Animal and Veterinary Ethics VETMED5054

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course will enable students to develop their knowledge of key concepts underlying animal and veterinary ethics. Participants will also improve their ethical reasoning skills by learning to utilise a logical approach to decision making when faced with ethical dilemmas.


Students will access lecture materials at their own pace on Moodle 2. There will be online lectures with course staff (lectures and tutorials) across 10 weeks in Summer, from April to June (Online Distance Learning Block 3)

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Students will submit a 2000-2500 word essay in which they discuss a relevant major veterinary ethics issue. (70%).

Students will submit a document (based on a provided form designed by the course leader) in which they demonstrate a range of ethical reasoning skills in relation to an ethical dilemma (30%).

Course Aims

This course aims to provide a broad overview of animal and veterinary ethics and develop skills relevant to veterinary professionals. Students will learn to evaluate different ethical frameworks regarding their duties to animals and debate the validity of a range of ethical positions.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Evaluate different ethical frameworks regarding our duties to animals and debate the validity of a range of ethical positions.

■ Recognise and reflect on ethical questions relating to the different human uses of animals, based on a pluralistic approach.

■ Recognise and discuss ethical challenges in veterinary medicine.

■ Demonstrate an awareness of key ethical concepts that may underpin decision making.

■ Consider and discuss the views of relevant stakeholders in ethical dilemmas.

■ Recall and utilize a logical approach to decision making.

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.