M.Sc. Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding

Aarhus University

Application deadline: 15 March
Tuition fee:
  • Free (EEA)
  • € 8,000 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Partnership: Erasmus Mundus Scholarship
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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An international Erasmus Mundus double degree

Achieving twice the worlds food production at half the ecological footprint by the year 2050 is a goal that will require highly skilled animal-science experts. To meet this demand, four leading European universities have established the unique Erasmus Mundus MSc in Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding (EM-SANF). The programme is hosted by École dIngènieurs de Purpan at Toulouse, France, the University of Debrecen in Hungary, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and Aarhus University in Denmark.

Feeding the growing world population sustainably, yet in a manner that is environmentally sound and socioeconomically acceptable, is todays major challenge. Highly trained experts are required with a multi-focus view of animal nutrition. The EM-SANF MSc programme educates students to solve the animal nutrition challenges of the future.

Students will receive a state-of-the-art, two-year double-degree masters in the feeding and nutrition of food-producing animals. The approach is multidisciplinary, addressing productivity, welfare, environmental and economic impacts of animal production for all major animal species. A joint international programme with links to industrial and institutional partners worldwide, the programme is unique in its approach to student mobility. It exposes students not only to the latest research, but also to the experience of differing cultures and learning environments.

Students specialise in two out of four alternative tracks. In their first year students take courses which will enable them, in the second year, to conduct research as part of their thesis. In the first semester, students choose between two partner institutions, focusing on either Feed Market and Economics or Nutrition and Environment. In the second semester, students continue at one of the other two partner institutions, choosing between Feed and Food Evaluation and Modelling Nutrient Metabolism. The second year comprises an internship and a thesis supervised by the partner institutions selected in the first year and, if possible, conducted at one of the associate partner institutions. Students may choose between four different tracks, comprising four combinations of double degrees. Some subjects can be followed by all students at each partner institution through cross-teaching, video-conferencing and distance-learning technologies. Study advisors assist students in making their planning decisions.

Career Profile

There is an urgent need for highly skilled academic staff at feed companies, consultancies, government departments and educational institutions, and the innovative cross-linkages between industry and institutions within agriculture strengthen graduate employability. Graduates from EM-SANF have proven their academic performance, their professional strategic analysing skills, their adaptive capacity to changing environments, their team spirit and their reflective capabilities as well as their intercultural communication skills throughout the course.


Here the learning outcomes of this course are presented, as these provide statements on what a student is expected to know, understand and/or able to demonstrate after successful completion of the EM-SANF course.

Students, who successfully completed this course and received their double (and later the joint) degree diploma will be able to:

* describe and discuss the issue of sustainable animal nutrition and feeding in Europe and World-wide within a socio-political, economic and environmental context;
* assess and judge the nutritional status of an animal at farm level by using knowledge of the biological functioning of livestock as well as their adaptive capacity to a changing environment;
* identify and understand the (nutritional) factors that independently and in combination with each other dictate sustainable animal production in all aspects;
* recognize and critically evaluate negative side effects of animal feeding upon man (food safety issues), animal (demands and welfare issues) and environment (ecological issues) and to indicate possibilities to reduce these;
* deduce a relevant problem within the area of animal nutrition and feeding, analyse it by the use of scientifically accepted methodologies, summarise the conclusions of the study and place it into perspective, in a clear and relevant manner in relation to a defined target group;
* tackle decision-making (political) issues on feeding strategies in livestock;
* work on a project-oriented basis and collaborate in inter- and multidisciplinary groups, in the field of applied nutritional research, management, policy and extension;
* present orally and by writing scientific work, with the capability to translate this work into a popular form for a non-expert audience;
* reflect on professional and academic (e.g., doctorate) career opportunities and employability.

Consortium Partners

The partners of the Consortium provide specialized subjects in their respective fields of expertise.

The composition of the Consortium is based on track record in collaboration in research and education. The universities have high joint publication rates, experience from participation in joint EU projects, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate, joint PhD courses, and Erasmus exchange agreements.

Each partner within the Consortium has its own expertise in research and education:

EI Purpan, Ecole d'ingénieurs de Purpan, (France) focuses on economic performance of livestock farms, market chains and feed mill companies. The performances are analyzed in a multidisciplinary approach with regards to the animal technical productivity, the diversity of the production systems, their sustainability and the policy constraints. The European dimension and diversity is a constant element of the education. In addition to this, EI Purpan focuses permanently on the professional interest of students in their education and internship placements.

AU, Aarhus University, (Denmark) focuses on the physiology of animal nutrient utilization and on management and loss of nutrients from the agro-ecosystem and their effects on the environment. The AU course is based on a strong and international research environment within the covered subjects. Understanding the quantitative animal nutrient metabolism and utilization at advanced level is fundamental to explain and predict animal needs for nutrients and energy, and how a given feed or combination of feeds affects animal response, excretion of nutrients and product composition. A thorough insight into the quantitative nutrient flows from different types of agricultural productions to the surrounding ecosystems, and the underlying processes involved form the basis to describe and analyze how to optimize nutrient use in different types of agricultural productions and other methods for reduction of eutrophication of the environment and release of greenhouse gasses. Management tools to increase nutrient use efficiency and decrease release of green house gasses such as fodder and fertilizer practice, waste management and design of crop rotations as well as restoration of natural ecosystems will be taught.

UD, University Debrecen, (Hungary) focuses on feed evaluation by discussing the factors that affect the nutritive value of the feeds. In order to achieve sustainable animal production, animal feeding requires a different approach considering not only the productivity in terms of both biology and economics, but respecting environmental and animal welfare issues as well. The courses given by UD introduce the critical points of the so called sustainable animal nutrition including biological and technological tools to improve digestibility and availability of nutrients.

WU, Wageningen University, (Netherlands) focuses on generating and transferring knowledge of the nutrition of livestock. A fundamental understanding of nutritional processes and the effect of dietary compounds on the animal, their output and well-being form the basis of animal nutrition. Supply of nutrients through the feed and utilisation of nutrients by the animal have a major impact on the efficiency of production, animal health and welfare, sustainability of animal production systems, product quality as well as behaviour, vitality and longevity. Nutrition research is divided into animal species (ruminants, pigs, poultry, veal calves), feed technology (of forages, raw materials and functional ingredients), and in vitro simulation of animal responses. Underpinning disciplines required for the conduct of animal nutritional research include microbiology, physiology, biology, biochemistry and genomics. The Animal Nutrition Group has worldwide expertise on mechanistic modeling of nutrient flows in livestock.


The selection of students for the EM-SANF programme by the Consortium is according to formal admission conditions:

* BSc degree in Animal Sciences, Biology or Veterinary Sciences with a number of prerequisites (Mathematics, Statistics and Chemistry).
* Grade point average needs to be at minimum 70% of the maximum score.
* Result of TOEFL exam paper based has to be at least 580, computer based at least 237 or internet based at least 92-93 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. The Consortium Committee can admit excellent third-country students with a somewhat lower TOEFL score (550, 213 or 79-80 and IELTS 6.0).
* Application deadline for all EU and Non-EU students that want to start in the upcoming academic year, applying for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, is December 31th.Self-paying students or students with other scholarships can apply for participation in the upcoming academic year until April 15th for non-EU and June 15th for EU students.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 92

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