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Unit information: Clinical Veterinary Science 3 in 2021/22

Unit name Clinical Veterinary Science 3
Unit code VETS30033
Credit points 0
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Miss. Maunder
Open unit status Not open

Students must have passed all professional examination in years 1 to 4 of the BVSc Programme.


Students will also be required to undertake the other final year BVSc unit (Professional Studies 5). In addition each student must undertake approximately 10 of the total 13 weeks of extra-mural studies (clinical EMS; work-based placements as required by the RCVS) during the extended final year.

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Clinical Veterinary Science 3 encompasses the majority of teaching and assessment in Final Year BVSc. It sits alongside the Final Year Professional Studies unit (comprising 1 week of small group teaching). Clinical Veterinary Science 3 consists of 3 weeks of online teaching (Introduction to Core), 22 weeks of core teaching (comprising 21 weeks of clinical rotations and a week of small group teaching relating to Global Health), and a 4-week elective period.

The Introduction to Core rotations are delivered online as the first three weekly rotations. The 21 weeks of core rotations will be delivered over a 30 week period starting at the end of May and finishing in late January, with students rotating between on-site and off-site clinical rotations and extra-mural studies (clinical EMS; as required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and vacation time. Students will attend 21 weeks of core clinical rotations in blocks of 3-6 weeks. Each student will spend time in the following disciplines: farm animal and veterinary public health; equine medicine and surgery; small animal medicine and surgery; diagnostic imaging; anaesthesia; pathology/clinical pathology. During February and March there is a 6 week block of time allocated to EMS and 2 weeks of small group teaching related to Global Animal health and the BVSc5 Professional Studies unit. Each student will then undertake a 4 week elective period, choosing from a wide range of subjects. Although not forming part of this unit, during this extended year each student must also undertake approximately 10 weeks of clinical EMS, to achieve the total of at least 13 weeks required by the RCVS.

The overall aims are to:

  • equip students with the skills to apply previously gained knowledge within the clinical context, in order to meet the day-one competences as defined by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. These day-one competences relate to general professional skills and attributes, knowledge and understanding, and practical competences, in the common domestic species.
  • enable students to develop problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills by applying their knowledge of the underpinning scientific basis of pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of disease.

The aim of the Introduction to Core Rotations is to prepare students for clinical rotations. Students will develop problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills, encounter common presenting problems, engage with teaching rounds and discussions and develop communication skills with clinical colleagues.

The aim of core rotations is to enable students to meet rotation-specific competences, further details of which are provided in the Unit Handbook.

The aim of the elective period is to help students integrate and further their knowledge and understanding of underpinning scientific principles and their application in the clinical context. This will enhance their ability to solve problems in the clinical (or research) setting, and allow them to demonstrate their ability to evaluate published research in an informed manner.

If practical limitations mean that not all students can be allocated their preferred choice of elective rotations, then students may be given priority based on academic performance to date.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will have met the day-one competences, as defined by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, relating to general professional skills and attributes, knowledge and understanding, and practical competences, in the common domestic species. They will also have developed problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills based on application of the underpinning science related to pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of disease.

Teaching Information

Clinical rotations and seminars/directed self education within them.

Assessment Information

Students "must pass" all core rotations, based on overall assessment of professional skills and attributes and practical competences in each rotation. Students "must pass" the three Introduction to Core weekly rotations based on overall assessment of professional skills and attributes . The elective rotations will be "must pass" and based on professional skills and attributes.

If students receive 3 or more borderline summative grades over the course of rotations for either “Professional Skills and Attributes” or “Clinical Competences”, or 4 or more summative borderline grades in total, they will be required to undertake further rotations and/or a reflective task, to be agreed on a case-by-case basis by the rotation committee. Students failing a rotation or receiving 2 or more borderlines will be required to meet with the Academic Support Team.

Students failing 3 or more rotations (including first and re-sit attempts) will be required to repeat the year. Each individual core and elective rotation counts as a single rotation, irrespective of length or discipline.

There will be a limited number of defined weeks for rotations to be repeated as required during holiday/clinical EMS time.

Students must also sit a compulsory formative computer-based examination during each core rotation in order to pass the rotation. Each student must also pass a defined number of practical tasks (directly-observed procedural skills; DOPS) by the end of core rotations. Each student must also pass a Communication Skills Work Place Based Assessment (WPBA) by the end of core rotations.

Within rotations (including Global Health) students will have a variety of “must-do” tasks/coursework which will receive formative feedback. Written/oral coursework during the elective rotations (for example literature reviews, poster presentations) will assess clinical reasoning, problem solving skills and evaluation of scientific research and will contribute 15% to the overall unit mark.

At the end of the academic year, students will sit up to a maximum of 3 computer-based examinations totalling up to a maximum of 5 hours of assessment testing knowledge, understanding, and clinical reasoning, which will contribute 85% to the overall unit mark.

Thus, prior to sitting the final examinations, students are required to have :

  • passed each of the three Introduction to Core and all Core rotations
  • passed each of the required DOPS (multiple attempts can be undertaken if necessary)
  • passed the Communication Skills WPBA
  • passed the elective period (students failing the elective will be required to demonstrate appropriate professional attributes during an additional period of time in the relevant context; the duration of this will be at the discretion of academic staff).
  • completed at least 13 weeks of clinical EMS

In line with Standing Orders, students must gain a minimum of 45% in the end-of-year computer-based examinations, and a minimum of 50% for the unit overall. There will be an opportunity to re-sit the final computer-based examination during the resit period. Marks for coursework will be carried forward to this resit examination.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. VETS30033).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.