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First Students on MSc Applied Poultry Science go the Distance to Graduation

Published Wednesday, 26th June 2013 in Study at SRUC news

The first 7 students at Scotland’s Rural College studying for an MSc in Applied Poultry Science by distance learning, will be among those graduating on 5th July.

Of the group three passed with merit and one with distinction.  

The group of students on the course meet 3 times a year. The first, induction week end in September, was a chance for the group to get to know each other and their tutors. It kicked off with a visit to Culzean Castle and Country Park, a gentle start to a year of hard work and studying whilst juggling full time work and family commitments. 

How hard they worked was proved recently when the group held an Applied Poultry Science Symposium in the Roslin Institute Building. Sixty eight people attended, including 6 staff and 32 MSc students, several of whom had travelled from overseas to attend. The session, chaired by Prof Nick Sparks, opened with a keynote lecture by Jade Spence of the Humane Slaughter Association on the recent changes in the legislation surrounding poultry slaughter.

The lecture was followed by presentations of the individual student research projects with SRUC project supervisors and the external examiner for the programme assessing them as well as how the students handled questions from the audience.

Among the topics addressed were an investigation into the use of pecking blocks as environment enrichment devices for laying hens, a study of factors affecting the damage to ducks during catching and the effect of differences in flock uniformity on the incidence of feather pecking and cannibalism in three to six week old pullets.

Following lunch Scotland’s Rural College researcher Dr Rick D’Eath spoke about Hunger in Broilers before several students gave talks reflecting different areas of their professional expertise and interest. The subjects were as diverse as game birds in the UK, new antibiotics, what’s the hold up and the UK Poultry Vaccine Industry.

The students appreciated the opportunity to network with representatives of the poultry industry and likewise those from industry found the talks and discussions useful. There have been several applications to the postgraduate course since the Symposium. 

For more details contact course tutor Dr Jill Offer in SRUC’s Ayr campus on 01292 886178, Jill.Offer@sruc.ac.uk.

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MSc Applied Poultry Science

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