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Course on Laboratory Animal Science


Admission requirements

  • Bachelor Biomedical Sciences.

  • 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.


This 3-week course is given in the following periods:

  • October 4 – October 21, 2016 (Dutch taught)

  • November 28 – December 16, 2016 (English taught)

  • February 27 – March 17, 2017 (Dutch taught)

  • May 8 – May 24, 2017 (English taught)

During the course following subjects will be assessed:

  • Legal and ethical frameworks for the use of laboratory animals;

  • Literature search and systematic review;

  • Welfare and quality systems;

  • Behaviour, anatomy, physiology, and diseases of common and less common laboratory animal species;

  • Anesthesia, analgesia and humane endpoints;

  • Gnotobiology;

  • Husbandry, care and handling of the commonly used laboratory animals;

  • Genetics and genetical modifications;

  • Animal models;

  • Alternatives to animal experiments and statistics;

  • Points of view of animal protection organizations.

Course objectives

The course on laboratory animal science presents basic facts and principles that are essential for the humane use and care of laboratory animals and for the quality of research.
The course has been approved by the Dutch government for the qualification of scientists who use animals for experimental purposes (in compliance with the Dutch Experiments on Animal Act [Wet op de Dierproeven]).

For the function ‘designing procedures and projects’ the Dutch government requires competency. Due to this implementation the course on Laboratory Science has been adapted. The course contains two parts, a basic course and a species specific course. These combined will provide the required competence. The course has integrated both parts for the species mice and rat. For other species an additional species specific course is required to be licensed and have the basic competence.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, a tour of the animal facilities and an ethical review session.

Assessment method

During the course a project is evaluated, a research plan is presented and both are graded. The course is concluded by a written test (essay questions and multiple-choice questions) that must be passed. The grades for the evaluation and written test will be combined for the final grade. To obtain the certificate (if other legal requirements are obtained) the final grade should be 6 or higher.
Exam dates can be found on: Onderwijsroosters.

Reading list

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

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


See blackboard for registration/enrolment of master’s modules. A lottery may be involved, which takes into account your personal wishes with respect to planning, to divide master students over the different courses throughout the year.