Within the master of Animal Sciences (MAS), you have the possibility to choose from six different specializations:
- Genetics and Biodiversity
- Nutrition and Metabolism
- Global and Sustainable Production
- Adaptation, Health and Behaviour
- Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning
- Animal Ecology
Each of the specialisations trains you to become an expert in that field. Within your specialisation you will choose a specific track, which is offered by one of the chair groups from this specialisation. The two major parts of your specialisation are the (thesis-preparing) courses and a major thesis. You can extend your specialisation with an internship or a minor thesis. It is also possible to do a minor thesis at another study track or specialisation.
Genetics and Biodiversity focuses on the genetic improvement of animals in relation to their environment, by integrating quantitative, biological and molecular approaches. Focus can be genetic management of domestic or wildlife populations to ensure optimal health and performance, or on the genetic basis of specific behaviours or characteristics in various animal species.
Nutrition and Metabolism aims to understand the relation between nutritional demands, diet formulation, digestion and metabolism in animals, and their responses in terms of growth, production and waste. The aim is to optimize nutrition for the production of safe and healthy foods for human and welfare and to prevent negative effects of nutrition on the emission of waste to the environment.
Global and Sustainable Production combines knowledge from different disciplines (such as animal sciences, economics and social sciences) to study the development of sustainable animal systems across the world. The aim is to guarantee sufficient food supply for mankind in a responsible way, without compromising culture and the environment.
Adaptation, Health and Behaviour studies the effects of the immediate environment on physiological responses of individual and groups of animals, and what these responses mean for animal health and welfare. Immunological status, energy metabolism, thermoregulation, reproduction and behaviour are major responses of animals, being studied in this specialization.
Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning is a fundamental specialization looking into mechanisms and processes at all levels of physiology: from molecules to organs to whole animals. In this specialization the functioning of animals is studied to acquire animal or computer models for health, disease resistance, growth and aging.
Animal Ecology focuses on the interaction between animal populations and their wider environment, the ecosystem. The environment can be natural or affected by human intervention, i.e. an agro-ecosystem. Mechanisms that underlie the impact of animals on their environment, by food intake behaviour, by interaction with other animals, are studied to understand animal and aquatic ecological systems.
If you are interested in one of these specializations, the best thing is to contact a study advisor. He or she can insight you more on the possibilities for a thesis, required and supplementary courses for your program and other affairs.
More information is available on the website of Wageningen University.