Module code: VMS1001

Module Overview

This module will present core knowledge and skills in the husbandry and handling of dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and horses. Students will gain insight into why we keep animals and the use or purpose of these animal species and the UK and global industries. They will acquire basic theoretical and practical knowledge of the safe handling and restraint of core animal species, whilst considering biosecurity measures. Students will develop a basic knowledge of normal animal behaviour, ethics, welfare and nutrition and a detailed knowledge of animal husbandry focusing on processes, outcomes and audits.

The course will include practicals on animal handling, including personal protection equipment and husbandry audits.  

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

LINGARD Esther (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

Independent Learning Hours: 76

Lecture Hours: 25

Seminar Hours: 2

Practical/Performance Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 25

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  1. Animals in society and the human animal bond

  2. Principles of animal welfare, behaviour and ethics

  3. Husbandry systems – including the environmental, nutritional and welfare needs of animals

  4. Animal industries – to include cattle, sheep, dog, cat and horse industries in the UK

  5. Handling and restraint of animals taking accounting for behaviour and welfare

  6. Assessment of behaviour and welfare  of animals in various husbandry systems

  7. Biosecurity, personal hygiene and personal protective equipment



Animal Practicals for handling, husbandry (including welfare and behaviour): These will done using the animal handling facilities at the vet school and also off campus visits to various locations. This will involve transporting the students venues by bus where the students will have the opportunity to gain experience in the core species that they will encounter in first opinion practice.  


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Portfolio Pass/Fail
Coursework Husbandry Audit Report (1500 Words) 30
Examination PC Lab (Closed Book) MCQ and SAQ Exam Fixed Start Time (2 Hours) 70

Alternative Assessment

Due to the husbandry audit report being based on a farm visit practical, students unable to attend the practical will take the alternative assessment -  a 1500-word essay, outlining the different areas to consider when undertaking a dairy farm audit and discussing why each area is important to consider when auditing a farm.  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their practical safe handling, their understanding of animal husbandry, behaviour, and the welfare, nutrition of the various species.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Portfolio –PASS/FAIL Students learn a defined essential range of animal handling and restraint techniques in each of the core species. Students will have to pass a summative practical assessment of each technique within each species, which takes place during the teaching session. This is required by the RCVS.  Student's who fail the assessment first time will have 2 opportunities to resit - once during semester 1, and the second during semester 2. Students requiring a second resit in semester 2 will not be permitted to attend AHEMS for the species for which they have failed, until this species has been passed.

Husbandry Audit Questionnaire and Report – written report of 1500 words; students required to devise and perform an husbandry audit of one of the facilities that they will visit  - 30%

Examination – 2hr exam during the formal exam period - 70% 

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

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative verbal feedback during first handling practical for each species  – 0%

Further information on Qualifying Conditions

A weighted aggregate mark of 50% and a pass in all the components of the portfolio must be achieved to pass the module.

Module aims

  • Basic skills in safe animal handling and restraint in core species
  • Understanding of personal protection equipment and basic biosecurity
  • A basic understanding of the nutritional requirements, feed stuffs and feeding management
  • A basic understanding of animal behaviour, ethics and welfare and how this is impacted in various production systems
  • A knowledge of how audits can be used to measure, manage and monitor husbandry
  • An understanding of why we keep animals
  • A knowledge of the animal industries and food chains

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the husbandry requirements for animals to include basic environmental and nutritional needs KC RCVS 2, 5, 22, 37, 41, 43,45, RCVS KU 3, 9
002 Assess the welfare and ethics of animals kept in a variety of husbandry systems KC RCVS 2, 5, 14, 22, 37, 41, 42, 43 RCVS KU 9, 7, 3, 4
003 Handle, restrain, move and lift animals using approved handling techniques that consider the behaviour and welfare of the animal KPT RCVS 1, 5, 16, 27, 41
004 Ensure appropriate hygiene procedures are followed when handling animals and use appropriate protective clothing KPT RCVS 1, 5, 16, 40, 45 RCVS KU 9, 10
005 To draw insight from an interdisciplinary knowledge base to interpret how the discipline/topic of study impacts sustainability KCPT RCVS 43, 44

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:

Students will be taught and assessed on safe handling in the core veterinary species to allow them to progress to their animal husbandry placements on farm environments with a basic understanding of animal husbandry including nutrition and how these impact on welfare and behaviour relating to that type of animal production.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, animal handling practicals, husbandry audit and self study: total 150 hours.


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: VMS1001

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:


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 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 2025/6 academic year.