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: 86

Lecture Hours: 21

Practical/Performance Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 21

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Organs of Special Sense

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

Anatomical examination of eye and ear

Vision - how the eye sees light and images, photo reception 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 and the microanatomy of 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
Examination PC Lab Closed Book MCQ and SAQ Exam Fixed Start Time (2 Hours) 100

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.

Content knowledge   – 100%

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Content knowledge examination (2 hours)– 100%

(Exam Units are onsite closed-booked invigilated fixed-time assessments. They are delivered through SurreyLearn using campus PC Labs)

Formative assessment and Feedback

Verbal feedback during lectures and practical sessions, during Topographical and Applied anatomy sessions

Understanding of the laboratory components via practical report.

Module aims

  • Provide students with an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the sense organs and the endocrine system.
  • Enable students to build upon their experience of safe handling and restraint of domestic animals by conducting basic clinical examinations that allow them to recognise the range of normal structure and function of these systems.
  • Provide students with an understanding of 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. KPT RCVS D1C: 32 AND UK 3
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. KPT RCVS D1C: 27, 29, 32, 37, 41 AND UK 3, 9
003 Assess animal behaviour, considering the effects of pain and/or dysfunction of the organs of special sense and the endocrine systems. KPT RCVS D1C: 34, 37, 41 AND UK 3, 9,12

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 and handling of prepared specimens.

Encourage students to integrate their knowledge across multiple body systems.

Initiate students’ physical examination skills by introducing  Topographical and Applied anatomy practicals by species in collaboration with the other structure and function modules.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, flipped classroom, small group discussions during practicals

Practicals involving dissection, prosection, microscopy, clinical examination of various species, Topographical and Applied anatomy sessions 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

Other information

The Surrey Framework consists of the attributes: employability, global and cultural capabilities, digital capabilities, sustainability and resourcefulness and resilience. This module includes the following key topics which further develop one or more of the attributes as indicated. We will seek to maximize the use of technology by using iPads during practicals and embracing other digital learning opportunities such as xerte and poll everywhere. 

 The practical sessions especially, Anatomy and Topographical and Applied anatomy sessions will provide students with the opportunity to work together in groups of approximately 6 to develop their resourcefulness and resilience in working together the learning objectives of the session and communicating in a clear way with their peers.

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 2024/5 academic year.