Comparative Veterinary Anatomy 1 VETSCI1005

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

A study of veterinary anatomy that will compare anatomical adaptations from a variety of species. This will include domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, farm animals, birds, fish amphibian and reptiles.


Weekly lectures and practicals.

Requirements of Entry

As detailed in prospectus

Excluded Courses



One summative online assessment in semester 2 (10%), one practical spot test examination (15%) and a 2 hour written exam (75%) in semester 2

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. 


Reassessment will be permitted for the written exam but not for the practical spot tests.

Course Aims

The overarching aims of this course are to provide a single veterinary anatomy course that will compare aspect of anatomical adaptations between species to illustrate the relationship between function and anatomical structures.  By drawing on comparative aspects between species, this course will provide a deeper appreciation of the anatomical variations that have evolved in different body forms appropriate to their dietary requirements and environmental habitat. The specific aims are:


■ introduce you to the use of basic anatomical and histological terminologies and techniques

■ provide you with a broad-based knowledge and understanding of the structure and organisation of the mammalian body, stressing the interactions between structural and functional characteristics

■ provide a stimulating insight into how different mammalian species have adapted the basic body plan to cope with their environmental and/or lifestyle requirements

■ provide a basic introduction to the functional morphology of other vertebrate classes of veterinary interest 

■ develop skills relating to the systematic acquisition of factual information and identify literature related to current research

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ explain the basic anatomical and histological terminologies and techniques used when describing the basic body plan of mammals

■ define the different levels of structural organisation from cells to tissue to organs to body systems and identify these features using a microscope

■ describe the organisation of the musculoskeletal system of domesticated animals and selected adaptations in relation to lifestyle

■ compare and contrast the basic topographical relationships and functional anatomy of the major organ systems constituting the mammalian body of domesticated animals

■ describe the histology of blood and explain how and why foetal circulation differs from that of the adult

■ describe the basic body plan of lower vertebrate classes, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds

■ identify important anatomical features in selected species through the examination of specimens and the dissection of cadavers

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.