Course on Laboratory Animal Science



Animal experiments are no longer self-evident in the current scientific and public climate. Animal experiments should therefore be set up and carried out by experts with knowledge of all aspects that come with it, including those with which the requested results can be obtained without or with fewer experimental animals. According to the European Directive 2010/63/EU and the revised Dutch Act on Animal Experimentation, persons who are going to work with laboratory animals must therefore be competent and have completed a course in laboratory animal science that is approved by Our Minister.

In all cases, the harm to the well-being of the experimental animal must be reduced to the absolute minimum on the basis that all animals have the same intrinsic value. This requires not only knowledge and expertise, but also a correct attitude towards the experimental animals.

The Laboratory Animal Science course in Utrecht is the longest running (since 1984) and most given (on average 14 times a year) course in Europe. It is established, provided and continuously adapted to the developments within science, ethics and legislation by experts in the field of laboratory animal science. During the course, the attitude formation of the student is of paramount importance.


The objective of the Laboratory Animal Science course is to be informed about basic facts and principles that are essential for the humane use and care of laboratory animals and for the quality of animal research.

The course we offer in Utrecht is modular. It can be followed as: 

  • An integrated course (Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit)
  • A basic course alone
  • A species-specific rodents and rabbit course alone

Other species specific-courses in the Netherlands can be found here.

For more information about the Dutch Act on animal experimentation regarding competences and education please take a look at the website of the 3Rs-Centre ULS.

Requirements for course participation

There is a compulsory entrance exam on the subjects anatomy/zoology and physiology (for further information: click here). 

This proof of knowledge (in the form of a multiple choice test) has to be completed prior to the start of the course. 

For subscription entrance test and dates please click here.

Note: Meanwhile you can register for the LAS course: see Registration LAS course.


The certificate(s) for the basic and/or species-specific course will be handed out when the participant has successfully passed the exam for the entrance exam and the final exam of the course.

With the certificate(s) the participant can contact the local Animal Welfare Body (for e.g. of the (future) employer to assess whether the legal requirements to plan and perform animal experiments/to be registered as an art9 officer are met.

Former participants that lost their certificate(s): please contact our Main Office ( for a new one. The costs are €25 paid in advance.

Please be aware of the following:

  • If your papers do not show proof of “scientific discipline relevant to the work being undertaken”, for example you cannot show a MSc degree (or taking part in an MSc program) in a biological or zootechnical discipline, be aware that even after completing the course you are not automatically allowed to work with laboratory animals. Please contact the local Animal Welfare Body (for e.g. for assistance.
  • When you successfully complete the basic course with the integrated species-specific course  you are licensed, to design procedures and projects. You are not yet allowed to independently carry out procedures on animals, unless you are proven skilled (it is advisable to create a personal competence profile, with species and skills stated).

If you completed your MSc outside the European Union, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland, please contact your local Animal Welfare Body (zie Dierproevenbesluit art. 2, lid 1, 4 en/of 5).

Legal requirements

Read more about the Laboratory Animal Science course and the training requirements for persons planning and performing animal experiments.


The number of credits that can be obtained after successful completion of the course is 3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The length of the course is two weeks (fulltime, 09.00-17.30 hrs).



    Content of the course 

    For the Study Guide basic course, the Study Guide basic course & species-specific course rodents & rabbits and the Study Guide species-specific course rodents & rabbits: see the following links:

    BAS = basic course without species-specific course
    BRR = basic course with rodents and rabbit
    SSRR = species-specific rodents and rabbit

    The course we offer in Utrecht is modular. It can be followed as:

    • An integrated course (Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit)
    • A basic course alone
    • A species-specific rodents and rabbit course alone

    Other species specific-courses in the Netherlands can be found here.

    Course material

    During the course, the book Principles of laboratory animal science, revised edition, 2001, L.F.M. van Zutphen, V. Baumans and F. Ohl (eds.) (ISBN 13: 978-0-444-50612-2) will be used. Further material will be provided on an USB-stick. 

    The course may also be of interest for those who intend to set up a similar course at their own location. For this purpose, during the course, acquisition of teaching materials can be discussed with the course committee. 

    Registration LAS course

    The maximum number of participants is 24.
    Registration will be accepted after receipt of the registration form on 'first come, first served' basis. Please fill in (using the Tab-key) and send it by email to or regular mail to: Department Animals in Science & Society, Course on Laboratory Animal Science, P.O. box 80.166, 3508 TD Utrecht, the Netherlands

    Pay attention!

    Since you work with animals during the course on Laboratory Animal Science, we would like to remind you that it is wise to be vaccinated against tetanus.

    Course with accommodation

    Once a year in July we organize a course with hotel accommodation, only for participants not living or working in the Netherlands. A hotel reservation is made for 12 nights, lunches and dinners are included during course days (when places are available participants that live and work in the Netherlands can register).

    Courses with accommodation include:

    • course materials
    • accommodation for 12 days (breakfast included)
    • lunches and dinners during course days
    • daily transport from the hotel to the university and back during course days

    Course dates 2018

    The course on Laboratory Animal Sciences is composed of the basic course and the species-specific course rodents and rabbit. Participants who wish to complete the basic course and the species-specific course receive an adapted schedule. 

    Courses WITHOUT accommodation

    • 1 – 12 October 2018; Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit
    • 3 - 14 December 2018; Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit

    Note: Courses will proceed if there are sufficient participants.

    Prices (incl. course material) 

    • Basic course: € 1.815
    • Basic course and species WITH accommodations: €3.870
    • Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit: €2.085
    • Basic course and species- specific course rodents and rabbit WITH accommodations: €3.985
    • Species-specific course rodents and rabbit: €730

    Employees of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University:

    • Basic course: € 950
    • Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbit: €1.090
    • Species-specific course rodents and rabbit: €380

    Payment has to be done through our webshop. All participants receive a link to this webshop. Payment can be finalized with iDEAL (preferably) or credit card.
    Exception: master students GSLS. For their participation we send an invoice to their master administration.

    Cancellation Policy

    If registration is canceled:

    • 22 or more days prior to the starting date of the course: the payment is fully refunded.
    • 7 - 21 days prior to the starting date of the course, 50% of the payment is refunded to the client.
    • 7 or less days to the starting date of the course or no-show, the payment is not refunded.

    For more information you may contact the Main Office of the Laboratory Animal Science Course.