Module code: VMS1008

Module Overview

This module will present the structure and function of the sense organs and the endocrine systems in various veterinary species. Cases will underpin the presentation of this material to provide context and integration between the disciplines of anatomy, histology, physiology and embryology. Students will use dissection and laboratory sessions to develop their technical competencies.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

AKTAN Ilknur (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: 117

Lecture Hours: 21

Practical/Performance Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Organs of Special Sense

The basic gross structure of the eye, ear and olfactory systems including development of the eye, ear and olfactory systems.

The cellular structure of the eye, ear and olfactory systems

Anatomical examination of eye and ear

Vision - how the eye sees light and images, photoreception and transmission, visual pathways

Hearing – how sounds are perceived, auditory acuity in various species, sonar use.

Olfaction – how smell is perceived, variations across species, including vomeronasal organ

Structure of the avian, fish and reptilian eye, ear and olfactory systems..

Animal behaviours related to in vision, hearing and smell.  How variation in organs of special sense affect the experience of veterinary species

Clinical signs relating to senses– integration of anatomy and physiology knowledge to deduce what might be observable if function was impaired.

Endocrine Organs

The basic gross anatomy of the major endocrine glands: thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenals, pancreas.

The cellular structure the major endocrine glands: thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenals, pancreas.

Physiology of the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenals, pancreas, including calcium and glucose regulation.

Role of endocrine system in stress and impaired welfare

Clinical signs relating to endocrine function – integration of anatomy and physiology knowledge to deduce what might be observable if function was impaired.



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

Content knowledge   – 100%

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Content knowledge – 100%

Formative assessment

Understanding of the laboratory components via practical reports


Verbal feedback during lectures and practical sessions, during clinical examination practicals and practical report formative assessment session. 

Module aims

  • Students will acquire an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the sense organs and the endocrine system.  Building on their experience of safe handling and restraint of domestic animals in AS1, students will conduct basic clinical examinations that enable them to recognise the range of normal structure and function of these systems. They will be able to understand how sense organs and the endocrine system may impact on animal behaviour and welfare.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a deep understanding of the normal development, structure and function of the organs of special sense and the endocrine systems of veterinary species using didactic and practical dissection and microscopy. (RCVS D1C: 32 and UK 3) KPT HTTPS://ANIMALOWNERS.RCVS.ORG.UK/DOCUMENT-LIBRARY/DAY-ONE-COMPETENCES/
002 Apply structural and functional knowledge of special senses, the endocrine system and the role of nutritional support for these systems as part of a clinical exam of the animal (RCVS D1C: 27, 29, 32, 37, 41 and UK 3, 9) KPT HTTPS://ANIMALOWNERS.RCVS.ORG.UK/DOCUMENT-LIBRARY/DAY-ONE-COMPETENCES/
003 Assess animal behaviour, considering the effects of pain and/or dysfunction of the organs of special sense and the endocrine systems. (RCVS D1C: 34, 37, 41 and UK 3, 9,12) KPT HTTPS://ANIMALOWNERS.RCVS.ORG.UK/DOCUMENT-LIBRARY/DAY-ONE-COMPETENCES/

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:

Pre recorded and face to face lectures, captured content, guided learning with flipped classroom/engagement sessions, practical sessions and small group discussions

Practicals involving dissection, microscopy, clinical examination of various species, applied anatomy and clinical signs of special senses and endocrine system in multiple species.





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: VMS1008

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 2023/4 academic year.