For detailed information concerning the courses given by the Animal Production Systems Group visit the Study Handbook page.
We use the systems approach as a basis in our core courses, which you should follow in this order:
System Approach in Animal Sciences
Learn how to describe and analyse a complex system, by dealing with: what is a system, the structure and behaviour of a system, systems approach, use of models, and ecological, economic, and societal sustainability of a system
Each week starts with a short theoretical lecture whereafter you work in small groups on cases (each week a new one) in the week assignments. During these assignments you learn, for example, to analyse the consequences of the introduction of milking robots in dairy farming from ecological, economic, and societal perspectives. Both qualitative as quantative methods are used in the week assignments. Furthermore, you learn the basic steps of how to monitor sustainable development in, for example, a broiler production system
In the future you will be able to recognise whether to use a reductionistic or systems approach for a variety of problems in animal production, and if necessary, you are able to apply the basics of the systems approach
Sustainability Assessment of Animal Systems
Learn which techniques are suitable for analysing current issues in animal keeping, and how to apply them
Each week an issue and the tools to analyse are introduced. During the week you will work on the analyses and also critically evaluate the methods used. Examples of issues and methods used in recent years are: environmental burden of animal production, using nutrient balance approach and life cycle assessment; outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, using stakeholder analysis and problem and objective tree; dualism of regional orientation versus globalisation, using value orientation to evaluate stakeholders' perceptions and SWOT; dualism between integration and specialisation of animal production, using systems approach and sustainability assessment
In the future you will be able to use appropriate techniques to present options for sustainable animal production systems
Future Livestock Systems
To explore livestock systems that meet future economic, ecological and societal demands
Acquire knowledge and ideas via lectures, reading literature and group discussions on a variety of subjects, e.g. future developments in keeping animals, values and functions of livestock and livestock systems, use of resources (feed and animal), and the interaction between livestock and the environment and livestock and society. Combine this knowledge in a paper on a future perspective on livestock keeping in a particular region.
In the future you will have a critical and analytical approach towards strategies for the development of future livestock systems