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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.


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. Therefore, the course consists of two parts, a basic course and a species specific course. These combined provide the required competence. The standard course contains the species specific module for mouse and rat. For other species an additional species specific course will have to be completed. Contact the course administration for information at

Mode of instruction

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

Assessment method

The course is concluded with a written exam (essay questions and multiple-choice questions). The practical assignment is assessed during group sessions and a plenary presentation. 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 exam result is 6 or higher and the combined result is 6 or higher.

Exam dates

  • October 20th, 2017

  • December 15th, 2017

  • March 23rd, 2018

  • June 1st, 2018

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.