Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Veterinary Diagnostic Strategies 3 VETSCI3011

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course focuses on a range of common testing methods utilised in veterinary medicine to monitor normal biological processes and identify and quantify disease processes and pain in animals.


Weekly lectures supplemented with practicals, tutorials, seminars and self-directed study.

Requirements of Entry

Students must have attained the minimum requirements for entry into level 3 of the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme as specified in the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme Supplementary Regulations.

Excluded Courses



In course assessment (30%): write a critical analysis of literature relating to a novel development in diagnostics (15%); generate a critical report on the analytical performance of a novel diagnostics assay (15%)

End of course assessment (70%): will comprise questions selected from the following formats - DIQs and SAQs.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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. 

Course Aims

To provide students with the knowledge and understanding of

■ The range of methods, concepts and principles that can be used to identify and quantify normal biological processes as well as pathological disorders and pain in animals

■ The components of blood and tissue, and gross and microscopic morphological changes expected in health and disease

■ Mechanisms to critically evaluate the performance of different testing methods ensuring accuracy and precision

■ Assessment of disease and pain using non-invasive imaging techniques and different pain scoring systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically evaluate techniques used to assess bodily function and discuss the importance of quality control in diagnostic laboratories

■ Describe the composition and importance of chemical and cellular components of blood and tissue and the diagnostic use of blood and tissue analysis to study normal biological processes as well as pathological disorders in animals

■ Recognise different lesions and general pathological processes using routine and molecular pathology techniques in animals

■ Describe the range of non-invasive imaging tools and their application

■ Critically discuss the physiology and pathology of pain with an appreciation of the associated ethical issues

■ Evaluate methods by which assessment and quantification of pain in animals may be carried out

■ Critically appraise diagnostics-based scenarios and science through independent research

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.