Introduction to Livestock Production Systems

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Livestock Production Systems

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Agriculture
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2014/5
    Module Convenor: Dr Rachael Neal
    Summary module description:
    This module aims to provide an international perspective of livestock production systems, along with an introduction to key biological principles relating to livestock production, together providing a foundation of general knowledge that will support further livestock modules taught later in the degree.
    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
    ? Describe and discuss the contribution made by livestock and livestock products to human livelihoods
    ? Describe and discuss genetic, nutritional and environmental factors affecting animal performance
    ? Describe and discuss the relative merits and demerits of extensive and intensive livestock production systems.
    Additional outcomes:
    As a result of the practical component, students will be able to:
    ? Develop academic writing skills
    ? Search for and find information using electronic search and other methods
    ? Work as a team to prepare a report on a specified subject
    ? Present information verbally using supporting electronically generated visual aids.
    Outline content:
    The module provides a wide-ranging background in domestic livestock and livestock production systems. Due consideration is given to both the benefits of animal agriculture as well as its debits such as environmental degradation, pollution and animal suffering. Much of the content will be of interest to students of agriculture, animal science, biology and land use.
    The Lecture Contents cover:
    ? Growth and development of farm animals
    The contribution of livestock to human livelihoods
    ? The species of domestic animals and their diversity
    ? Animal products
    ? Genetic resources
    ? Adaptations to diet
    ? Effects of environment
    ? Biological efficiency of livestock production systems
    ? Intensive systems of production, their benefits and problems
    ? Extensive systems of production, their benefits and problems
    ? The future of livestock in world food production
    The Practical Content covers:
    ? Project work, in student teams of four, gathering information (from library and internet sources) on set topics related to livestock and livestock production systems
    ? Team presentation of the results to the whole class.
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    There will be two 50-minute lectures followed on occasions by videos and seminars supporting the taught material. Practicals consist of a team approach to information gathering and report preparation, culminating in the class presentation.
    Contact hours:
    Lectures 15
    Seminars 6
    Practicals classes and workshops 4
    Guided independent study 75
    Total hours by term 100.00
    Total hours for module 100.00
    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Method Percentage
    Written exam 50
    Written assignment including essay 30
    Oral assessment and presentation 10
    Class test administered by School 10
    Other information on summative assessment:
    There are a number of pieces of assessment to be carried out during the module outlined below. These are worth 50% of the total marks for the module, the other 50% is allocated to the examination paper held in May/June.
    Each week. There will be a very short test paper. The questions for the test will be sourced either from the video shown that week or from the lecture material. (10 marks)
    At intervals during the term, two short written assignments will be given. (10 marks each)
    In week 2 students will be put into teams and given a topic to research. The team will present their findings to the class in Weeks 9 and 10. Presentations will last approximately 10 minutes with time at the end for a few questions from the audience. Each member of the team will submit a 1500 word report on the project by the last day of term. (20 marks)
    Formative assessment methods:
    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    Length of examination:
    A one-and-a-half hour examination requiring all the answers from section A and 2 from 4 in section B.
    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall
    Reassessment arrangements:
    By Re-examination in August/September.
    Last updated: 8 October 2014

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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