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Unit information: Animal Health Science in 2020/21

Unit name Animal Health Science
Unit code VETS10019
Credit points 0
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Brennan
Open unit status Not open



VETS10300 Animal Management 1, VETS14000 Professional Studies 1

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit explores the integrated structure and function of body systems progressing from cells as a unit of life, through tissues, to organ systems and the whole body, focusing on the cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary, reproductive, renal and endocrine systems.The unit starts by providing students with a basic understanding of the foundations of Animal Health Science, progressing from cells as a unit of life, through tissues, to organ systems and the whole body. The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with knowledge of healthy body structures and their function
  • Enable students to understand mechanisms which govern the functions of body systems and control
  • Link the underpinning science of animal health to pathological processes and clinical cases as appropriate
  • Develop students’ capacity for lifelong learning and to foster an understanding of the importance of basic science in clinical practice

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students will:

  • Have an overview of body organisation
  • Have an understanding of cell biology, cell growth and division
  • Be able to describe how specific tissues are related to their function
  • Appreciate how cells communicate with one another and their environment
  • Be able to demonstrate a knowledge of basic body control systems involved in homeostatic mechanisms
  • Have integrated their knowledge of the structure and function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary, renal, reproductive and endocrine systems, for common domestic species and will appreciate the relationships between the systems, the clinical relevance of this knowledge and the application to the live animal
  • Understand the structure and function of the cardiovascular system
  • Understand the structure and function of the respiratory system and have a basic knowledge of the principles of cellular respiration
  • Understand the structure and function of the alimentary tract and have an appreciation of the basic principles underpinning animal nutrition
  • Understand the processes of digestion, energy homeostasis and metabolism
  • Understand the structure and function of the renal system and its role in homeostasis
  • Understand the principles of communication via hormones including the production and effects of hormones
  • Have an understanding of reproductive processes, the development of the mammalian body and genetics

Teaching details

Online synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning

Practical classes

Facilitated small and large group activities

Individual and groupwork on directed self education (DSE) task (s)

Use of Virtual learning environment (Blackboard)

Assessment Details

Formative assessment

At the end of the foundation teaching (in term 1) students will sit a formative written/computer-based examination to test the knowledge and understanding of the material covered. Students will also undertake a group-based integrated directed self education (IDSE) task on which formative feedback will be provided.

Students will sit a formative mid-sessional examination in January consisting of a written/computer-based examination to test knowledge, understanding, data interpretation and problem-solving skills. Students will receive guidance and feedback on coursework, including eBiolabs and DSE tasks.

Summative assessment

End of unit examination

Students will sit an examination at the end of the year consisting of two written/computer-based papers. These will test knowledge and understanding of material covered in the Animal Health Science 1 elements as well as interpretation and problem-solving skills. Additionally, there will be two summatively assessed DSE tasks (related to review of clinical and scientific evidence) and pre- and post-practical tests in eBiolabs. Assessments will examine all the intended learning outcomes.

Overall unit mark is made up of:

  • End of Unit Written/computer-based 1 - 45%
  • End of Unit Written/computer-based 2 - 45%
  • DSE - 10%
  • eBiolabs - must pass

Passing AHS is a requirement for progression to Year 2.

There will be an opportunity to re-sit the examinations in July. A resit opportunity for eBioLabs tasks will be provided. Marks for coursework will be carried forward to the resit examination.

Reading and References

Please refer to the central University reading list repository: