Module code: VMS1007

Module Overview

The urological system plays a key role in excretion and homeostasis. This module aims to introduce the structure and function of the urological and reproductive systems and how they vary across the veterinary species. This module will combine lecture-based learning and practical sessions. Students will understand how a healthy reproductive system allows an animal to express normal behaviour. 

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

REGNAULT Sophie (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 27

Practical/Performance Hours: 16

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content





Introduction to the organs of the urological systems – species comparison

Dissection of the urological system: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, ureters, urethra. To include species comparisons.


Ultrasound and radiographic images of the urinary tract



Innervation and vascularisation of the urinary system including the nephron



Anatomy of urological system birds, fish and reptiles

Dissection of poultry in juvenile, layer, rooster and a reptilian representative species



Introduction to the organs of the male reproductive systems – species comparison

Male reproductive system: dissection of testicle, penis, vas deferens, accessary sexual glands, comparison between species




Introduction to the organs of the female reproductive systems – species comparison

Female reproductive system

Vaginal tract, uterus, tubes, ovary and development of follicles- comparison between species



Microanatomy of the urinogenital tract

Practical examining histology of the urogenital tract

Physiology and Endocrinology


Regulation of excretory function


Urinalysis (specific gravity, microscopy, dipsticks)




Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and the functions that affect it.



Filtration – components & functions.


Regulation of H2O and Na/K balance.


The role of NaCl in extracellular fluid volume regulation.


NaCl and H2O reabsorption in the proximal tubule, the loop of Henle and the distal convoluted tubule.


Introduction to the influence of drugs on the kidney and its ability to conserve water and electrolytes.


How growth, pregnancy, lactation andrenal failure influence the regulation of Ca/Mg/PO4


The process of micturition: Detrusor and micturition reflexes, neurological control



Overview of gametogenesis and regulation of gonadal cycles



Comparative physiology of the female reproductive tract: oestrus cycle, ovulation, corpus luteum, folliculogenesis

Assessment of adult animals (different species) for breeding suitability – body condition scoring, palpation of male reproductive organs  


Comparative physiology of the male reproductive tract: libido, erection and ejaculation

Rectal examination cattle- haptic cow, cadaver material of different ovaries and follicles

Pregnancy diagnostics

Rectal examination horse, haptic horse – organ examination, fertility and pregnancy


Copulation and fertilisation


Physiology of pregnancy


Vaginal examination, insertion of a speculum


Parturition and looking at ultrasound images of the reproductive tract

Ultrasonic examination for fertility – different species

Fertility and pregnancy


Reproduction in birds, fish and reptiles




Embryo development and placentation


Oestrus cycle synchronisation, superovulation, Artificial insemination


Development of the female reproductive system



Development of the male reproductive system

Semen analysis


Biosynthesis of sexual hormones



Introduction to clinical examination reproductive system



Behaviour of animals in season, breeding age (male), pregnancy



Population medicine: Production of food animals



Nutrition of breeding animals for different physiological states


Self-directed study on lambing procedures and techniques
Lambing Practical 



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment STEEPLECHASE 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the laboratory components, content knowledge and integration of the various components of practical materials.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Content knowledge examination – 60%

Integration of the various practical components via Steeplechase – 40%

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback in practical sessions

Verbal feedback during clinical examination practicals

There will be a formative practical report

Module aims

  • To describe development of the reproductive and urological systems.
  • Provide an understanding of the comparative gross anatomical and histological structure of the urological and reproductive systems.
  • To provide an overview of the way in which the urinary system participates in homeostasis and excretion.
  • To understand the importance of reproduction in animal production systems.
  • To understand the importance of reproduction in normal animal behavior and social interaction with other animals and human beings.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe the development, micro- and gross anatomy of the urological and reproductive systems in mammals and birds, reptiles RCVS B1.1, B1.4 KPT
2 Describe species variations in the gross anatomy and histology of the urinogenital systems (RCVS B1.1, B1.4, C1.3)
3 Describe the role of the urological system in excretion and homeostasis and perform urinalysis RCVS B1.1, B1.4, C1. 6 KPT
4 Understand the process of micturition and perform urinalysis RCVS B1. 1, B1. 4, C1. 6 KPT
5 Interpret radiographic and ultrasonographic images of the urinogenital system and associated structures RCVS C1.7 KPT
6 To demonstrate an understanding of the healthy, normal structure, function and the role of nutrition in the regulation of the reproductive system of the various veterinary species.  RCVS B1.1, B1.4, C1.3, C1.7  KPT

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:

Enhance the students technical skills using dissection practicals

Enhance the students technical skills by microscopy practicals

Initiate the students physical examination skills by introducing Clinical Examination practicals



The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, flipped classroom, small group discussions,

Practicals involving dissection, microscopy, review of radiographic and ultrasound images, nutrition practical, clinical examination of various species

27 hours lectures, 17 practical hours

2-3 lectures per week and 2-3 hours practical per week


The learning and teaching methods include:

·         Lectures 27 hours

·         Practical session both lab, workshop and clinical 17 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: VMS1007

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons) 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.