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Doctor of Philosophy, Animal Science

Philosophy of the Programme

Achieving sustainability in food grain production and food security in its totality continues to be a challenge. The benefits of the green revolution, which we are harvesting now, seem to be saturated in terms of genetic potential. Over the past two decades, global food production has trebled, largely because of advances in crop and animal production. The major challenges to sustainable food grain production include the availability of quality seed, declining soil health, fragile cropping systems, looming water crisis, environmental degradation owing to indiscriminate use of farm chemicals, post-harvest losses, minimal value addition and product differentiation, inadequate food storage and preservation, and poor marketing system. There is a need, therefore, to address these issues more forcefully in order to tap the considerable productivity potential of the agriculture sector through resource conservation.

Enhanced agricultural production is the key to food security, economic, social, and political development of any country. To meet this challenge, the mission of the university is to provide quality training of professionals and high level research in biophysical and socioeconomic aspects of agricultural production with the ultimate aim of not only erasing food insecurity but also impacting significantly on the economic and general welfare of the farming people. 

A Ph.D. programme in Animal Science is designed with the knowledge that scientific research is a prerequisite for sustainable economic development and that impact of research on society is of importance. Therefore, the education and training of Ph.D. candidates are for scientific advancement and excellence while building human resources for innovative scientific research, critical analysis, and contributions to future solutions to issues of concern in the livestock industry. The programme is geared towards developing a highly knowledgeable and skilled professional in generating innovations, application of principles and new technologies in the livestock production especially in the chosen area of specialization, fisheries, aquaculture, and aquatic sciences, to enable the graduate to develop an independent attitude and skills that would enable them to execute activities towards responsible exploitation and development of fisheries resources. The Ph.D. research project pursued will be original and could take either laboratory or field or modeling forms or a combination of the various forms. Action research (research for development) is encouraged. The studies will be at the level of systems and ecosystems, population, individual organism, organ, cell, and DNA. Areas of specialization include animal nutrition, breeding and genetics, livestock production systems, animal physiology, preventive veterinary medicine, and quantitative epidemiology.


The rationale of the Programme

The Ph.D. program in Animal Science has both course work and thesis research which allows students to pursue advanced-level knowledge in agriculture and develop expert skills in their discipline of focus while producing original, high-quality research that will impact audiences ranging from international scholars to local farmers. Through the programme, doctoral students will become independent, competent, critical thinkers who will be ready for a wide range of career options in academia, private industry, and government. 


The goal of the Programme

Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science programme intends to:-

  1. Produce scholars and researchers who are well-grounded in concepts, theories, and practice in the specific fields in Animal Science
  2. Inculcate in the students the sense of responsibility when engaging in research, teaching, and consultancy. 
  3. Equip the students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to undertake ethical, independent research and present results in a coherent and comprehensive manner. 
  4. Produce research scholars who strive to solve critical problems in research and innovation.
  5. Equips the graduates for more sustained and original work at the doctoral level or for applied research positions in a wide variety of contexts


Expected Learning Outcomes of the Programme

The Expected Learning Outcomes of the Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science programme include:-


  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the management of natural resources for crop and animal production for sustainable development.
  2. Integrate theory and practice to enhance agricultural productivity at local, regional, and national levels.
  3. Undertake research and provide innovative solutions to different aspects of agricultural productivity problems.
  4. Competent to teach and supervise postgraduate students in institutions of higher learning.
  1. Execute and critically analyze results of an investigation and make logical conclusions.
  2. Formulate research proposals, conduct the research, and analyze data obtained from the research and report accurately in various aspects of agricultural sciences issues.
  3. Demonstrate information technology skills in the manipulation of analytical problems.
  4. Identify and describe soil factors/attributes that constrain sustainable soil/land use
  5. Design and conduct ethical and relevant research to address specified soil/land constraints to sustainable soil/land use
  6. Provide consultancy in the field of Animal Science.
  7. Teach courses and supervise graduate students at the university level
  8. Demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity, and innovation in their research work
  9. Initiate research projects and formulate viable research questions
  10. Communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;


Mode of Delivery of the Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science programme will be delivered through an integrated approach of face-to-face and electronic media.


Duration of Programmes

The duration for the Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science programme in the university is three (3) academic years.


Admission Requirement

To qualify for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science programme, candidates shall be:-

  1. Holders of a Master degree in Animal Science of Maseno University or
  2. Holders of relevant Master Degree of Maseno University or any other recognized University.
  3. In addition to the above, applicants must meet the specific requirements of the Doctoral degree programme as approved by Senate.


Courses Offered for the Programme


Course Title

Year 1 Semester 1

Advanced Research Methods in Natural Sciences

At least ANY THREE (3) ELECTIVES from area of specialization

Year 1 Semester 2

Scientific Writing, Publishing and Presentation

Research Proposal

At least ANY THREE (3) from area of specialization

Year 2 Semester 1

Research only

Graduate Seminars

Year 2 Semester 2

Research only

Graduate Seminars

Year 3 Semester 1

Research/ Thesis

Graduate Seminars

Year 3 Semester 2

Research/ Thesis Submission

Graduate Seminars



Animal Breeding Specialization

Genomic Methods in Animal Genetics

Animal genetic resource conservation and breeding strategies

Breeding programs design and evaluation

Advances in Genetic Prediction in livestock


Animal Nutrition Specialization



Nutrient Metabolism in Livestock

Feed Resource Evaluation and Utilization

Biotechnology Applications in Animal Nutrition

Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Animal Nutrition


Livestock Production Systems Specialization

Sustainable Management of Livestock Production

Organic Animal Production and Agrobiodiversity

Modelling Livestock Production Systems 

One health concept in Livestock Production Systems

Participatory Epidemiology in Livestock Production Systems


Animal Science Specialization

One health concept

Participatory Epidemiology

Public Health and Epidemiology

Immunology course