Module code: VMS3012

Module Overview

This module will prepare students for the use of evidence based veterinary medicine. Veterinary science requires a detailed understanding of the research methods used to derive new knowledge. The translation of science into clinical practice and the application of the best current information to optimise patient care requires an understanding of scientific methodology and the processes required to practice evidence-based veterinary medicine.

This module is linked closely to Veterinary Research 2: Critical appraisal, data interpretation and study design in Semester 2 and the practice of evidence-based veterinary medicine in the third, fourth- and fifth-year modules. The module builds upon the knowledge gained in Animals in Society 2: Concepts in Epidemiology and Public Health.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

MAILE Charlotte (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 6

Independent Learning Hours: 105

Lecture Hours: 23

Tutorial Hours: 3

Practical/Performance Hours: 13

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This module provides learning and teaching in clinical research methods and the practice of evidence based veterinary medicine.

  • Introduction to clinical research. 

  • Ethical and legal considerations.

  • Literature review and study design.

  •  Variables, measurement scales, precision, and accuracy.

  • Study design.

  • How to search the literature and perform database searches.

  • Applied statistics 1 & 2.

  • Study implementation and data management.

  • Creating a logical flow in academic writing.

  • How to design a qualitative study.

  • Writing and reviewing scientific papers/literature reviews.

  • How to write questionnaires and surveys.

  • Laboratory based research. 

  • Evidence, the pharmaceutical industry and drug discovery.

  • Introduction to evidence based veterinary medicine.

  • Audits in clinical practice.

  • EBVM and knowledge summaries.

  • Decision analysis, models and economics as evidence.

  • Diagnostics decision support systems and artificial intelligence.

  • Journal Club- critical analysis of relevant scientific publications.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Literature review 10
Oral exam or presentation Clinical Audit 10
Examination Written examination (90 mins) 80

Alternative Assessment

Audit Group presentation: The student will complete an individual written assignment aligned to the original group topic but with a reduced scope. Literature review: The student will complete an individual written assignment aligned to the original group topic but with a reduced scope.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate theoretical, practical, and applied knowledge across the module.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

1. Literature review. Group written assignment, 10%, (addressing learning outcomes:1-3) 

2. Audit presentation. Group oral presentation, 10% (addressing learning outcome: 6) 

3. Written examination. Exam, 80%, 90 minutes including MCQs and SAQs. (addressing learning outcomes1-6)

To pass the module, students are required to achieve a weighted aggregate mark of 50% in the written examination, literature review assignment, and audit presentation.

Formative assessment

Students will be provided with a practice written exam paper.


Students will receive verbal feedback during the group presentation sessions associated with Audit assessments. Students will also receive feedback via workshops, Q & A sessions and discussion forums.

Module aims

  • Provide students with the under-pinning skills, knowledge and attributes required to practice EBVM.
  • Provide students with the under-pinning skills, knowledge and attributes required to design and critically review a veterinary research study
  • Provide students with the under-pinning knowledge and attributes to perform a practice audit and quality improvement.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the scientific concepts and principles used in quantitative and qualitative study designs. CKT RCVS 2, 3, 4, 11, 17, KU1, KU2, KU12
002 Describe the process which should be followed when performing a scientific study. KT RCVS 2, 3, 4, 11, 17, KU1, KU2
003 Describe the structure of a scientific paper and the functions of each section. KT RCVS 2, 4, 17, KU1, KU2
004 Describe the value of using evidence-based veterinary medicine in clinical practice. KPT RCVS 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 13, 17, KU1, KU2, KU9, KU11, KU12
005 Describe the steps that should be followed when practicing evidence-based veterinary medicine. KPT RCVS 3, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, KU1, KU2, KU9, KU12
006 Describe how to perform a clinical audit. CKPT RCVS 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 17, KU1, KU2, KU9, KU11, KU12

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 an introduction to the underpinning concepts and principles.

  • enable engagement and application of the key concepts using a range of group-based assignments. Presentations of the outcomes of the group-based assignments will share experiences across the class and will enable further engagement and feedback.

  • enable students to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of experimental design.

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: VMS3012

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:

Employability: This module fosters the development of a range of non-technical graduate attributes which are integral to the RCVS Day One competences including communication, legislation, ethics and critical thinking to prepare students for a professional workplace. Through team-based practical sessions, students are able to develop critical thinking, communication skills, decision-making, collaboration and leadership. The assessment strategy require students to demonstrate research and presentation skills, use of digital tools and application of knowledge acquired across the topics within the context of evidence based veterinary medicine.

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, accessing the library databases for literature evaluation, use of referencing software, use of statistical analysis software and creating presentation materials.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: 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. Assessments challenge and stretch students and are geared towards promoting resourcefulness and resilience. 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.

Sustainability: Veterinary students will develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes needed to work, live and lead in a way that meets the current needs of the profession without compromising on 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 2025/6 academic year.