Module code: VMS3002

Module Overview

This module introduces the student to the concepts of pharmacology, anaesthesiology, surgery and imaging as they are relevant to veterinary practice. The material will be presented on line and the lecture times used as discussion sessions of the more difficult concepts as self-assessed by the students prior to class.  Each area will be supported by practical sessions in the clinical skills lab to allow the students to apply the principles learned. 

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

LANGTON Sean (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: D210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Successful completion of all first and second year BVMSci units

Module content

  1. Principles of Pharmacology

Lectures will introduce the pharmacological theory and the legal regulations underpinning medicines use in veterinary practice. Drug selection and prescribing practice will be reinforced in the practical class.

  1. Principles of anaesthesia

Lectures will describe the pharmacology of anaesthetic, sedative and analgesic drugs, their safe and effective use and perioperative patient management. The clinical skills essential to the practice of anaesthesia will be taught in the practical class.

  1. Imaging in Veterinary medicine:

Lectures will introduce the theory behind imaging practice, provide knowledge of radiation safety and discuss the acquisition, interpretation and reporting of images. Patient positioning, preparation and safe use of xray and ultrasound equipment will be reinforced in a practical class.

  1. Principles of surgery –

Lectures will provide the knowledge unpinning the practice of surgery and discuss the use of surgery in specific situations. The basic clinical skills used in the practice of surgery will be taught in the practical class.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Pass/Fail competencies CLINICAL SKILLS PORTFOLIO (OSCE) Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Practical skills in performing methods learned in the practical sessions

That they have taken full responsible for their own learning

Encourage teamwork and participation in group learning both in the practical sessions,

Content knowledge of general practice fundamentals of safety in the areas above

Content knowledge relating to the principles of the above disciplines

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Supervised On line or in class tests – 20%

Written examination – 80%

Clinical Skills Portfolio (OSCE) – PASS/FAIL

To pass the module, students are required to achieve a weighted aggregate mark of 50% and pass 80% of stations within the clinical skills portfolio

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessments: Instructor and peer assessments 0%


Module aims

  • Prepare the students for the transition to practice in the areas above by giving them practical skills and the theory under pinning the practice.
  • Ensure that they are safe in the operation of ‘basic' imaging (including radiographic, ultrasound and endoscopic) equipment prior to beginning their clinical EMS rotations
  • Ensure that the students will understand how to safely conduct themselves in an operating theatre, use appropriate attire, self-positioning and movements
  • Ensure safe behaviour and operation in the handling of medicines including anaesthetic drugs and associated equipment
  • Ensure that the students understand the regulations relating to the use of medicines (including anaesthetics), their handling, and withdrawal times for production animals. Special consideration of restricted and scheduled drugs and their handling

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate the basic practical skills and theory under pinning the practice of medicine and surgery (including anaesthesia). RCVS KU 1, KU 8, RCVS 30, 32, KCPT
2 Know how to safely operate ‘basic' imaging equipment and apply the principles of radiography, ultrasonography and endoscopy in diagnostic investigations. RCVS 24 KPT
3 Show professional conduct within the operating theatre, using appropriate attire, self-positioning and movements; and create appropriate conditions for the conduct of aseptic and clean procedures. RCVS KU 11, RCVS 30, 31 KCPT
4 Perform suture techniques relevant to the various species RCVS 31 KPT
5 Demonstrate safe behaviour and operation in the handling of medicines (including anaesthetic drugs) and associated equipment. RCVS KU 8, RCVS 28, 29,31. KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 86

Lecture Hours: 37

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide hands on facility in each of the areas of the course

Provide a safe supportive environment to learn these essential skills prior to starting EMS rotations

To ensure that students understand the legal and workplace requirements prior to being placed in a clinical setting

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, flipped classroom, small group sessions, case based scenarios, practical classes using real equipment and theatre setting, models for surgery and anesthesia training, image library for radiology and ultrasound training

  • 3 lecture sessions per week (37 hours), 3 hours practicals average per week (27 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.