Module code: VMS1002

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to a range of topics, also known as non-technical graduate attributes and informed by the “RCVS Day One competences”, which are essential to a successful veterinary career. These topics include: lifelong learning, working in teams, assessing evidence from the literature, self-care and stress management, communication skills, professionalism, professional ethics and acting on feedback. Teaching and learning is through online, supported self-learning, active learning workshops, self-directed activities and reflective exercises.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

QUEENAN Retha (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: 19

Independent Learning Hours: 70

Seminar Hours: 9

Practical/Performance Hours: 32

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Stress recognition and self-management, when and where to seek help and / or advice

Time management and resources available to help

Critical thinking and literature evaluation, levels of evidence

Evaluation of evidence – library modules, avoiding plagiarism, SPLASH modules

Overview of the vet profession and career options

Career success and goal setting

What is a veterinary professional? Development of a professional identity

RCVS Vet ethics and certification guidelines

Social media and professionalism including email etiquette

Core Communication: skills: empathy, reflective listening, nonverbal cues and open-ended enquiry.

Calgary Cambridge model of communication plus concepts of relationship centredness: shared understanding, shared decision-making.

Scientific practice, lifelong learning, value of research

Principles of feedback

Ethical frameworks

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PORTFOLIO Pass/Fail
Oral exam or presentation INDIVIDUAL ONLINE PRESENTATION 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

Learned methods of personal reflection

Learned ability to research a topic, critically evaluate their research and develop their academic writing skills

Learned ability to develop communication skills

Development of habits showing responsibility for their own learning outcomes and time management.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Portfolio PASS/FAIL

Individual presentation – 20%

Written examination (Two hours duration) – 80%

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment and feedback available on reflective portfolio and presentation technique

Feedback given during communication workshops 

Feedback on pre-class MCQs, and during all active workshops

Module aims

  • This module aims to support learners in developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for success and well-being in a career in veterinary medicine. It introduces the student to the concept of 'professionalism' and the responsibilities that flow from this and emphasises the importance of teamwork and effective communication skills.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss reflective learning theory and the meaning of reflective practice and describe its importance to a veterinary professional in becoming a "life-long learner" KCPT RCVS 1, RCVS 5, RCVS 11, RCVS 12, RCVS 14
002 Discuss techniques to aid learning, potential challenges to learning and ways to overcome roadblocks to learning KCPT RCVS 5, RCVS 11, RCVS 14
003 Describe and be able to demonstrate ability to research a clinical question, critically evaluate information resources obtained and explain how the the information found can be used ethically. KCPT RCVS 3, RCVS 5, RCVS 11 KU 2
004 Discuss the five principles of practice and professional responsibilities as listed in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct KCP RCVS 1 RCVS 6 RCVS 10 RCVS 11 RCVS 20 RCVS 26
005 Explain major categories of ethical frameworks and the relevance of ethics to the veterinary professional KCP RCVS 2, RCVS 45 KU12
006 Demonstrate effective presentation techniques and an ability to explain complex information to a lay audience CP RCVS 17 RCVS 20
007 Discuss the skills required for effective communication with reference to the Calgary-Cambridge guide and demonstrate the ability to take a history from an owner KCPT RCVS 17 RCVS 22 KU 11
008 Describe what factors can contribute to stress in the veterinary profession, what coping strategies there are and describe what mental health and wellbeing support is available to undergraduate veterinary students if required. KCPT RCVS 9 RCVS 10 RCVS 13
009 Describe theoretical aspects of team formation, why teamwork is important and demonstrate ability to participate in group situations KCPT RCVS 1 RCVS 19 KU 11
010 Discuss the importance of career planning and describe career opportunities available to veterinary graduates K RCVS 14

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:

The module will introduce the veterinary profession and give the student tools to enable them to deal with some of the personal and financial stresses that accompany veterinary training. As well the student will gain insight into accessing the literature and assessing evidence to help in their problem-based learning in other subjects and as a basis for practising evidence based-decision making.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Flipped classroom workshops 

Workshops for communications, and

Use of simulations for communications training

Online modules on information and study techniques via the library Splash resource

Self-directed study to encourage reflection and experiential learning

Seminars to encourage presentation and defence of opinions

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: VMS1002

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons) 1 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 2023/4 academic year.