Module code: MMVM006

Module Overview

This module will involve three separate weeks of activity, including a one week visit to the APHA, a one week visit to the Pirbright Institute and a series of one day visits to include the VMD, PHE and a commercial livestock farm.  Students will also have the opportunity to visit national and international disease reference laboratories (Pirbright and APHA) and gain an understanding of the biosecurity required to work with notifiable animal pathogens. The visits to Pirbright and APHA will also provide basic training in molecular biology for the diagnosis and monitoring of important animal and zoonotic pathogens.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

PRADA Joaquin (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C522

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

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 25

Workshop Hours: 15

Independent Learning Hours: 40

Laboratory Hours: 70

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module is organised as 3 weeks spend in external organisations. Content covered:

-       The role of research and government organisations in food security and disease surveillance and control

-       Role of reference laboratories

-       Controlling disease outbreaks

-       Practical day-to-day laboratory techniques such as PCR, ELISA, Bioimaging

-       Disadvantages and Advantages of diagnostic and research techniques

-       Understanding biosecurity for laboratories as well as in the food supply chain

-       Requirements to work in high containment facilities and handle high risk pathogens 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

The alternative assessment for the group poster presentation will be an individual presentation.

Assessment Strategy

(i)    Coursework Visit Report (1500 Words)

(ii) Poster preparation and presentation – assigned as pairs or individual with presentation time adjusted pro rata. As team presentation of poster for 15 minutes plus 10 minutes questioning

If pair assignment: Students will receive individual marks if pair assignment highlights obvious qualitative difference between participants.

Module aims

  • To provide a good understanding of the importance and principles of Biosafety and High Containment Laboratories
  • To provide an understanding of what is  “Good microbiological/ laboratory practice”
  • To provide an understanding of all the different disciplines involved in Veterinary microbiology research
  • To provide an overview of the research and Reference laboratories within a Veterinary Institute
  • To provide an opportunity for hands-on practical experience in commonly used laboratory methods
  • To provide an understanding of the role of the VMD in monitoring antimicrobial use and resistance
  • To provide an overview of the structure of the intensive farming sector (Biosecurity, health plans etc.)
  • To provide an overview of the role of the PHE in investigating and controlling zoonotic infections
  • To provide an overview of the structure and function of a commercial abattoir
  • To provide an overview of microbiology related government policy issues.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate an adequate understanding of the need for rigorous bio safety procedures and good laboratory practice in Virology laboratories K
2 Demonstrate an adequate understanding of a range of commonly used laboratory methods K
3 Critically assess the advantages and disadvantages of different methods employed to answer scientific question K
4 Demonstrate an adequate knowledge about the importance, role, strength and limitations of Reference laboratories in infectious disease control K
5 Demonstrate an understanding of possible future career pathways open to science graduates especially from a Veterinary Infectious Disease background K
6 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the VMD in monitoring antimicrobial use and resistance K
7 Understand the structure of an intensive farming sector ( e.g. Poultry, pig) (Biosecurity, health plans etc.) K
8 Understand the role of the PHE in investigating and controlling zoonotic infections K
9 Understand how a commercial abattoir functions K
10 To understand the basic concepts of government policy related to veterinary microbiology. K
11 Evaluate the suitability and quality of diagnostic tests for infectious disease control C
12 Evaluate laboratory methods for their strengths and weaknesses C
13 Evaluate critically the material and methods sections in scientific publications C
14 Work independently demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management T
15 Communicate effectively orally and work well practically in a team T
16 Participate in group discussions and on group assignments T
17 Investigate and analyse problems T
18 Integrate numerical & non-numerical information T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The entire module is delivered in a practical approach where the students will visit partner organisation and be integrated into their day-to day working. During their visits the students will be able to practically carry out specific laboratory diagnostic and research technologies which will be placed into context in tutorials and a few lectures. Additionally some organisations will be visited for 1 day of discussion groups and tutorials supplemented by few lectures.

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: MMVM006

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Microbiology MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.