Module code: VMSM005

Module Overview

This module addresses Veterinary Public Health with respect to RCVS Day 1 competencies and considers professionalism. It outlines the principles of public health legislation relevant to veterinary surgeons including food safety practices, general epidemiology and certification, ethics and veterinary professionalism. It will introduce students to the performance of a systematic gross post-mortem examination, as well as performance of a PM inspection in the abattoir. This module will prepare students for topics pertinent to professional practice such as communication and lifelong learning. Students will be able to understand the knowledge skills and attributes required for Veterinary Public Health and Professionalism in veterinary practice in the UK.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

COOK Alasdair (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 86

Seminar Hours: 5

Practical/Performance Hours: 20

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 29

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Introduction to Veterinary Public Health (VPH).

  • An introduction to One Health and Concepts in Epidemiology describing Health and Disease.

  • An Introduction to Surveillance Policy, Practice and VPH Legislation.

  • Notifiable diseases and Foodborne Zoonoses Protecting Animal Welfare including at Slaughter The Abattoir.

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).

  • Other foods of animal origin.

  • The Veterinary Team, Informed Consent, Professional Misconduct and Professional Negligence Pharmacy Practice.

  • Certification: Import, export and passport Ethics and Professionalism.

  • Lifelong Learning and Reflection Communication.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online SBA Examination (90 mins) 50
Examination Online SAQ Examination (90 mins) 50
Examination OSCE Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment

An online Clinical Oral Practice exam in the event of failure of successful completion of the OSCE.

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Clinical and professional skills.

  • Problem solving skills.

  • Ability to apply knowledge with respect to veterinary public health in UK general veterinary practice.

  • An appreciation of the veterinary surgeon’s role in the surveillance of animal health.

  • An understanding of the principles of veterinary epidemiology.

  • Knowledge of the relevant UK legislation.

  • The principles of veterinary professionalism.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • VPPH Single Best Answer Examination

  • VPPH Short Answer Question Examination

  • OSCE Pass/Fail

Formative assessment

Throughout the module, students will be provided with formative MCQs and case-based learning that relate to their learning topics.


Students will be provided with model answers for formative assessments and with verbal feedback on performance in engagement sessions.

This assessment pattern has been chosen as it follows that of the RCVS statutory membership examination.

Module aims

  • Explain the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct.
  • Provide students with the foundation knowledge and skills required for veterinary practice including the ethical and legal responsibilities pertinent to veterinary surgeons.
  • Provide an understanding of the role of the veterinary surgeon in food production and food safety.
  • Define the concept of One Health and enable students to appreciate its application to zoonoses and biosecurity.
  • Introduce relevant legislation and the national bodies responsible for implementation.
  • Describe the principles of surveillance of animal health.
  • Introduce key concepts in veterinary epidemiology.
  • Enable students to be aware of the skills required to work as a veterinarian in the UK.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 To recognise zoonotic and notifiable diseases. KP
002 Perform ante-mortem inspection of animals destined for the food-chain. P
003 Undertake a post mortem inspection in the abattoir. CP
004 Conduct a systematic Post Mortem examination in the field. KP
005 Explain the role of the veterinary surgeon in the food production chain. KC
006 Act professionally in accordance with the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct. KP
007 List and apply the RCVS Ten Principles of Certification. KP
008 Prescribe and dispense medicines correctly and responsibly. KP
009 Demonstrate the ability to communicate successfully in a variety of challenging situations and engage with a multitude of viewpoints to apply cultural knowledge to professional practice. KCPT
010 Learn specific knowledge and skills which are relevant to their employment in the UK. CT
011 Develop intercultural awareness and informed views on global, social and ethical issues. CT
012 Appreciate the application of digital technology relevant to the veterinary profession. KT
013 Understand the role of the veterinarian in promoting sustainability. CT
014 Resourcefulness and resilience: participants will appreciate the strategies appropriate for their professional life. CT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Teaching will be delivered online and will include pre-recorded lectures which include elements of flipped classroom, self-directed e-learning, case-based sessions, and live engagement sessions which will be recorded. Facilitated practical skills based sessions will be provided on campus.

These will provide skills to mirror those required by a practicing veterinary surgeon in the species most commonly seen in the UK.

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: VMSM005

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 attributes which are integral to the RCVS Day One competences including communication, legislation, ethics, patient safety, and veterinary professionalism to prepare students for a professional workplace.

Students are able to develop critical thinking, cultural awareness, communication skills, decision-making, collaboration and leadership. The teaching and assessment strategy require students to demonstrate reflective 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 utilise digital technology, including accessing the library databases for literature evaluation, use of referencing software and utlising online learning materials.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Within this module, decision-making tasks and assignments provide opportunities to collaborate, communicate and build relationships with people from different backgrounds, reflecting on different experiences and adapting norms and belief systems.

Module content incorporates perspectives from a range of cultures and global contexts, for example through conversations around veterinary ethics and veterinary consultation skills.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: This module teaches and encourages reflective engagement, collaboration and active learning through online, supported self-learning, active learning workshops and reflective exercises. 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, students are able to build self-efficacy and confidence by learning 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.

Sustainability: 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. Students are aware of the requirements for the safe handling, storage and disposal of veterinary medicines and clinical waste and the need for pharmacovigilance and reflect on how this can impact sustainability

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary General Practice PGCert(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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.