M.Sc. Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding

Aarhus University | Aarhus, Denmark
The Erasmus Mundus double degree programme in Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding educates students to solve the animal nutrition challenges of the future. As the global demand for food increases and awareness of the environmental impact of agriculture grows, scientists and experts who can come up with solutions are in ever-greater demand. This degree offers a unique education for very talented students in a high-ranking international research environment that equips them to come up with the solutions of tomorrow.
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Description of Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding


Students choose courses from two out of four leading European universities (Aarhus University, EI Purpan, University of Debrecen and Wageningen University), and they receive degrees from both upon completion of the programme. The Aarhus specialism is an in-depth animal nutrition programme combined with a nutrient cycling programme. While animal nutrition and environmental protection are often studied, few programmes combine the two. This programme couples in-depth knowledge of the environment and nutrient cycling with animal nutrition. It teaches students to be aware of and to minimise the environmental impact of agriculture, while optimising health, welfare and product quality for the animals.


Upon completing the programme, students will have an international profile and network as well as state-of-the-art knowledge of their specialism. The farming industry and the environment are global and therefore, it is impossible to address these problems operating within a narrow national framework. Our graduates’ abilities to adapt to changing environments as well as their excellent intercultural communication skills help them to succeed in their careers-

Career Profile

Graduates of this programme are in very high demand and can take advantage of Aarhus University’s extensive professional network and strong industry partnerships. Students typically find careers in feed companies, consultancies, government departments and educational institutions.

“Apart from being the only master’s degree that deals with animal nutrition focused on sustainability, this programme provides a double degree by combining teaching and research at two top-quality universities in the field of animal sciences. I consider this an advantage on my CV. At first you have to get used to working in English all the time, and this was the first time I had attended lectures, made presentations and written reports in English. But we all adapted quickly and found it very rewarding. You really feel that you’re improving your language skills.”

Irene Miguel Pena

Student, MSc In Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding programme, from Spain

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline March
Tuition fee
  • EUR 8000 Year (Non-EEA)
  • Free (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

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.

Requirements for Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding

Students should have a BSc in animal sciences, biology or veterinary sciences, and should have a basic knowledge of animal nutrition. Fields such as zoology or agriculture with an animal nutrition specialism will be considered.

Work Experience for Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding

No work experience is required.

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