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Course on Laboratory Animal Science


Admission requirements

  • Only for students enrolled as master student Biomedical Sciences!

  • Sufficient knowledge of the basic subjects of biology up to 18.75 ECTS (=500 study hours) including at least 7.5 ECTS on anatomy/zoology and 7.5 ECTS on physiology.


Period course:
4 October 2022 - 21 October 2022
28 November 2022 – 16 December 2022
6 March 2023 – 24 March 2023
8 May 2023 – 26 May 2023

During the course, the following subjects will be discussed and assessed:

  • Introduction to Laboratory Animal Sciences

  • Legal and ethical frameworks for the use of laboratory animals

  • Anatomy, physiology, and diseases of laboratory rodents

  • Animal welfare, recognition of suffering and pain, humane endpoints

  • Colony management, husbandry and care of laboratory rodents

  • Genetics and genetic modification

  • Experimental design and statistical analysis

  • Literature search and systematic review

  • Non-animal alternatives

  • Animal models

  • Administration and withdrawal of substances

  • Surgery: a-septic techniques, anesthesia & analgesia of laboratory rodents

  • Biosafety in an animal facility

  • Points of view of animal protection organisations

Course objectives

The course on laboratory animal science presents basic facts and principles that are essential for the humane use and care of animals used for scientific purposes and for the quality of research.
The course has been recognised for the qualification of scientists who wish to use animals for scientific purposes (in compliance with the Dutch Experiments on Animal Act [Wet op de dierproeven]) by the Dutch Competent Authority (Functions A and B). The Course has been accredited by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA; with accreditation number: 042/13F.
Under the Act, the course consists of two parts: a basic (theoretical) and a species-specific part. The species-specific part contains a practical session with live animals. For reasons of reducing the use of animals for education and training as much as possible, this part is only open to students who pursue a research career using animals. These students can register for the species specific part during the last year of their Masters.
For a traineeship/ internship using laboratory rodents, the practical part is not required since you are only allowed to work with the animals under supervision.
Contact the course administration for information at


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Live presentations or digital lectures by Teams, video presentations and hands-on workshops, a real or virtual tour of the animal facilities and a practical assignment in groups.

Assessment method

The course is concluded with a digital exam (essay questions using Remindo). The practical assignment is assessed during group sessions and a plenary presentation in a class room or during a video conference. The grades for the written exam and the practical assignment will be combined for the final grade in a ratio of 70/30. A certificate is only issued when the written exam result is 6 or higher and the combined result is 6 or higher.

Resit exam/test
Students may take the course once per academic year with an exam at the end of the course and, if necessary, one re-exam on the exam day of the following course. If the student fails the re-exam, the student is advised to follow the course again before retaking the exam. Only resit exam registrations made via DOO (via will be accepted. The deadline is 10 working days before the start of the scheduled Laboratory Animal Science course.

The exam dates can be found on the schedule website.

Reading list

  • L.F.M. van Zutphen, V. Baumans, A.C. Beijnen – Handboek Proefdierkunde. Elsevier gezondheidszorg (5e druk) (English course)

  • L.F.M. van Zutphen, V. Baumans, A.C. Beijnen – Principles of Laboratory Animal Science. Elsevier Ltd (Revised edition, 2001) (English course)


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at