few different visits at each stage. Laboratory work mainly takes place in Stage 1, with a little in Stage 2. It depends on the modules that you choose. Modules which are more biology-related have more lab work. Some modules have more visits, such as in sustainable livestock production to an egg producer and dairy farm. Others have more groupwork and presentations, or a business simulation.

What was your dissertation on?

My dissertation is titled: Understanding the role of fatty acids from forages in the reproduction of conventionally managed dairy cows in the USA.

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