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Economics for livestock development and policy

Module information>

Academic Direction
The Royal Veterinary College
Modes of Study

This module is designed to give you an understanding of economics that can be applied in policy development at national and individual farm level.

Topics covered

The module consists of 12 units of study, all of which you should complete. They make up the following three sections:

Section 1 Basic Concepts in Livestock Production

In this section (Units 1–4) you will learn about the global livestock situation and the current demand for livestock products worldwide. An overview of the range of livestock systems is presented, so that you may draw comparisons and understand why different economic conditions must be applied in different parts of the world.

Section 2 Economics of Livestock Development

The second section (Units 5–8) explores current supply and demand patterns for livestock products and focuses on marketing and international trade.

Section 3 Policy for Livestock Development

The final section (Units 9–12) focuses on economic policy. After an introduction to livestock policy, you will develop a detailed understanding of the economic tools that are necessary for policy development in livestock programmes and projects.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • discuss of the economic, political, social, and environmental issues that will affect future livestock development.
  • describe the major livestock systems throughout the world.
  • explain, largely in economic terms, the global pattern of livestock production, marketing, and consumption.
  • analyse trends in the supply of, and consumer demand for, livestock products and assess their implications for marketing, processing and distribution on both domestic and foreign markets.
  • consider the impact of government policy on livestock production and marketing, and thus the effects on producers and consumers.
  • provide the people concerned with livestock with the tools to analyse the issues confronting producers, their advisers, planners and policymakers.


Your work for this module will be assessed by means of a three-hour unseen written examination paper which will take the form of essay questions. In addition, you must submit at least one and up to three TMAs.

The grade awarded will be based on the mark obtained in the written examination (80%) and on the mark for the compulsory TMA (20%).

Module information sheets

Download the full module information sheet from the RVC website.