Laboratory Animal Science (Animal Welfare)

The course Laboratory Animal Science (LAS or "Cursus Proefdierkunde" in Dutch), to obtain art. 9 certificate, focuses on the respectful and responsible use of laboratory animals in biomedical research and on the legal constraints thereof.


The course focuses on the respectful and responsible use of laboratory animals in biomedical research and on the legal constraints thereof.

It fulfills national and Europeam legal requirements concerning the education of persons designing and managing animal research projects and procedures.

The goal of the researcher following this course is to be allowed to design and conduct animal research. Obtaining the certificates of this LAS course is one important prerequisite for that. The other is that he should hold a MSc degree in a biological, biomedical of zootechnical discipline, obtained in one of the member states of the EEA. This MSc diploma has to be acknowledged by the Dutch authorities.

With het certificates of this LAS course and a recognized master degree, a researcher is qualified to design procedures and projects, but not allowed to handle animals or to perform experimental procedures on animals. These skills have to be obtained by working under supervision until competence is demonstrated.


    The LAS course integrates species-specific knowledge on mice and rats with basic topics in laboratory animal science (see Content).

    Teaching methods include: lectures, practical's, e-learning, discussions, interactive longitudinal tasks, group work, a guided tour, and mixed forms.

    The LAS course runs three times a year on ten consecutive days, plus a formal examination, during a three week period with 16 to 26 participants.

    Dates Scheduled:

    • 21 September thru 2 October, 2020; exam on 9 October, 2020
    • 1 thru 19 February 2021
    • May June 2021 tba.


      The Laboratory Animal Science course includes the following topics:

      • Dutch legislation on animal experimentation.
      • Ethics, animal welfare and the three R’s (level 1 & 2).
      • Basic and appropriate biology (+ species-specific) (theory).
      • Animal care, health and management (+ species-specific) (theory).
      • Recognition of pain, suffering and distress (+ species-specific).
      • Humane methods of killing (theory).
      • Minimally invasive procedures without anesthesia (only species-specific).
      • Design of procedures and projects (level 1 & 2).
      • Anesthesia for minor procedures.
      • Principles of surgery.

      Target audience:

      Researchers who will design and manage research projects and procedures which include animal experiments.

      Those holding a LAS course certificate from one of the member states of the EEA outside the Netherlands may be exempted from certain modules and the corresponding parts of the exam, depending on details of the course followed, as well as on the assessment by the Dutch authorities.

      The modules Dutch Legislation and Ethics are obligatory at all times.

      Prerequisites for admission to the course.

      Basic biological knowledge at a level of 18.75 ECTS (=500 study hours), including at least 7.5 ECTS on organismal anatomy/zoology and 7.5 ECTS on physiology. Thorough and active command of this matter must be demonstrated in a written entrance test.

      ** EC = European Credits (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS) One week of full-time = 40 SBU or 1.4 EC.


        The course is given in English. The study book is in English or Dutch. The examination is in English.

        Number of participants:

        Minimum of 16 and maximum of 26 per course.


        To qualify for the certificate, a participant must attend all lectures and pass the examination.

        Study load:

        110 hours, which is comparable to 3.9 EC.


        The Laboratory Animal Science course (basic course including species-specific course on mice and rats) costs 1850 euro for participants from AMC, UvA, VU, VUmc, KNAW and NKI. External participants pay 2025 euro.

        Following the modules Dutch Legislation and Ethics only costs 330 euro.

        Course coordinator:

        Willeke Jong / ARIA-IWO I.0B-110 / / tel. +31 (0)20 - 566 1824 or +31 (0)20 - 566 6479.

        Application and more information:

        See application form above or contact the course coordinator.


        AMC Graduate School
        Tel: +31 (0)20 - 566 3108