Training course in Laboratory Animal Science for scientists responsible for the design or conduct of animal experiments


Dra. Patrocinio Vergara Esteras.
Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e Inmunología. Facultad de Veterinaria de la UAB.

Dr. Sergio Berdún Marínl
Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e Inmunología. Facultad de Veterinaria de la UAB.


Regular fee for the complete course:  1,650 Euro
Personnel from European public research institutions, hospitals and universities:  1,450 Euro

Reduced price centers 'Esfera UAB': 1150 €
Reduced price for UAB PhD students: 430 Euro

Course dates: 

Registration for the course is continually open.
Once enrolled, the student is expected to complete the on-line theoretical course in a period of 3 months. An extension of this period can be obtained in agreement with the coordinator of the course.
Practical sessions will be organized on determined dates to optimise groups per species and avoid the misused of animals. Normally, there will not be more than 3 months delay between completion of the on-line part of the course and the hands-on practical sessions.

For the case studies an additional period of 1 month will be given.


This course aims to fulfil the training requirements defined by the legislation for the use of animals in research (EU Directive 63/2010, RD 53/2013 and ECC/566/2015). This legislation defines, among others, two functions for which prior training is required and that are relevant to complete a doctorate in an area that requires the use of animal models: a) carrying out procedures on animals and b) designing procedures and projects. In addition, the course fulfils the requirements necessary for the functions of animal care and euthanasia.

The syllabus of this course is the same as that offered by the UAB since 1998. However, the increasing mobility of scientists has made it necessary to offer the course in English. In addition, an on-line version of the theoretical content has been developed to facilitate the organization of more flexible editions of the course in future and to adapt to the training needs of scientists before they start their PhD project.

This course is accredited for functions a, b, c and d by the
Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations



This accreditation, while ensuring quality standards, facilitates recognition of these competencies in European Union countries.

The course program includes modules to acquire training in any species needed, including: mice, rats, pig, rabbit, birds, ruminants, fish, amphibians and cephalopods.

The course includes compulsory hands on training in the laboratory. 


The course consists of on-line theoretical lessons and practical exercises followed by hands on practical lessons for the species selected.

The on-line theoretical lessons are expected to be completed in a maximum period of 3 months. Practical sessions will be organized on demand and there will not be a delay of more than 3 months between completion of the on-line part of the course and the hands-on practical sessions.

The course includes an evaluation consisting of: 1) individual assessment of practical skills, 2) MCQ exam of basic knowledge and 3) solving 4 case studies related to the individual student's research project.

Both the skill assessment and the basic knowledge exam will be done in person at the UAB.


Lesson 1. Introduction to LAS. Ethical Principles and Legislation
Lesson 2. Animal models.

2.1. Animal model definition, choice of the animal model. Translation from animal studies to humans
2.2. Genetically modified animals.

Lesson 3. Factors influencing the experiment (I): Quality Standardization

3.1. Genetic standardization
3.2. Microbiology standardization

Lesson 4: Factors influencing the experiment (II): Environmental factors

4.1. Nutrition and feeding.
4.2. Animal facilities and procedures/ legal requirements for centre registration
4.3. Health monitoring and prevention of disease

Lesson 5. Factors influencing the experiment (III): Animal welfare.

5.1. Animal Welfare. Transport of animals
5.2. Euthanasia.

Lesson 6. Recognition of Pain, suffering and distress and its alleviation. Refinement

6.1. Anaesthesia and analgesia.
6.2. Recognition of Pain
6.3. Animal identification, basic principles of surgery, post surgical care 

Lesson 7. Health and Safety


Lesson 1: Experimental design

2.1 Factors influencing experimental design. Examples of experimental design
2.2. Estimation of sample size. Practical approach to statistics.

Lesson 2. Design of procedures and projects

2.1  Literature search. Systematic reviews.
2.2. Alternatives to animal experimentation
2.3. Harmonization and standardization
2.4. Preparation of protocols for ethical evaluation. Severity evaluation. Non technical summaries
2.5 Reporting animal studies


Mice, rats, rabbits, pigs, ruminants, birds, fish, amphibians, cephalopods

More information: 


All students must have an academic degree.

If the previous degree competences do not include the understanding of the basic principles of animal biology, the student must also take the module on basic animal biology and physiology and pass it before continuing with the rest of the syllabus.

To access the course, it is necessary to demonstrate the professional and/or academic need to acquire the capacity to develop research with animal models.