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Unit information: Animal Systems and Professional Life 1 in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Animal Systems and Professional Life 1
Unit code VETS10018
Credit points 0
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mr. Mick Millar
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will use case-based learning, scaffolding lectures and practical classes to teach the students about animals; from the cell through to the whole animal. Using a systems-based approach they will cover the integrated structure and function of healthy body systems, the ways in which animals can be managed and its impact on their health and welfare. Students will also be introduced to the pathological processes that cause disease and the ways in which diseases can be diagnosed, treated and controlled. Diseases of public health interest will be highlighted and the role of animals in food production explored. Communication, the role of the vet in society, financial considerations, health and safety, well being, evidence-based medicine, ethics and law and life-long learning skills are embedded in the teaching delivered in the unit. The case-based learning format will enable the students to begin developing their clinical reasoning at an early stage and highlight the clinical relevance of the basic sciences, animal management and professional studies.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this unit students will be able to:
- Apply their knowledge of the structure and function of body systems in common domestic species and will be able to describe the relationships between the systems, the clinical relevance of this knowledge and the application to the live animal
- Explain the care, management and handling of major species of veterinary importance, and demonstrate the practical ability to safely and effectively handle these species
- Describe the scientific basis of the body’s response to disease, immunology and general pathology and explain how these changes relate to clinical presentations
- Identify and describe basic pathological changes at molecular, cellular and tissue levels and explain how they relate to the aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and prognosis of disease
- Identify the major microorganisms and pathogens of animals covered within this unit and explain the diseases they cause, the mechanisms by which they cause disease, their modes of transmission, epidemiology, diagnosis, control and their importance to veterinary practice and public health
- Explain the principles of diagnostic techniques including clinical pathology and imaging
- Describe the action of drugs upon the body and explain the use of drugs covered in the unit in the treatment and prevention of veterinary disease
- Apply a logical approach and basic clinical reasoning skills to solve clinical cases and problems as applied to individuals, groups and populations
- Demonstrate basic clinical and physical examination skills
- Identify the veterinary public health implications of clinical scenarios
- Describe the role and importance of different forms of communication in various veterinary contexts.
- Identify examples of good and bad practice in relation to communication.
- Describe the principles of professional conduct, well being, ethics, welfare and law and explain their impact on veterinary surgeons, farmers and animal owners in the context of their work individually and when operating as a business.
- Identify risks and hazards in agricultural, laboratory and veterinary settings and explain how to manage, reduce or avoid these risks when working in these environments.
- Reflect on their previous experience of learning in a University environment and develop appropriate strategies for learning in a case-based learning course.
- Demonstrate how to search for literature and critically appraise scientific papers.

Teaching details

Case-based learning; facilitated small group activities
Scaffolding Lectures and Seminars
Practical classes
Technology enhanced learning

Assessment Details


Students will be required to complete a portfolio. The portfolio will include a reflective learning diary, team assessments of behaviour, and examples of coursework (a range of formative and/or peer-marked). The portfolio will be must-pass.
Health and Safety must-pass MCQ open book exam. Students will be required to obtain a pass in a multiple choice examination on health and safety in Teaching Block 1 before they can undertake extra-mural studies (EMS).
EMS Risk assessments (Administrative staff will ensure that all students have completed the must-pass MCQ before starting the first of their compulsory EMS placements, and submit a Health and Safety risk assessment for each EMS placement to the EMS office.)

Formative Assessment.

Students will have formative assessment in the unit. For example: questions presented in seminars (eg using Turning Point), and / or on Blackboard; verbally during discussion of coursework; and a formative mid-sessional examination

Mid-sessional Examination.

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) – must pass

End of Unit Examination.

This will comprise:
Computer based multiple choice examination. (50%)
Short answer questions. (50%)
Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) – must pass.

Assessments will be mapped to the curriculum and will examine the intended learning outcomes.

Passing Animal Systems and Professional Life 1 is a requirement for progression into year 2. OSCEs must be passed before entry into Year 3.

There will be an opportunity to re-sit the end of unit examination during the Faculty re-sit period.

Summary of Summative Assessments in Unit

Examination - MCQ Weighting 50%

Examination - SAQ Weighting 50%

Coursework - portfolio (must pass)

Health and Safety examination (must pass)

OSCEs Term 1 (must pass)

OSCEs Term 2 (must pass)

EMS Risk Assessments (must complete)

Reading and References