Module code: BMS3074

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide students with a greater understanding of the scientific basis behind approaches to control animal infectious diseases that impact human health and safety. This involves detailed knowledge of the pathogen, its transmission routes, the host response to infection, realistic treatment and control measures, and its impact on other animals and/or the human population.  As a FHEQ level 6 module, the students are expected to integrate and evaluate the importance of different types of information in order to generate an informed (and evidence-based) opinion about the problems or potential impacts of animal infectious diseases.  The outcomes from this module closely align with those of the Degree Programme, and enable the further study of “specific aspects of veterinary sciences and the[ir] interplay with human health.”

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

SELEMETAS Nick (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 112

Lecture Hours: 32

Seminar Hours: 4

Tutorial Hours: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS2037 Cellular Microbiology and Virology OR BMS2041 Food Microbiology: The Micro Flora of Food AND BMS2045 Introduction to Immunology

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Concept of Veterinary Public Health: Zoonotic infectious diseases

  • Foodborne pathogens including Escherichia coli, Salmonellosis, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes

  • Gastrointestinal disease: causes and mechanisms for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae

  • Respiratory pathogens including Mycobacterium bovis, Infectious Bronchitis virus, Avian influenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica and Rhodococcus equi

  • Pathogens affecting the skin and/or oral cavity including Microsporum and Trichophyton (Ring worm), Foot-and-mouth disease virus and Bluetongue virus

  • Pathogens affecting the reproductive tract including bovine Leptospirosis, Chlamydophilia abortus & Toxoplasma gondii

  • Neurological pathogens including Rabies and Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE)

  • Other diseases: Classical swine fever (pestivirus), Echinococcus granulosus, Trichenella spiralis and Toxocara canis


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION (POSTER FORMAT) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the complex issues faced by researchers, regulators and the public during animal infectious disease outbreaks. The group presentation involves the students assimilating information about the pathogen, how it causes disease, the routes of transmission, any control or treatment methods, and its potential impact on public health or the safety of our food chain. The final exam requires detailed understanding of a range of topics relevant to key animal pathogens, and requires the students to present their thoughts in a logical and evidence-based manner.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Group presentation - Week 36 (poster format - assessment is based on poster content, style and the ability of members of the group to answer questions) (30%). Topics are set early in the module and posters presented before revision week to allow any feedback given to inform student’s preparation for the final exams.

·         Final exam (3 essay questions: 1 general question on vet public health and 2 more questions from a choice of 2 each , in 2 hours) (70%). Choice from 2 sections: bacterial infectious diseases and viral infectious diseases.

Formative assessment and feedback

All the lecturers on this module provide students with an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with them in order to assess their own understanding of the lecture material.  The students are actively encouraged to make use of these opportunities by the Module organiser and the University lecturers who teach at the start of the module. Following the group presentation assessment , more detailed and individual feedback is given to students on how they approach learning and interact with the lecturers and course material.  Much of this information informs their professional development as well as their knowledge base.

Module aims

  • Provide an overview of infectious diseases of veterinary importance
  • Provide an overview of veterinary measures used to ensure public health and food safety in relation to animal infectious diseases

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the main infectious agents of veterinary importance and their mechanisms of pathogenesis. KC
002 Discuss how infectious agents of veterinary importance may be controlled and diagnosed KC
003 Describe the infectious disease of animals that may be transmitted to humans (zoonoses) K
004 Understand host-pathogen interactions that lead to disease pathology for a number of model animal infectious diseases KC
005 Understand how current legislation impacts public health and safety in relation to animal infectious diseases. KC
006 Evaluate considerations relating to animal-specific anatomy C
007 Evaluate considerations relating to animal handling C
008 Work independently demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management PT
009 Communicate effectively orally and in written work PT
010 Participate in group discussions and on group assignments PT
011 Investigate and analyse problems CPT
012 Integrate numerical & non-numerical information CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: expose students to cutting- edge and topical issues faced by researchers working in animal infectious disease research and public health. This module uses research-active lecturers (both internal and external to the University), who not only are leading experts in their chosen field but also bring a ‘hands-on’ view of working within the practical and regulatory confines of the industry (taught classes). By keeping class sizes small and the lectures fairly informal, the students have a chance to fully engage in a dialogue with the lecturers. The students will have an opportunity to assess and evaluate the potential risk posed by one key pathogen not covered by the lecture series and present this work to their peers and University of Surrey lecturers (directed study).  Thus, on completion of this module, the students will have a detailed understanding of the problems and considerations faced by countries following an animal infectious disease outbreak.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• 2 x 2 hour lecture per week for 8 weeks
• 1 x 2 hour group presentation for 2 weeks
• 2 x 2 hour feedback sessions

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3074

Other information

Overall student workload: 32 lecture hours, 4 seminar hours (poster presentations), 2 tutorial hours and 112 independent study hours

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Microbiology (Medical) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biotechnology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Microbiology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2019/0 academic year.