14 December 2000

UQ Gatton's first Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) graduates will collect their degrees at 1.15pm on Friday, December 15 - and they are as likely to look for key jobs in service industries as down on the farm, according to senior lecturer Dr John Dingle.

"The degree focuses on management as well as science, and fits a wealth of occupations," Dr Dingle said.

"This first cohort of graduates includes specialists in wildlife biology, animal production, and equine and recreational animal management, and they'll be in demand in fields ranging from wildlife parks to animal service industries.

"The course gives our graduates all-round theoretical and practical training - and the emphasis on management gives them an excellent grounding in all the skills they need to run a business."

Two new specialisations will boost the degree's offerings from four to six next year [2001].

After a common first year, students will be able to choose from veterinary technology and management, or rangeland management, in addition to the four initial specialisations.

Competition is keen for places, with about 400 QTAC preferences filed for about 140 places in 2001, according to Dr Dingle.

The degree is offered full-time or externally, with opportunities to change from one to the other - a useful option for one student offered a job during a practice elective at the end of her second year.

Now, Dr Dingle says, she works for a dog obedience training operation and enjoys extra management training as part of the job.

Work placement is an elective most students choose to complete during summer vacation - and it takes them far and wide. Placements include animal and bird sanctuaries in Townsville, Brisbane and the Gold Coast; cattle properties and piggeries in western Queensland; and horse studs and training establishments, some of them overseas.

For more information, contact Dr John Dingle, UQ Gatton (telephone 07 5460 1250) or Moya Pennell, UQ Communications (telephone 3365 2846).