Module code: VMS2008

Module Overview

In this module, students will assimilate and build upon concepts that they have encountered in previous modules including epidemiology, economics and veterinary public health. The topics are inter-related as they are concerned with how veterinary professionals can influence wider society, beyond individual animal owners. The module also considers the responsibilities that society places upon the profession and upon animal keepers, which provide a context for making decisions in the course of veterinary practice. Important animal-human interactions occur in an ever-changing socio-cultural society, which veterinary professionals need to consider in order to tackle One Health issues. The topics studied here provide the foundation for the study of population medicine and the application of veterinary knowledge to One Health issues and food safety.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

EKIRI Abel Bulamu (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

Workshop Hours: 2

Independent Learning Hours: 73.5

Lecture Hours: 26

Seminar Hours: 1.5

Practical/Performance Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 26

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • An introduction to epidemiology

  • Describing health & disease

  • Measures of disease frequency

  • Epidemiological concepts of causation

  • Measures of association

  • Epidemiological study design

  • Hypothesis testing and statistical tests

  • Interpretation of diagnostic tests

  • Introduction to Risk Analysis

Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety:

  • Introduction: The Veterinary Surgeon as the custodian of public health

  • Valuing and protecting the food chain

  • Food safety, HACCP and risk analysis

  • Protecting animal welfare, including transport

  • Principles of biosecurity

  • Animals as food 1: The abattoir

  • Animals as food 2: Manufacturing and retail

  • Animal as food 3: The consumer

  • Foodborne zoonoses and their control

  • Responsible animal ownership and zoonoses, including occupational hazards

  • Policy, practice and regulation (including certification)


  • Animal Health Economics

  • Economic Perspectives on Animal Health

    • Introduction: Is it all about money?

    • Livestock production economics

    • Using economics to make decisions

    • Values and economics – what’s a life worth?

Value Chain

  • Introduction: animals, people and society

  • Introduction in value chain analysis

  • Changes in the value chain and stakeholder management

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Group Presentation 20
Examination PC Lab (Closed Book) MCQ and SAQ Exam Fixed Start Time (2 Hours) 80

Alternative Assessment

Alternative Assessment for the summative group activity will involve an individual presentation on the same topic.  The presentation will take 12 minutes followed by 5 minutes questions.  

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Their ability to assimilate and communicate relevant knowledge, to synthesize knowledge and make recommendations through a group activity

  • Demonstrate awareness and knowledge of essential legal obligations with respect to veterinary public health through a multiple choice question examination 

  • Their content knowledge and ability to synthesise information through a written examination 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 30 minutes Group Activity which will integrate of the various issues learned in the module by producing and discussing an action plan relating to a situation of public health relevance (20%)

  • 2 hour written examination (80%). The exam paper is a combination of MCQ examination and short answer questions. The exam covers Legislative requirements in relation to veterinary public health and food safety, epidemiological principles, basic biostatistics 

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

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative feedback will be provided through verbal feedback in practical sessions and following guided learning exercises. A formative mock exam session will be posted on Surrey Learn halfway through the module.

Furthermore,  the students will be required to write a short text to explain subtle theoretical concepts to their peers. The students will be requested to peer-assess their colleagues 

Module aims

  • Students will be provided with an epidemiological framework that they can apply in understanding why disease occurs and in making decisions on disease prevention control and clinical diagnosis
  • Enable students to utilise economic principles in deciding how limited resources should be allocated
  • Promote the pivotal role of the veterinary profession in the protection of public health including food safety, animal welfare and animal health

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the epidemiological principles when applied to disease causation, prevention, control and clinical diagnosis. K RCVS KU 1, KU 2, KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 1, 3, 4, 13, 14, 17, 19, 43, 45
002 Interpret results from epidemiological and clinical studies C RCVS KU 1, KU 2, KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 31, 45
003 Discuss the role of economics in veterinary practice KC RCVS KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 9, 13,16, 17, 19, 39
004 List the legislation relevant to veterinary public health K RCVS KU7, KU10, KU11, KU12 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 2, 4, 5, 17, 19, 38, 39, 41, 42, 45
005 Discuss the epidemiology, control and prevention of important zoonoses with regard to human health KCP RCVS KU 6, KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 3, 5, 14, 17, 19, 38, 43, 44, 45
006 Explain the principles of veterinary certification , KCP RCVS KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 1, 2, 6, 17, 19, 35, 36, 42
007 Describe the animal value chain and the role and motivations of key stakeholders KPT RCVS KU 4, KU 9, KU 10, KU 11 DAY ONE COMPETENCE 3, 5, 14, 17, 19, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45
008 Engage with a multitude of viewpoints, and develop arguments which nutures the students appreciation of the world around them beyond their immediate context KCT RCVS 17, 18
009 To reflect on how the discipline/topic is impacted by, and impacts, aspects of social and environmental wellbeing, both now and into the future. KPT RCVS 43, 44, 45

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:

Stimulate students to take an epidemiological approach to animal health and disease, especially at the group level (farm, household, etc.)

Students will enhance their critical thinking and ability to evaluate evidence

Promote the recognition of the role of the veterinary profession in safeguarding public health

Students will be introduced to concepts from animal health economics to encourage multi-disciplinary thinking

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, seminars, small workshops & small group discussions, on line library modules

  • Formative peer assessed short writing task

  • Practicals involving computer-based exercises handling data and performing statistical calculations

  • Practicals related to the abattoir environment

    • utilising the School’s clinical skills (large animal) facility to perform “mock” ante-mortem inspections

    • utilising the “live animal” area of the pathology building to evaluate food chain information, movement and transport with respect to delivery of animals for slaughter, observe humane slaughter, practice carcass dressing and meat inspection techniques

  • Practical class on preparing and evaluating a veterinary certificate


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: VMS2008

Other information

The Surrey Framework consist 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.

  • Global and cultural capabilities - Veterinary students will develop intercultural awareness and informed views on global, social and ethical issues related to their discipline. Veterinary students will develop competencies to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds in ways that respects the interests of cultural groups and individual rights. They will develop appreciation of a diversity of cultural experience and ways of relating to others without stereotyping during their professional activities. Teaching activities include a One Health lecture, a culturally diverse teaching team, most are active researchers with international collaborations. Small workshops encourage individual voices to be heard.
  • Digital capabilities - Students will develop and will be able to demonstrate digital capabilities most relevant to the veterinary profession. Including using Jamovi statistical software, using an online peer to peer review process, and powerpoint presentation as a group exercise.
  • 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. Teaching activities include communication and public speaking, critical analysis as groupwork; opportunity to peer review work as a voluntary activity, with assessment activities including group presentation to peers and teachers as summative presentation and SAQ/ MCQ demonstrating core knowledge required for the Veterinary profession.
  • Resourcefulness and resilience - Students will develop independence, agility, reflectiveness, self-awareness, proactivity and self-regulation appropriate for their veterinary professional life. The abbatoir practical allows students to experience significant challenges in a supportive peer environment, peer to peer feedback and mock examination exercises provide multiple opportunities for students to develop.

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, including lectures and practical analysis sessions on food security, economics, value chain analysis, One Health, including the impact of climate change. Abbatoir session, reflection on consumption of meat. Discussion on 3R's in animal research.

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.