BVMS5 Professional Phase VETMED5042

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 180
  • Level: Level 5 (BDS, BVMS, MBChB)
  • Typically Offered: Full Year
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This is the 5th (final) academic session of the professional veterinary programme. In this session learning and teaching are delivered primarily in the professional environment.


54 weeks of which:

24 weeks are core clinic based experiential learning

4 weeks are selective clinic based experiential learning

8 weeks are Extra Mural Studies

16 weeks are available for undertaking further EMS, self-study and holiday

2 weeks are for examination preparation

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

All courses in prior academic sessions of the BVMS programme.

Excluded Courses

All other courses are excluded





Examination: a mixture of short answer and multiple response assessment using a raft of question types designed to test synthesis of underpinning knowledge and application to clinical and professional decision making. E.g. extended matching questions, clinical multiple choice questions.


See also Clinical and Professional skills assessment (additional course specification - Under COURSEWORK 100% Schedule B)

Coursework: workplace based assessments form a required coursework element and a professional portfolio will be used to demonstrate achievement of intended learning outcomes related to professional development



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. 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 are listed below in this box.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The professional phase of the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is designed to prepare students for day one professional practice. It provides an opportunity for students to consolidate and apply their skills and knowledge and demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours in a range of professional environments, so that they can demonstrate attainment across the broad competencies required by the accrediting bodies (European Association of Establishments of Veterinary Education/Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons/American Veterinary Medical Association) for registration as a veterinary professional.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Reflect on a variety of experiences of professional practice and evaluate their own learning and professional development

Demonstrate insight into their own limitations (clinical, personal and professional)

Recognise when and where to seek support and demonstrate the ability to access this support where necessary, in a professional context

Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts (e.g. service-team, small animal practice, equine practice, production animal practice)

Maintain complete and concise case records

Present either orally or in writing, a logical and concise summary of the clinical cases they have seen.

Reflect on the importance of providing comprehensive and relevant clinical information when referring a case to another veterinary practice.

Describe lesions using appropriate terminology for distribution, chronicity, severity, and appearance.

Perform radiographic studies of the major body areas of the dog and cat

Locate and identify the major abdominal organs in small animals using ultrasound

Apply appropriate monitoring equipment and interpret the information provided.

Apply knowledge of reproductive anatomy to demonstrate competence in entry-level approach to common neutering procedures in small animals.

Summarise the basics of echocardiography and ECG interpretation.

Handle knives and other tools used in a post-mortem examination safely.

Be comfortable with and practice the technical skills required to perform a complete post-mortem examination.

Perform appropriate tissue collection and submission for additional testing (histology, bacteriology, toxicology)

Operate clinical pathology equipment and process biological samples in order to obtain reliable clinical pathology data and be able to evaluate the quality of the sample/smear.

Demonstrate competence in specific entry-level medical, surgical and anaesthetic, therapeutic and diagnostic interventions. These may include: list DOPS

Manage a clinical encounter safely

Gather necessary information (history, physical examination, nutritional assessment) in an effective manner

Demonstrate recognition of the normal appearance of the main anatomic regions/major organs of the dog, cat and horse on radiographs and (where appropriate) ultrasound and Identify major abnormalities in these regions on diagnostic imaging studies

Recognise clinical features which are likely to affect anaesthetic outcome and classify animals in terms of anaesthetic risk.

Take a dermatological history and carry out a dermatological examination.

Take an ophthalmologic history and recognise, describe and locate ophthalmologic abnormalities to facilitate further investigation with the aid of additional resources.

Diagnose common diseases through recognition of classical radiological features

Interpret histologic descriptions in biopsy reports.

Be able to differentiate normal tissue from (pathological) lesions, and post-mortem from ante-mortem changes.

Interpret clinical and historical findings, results of diagnostic investigations and relevant records to create a problem list

Identify and then prioritise likely differential diagnoses

Generate a structured differential diagnosis list based on imaging findings and to recommend appropriate further investigations

Plan a programme of diagnostic investigations

Collect, preserve and transport samples to assist with diagnosis

Perform standard laboratory tests, and interpret the results of those generated in-house, as well as those generated by other laboratories.

Synthesize findings of the gross post-mortem examination with the available clinical history to piece together the possible pathogenesis.

Suggest additional ancillary diagnostics.

Advise on options for case management and outline an appropriate treatment or preventive plan

Interpret clinical findings, along with various diagnostic aids and laboratory tests, to formulate the optimum anaesthetic and/or analgesic protocol for use in an individual patient.

Safely implement and maintain appropriate methods of chemical restraint (including sedation and general anaesthesia) in a variety of domestic species, and administer appropriate peri-operative care.

Assess and control pain.

Be aware of different forms of regional analgesia and identify situations in which they may be used.

Consider and evaluate how you would manage the common peri and post-op complications observed in small animal neutering procedures.

 Assist with the care of critically ill, hospitalised patients and describe the types of care available in a specialist hospital setting.

Explain the importance of monitoring changing trends in clinical parameters in critically ill patients.

Calculate dose rates for drugs and know the indications, side-effects and contraindications of drugs commonly used in medicine and cardiorespiratory medicine.

Advise on options for case, herd or population management and outline an appropriate management, treatment or preventive plan keeping in mind veterinary public health, environmental and economic impact of alternative approaches

Access the appropriate sources of data on licensed medicines; select and dispense medicines correctly and responsibly in accordance with relevant legislation and ensure that medicines and waste are safely stored and/or disposed of

Discuss the importance of food microbiology, the main food preservation techniques and interpret microbiological testing results.

Explain the relationships between Ante Mortem Inspection, food chain information, Post Mortem Inspection and communication of inspection results to farmers and veterinarians.

Make a judgement on fitness for human consumption of food of animal origin.

Explain the various aspects of veterinary public health including non-foodborne zoonoses.

Explain the importance of the National Surveillance Scheme on residues in the UK.

Demonstrate the safety implications of the use of diagnostic imaging equipment in veterinary practice

Describe the main European and UK legislation and enforcement of Identification and traceability of animals and food of animal origin, hygienic production of food and animal welfare.

Explain the importance of animal welfare during transport and at slaughter and how this is related to food safety and quality in the food chain (including poultry, fish and wild game).

Demonstrate the advantage of using a food safety management system (FSMS) to control hazards in food of animal origin and how auditing of FSMS are performed.

Describe the hygienic production and potential risks associated with food of animal origin (including milk, poultry, eggs, fish and wild game).

Describe the principals involved in emergency slaughter of food producing animals at the farm of origin.

Understand the relationships between the environment and the correct disposal of waste from the farm and food producing establishments.

Explain the main control measures in place in the UK for TSEs (BSE and Scrapie)

Use appropriate PPE and demonstrate the safe handling of clinical pathology biological samples

Identify the correct course of action to take in the following high stakes situations, for example:

■ Infectious disease outbreak

■ Medicine administration to horses declared as intended or as not intended for human consumption

■ Attendance at an equine emergency and administration of appropriate first aid

■ Involvement in aseptic surgical procedures

■ Equine euthanasia and carcase disposal

■ Production animal emergency situation

■ Field surgery

■ Identification of notifiable disease on farm

■ Attendance at a Small animal emergency and administration of appropriate first aid

■ Small animal euthanasia & carcase disposal

■ Managing an aggressive patient

■ Professional Dilemmas

Explain how to anaesthetise high risk patients in such a way as to minimise the risk of anaesthesia

Identify the correct course of action to take when faced with an anaesthetic emergency

Describe key elements of the organisation and management of primary care and referral companion animal practices

Describe key elements of the organisation and management of a production animal practice and factors in current the agricultural industry that affect production animal vets and their clients

Adopt an evidence based approach to veterinary practice (including equine, small animal, production animal and public health practice-types)

Identify gaps in their knowledge, find and be familiar with appropriate and reliable sources of information to supplement their existing knowledge.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits


Code of Conduct ""Students are required to attend all sessions of the course; attendance is not optional."

Absences of >10% will be deemed unsatisfactory.