Course overview

Book Now The Ruminant Gut Microbiology course will explore the fundamental research that is developing our understanding of the anatomy and environmental conditions of the rumen, covering the negative and positive effects of rumen digestion on productivity. You will explore the function and importance in the rumen of bacteria, protozoa, fungi and archaea.

The study area will investigate both traditional culture-based and modern molecular-based methods used to investigate rumen microbiology, together with a review of ways of manipulating rumen fermentation to improve productivity whilst decreasing the environmental footprint of ruminant agriculture.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production 

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module participants should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of rumen fermentation in animal production, gaining a clear grasp of both the positive and negative consequences to rumen digestion.
  • Explain the function and importance of different microbes within the rumen.
  • Evaluate the methodologies used to quantify the numbers and activity of rumen microbes.
  • Identify possible methods of rumen manipulation to increase productivity and decrease environmental damage.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered will include:

  • Anatomy and environmental conditions within the rumen of major ruminant species
  • Importance of rumen fermentation to the host
  • Diversity and importance of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and archea within the rumen
  • Use of culture-based in-vitro based models to study rumen fermentation
  • Use of modern molecular-based methods to study rumen microbial diversity and function
  • Use of biotic agents to manipulate rumen fermentation
  • Use of abiotic agents to manipulate rumen fermentation

Key facts

Course Dates
June to September
14 weeks
Entry Requirements
Graduate level or relevant experience
Fee info
From £750
IFST Membership
Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
CQFW Level
Course Provider
Aberystwyth University
Provider Reference Number
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
Aberystwyth University, Online
AFTP Cohort
Course Logistics
Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible and most of our participants work full time at the same time as studying for 10 to 15 per week, for each 20 credit module. Blocks of modules are delivered with start dates in January, May and September, with most modules offered once each year.

Neil Mackintosh



My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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