Laboratory Animal Science

To plan and perform animal experiments you need two certificates: the basic course and the species-specific course

In animal experiments the well-being of laboratory animals is most important. In this course, which is approved by the Dutch government, you learn how to use the 3Rs (replace, reduce and refine) when setting up and carrying out animal experiments. During the course, the attitude formation of the participant towards the laboratory animals and within animal experiments is of paramount importance. All legal requirements will be discussed.

Suitable for: 
Experts planning and performing animal experiments
Entry requirements: 

Entrance exam, more information below

Start date(s): 
6 March 2023, 12 June 2023
Time investment: 
Three weeks, (80 hrs, 3 ECTS), 100% attendance is mandatory. See the example schedule under 'Extra information'.
Lectures are given online and on location
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
€2150 — Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbits, incl. course material
Extra information: 
  • The course is given online and on location.
  • Click here for the example schedule. (No rights can be derived from this draft schedule)
  • The course is approved by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
  • Since April 2019, the course is FELASA-accredited. 
  • It is possible to follow the basic course alone (€1,870) or the species-specific course rodents and rabbits alone (€760).
  • Once a year a course is offered WITH accommodation for participants not living or working in the Netherlands. See more information below.
  • Since you work with animals during the course, we would like to remind you that it is wise to get vaccinated against tetanus.
  • Employees at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine pay a different rate. See more information below.
  • Courses will proceed when there are sufficient participants.
  • Exams: start date: 31 October 2022 (exam on 17 November), 5 December 2022 (exam on 22 December), 6 March 2023 (Exam on 23 March), 12 June 2023 (exam on 29 June). 
  • Start date 31 October is fully booked. We can put you on a waiting list.

Animal experiments should be set up and carried out by experts. In all cases, harm to the well-being of the experimental animal must be reduced to the absolute minimum. After all, all animals ultimately have the same intrinsic value. This requires knowledge, expertise and a correct attitude towards experimental animals. Utrecht University has been providing the course in Experimental Animal Science since 1986, making it the longest running and most frequently taught course in Europe. Annually, this course is given about eight times. The course is established, provided and continuously updated with the developments in science, ethics and legislation.

To reduce animal testing, artificial rats are being used for education
To reduce animal testing, artificial rats are being used for education

Entrance exam

There is a compulsory entrance exam on the subjects of anatomy, zoology and physiology. For further information, click here. The entrance exam is a multiple choice test that serves as proof of knowledge and must be completed prior to the start of the Laboratory Animal Science course. You register for the entrance test and the Laboratory Animal Science course at the same time.

Sign up for the entrance exam

Laboratory Animal Science course registration

Apply by clicking on the button below (except Master’s students BMS and GSLS at Utrecht University; more information below).

Apply now

Master's students

Master’s students in Biomedical Sciences and Neuroscience and Cognition at Utrecht University should enrol in consultation with the Master’s administration office (email: and by means of the separate registration form.

Master's students BMS apply here

Master’s students in Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biosciences or Science and Business at Utrecht University should enrol in consultation with the Master’s administration office (email: and by means of the separate application form.

Master's students GSLS apply here


The certificates for the basic and species-specific course will be awarded when you have successfully passed the entrance exam and the final exam of the course.

Former participants who lost their certificates can request a new one for a €25 fee paid in advance. Please contact the main office of the Laboratory Animal Science course.

Species-specific courses

To become qualified to carry out and set up animal experiments, you are required to have completed both a basic course on laboratory animal science and a species-specific course. The species-specific course needs to cover the species you plan to work with. Learn more about species-specific courses.

Payment and cancellation policy


After submitting your application, you receive a link to our web shop, where you can finalise payment with iDEAL (preferably) or credit card. Are you a Master’s student at Utrecht University’s Graduate School of Life Sciences? If so, we will send an invoice directly to the administration of your programme.

Cancellation Policy

When cancelling a registration:

  • 22 or more days prior to the course start date: no costs will be charged.
  • 7–21 days prior to the course start date: 50% of the costs will be charged.
  • 7 or fewer days before the course start date or no-show: the full amount will be charged.

Dare to develop - professional education at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine