Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery 1 VETMED1022

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Credits: 120
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

BVMS 1 is the first of 2 years of the Foundation Phase of the BVMS programme. This phase aims to provide a firm foundation in knowledge and skills for further clinical study, integrating concepts of structure and function, health and disease in contexts which emphasise the clinical and societal applications of this knowledge and encourage the development of skills for lifelong learning.


The course adopts a modular structure, with each module of teaching focused around a specific body system. The course consists of 6 modules, within each module, there are typically three weeks of intensive instruction followed by a week focussed on consolidation and synthesis of content and concepts. Based on maximum 24 hours/week and averaging no more than 12hrs/week lectures, typical weekly timetables are shown below:

Weekly timetable BVMS1


(3 weeks)




Lectures (3h)

Rotating Practical (2h)


Lectures (3h)

Practical (4h)


Supported self-directed learning (2h)



Lectures (3h)

Practical (4h)


Self Study

Lecture (3h)






Tutorial (2h)

Supported self-directed learning(4h)


Supported self-directed learning(4h)

Supported self-directed learning(4h)


Seminar (4h)



Supported self-directed learning (4h)

Supported self-directed learning(4h)

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

As detailed in the Prospectus

Recommended Entry Requirements

As detailed in the Prospectus

Excluded Courses

Not applicable






End of Course Assessment

There are 2 end of course assessments, each of which will be reported under a separate course code (VETMED1022 & VETMED1023).


Knowledge and understanding assessment (Marked against Schedule A descriptors)

The grade for this assessment will be derived from summatively assessed course work (15%) and end of course written examination (85%).


Summatively assessed coursework:

It will be compulsory for all Students to submit a range of coursework assignments for assessment

throughout the course. The students will be exposed to each type of coursework assignment formatively before it is used as part of the summative coursework assessment.

Coursework assignments may include material from one or more modules.

The coursework assignments will be varied but may include:

- Self-directed or collaborative learning assignment (self/peer assessed against generic feedback)

- Presentations

- Essays


End of course written examination

Total 6hrs split over a few papers which may include testing methods such as single best answer multiple choice questions, extended matching questions, short answer question formats, problem solving, practical spot test and data handling questions.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 



A student may be offered reassessment of the written examination component of the Knowledge and Understanding assessment at the next available diet. Reassessment of summatively assessed coursework is not available.

Course Aims

The BVMS1 course forms the first of 2 years of the Foundation Phase of the BVMS programme. The Foundation Phase aims to provide a firm foundation in knowledge and skills for further clinical study, integrating concepts of structure and function, health and disease in contexts which emphasise the clinical and societal applications of this knowledge and encourage the development of skills for lifelong learning. In this context, the aim of the BVMS 1 course is to provide an opportunity for development of basic clinical and professional skills as preparation for engagement in pre-clinical extramural studies; to introduce the principles of veterinary science; and to provide a detailed introduction to specific body systems illustrated by relevant clinical cases. The emphasis will be on supporting students to develop their own self-directed learning skills, and to provide opportunities for students to evaluate their own progress through engagement in formative and in-course assessments.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Apply basic principles of written and verbal communication to present information and suggest appropriate communication strategies in a professional context

Apply appropriate conduct, including basic interpersonal and communication skills, in educational and professional contexts

Apply appropriate interpersonal and communication skills in a professional context

Identify and describe the appearance of a healthy animal including breed, colour and markings, weight/body condition, age, purpose and behaviour

Apply appropriate handling and restraint of animals for the purposes of their movement or performance of clinical procedures

Perform basic management and clinical procedures in animals

Apply the principles of health and safety, animal welfare and biosecurity when working with animals

Apply competence in basic clinical skills including the use of a light microscope, surgical instrument handling, suturing, hand/boot hygiene and appropriate waste management, in a manner conducive with good clinical skills

Reflect on a variety of relevant experiences to plan and evaluate your own learning and professional development

Work independently or as part of a group to collate, critically appraise, summarise and present appropriately referenced information from a range of sources to provide a balanced argument or to contextualise a clinically relevant situation

Apply the underlying principles of animal welfare, and its importance in relation to animal health and the veterinary profession

Identify commonly used feedstuffs, describe their characteristics and explain how these can influence animal health

Describe the basic mammalian body plan including directional and positional topography and organisation of the peripheral nervous system

Describe and identify the structure and function of simple cells and tissues

Describe the concepts of homeostasis and neuro-hormonal feedback control processes

Apply the fundamental principles of the action and uses of drugs in veterinary medicine and demonstrate good clinical competence in their administration

Identify the link between human and animal health with respect to the significance of zoonotic diseases, and legislative/industry frameworks relating to food products, food hygiene and animal welfare

Describe measures of disease frequency, measures of association and study design.

Describe the structure and function of the formed elements of blood and the process of haemostasis, in health and disease, and be able to explain and demonstrate how they can be clinically assessed

Explain the formation, composition and function of body fluids in health and disease, and be able to describe and demonstrate how fluid balance within an animal may be assessed and managed

Explain the role of animal charities, including cat and dog homes/shelters, within society and how such organisations are managed

Explain the relevance of behavioural approaches to animal welfare research and describe key elements of animal welfare legislation

Relate the importance of protein structure to functional activity within the body and how enzymes can be used as drug targets

Explain the legal aspects of pet travel as it relates to disease and disease transmission

Describe the inflammatory process, including the cellular and localised generic changes induced by acute and chronic inflammation

Describe the anatomical features and processes that underlie immune function, their development and how they can be manipulated in the healthy and diseased animal

Describe the parameters used to validate the reliability of diagnostic tests

Explain the roles of clinical and anatomic pathologists, apply basic pathological terminology and demonstrate the principles of pathological sample preparation

Describe and identify the normal structure and topography of the digestive system and relate this to diet

Describe the functional mechanisms involved in digestion, absorption and excretion in relation to the digestive system

Describe the use of common dietary nutrients, and the metabolic processes and biochemical pathways involved in digestion, glucose metabolism and cell energy provision

Describe equine management from an international perspective and relate this to diversity in the use of equidae

Perform simple dental techniques

Describe the structure of the abdominal wall and relate this to the surgical approach and closure of the abdominal cavity

Apply aseptic technique for surgical and medical procedures and appropriate tissue handling

Explain the principles of radiography and ultrasound and recognise the appearance of different tissue types on diagnostic images.

Describe normal and pathological cellular adaptations, cell injury and cell death mechanisms/pathways

Explain and apply the basic principles of drug pharmacokinetics, perform basic calculations required in pharmacology and define and interpret core pharmacological parameters.

Describe the general approach to diagnosis and treatment of suspected and known common poisoning

Explain and apply the principles of liver metabolism, diagnosis of liver dysfunction and patterns of liver disease

Describe the pharmacology of the main classes of anthelmintic drugs and drugs which are commonly used to modulate gastrointestinal function

Describe key characteristics of bacteria, their transmission, their control and how they affect the host

Describe key characteristics of viruses, their transmission, their control and how they affect the host

Describe key characteristics of parasites, their transmission, their control and how they affect the host

Describe and discuss the structure of the beef industry and its management to optimise herd health, welfare and productivity at international, national and local levels

Describe and compare the structure, function of the non-pregnant female reproductive system, explaining its functions and the regulation of cyclicity

Describe and compare the structure and function of the pregnant female reproductive system relating to the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy and summarise the early stages of embryonic development including sex determination and differentiation

Describe and explain structural and functional changes and metabolic demands that apply to the dam during late pregnancy, parturition and the resumption of cyclicity, including the onset and regulation of lactation

Describe and explain the structures and processes in the fetus during prenatal development, parturition, postnatal development and suckling, and discuss the routine care, metabolic demands and health issues of the neonate

Discuss and apply the principles of the routine diagnostic procedures used for assessing the female and male reproductive tract prior to breeding and for pregnancy diagnosis including manual examinations, diagnostic imaging modalities and hormone assays

Describe and explain the routine surgical procedures that apply to male and female reproductive tracts

Discuss pharmacological interventions that are used to manage and alter reproductive function in the male and female

Describe and compare the structure, function and topography of the male reproductive system

Explain Mendelian and quantitative genetics on which conventional animal breeding is built, as well as the associated cytogenetics underlying normal and abnormal phenotypes

Describe and explain applied reproductive techniques in relation to animal breeding

Describe and discuss the structure of the sheep industry and its management to optimise herd health, welfare and productivity at international, national and local levels

Describe and discuss the structure of the dairy industry and its management to optimise herd health, welfare and productivity at international, national and local levels

Describe the structure, function and topography of the kidney and how the kidney contributes to the maintenance of homeostasis

Describe the structure, function and topography of the lower urinary tract including the physiology of micturition

Describe how the urogenital system develops and explain how the most common congenital abnormalities occur due to disruption of this process

Describe and identify the normal anatomy, function and topography of the adrenal glands and explain common malfunctions and their consequences

Explain the effects of drugs on the urinary system and the methods of use and mechanisms of action for common antimicrobials used to treat urinary tract infections

Explain and recognise common patterns of disease in the kidney

Apply and briefly explain the basic tests and procedures used in the diagnosis of urinary tract conditions

Provide advice on types of petfood available and how much of a given food to feed to pets taking into account life-stage and energy requirements.

Explain why it is important for the veterinarian to have knowledge about normal animal behaviour and how this is relevant to medical management and animal welfare.

Describe and recognise the mechanisms and factors which give rise to aberrant cell growth, invasion and metastasis, and genetic susceptibility to neoplastic disease

Apply principles of biostatistics to describe and interpret data

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students on the BVMS 1 Foundation Phase course must complete all components of the course including compulsory attendance at all practical and tutorial sessions. Students must complete all course work including continual assessment tasks and portfolio..