Surrey University Stag


Module code: GCAM013

Module Overview

As the veterinary profession becomes increasingly aware of the "3Rs" (replace, reduce, reuse) and welfare issues, the use of animals in procedures for teaching that are not for their benefit is increasingly hard to justify.  Therefore there is increasing need for better models for teaching technical skills without the use of animals.  

Most complaints made against practicing veterinarians are not due to knowledge or skill levels rather to inadequacies in client communications.  The development of client relationships based on a partnership model for animal care rather than a more paternalistic approach to client interactions means that more emphasis needs to be placed on effective communications with the veterinary client.

The module contains a critical review of the types of models and simulations that can be used in technical skills training without the use of animals.  It also discusses the types of communications training currently used in veterinary schools, methods of implementing this training and goals of the training, and its effectiveness.

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

LYGO-BAKER Simon (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X300

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Seminar Hours: 7

Module Availability

Semester 1

Module content

Technical skills training models:

  • Classification of models from low to high fidelity and why we would use them

  • What is a haptic model? – benefits and disadvantages

  • Surgical training models – use, utility and effectiveness

  • Reproductive training models – use, utility and effectiveness

  • Venepuncture and injection models – use, utility and effectiveness

Communication skills:

  • What is meant by relationship¿centred and paternalistic medicine?

  • What is the importance of four key communication skills: non¿verbal skills, open¿ended enquiry, reflective listening, empathy and recognize relationship-centred and paternalistic communication styles in medicine

  • What are the different types of non¿verbal cues, including kinesics, proxemics, paralanguage and autonomic changes, witnessed in interpersonal interactions

  • Understand the key skills in, and the stages of, the Calgary-Cambridge framework and the order in which they occur


  • Successful teams in a healthcare environment, methods of conflict resolution and core team communication skills

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ONLINE ASSESSMENT 1 (750 WORDS) 20
Coursework ONLINE ASSESSMENT 2 (750 WORDS) 20
Coursework ONLINE ASSESSMENT 3 (750 WORDS) 20
Coursework ONLINE ASSESSMENT 4 (750 WORDS) 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy ensures that students are able to meet all of the learning outcomes. All the assessment tasks are aimed at helping the participants better understand how to apply the principles learned and use of models to their own clinical teaching practice and to reduce the use of animals in teaching.

Summative Assessment

Four Writte Online Assignments – 80%

There will be four assignments. The topics of the assignments will draw on the online seminars from which the participants will have a choice for their assignment submissions. Each assignment will be expected to be about 750 words.

Students will have to choose from a group of assessments that ensures they meet LO1-3, that is, as least one to cover to each Learning Outcome (LO).

Some example of these assessments for the different Learning Outcomes are:


Evaluate and reflect on the use and implementation of any of the following possible tools for technical skills training within your veterinary practice using appropriate criteria:

  • Introduction to technical skills models – haptics, low fidelity, high fidelity

  • Surgical training models

  • Reproductive training models

  • Venepuncture training models



Critically appraise any of the following  communications training methods available for veterinary training and reflect on how this may influence your teaching and learning practice

  • Communications skills – verbal and nonverbal

  • Calgary-Cambridge model of interview

  • Team dynamics and conflict resolution in clinical practice


The assignments will be due in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11 or 13 depending on the topics chosen by the participant, that is, approximately 3 weeks after covering the topic.


Peer Assessment

Active Participation in and contribution to discussion fora assessed by their peers via a rubric (LO2) – 20 %


Module aims

  •    Provide a critical overview of the technical skills training models available for the veterinary student and their effectiveness
  • Review the current use of haptics and simulators in veterinary training
  • Provide an overview of the communications training tools and methods available for veterinary consultation training and their effectiveness

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically evaluate possible tools e.g. haptics and simulators for technical skills training within the veterinary practice using appropriate criteria e.g. the 3Rs KCP
002 Critically appraise the communications training methods available for veterinary training including peer assessment KCPT
003 Critically reflect on how the implementation of possible tools may affect your pedagogical practice KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

  • Online seminars for each major topic above

  • Guided online guided discussion groups after the online seminars and feedback

  • Written submitted assignments on four of the topics of the online seminars and feedback

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: GCAM013

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Higher Education MA 1 Optional 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 2023/4 academic year.