Poultry health science

  • Duration4 weeks with an estimated time investment of 12-16 hours per week
  • Starting momentDate to be announced
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Teaching methodOnline
  • CertificationCertificate
  • Price€1,700

Poultry Health Science

Poultry production is a global, fast-growing industry that is the biggest supplier of animal protein and eggs worldwide. Further growth is expected due to the growing demands caused by an increase of the human population (expected to reach 10 to 11 billion people in 2100). In addition, the relatively low impact of poultry production on the environment due to the highly efficient conversion of feed and water into meat and eggs contributes to the expected growth of the industry, as well as the lack of religious barriers for eating chicken products.

Worldwide, the production of eggs and poultry meat is no longer just about the lowest costs and highest efficiency. Aspects such as human health, animal welfare, reduction of antibiotics use, social acceptance, and the environment are becoming increasingly important. Acting at such a high level requires a thorough and continuous education on poultry health, diagnostics, clinical reasoning, evidence-based veterinary medicine, disease management, animal welfare, food safety, and related matters.

Course content Poultry Health Science

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University offers an online, postgraduate course in Poultry Health Science in collaboration with Royal GD, Deventer, the Netherlands. The part-time program takes an average time investment of 12-16 hours per week for studying, reading, and participation in online activities.

The aim of the postgraduate course is to train academic professionals working on poultry health or production, to become internationally recognised experts in integral poultry health care.

The candidates will acquire in-depth knowledge in the fields of poultry health care, diagnostics, clinical reasoning, evidence-based medicine, disease management, animal welfare, food safety, and related matters that will help address local and global challenges in sustainable poultry health care. Part of the training is acquiring an international network. Good command of the English language is required.

Course program Poultry Health Science

The total program consists of 7 separate modules of 2 to 4 weeks. The online content of each module is released weekly during the module and will contain a mixture of webinars, presentations, videos, reading material, and case studies (individual and interactive ones for the group). At several time points per week, there will be live online interactions between students (individual or group) and teachers. Modules can be followed separately, for example for postgraduate continuing education and training of residents of ECPVS or other colleges.

Suitable for

Veterinarians and postgraduates in Life Sciences working in poultry in a scientific or leading position, now or in the near future.

Entry requirements

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or a Master’s degree in Life Sciences with affinity and experience with poultry. We expect a sufficient level of the English language to be able to understand the presentations, read scientific papers and discuss in English.

Start date module 1 to be announced

Time investment

Each module is 2-4 weeks with an estimated time investment of 12-16 hours per week.

Week 1

Powerpoint presentations (live, also recorded)

  • Hosts - De Wit
  • Evolution and origin of new IBV strains - Dijkman and De Wit
  • Role of genes, virulence - Dijkman
  • Transmission - De Wit
  • Susceptibility in relation to cleaning and disinfection/stability - De Wit

Introduction of Case studies and IBV related problems for evidence based analyses

Week 2

Powerpoint presentation (live, also recorded)

  • Pathogenesis, tropism, virus/host interaction, receptors - Molenaar, De Wit
  • Clinical manifestations and economic impact - Molenaar
  • Interactions with other pathogens - Molenaar, de Wit

Week 3

Powerpoint presentation (live, also recorded)

  • Immune responses, immune suppression - De Wit
  • Possibilities and limitations of diagnostic techniques to detect and type IBV - Dijkman
  • Possibilities and limitations of diagnostic techniques to detect and type antibodies to IBV - De Wit
  • Interpretation of laboratory results - Dijkman, De Wit

Week 4

Powerpoint presentation (live, also recorded)

  • Protection by vaccination for young and adult birds - De Wit
  • Cross protection, basis - De Wit
  • Interference - De Wit
  • Potential treatments - De Wit

Postgraduate course Poultry Health Science


Education for Professionals (OvP)