Module code: VMS2003

Module Overview

This module introduces the student to the pathology of the integument and alimentary tract, including the infectious disease agents that affect them. Students will learn to recognise the changes to the skin and the alimentary tract seen during disease or invasion by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungal agents. These diseases will be presented in context of One Health and underpinned with clinical case examples introducing clinical pathology results from the various veterinary species.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

CRISOSTOMO Joana (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 64.5

Lecture Hours: 35

Seminar Hours: 1

Practical/Performance Hours: 4.5

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 35

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Pathology of the skin – infectious, inflammatory, dysplastic, degenerative, neoplasia and other tumours and cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease

Pathology of the adnexa and glands

Pathology of the mammary gland

Normal microflora of epidermis and mucosal surfaces

Mucosal Immunity, especially of the gut

Faecal –oral transmission of infectious pathogens of the alimentary tract

Staphylococcus and Streptococcus: Example of important gram-positive pathogenic bacteria of the skin & mammary gland and alimentary tract

Enterobacteriaceae I: Important gram-negative pathogenic bacteria of the skin, mammary gland and alimentary tract

Enterobacteriaceae II: Important gram-negative pathogenic bacteria of the skin, mammary gland and alimentary tract

Campylobacter, Lawsonia and Brachyspira: Other important gram-negative pathogenic bacteria of the alimentary tract, Clostridia

Fungal and yeast diseases of skin and alimentary tract

Dermatophytes: Microsporum, Trichophyton, Epidermophyton



Parasites of the alimentary system: Nematodes – dogs and cats, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Nematodes – ruminants and swine, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Nematodes – horse, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Nematodes – poultry, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Cestodes – dogs and cats, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Cestodes – large animals, life cycle and environmental control

Parasites of the alimentary system: Trematodes, life cycle and environmental control

Anthelminthic drugs and resistance issues


Protozoa – alimentary tract birds (Coccidiosis)

Protozoa – alimentary tract mammals I (Coccidiosis, Giardia, Tritrichomonas)

Protozoa – alimentary tract mammals II (Cryptosporidosis/ Sarcocystosis)

Larva migrans

Arthropods of the alimentary tract and skin “endoparasites”:  Hypoderma and Gasterophilus

Arthropods skin – Ectoparasites – Soft and hard ticks and their role as disease vectors

Arthropods skin – Ectoparasites- mites

Ectoparasites: fleas and lice

Ectoparasites: Nuisance and biting flies, fly strike

Anti-ectoparasite drugs (“pesticide”)  resistance issues

Pathology of the alimentary tract – inflammatory, toxin-related, congenital, degenerative. Disorders of motility

Pathology of the alimentary tract - neoplasia

Viral pathogens of the skin and upper alimentary tract: Pathogenesis of poxvirus infections

Viral pathogens of the gastrointestinal tract: Pathogenesis of rotavirus (dsRNA viruses)


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Practical Report 10
Examination PC Lab Closed Book MCQ and SAQ Exam Fixed Start Time (2 Hours) 90

Alternative Assessment

The alternative assessment for the practical report will involve the preparation of a reflective written report on an area related to the module.

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Record writing ability and understanding and use of terminology

  • Content knowledge of general pathology and infectious and non-infectious disease mechanisms

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Practical report – 10%

  • Examination – 90%

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

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessments: Instructor and peer assessments 0%

Module aims

  •  Introduce the terminology of systemic skin and alimentary tract pathology based on aetiopathogenesis, and gross and microscopic appearance of non infectious, infectious and immune-mediated lesions.
  • Increase the students' ability to describe the abnormal and write a concise report of findings using the appropriate terminology and methods to record findings 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Appreciate the commonality of disease processes across species including concepts of One Health, One Medicine KCPT RCVS 14, 38, 45, KU5, KU10
002 Describe the basic mechanisms of infectious disease and apply acquired foundation knowledge relevant to the skin and alimentary tract KPT RCVS 17, 20, KU1, KU5, KU10
003 Understand what are the causes, development and consequences of infectious and non-infectious disease of the skin and alimentary tract by using the principles of disease: injury, adaptation, inflammation, and repair KPT RCVS 20, 24, 38, KU1, KU5, KU7, KU9, K10
004 Perform sampling methods appropriate to identifying common pathological findings affecting the skin and alimentary tract KCPT RCVS 20, 31, 32, 45, KU7,
005 Recognise and describe infectious disease lesions and agents of the skin and alimentary tract, using appropriate terminology KPT RCVS 17, 20, 38, 45, KU5, KU7,
006 Appreciate the clinical pathological methods and tests used to identify disease of skin and alimentary tract KCPT RCVS 29, 31, 32, 45.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Students will participate in the learning and teaching strategy that is designed to:

  • Provide infectious and non-infectious disease pathology in the context of One Health, One medicine

  • Provide students with the skills to record pathological findings using appropriate terminology

Students will take part in the learning and teaching methods that include:

  • Lectures, flipped classroom, small group sessions, practical classes using microscopy and anatomic pathologic specimens

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: VMS2003

Other information

The Surrey Framework consist of the attributes: employability, global and cultural capabilities, digital capabilities, sustainability and resourcefulness and resilience. This module incudes the following key topics which further develop one or more of the attributes as indicated.

  • Employability - Each veterinary student will develop a set of individual, interpersonal, and professional skills, which are relevant to their veterinary profession, veterinary career ambitions, and employability.
  • Resourcefulness and resilience - Students will develop independence, agility, reflectiveness, self-awareness, proactivity and self-regulation appropriate for their veterinary professional life.
  • Sustainability - Veterinary students will develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes needed to work, live and lead in a way that meets current needs of the profession without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


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 2024/5 academic year.