Full Title:Animal Biotechnology
Language of Instruction:English
Module Code:AGRI S9Z05
Credits: 7.5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2019/20 ( June 2019 )
Module Delivered in 3 programme(s)
Module Description:This module aims to provide students with an understanding of how biotechnology can provide new tools for improving animal health, enhancing animal reproduction and increasing livestock productivity. This module also aims to provide students with a knowledge of the genetic engineering of animals and an appreciation of the legislative and ethical considerations of using such innovative biotechnological approaches.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Critically evaluate advanced and innovative biotechnologies utilised in animal reproduction and demonstrate practical competence in this area.
  2. Assess and evaluate the impact of biotechnological technologies on animals health and productivity.
  3. Critically assess and synthesise existing and emerging technologies in the area of genetic engineering of animals.
  4. Appraise and reflect on current legislation and constructively criticise the ethical, social and biosafety implications raised by the genetically engineering of animals in agriculture.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Reproductive Biotechnology
Artificial Insemination (AI); Embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization; livestock cloning; Genetic and biochemical aspects of embryo development and viability; Biotech approaches to oestrous detection; Biotech approaches to sperm sexing in cattle.
Biotechnology and Animal Health
Biotech based vaccines; Rapid biotech based diagnostic tests for infectious disease; Molecular-based typing of pathogens to monitor spread of disease within and between herds and trace the source of disease; Genetic analysis of animal pathogens.
Biotechnology and Animal Growth
Improved feed, hormones and other biotech products that enhance animal size, productivity and growth rates. Sample case study: Synthetic hormone bST (bovine somatotropin) used in the U.S. to increase milk yield in lactating cows.
Transgenic animals
Genetic engineering of animals. Recombinant protein production in transgenic animals. Pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural applications. Sample case study: Production of human antithrombin in transgenic goats.
Risk assessment and Legislation
Risk assessment of GMOs with regard to biosecurity and food safety; The importance of Quality Control and traceability in GMO food-production; The risks associated with GMOs in the food-chain; Legislation and 'best practice' regarding GMO feedstocks, GMO labeling, GMO traceability etc.
Ethical issues
Ethical aspects of the biotechnology industry, especially with regard to GM animals and the introduction of GM organisms in the food-chain.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work40.00%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Continuous Assessment Learning outcomes will be assessed synoptically with those of the "Food Biotechnology" module. The synoptic assignment will be worth 20% overall - with 10% counted towards each module. Students will complete a report, debate and/or discussion on aspects of GM foods/GMOs and relevant social issues. This assessment will cover one or more of the Learning Outcomes for each of the modules involved (e.g. essay on GMO legislation, a group report on current use of a biotechnology application in food production, a presentation and discussion on ethical issues of GMOs or a similarly relevant assessment). 1,2,3,4 10.00 0 0 Week 7 0
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Practical/Skills Evaluation A.I. Technical practical course, demonstrate competency in a skills based assessment and MCQ test. 1 30.00 0 0 n/a 0
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End of semester final examination 1,2,3,4 60.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0
Reassessment Requirement
A repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture This module will consist of 3hrs each week for lectures or practicals (two 3hr practicals per semester) 2.50 Every Week 2.50
Tutorial Tutorials will be used to support lectures / practicals 1.00 Every Second Week 0.50
Online Contact On-line discussion forum 0.50 Every Week 0.50
Practical This module will contain two 3hr practicals per semester, instead of lectures 0.00 Twice per semester 0.00
Independent Study No Description 5.00 Every Week 5.00
Directed Reading No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 11.50
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.50
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • T. A. Brown 2010, Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis: An Introduction, 6th ed. Ed., Wiley
  • T. A. Brown 2011, Introduction to Genetics: A Molecular Approach, Garland Science
  • A.S. Verma, A. Singh 2014, Animal Biotechnology: Models in Discovery and Translation, Academic Press
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Current research publications from peer-reviewed journals will be used as additional material
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
NACAB9_5 Certificate in Animal Biotechnology 2 Mandatory
DK_SAGBI_9 Master of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology 2 Mandatory
DK_SAGPD_9 Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Biotechnology 2 Mandatory