Graduate Studies Form for Modules attached to Structured PhD and/or Research Masters Programmes


Laboratory Animal Science Training (LAST) Ireland course (year 1-3)

Credits (ECTS)


Module Places


Module Code:


Elective Places


Indicative Module Descriptor:

The use of live animals in scientific research and other experimental activities is currently controlled by the directive 2010/63 EU and the S.I. No 543 of 2012. Under the terms of this Directive and this Statutory Instrument any experimental activity using live animals is prohibited if an alternative is available and therefore must be performed by appropriately trained personnel. This module aims to provide researchers with basic legislative, ethical and educational training, applying the principles of reduction, refinement and replacement on which National and European legislation is based upon to prevent un-necessary suffering of such animals.  This training course has already been adopted by the competent authority in charge of the implementation of the above legislation; the Irish Medicines Board, and all the academic institutions at a National level as an essential part of researchers training before commencing any in vivo work.   Additionally, this course follows the guidelines drawn up by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Association (FELASA) and has been accredited by the UK University Training Group.

Note that the pass rate for this course is 70%.

The module aims to give students the opportunity to ....

  • Appreciate the legislation governing use of animals in experimental procedures
  • Receive hands on training in animal handling

Indicative Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should ....

  • Understand the history and ethics of animal experimentation
  • Understand the national legislation (Irish (S.I. 543 od 21012
  • Understand animal health and its impact on research
  • Understand basic principles of animal welfare
  • Understand design experiments with laboratory animals based on the principles of reduction refinement and replacement
    • Understand the use of animals in scientific research, the legal controls and the process of applying for an animal licence
    • Understand the procedures for working safely with animals, anaesthesia, analgesia and post-operative care
    • Understand the alternatives to working with animals
    • Experience animal handling, sexing of juvenile/adult animals, injection techniques and suturing
    • Recognizing pain, distress and long lasting harm as well as severity classification
    • Designated veterinarian duties and responsibilities
    • Understanding the requirements of Establishment, project and Individual Authorizations

Workload: 100 hours

Class Contact: Two day course

16 hours


Animal handling and sexing juveniles/adults

Training in specific techniques (injection, suturing, basic anesthetic techniques)

14 hours
20 hours

Specified Assignment(s) Preparation and attendance at exam

50 hours

Autonomous Student Learning

2 hours pre-attendance assessment


 Students must sit a written exam, which is assessed by the LAST-Ireland course organizers.    Note that the pass rate for this exam is 70%.

 Students must attend animal handling and training workshops; a designated animal facility trainer will sign off on the students record of proficiency in the various skills covered in these workshops.



% of marks


Attendance at workshops and evidence of proficiency in skills covered in workshops Written exam

Pre-attendance assessment




Pass / Fail