Module code: VMS4004

Module Overview

Students will develop their understanding of the repercussions of animal health, beyond the individual animal or enterprise to the sector, regional, national and global levels. They will further their knowledge of the responsibility of the veterinary profession in relation to the interactions between animals and human society. This will equip them to participate and lead in multi-disciplinary approaches to preventive veterinary medicine. The module will include encouraging debate on contemporary issues such as the emergence of new infectious disease, the contribution of livestock to climate change, food security and the global population and the alleviation of poverty. The focus will equally be upon the impact on animal welfare and human wellbeing. It will encompass the role of international surveillance of animal health to detect new threats to animal or human wellbeing.  Our students will be able to provide rational and scientific evidence to address global one health issues. In doing so, our students will be instilled with the concepts behind the “One Health” philosophy: “To diminish the risk and minimize the global impact of epidemics and pandemics due to emerging infectious disease …… improving public health, food safety and security and the livelihoods of poor farming communities as well as protecting the health of ecosystems”. During the module, students will learn about the role of Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations in influencing and implementing policy.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

BETSON Martha (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5


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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 38

Independent Learning Hours: 88

Lecture Hours: 20

Practical/Performance Hours: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Animals, trade, people and welfare – the economic drivers behind globalisation

  • Food security and population growth

  • Climate change and animals

  • The role of animals in sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation

  • One Health:

    • Measuring global health and detecting emerging threats, including antimicrobial resistance

    • Seeking integrated solutions

    • Evaluating outcomes

  • Leadership and influence: who decides and what is the role of the veterinary profession?

  • Starting at home: contentious issues in Europe today

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessment for Written Group Report will be an Individual written piece of work

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Their ability to evaluate evidence and debate contemporary issues

  • The analysis and interpretation of surveillance data

  • Group working and writing ability plus the ability to synthesis knowledge and make recommendations through a report

  • The formulation of a rational strategy to address a current contentious issue

  • Their understanding of the global risks from the emergence of new threats to animal and human health through a written essay

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Written Group report (20%)

  • Written examination  (80%) 2 hour

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative feedback will be provided through verbal feedback in practical sessions and following guided learning exercises with summative self-assessment exercises

Module aims

  • Challenge students to confront contemporary issues from their professional role
  • Stimulate self-directed research across various media for evidence on selected topics
  • Encourage students to use reasoned argument to debate issues in groups and achieve a consensus
  • Appreciate the diversity of views amongst stakeholders concerning a topic and develop an awareness of how these groups may either seek to influence others or respond to such external influences
  • Express authoritative views in a cogent manner for different and non-specialist audiences in a professional manner
  • Engender a trans-disciplinary approach to decision-making in these areas

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 LO 7.23 Appreciate the framework and regulations that govern the safe international trade in animals and animal products and the role of organisations including the World Trade Organisation and the OIE in developing these regulations KCPT
002 LO 7.24 Design, conduct and evaluate the results from a literature search for a contemporary issue, including peer reveiwed and grey literature KCPT
003 LO 7.25 Analyse surveillance data, including the identification and description of sources of bias KCPT
004 LO 7.26 Debate contentious issues in a rational and professional manner, including with others who may take extreme positions KCPT
005 LO 7.27 Develop influencing skills that are compatible with an evidence-based, welfare conscious and professional approach that can be employed to shape policy and decision-making KCPT

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:

Promote independent learning and the assimilation of evidence to form judgements in the face of contentious and complex problems. Develop team-working skills where a negotiated consensus is created from differing viewpoints. Evaluate evidence and present influential arguments. Create an awareness of and respect for the opinions of others, including those from a non-scientific background. Encourage students to consider the One Health impact of their decisions in their professional lives.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, seminars & small group discussion

  • Self-directed learning including literature reviews and group debate on contentious issues

  • Practicals involving computer-based exercises, handling and evaluating data and surveillance evidence

  • Student-led discussions, including interactions with students in other countries

  • There are a total of 30 hours of lectures, seminars and small group discussions, 30 hours of practicals and 90 hours of guided study. The module will include invitations to visitors, including people from Government and NGO’s and will aim to build upon the School’s international links.

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: VMS4004

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.