Module code: VMS3010

Module Overview

This module will prepare students to topic pertinent to veterinary practice such as of pharmacology, anaesthesiology, surgery and imaging. This module also presents the clinical conditions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems across the species, the means of their diagnosis and their therapy both with medical and surgical interventions. By presenting conditions across the species, the commonality of disease process and similarities of therapies are illustrated. The species specific therapies will also be highlighted.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 293

Lecture Hours: 112

Seminar Hours: 3

Practical/Performance Hours: 16

Guided Learning: 16

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

• Principles of Pharmacology

Lectures will introduce students to pharmacological theory and the legal regulations underpinning medicines use in veterinary practice.

• Principles of Anaesthesia

Lectures will describe the pharmacology of anaesthetic, sedative and analgesic drugs, their safe and effective use and perioperative patient management. The clinical skills essential to the practice of anaesthesia will be taught to students in the practical class.

• Principles of Imaging

Lectures will introduce students to the theory behind imaging practice. It will ensure students have a knowledge of radiation safety and discuss the acquisition, interpretation and reporting of images. Patient positioning, preparation and safe use of xray and ultrasound equipment will be reinforced in a practical class.

• Principles of Surgery

Lectures will provide students with the knowledge unpinning the practice of surgery and discuss the use of surgery in specific situations. The basic clinical skills used in the practice of surgery will be taught to students in the practical class.

• Integumentary system

Lectures will introduce students to the approach to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of dermatological conditions. The clinical skills associated with dermatological examination and management of dermatological cases will be taught to students in the practical classes.

• Alimentary system

Lectures will introduce to the approach to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of alimentary conditions. Diagnostic and interventional techniques related to the alimentary tract (including small animal and equine dentistry) will be taught to students in the practical classes.

• Cardiovascular and Respiratory systems

Lectures will introduce students to the approach to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Assessment of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and clinical skills related to cardiorespiratory medical and surgical interventions will be taught to students in the practical classes.

• Musculoskeletal system

Lectures will introduce students to the approach to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. Clinical examination of the musculoskeletal system, including lameness assessment will be taught alongside clinical skills related to further diagnosis and treatment in this area

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Portfolio Pass/Fail
Examination PC Lab (Closed Book) SAQ Exam Fixed Start Time (120 Minutes) 70
Examination PC Lab (Closed Book) MCQ Exam Fixed Start Time (90 Minutes) 30

Alternative Assessment

Grand-rounds - watch the recordings of the presentations delivered in semester and submit a written reflection on the presentation about the case that student worked on (maximum 500 words). 

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Practical skills

  • That they have taken full responsible for their own learning

  • Teamwork and participation in group learning both in the practical sessions and group presentations

  • Content knowledge relating to the subject areas of module units

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Portfolio (addresses learning outcomes 1-10) – PASS/FAIL

  • Written Examination: Short Answer Questions – (addresses learning outcomes 1-10) 70% (120 minutes)

  • Written Examination: Multiple Choice Questions (addresses learning outcomes 1-10) – 30% (90 minutes)

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

To pass the module students are required to achieve a weighted aggregate mark of 50% in the Written Examinations and obtain a pass in the Portfolio.

In order to obtain a pass in the Portfolio students must complete all of the following elements:

  • Clinical Skills Log (completion of peer led clinical skills log)

  • Anaesthesia and Surgery Online Learning (completion of self paced online learning)

  • Clinical Record Writing (submission of written work and completion of peer feedback on the submission of another student)

  • In Class Test (completion of formative online MCQ test)

  • Grand Rounds (submission of group work and attendance at presentations)

  • Clinical Examination Assessment (pass both the equine examination pass/fail assessment and ruminant examination pass/fail assessment)


Students receive verbal feedback in small group teaching, following case presentation, in one to one discussions and during practical sessions. Written feedback is when portfolio tasks are completed, such as In Class Test. Students received individualised verbal feedback after clinical examination assessments

Module aims

  • Prepare students for the transition to practice in the areas described above by giving them practical skills and the theory under pinning veterinary practice.
  • Ensure students are safe in the operation of basic imaging equipment prior to beginning their clinical EMS
  • Ensure students will understand how to safely conduct themselves in an operating theatre, use appropriate attire, self-positioning and movements
  • Ensure students can demonstrate safe behaviour and operation in the handling of medicines including anaesthetic drugs and associated equipment
  • Give students the skills to diagnose, treat and give a prognosis for diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems in equine, production, companion animal and non-traditional companion animal species
  • Introduce students to the therapeutic drugs used for conditions affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems.
  • Introduce students to the basic surgical treatments for common conditions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate the basic practical skills and theory under pinning the practice of medicine and surgery (including anaesthesia). KCPT RCVS 17, 20, 25, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34
002 Know how to safely operate basic imaging equipment and apply the principles of radiography, ultrasonography and endoscopy in diagnostic investigations. KPT RCVS 16, 32, 44
003 Show professional conduct within the operating theatre, using appropriate attire, self-positioning and movements; and create appropriate conditions for the conduct of aseptic and clean procedures. KCPT RCVS 16, 28
004 Perform suture techniques relevant to the various species. KPT RCVS 28
005 Demonstrate safe behaviour and operation in the handling of medicines (including anaesthetic drugs) and associated equipment. KPT RCVS 1, 7, 8, 33
006 Apply core structure, function and pathophysiological knowledge to common clinical scenarios of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems. KT RCVS 22, 23, 29, 31, 32, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43
007 Establish a holistic clinical approach to animals with cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary system disorders, including integration of detailed system-specific examinations. KCPT RCVS 17, 22, 29, 30
008 Assess the different clinical presentations associated with conditions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems and formulate differential diagnoses. CPT RCVS 13, 20, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 37
009 Develop knowledge and technical skills appropriate to the investigation of cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary disorders and apply clinical reasoning to perform a diagnosis and assess diagnostic and prognostic indicators. KCPT RCVS 13, 14, 27, 29, 31, 32
010 Recommend appropriate medical and surgical interventions in the management and treatment of conditions affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems and determine control measures appropriate to disease prevention. KPT RCVS 9, 13, 14, 20, 23, 30, 35, 43

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:

• Provide students hands on facility in each of the areas of the course

• Provide a students with a safe supportive environment to learn these essential skills prior to starting EMS

• Ensure that students understand the legal and workplace requirements prior to being placed in a clinical setting

• Provide students with deep understanding of the clinical conditions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, integumentary and alimentary systems – the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

• Highlight the similarities of the disease processes across the species and allow the concept of One Health – One Medicine to be considered for some conditions.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures, flipped classroom, small group sessions, engagement sessions, case based scenarios, virtual learning material, cadaver specimens, practical classes using real and simulated equipment, models, image video and audio libraries and live animal examination

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: VMS3010

Other information

The School of Veterinary Medicine is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas: 


This module fosters the development of a range of non-technical graduate attributes which are integral to the “RCVS Day One competences”, highly valued by veterinary employers and of direct importance to a successful veterinary career.  

Learning across the topics within this module (including lifelong learning, reflective practice, working in teams, assessing evidence from the literature, self-care and stress management, communication skills, professionalism, veterinary ethics and acting on feedback) draws on typical real-life veterinary examples and prepare students for the world of work.  

Through team-based practical sessions, students are able to develop critical thinking, cultural awareness, communication skills, decision-making, collaboration and leadership.Portfolio tasks and the assessment strategy require students to demonstrate reflective skills, research and presentation skills, use of digital tools and application of knowledge acquired across the topics within the context of work in the veterinary industry.    

Digital Capabilities:  

Throughout the module, students are required to utilize digital technology, including by the creation of and contribution to shared documents in practical group work, use of the Aropä web-based peer-review system, accessing the library databases for literature evaluation, by an introduction to the use of referencing software and in creating presentation materials and utilizing video-recording software as part of the module assessment.   

Global and Cultural Capabilities: 

The University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine qualification is recognized, not only by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), but also by veterinary regulatory bodies in other countries and regions, thus enabling our graduates opportunities to work internationally and in culturally diverse environments. Furthermore, even working locally, both the veterinary profession and its stakeholders, including the client base, represents great diversity. Finally, the profession operates within the context of One Health considerations, global mobility (including pet, livestock and food import and export) and veterinary public health issues. Gaining global and cultural awareness is therefore essential.  

Within this module, decision-making tasks and group assignments during practical directed study sessions provide opportunities to collaborate, communicate and build relationships with people from different backgrounds, reflecting on different experiences and adapting norms and belief systems. 

Resourcefulness and Resilience: 

This module teaches and encourages reflective engagement, collaboration and active learning through online, supported self-learning, active learning workshops and group practicals, self-directed activities and reflective exercises. Portfolio activities and assessments challenge and stretch students and are geared towards promoting resourcefulness and resilience.  

Through opportunities to self-evaluate and reflect on their own performance and that of their peers (for example in formative assessments and portfolio tasks), students are able to build self-efficacy and confidence by learning from experience (including from “feed forward” interactions and reflections following “failures”). The portfolio asset is formed of small low stakes opportunities for students to 'fail' and learn from experience.  Students are guided to optimize feedback opportunities, to reflect thoughtfully and in a structured manner on learning and experiences, and to respond flexibly to challenges throughout the module, thus enhancing their resilience and resourcefulness.


This module take a one health approach and students are able to build a 'bigger picture' concept of the role veterinary professionals have in the wider community.

Students have the opportunity to explore pharmacology which gives them an opportunity to learn and reflect on the importance of responsible use of medicines, in particular, antimicrobials.


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A 50% weighted aggregate with one or more units of assessments having to be passed at 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.