In Vivo Research Skills BIOL5420

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: MVLS College Services
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will cover the ethics and legislation surrounding the use of animals for research. It will allow students to undertake an accredited training course which would allow the prospective application of their own Personal Licence. Students will learn how to design their own in vivo experiment, ensuring that they use the minimum number of animals consistent with their scientific objectives and use appropriate statistical analysis. They will also gain training in common in vivo skills using cadavers.


This course is made up to lectures, tutorials and practical classes and includes the teaching for the ScotPiL AB license.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Students will:

1. Undertake ScotPIL AB exams as part of Home Office Personal Licence modular training (40%) (ILO1, ILO2).

2. Design an experiment to test a hypothesis about the effect of an independent variable on an animal model using the experimental design assistant to produce a stepwise visual representation (40%) (ILO3).

3. Be supervised to correctly undertake cadaver practice of subcutaneous (SC) and intraperitoneal (IP) injections and carry out a postmortem examination (20%) (ILO4).  

Course Aims

The specific aims of this taught course are:

■ To provide students with comprehensive knowledge of the ethics and legal requirements surrounding research using animals.

■ To give students the training and knowledge to design their own research appropriately using animal models.

■ To provide students with training in cadaver drug administration and post-mortem examination skills that are commonly used during in vivo research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Describe the legal framework surrounding animal research in the UK.

2. Evaluate ethical considerations of good experimental design for research involving animals.

3. Design an in vivo experiment using the experimental design assistant to apply best research practice.

4. Critically evaluate and apply appropriate in vivo practical procedures.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.