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): 
2 December 2019, 3 February 2020, 30 March 2020, 29 June 2020
The December course is fully booked. There is a waitinglist.
Time investment: 
Two weeks, (80 hrs, 3 ECTS) full-time, 09.00–17.30 hrs
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Fee: This fee is exempt from VAT
€2,085 — Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbits, incl. course material
Extra information: 
  • The course is approved by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
  • Since April 2019, the course is FELASA-accredited.
  • The examination of the course starting on 30 March 2020 is on 14 April 2020. 
  • It is possible to follow the basic course alone (€1,815) or the species-specific course rodents and rabbits alone (€730).
  • Once a year in July (next year: starting 29 June 2020) 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.

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. Since 1986, Utrecht University has been offering the Laboratory Animal Science course. It's now offered 14 times a year. It is the longest running and the most given course on laboratory animal science in Europe. 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.

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).

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


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.

Course material

The course uses 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).

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.

Licence, legal requirements, article 9 researcher

To assess whether you meet the legal requirements to plan and perform animal experiments and to be registered as an Article 9 researcher, please contact the local animal welfare body in the area of you current or future employer.

Legal requirements, relevant links:

  • Read more about the Laboratory Animal Science course and the training requirements for persons planning and performing animal experiments.
  • For more information about the Dutch Act on animal experimentation regarding competences and education, please check the website of the 3Rs-Centre ULS.
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: you receive a full payment refund.
  • 7–21 days prior to the course start date: 50% refund.
  • 7 or fewer days before the course start date or no-show: no refund.
Course with accommodation for participants not living or working in the Netherlands

This course is offered once a year in July:

  • Period: 29 June 2020 - 10 July 2020 (2 weeks)
  • Application deadline: 4 June 2020
  • Credits: 3 ECTS
  • Level: Master
  • Study load: Monday - Friday from 9.00 until 18.00 PM (two weeks)


  • Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbits WITH accommodations: €3,985


  • hotel, dinner during course days, course materials and lunch
Fee for Faculty of Veterinary Medicine employees
  • Basic course: €950
  • Species-specific course rodents and rabbits: €380
  • Basic course and species-specific course rodents and rabbits: €1,090