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Unit information: Equine Practice 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 Equine Practice 1
Unit code VETSM0054
Credit points 70
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Miss. Lucy Meehan
Open unit status Not open



Equine Practice 2

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will develop students’ clinical skills in equine veterinary medicine and allied fields through exposure to clinical cases in a specialist veterinary hospital. In this unit students will rotate through 2 specialities: Equine internal medicine (13 weeks) and Equine Emergency Care (13 weeks)

In order to maximise case exposure a single student is allocated at any one time per specialism. The rotations are split into blocks of 2-6 weeks. A period for assessment for learning will be provided at week 5 and week 11 of a rotation. The order of the rotations is designed to spread the workload over the course of the year and balance night and weekend work. For this reason, specialities from Unit One will be intermingled with specialities from Unit Two. Hence this unit will run for 12 months to allow each student to complete all specialisms within this unit.

The aim of this programme is that students will consolidate and build upon existing clinical knowledge and skills from their UG programme, and prior professional practice (for example the RCVS Professional Development Phase) in equine veterinary medicine and allied fields. The consolidation is necessary for them to maintain their knowledge and skillset. In order to ensure that both consolidation and the learning of new skills occurs students will need a high level of exposure to clinical cases. This will be achieved through full time immersion in clinical rotations. When all compulsory Units for this PG Diploma are taken into consideration this will result in a higher than standard number of hours of student input and this is reflected in total credit points for this PGDiploma being more than the standard 120. This will allow students to be properly equipped with the required knowledge for entry into the University of Bristol’s MSc in Veterinary Practice or similar programmes (ie analogous to senior clinical training scholars) at other vet schools. Students will apply their knowledge and skills to the effective treatment and care of a range of clinical cases under the direction of veterinary specialists.

Attendance at weekly journal clubs and radiology rounds will form a mandatory part of this unit and will provide additional supporting clinical and scientific knowledge.

Students will be introduced to the concepts of evidence- based veterinary-medicine and its application to their clinical practice by producing an Evidence-based review based on a clinical question identified during the rotations included in the Unit. Students will be supported by academic staff and web-based teaching material for this.

Intended learning outcomes

Veterinary undergraduates are taught to achieve ‘Day one competency’, the minimum standard required for registration with the RCVS, and the starting point for a practising veterinary professional.

The aim of the PG Dip in Veterinary Clinical Practice is to develop greater knowledge and understanding of equine practice.

Overarching learning outcomes for both units include:

Consolidation of the day one level of competency in practical skills, knowledge and understanding of common conditions

Increased levels of knowledge and understanding to include less common conditions and those seen at referral veterinary practice

Observation of more advanced diagnostic techniques and procedures employed in referral veterinary practice

Specific learning outcomes within the Unit:

  • To become competent in evaluating medical cases using a problem solving approach
  • To select appropriate diagnostic methods and be able to critically analyse and interpret the results
  • To be able to develop treatment/ management plans for a variety of medical cases
  • To develop confidence in interpretation of biochemistry and haematology profiles
  • To have been exposed to a large number of referral equine medical techniques such as:
    • Endoscopy of the upper and lower respiratory tract
    • Gastroscopy
    • Abdominocentesis
    • Abdominal ultrasound
    • Rectal palpation
    • Nasogastric intubation
    • Head Computed Tomography
    • Neurological examination
  • To be able to perform and interpret upper and lower respiratory tract endoscopy, tracheal wash and bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Develop skills of cardiac auscultation
  • To obtain and interpret an ECG
  • Equip students with the skills required to successfully investigate and triage, and be involved in treatment of horses with emergency conditions
  • Develop the student’s professional skills and attributes and clinical competences
  • Give students the opportunity to develop skills of problem solving and clinical reasoning
  • Understand the basics of fluid therapy, select the appropriate rate and type of fluid and evaluate and analyse its effect.
  • Be able to identify and recognise surgical versus medical emergencies and initiate appropriate treatment.
  • Be able to design a treatment plan for cases with complex and multiple morbidities.
  • Be able to evaluate the patient’s progress, create an adjusted treatment plan and evaluate its effect

Teaching details

Journal club 45 min per week, Imaging rounds 30 min per week

Students will be on clinics full-time during the week while on rotation. We expect much of this time will be consolidation of prior undergraduate learning / day one level of competency. Direct contact which contributes to learning new techniques and greater knowledge and understanding while on clinical rotations will be approximately 20 hours a week.

Independent study reading round subject 4 hour/ week

Preparation and writing of Evidence-based review 50 hours

Contact Hours Per Week

Minimum 22 hours/week average direct contact

Student Input

Breakdown of notional total student input (To include number of contact hours, independent learning, assessment, other activities)

This unit will take place over 25 weeks

Contact hours, including MCQ exam 550 hours

Independent study 100 hours

Preparation and writing of Evidence-based review 50 hours

When combined with the second Unit on this PG Diploma it results in a total credit point of 140. This is higher than the standard expectation of 120 and this is justified within the paperwork above.

Assessment Details

Assessment Outline

Clinical competency 4 x mini-CEX or CbD During second half of rotations
Practical skills Reflective log-book Throughout rotations
MCQ 25 questions delivered on-line June
Evidence-based review 1 January

Reading and References

Equine Emergency Care

Equine emergency and critical care

by Louise Southwood and Pamela A Wilkins, Taylor and Francis, ISBN:1840761946

Equine Emergencies

By James A Orsini and Thomas J Divers, Elsevier health Science, ISBN:1455708925

Equine Internal Medicine

Equine Internal Medicine

By Reed, Bayly and Sellon, 3rd ed, Saunders, ISBN:978-1416056706

Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery

By Hinchcliff, Kaneps and Greor, 2nd ed, Saunders, ISBN:0702047716