skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Veterinary Students Handbook

Introduction

Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge 2015-2016

Welcome to Cambridge, and congratulations on gaining a place to study veterinary medicine.  This is the beginning of an exciting and challenging time: going to University, perhaps leaving home for the first time and embarking on a demanding course which will lead you to a qualification in a highly respected profession.

This handbook provides a general introduction to the Cambridge veterinary course for students starting their course in October 2015, and covers mainly the first two years.

Dr David Good

Director of Education (Biological Sciences)

Faculty of Biology

Aims of the First Two Years of Your Veterinary Education

Our ever-increasing knowledge of biology, physics and chemistry provides the fundamental underpinning to the practice of veterinary medicine.  The first two years of your veterinary course are designed not only to give you a thorough knowledge of that science base, but also a level of understanding that allows you to apply this knowledge to problem solving in your career. 

The clinical course at Cambridge builds on the pre-clinical course. You will need to draw on biochemical knowledge to understand the metabolic diseases of cattle and sheep; physiological knowledge as you monitor overnight a dog experiencing renal failure in the intensive care unit and neurophysiological/anatomical knowledge when explaining the uncontrolled twitching in the hind leg of a thoroughbred horse.

In addition to technical skills, other skills including communication and animal handling skills are essential for a veterinarian. We expect you to practise and develop these skills through supervisions arranged by your College and through Extra-Mural Studies (EMS). Do participate in supervisions - they are not just teaching sessions, but learning sessions, and learning requires self-expression.

Although most of the teaching that you receive during years one to three is under the supervision of the Faculty Board of Biology, it is the Faculty Board of Veterinary Medicine, working through the Director of Education in the School of the Biological Sciences (Dr David Good) and the Director of Teaching at the Veterinary School (Prof Alun Williams), which is formally responsible for overseeing professional aspects of the course.

Duties

Fitness for Practice, Health and Conduct: Guidance for Veterinary Students

As members of the University, veterinary students are subject to the statutory provisions of University Discipline as set out in the Statutes and Ordinances. In addition, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the University expect all veterinary students to behave in a manner appropriate to their future role as veterinarians.

The University has agreed a Code of Conduct for veterinary students to guide you during your studies. The Code of Conduct, which details the conduct expected of you, together with some guidance notes, is printed on the next page.

Veterinary students are required to confirm their acceptance of the University's Veterinary Student Code of Conduct and of the rules to be observed by veterinary students by signing the Veterinary Student Register form. A copy of this document is included at the back of this handbook, serving as a reminder of the standards you should follow. At the start of the course you will be issued a copy to sign and hand in.

It is important that you are aware that students whose health or conduct may lead them to be a risk to patients, clients or Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) placement providers, or who breach the Code of Conduct for other reasons, may be removed temporarily or permanently, from the Veterinary Student Register. They may not be permitted to enter Vet MB examinations leading to the award of the Vet MB degree and registration with the RCVS.  The RCVS requires veterinary graduates to confirm that they have “no convictions, cautions or other adverse findings” at the point of registering with RCVS as a qualified veterinary surgeon.

All members of the University and College staff have a duty, in the public interest, to report matters that may affect a student’s fitness to practise, to the Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine.  Matters may be referred if they concern poor academic progression, serious conduct issues, or low-level conduct issues that continue over a long period. Health concerns will not normally require referral unless there are serious concerns over fitness to practice, but will be referred under other circumstances, where students have agreed to disclosure. Students are strongly encouraged to disclose health concerns both to their Director of Studies and to the Director of Teaching so that support to aid learning can be provided.

Veterinary Students Code of Conduct and Guidance

Respect others: clients (animal owners), professionals, teachers and fellow students

Treat others politely and with consideration, respect their views and the animals under your or their care.

Guidance note

In all your dealings with, or in relation to clients, teachers and colleagues, act without any discrimination, whether on grounds of age, colour, disability, gender, illness, marital status, national or ethnic origins, nationality, perceived economic worth, race, sexual orientation, social status, religious or philosophical belief.

Be an effective and considerate communicator

Always make clear that you are a student and not a qualified vet; be aware of your limitations and do not exceed your ability when giving information to clients, animal owners or other members of the public.

Understand accept and agree to be bound by the principle of confidentiality of patient data and also of information concerning staff and students.

Ensure that you can be easily contacted by University and Hospital Staff and always reply promptly to all communications.

Do not use mobile electronic devices – cameras, mobiles, discs, data-sticks, etc. - to record and store patient information.

Guidance note

Contribute to the review of teaching by completing feedback forms as requested by Course Organisers and by reporting difficulties as they arise through the appropriate channels.

Do not discuss clients or their animals with other students or professionals outside the clinical setting, except anonymously. When recording data or discussing cases outside the clinical setting, ensure that clients and patients cannot be identified by others.

Do not use mobile electronic devices – cameras, mobiles, discs, data-sticks etc. to record or store patient images or other information. Never use E-mail, social media sites, ‘Blogs’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Facebook’ etc to share information about clients or patients.

Abide by rules and policies, follow procedures and guidelines

You must be aware of and comply with the rules, policies (including health and safety), procedures and guidelines of the University, Colleges, Department of Veterinary Medicine (including the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital) and Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) placements.

Guidance note

Comply with rules and procedures laid down by the Director of Education in Biological Sciences, Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, the Examination Board, farmers, clients, other animal owners, General Practitioners, the Head Nurse(s), or their deputies, in pre-clinical and clinical EMS.  Be in attendance for the hours as directed by them and as required to gain experience of both routine and emergency situations. As veterinary surgeons you will have to make decisions not to go to places at the times you would like because of your clinical duties. You have a responsibility to yourself, your financial sponsors and your future patients to complete your rotations and EMS placements.

Comply with appropriate current and any new personal health-testing requirements. Be aware of potential zoonotic infections and comply with control procedures.

Be open and honest

Do not break the law. Never threaten violence, act violently towards others or act dishonestly.

Guidance note

Do not cheat in examinations: cheating, at any level, destroys trust and those who cheat may also lie and be unfit for veterinary practice.

Inform the Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine immediately if you are involved in any University or police investigation which may lead to charges being brought; concealment of involvement in a drunken brawl that may lead to prosecution may be viewed as an even greater offence than the incident itself.  Just one criminal conviction could jeopardise your career prospects in veterinary medicine.  Students who pass the Final VetMB Examinations in Part III in their final year are required to inform RCVS of any convictions, cautions or other adverse findings and these may affect the RCVS’s decision to admit a new graduate onto the Register of Veterinary Surgeons.

Take care of your appearance

Your appearance, personal hygiene and demeanour should always be modest and reasonably conventional.

Guidance note

The appearance of a veterinary student or veterinary practitioner should not be such as to potentially affect a client’s trust in that person’s veterinary judgement or standing. When in the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital, you should always wear an identification badge and show your face so that you can be recognised by clients, teachers and staff. Headdress routinely worn for religious observance must not cover the face: facial expression is an important part of communication and showing your face also makes it easier for clients with a hearing impairment to hear you and/or lip-read.

When examining patients in any clinical setting, observe the appropriate clinical dress code as laid down for the establishment or placement in which you are working.

Take action at an early stage when any problem arises

Inform the Director of Teaching at the Department of Veterinary Medicine or a College Tutor immediately if you become aware of any problem (personally or in others) that may put the health or wellbeing of clients/owners or their animals at risk.

Guidance note

Veterinary Medicine is a demanding profession and, at times, all veterinary students are subject to stress and anxiety. Emotional problems and psychiatric conditions such as depression and eating disorders are not uncommon; do not hesitate in informing your Director of Studies, or Senior Tutor if you are aware/become aware of such circumstances, and in seeking support (see Confidential Sources of Help & Advice) as the earlier a problem is addressed, the greater the likelihood of a successful outcome, ie: success in the course.

Seek advice if you think a veterinary surgeon or colleague has behaved in a way that suggests that he or she is not fit for practice. Examples of such behaviour include:

  • making serious or repeated mistakes in diagnosing or treating a patient’s condition
  • not examining patients properly or responding to reasonable requests by owners for treatment for their animals
  • misusing information about patients
  • treating patients without properly obtaining the owner’s consent
  • posting pictures, information or comments about farmers, clients or their animals on social media sites
  • behaving dishonestly in financial matters, or in dealing with clients, patients, or research
  • making improper advances towards clients
  • Misusing alcohol or drugs

Do not abuse drugs and alcohol

Guidance note

Abuse of alcohol and other mind-altering substances may lead to behaviour (including decision-making) that puts clients or animals at risk; problems associated with such abuse, eg: violent and aggressive behaviour, jeopardise your career. Never obtain or seek to obtain drugs that have not been properly prescribed, prescription or non-prescription, for yourself or others by any means.

The Course

Course Outline

Year of Study

What you will study

Subjects and Courses

Qualifications Obtained

Year 1
MVST IA

Veterinary science knowledge

Veterinary relevant core scientific knowledge and skills

Second Vet MB,
Tripos IA

Second Vet MB,
Tripos IB

Year 2
MVST IB

Year 3
Part II

Part II course of specialised study

A wide range of courses and subjects (other Tripos courses are also available).

BA

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Clinical veterinary studies in Cambridge

Clinical veterinary medicine, leading to the development of skills and knowledge in a range of specialities and species

VetMB

What next?

At the end of the six years, students are awarded the degree of VetMB and thereby membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) – which entitles them to work as veterinary surgeons in the UK, EU and the Commonwealth. Many of our graduates go into clinical practice but many also go on to further specialist study, work within academia, the pharmaceutical industry, work for government departments such as DEFRA, or work for charity clinics such as RSPCA or PDSA.

The Course in Detail

Years 1 & 2 provide you with the knowledge of the animal body which underpins clinical work. You are also introduced to the basis of Veterinary Medicine.

First Year

Core Science modules:

  • Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (VAP) – layout and function of body structures
  • Molecules in Medical Science (MIMS) – chemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the function of the body
  • Histology and Homeostasis (HOM) – mechanisms underlying communication/maintenance of a stable internal environment within the body  

Clinical Strand modules:

  • Introduction to the Scientific Basis of Medicine (ISBM) – basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as tools for critical assessment of the quality of scientific evidence and inference
  • Principles of Animal Management (PAM) – introduction to animal husbandry and nutrition. The nature of the veterinary vocation and practical animal training *

* Principles of Animal Management 

This course is designed to provide basic animal health/handling/nutrition teaching and to ensure that students obtain maximum benefit from their Extra-Mural Studies. The aims of the course are to provide you with an understanding of UK agriculture and the roles of veterinary surgeons within that industry. The course consists of lectures, seminars, practicals and computer assisted learning (CAL) – packages available from Veterinary School’s website to use at your own convenience. The course will highlight some of the risks of working with animals and on farms. The animal handling practicals will be held at the Department of Veterinary Medicine and at the Milton Campus of the University of West Anglia. Transport to the latter will be provided.

Documentary evidence of satisfactory attendance at these sessions, and of farm visits, must be provided before you can sit the Principles of Animal Management exam.

Second Year

Core Science modules:

  • Mechanisms of Drug Action (MODA) – mechanisms of drug action upon the body
  • Biology of Disease (BOD) – processes underlying disease and its effects on cells, tissues and organs
  • Veterinary Reproductive Biology (VRB) – the structure and function of the reproductive system
  • Neurobiology and Animal Behaviour (NAB) – the structure and function of the sense organs and central nervous system and their role in determining animal behaviour
  • Comparative Vertebrate Biology (CVB) – anatomy of vertebrates

Clinical Strand modules:

  • Preparing for the Veterinary Profession (PfVP) – introduction to aspects of the veterinary profession*, the role of the veterinary surgeon in protecting human health, professional ethics, and communication skills

*Preparing for the Veterinary Profession (PfVP)

The course aims to give you an introduction to ethical issues of professional practise, communication skills, and the social and professional responsibilities of the vet within society (nationally and internationally) as you transition from academic preparation to practising within the profession.

Third Year – Part II

An advantage of Cambridge is this year of specialist study choosing one of a wide range of subjects outside the typical veterinary medicine curriculum. Options vary from more science-related subjects such as zoology, pathology, microbiology, or history of medicine, to less-science related subjects such as philosophy or management studies. At the end of this year, you receive a BA. The Director of Studies and the "Subjects Fair" in March 2016 will help you made the decision about what to study. If you are an affiliated student, you skip this year.

The Clinical Veterinary Curriculum

The clinical training in the fourth and fifth year is an integrated teaching programme based on a matrix of courses in body systems (e.g. alimentary, respiratory), species (e.g. equine), and subject disciplines, (e.g. surgery), alongside small-group practical work.  The practical work is done on a rotational basis and deals with aspects such as clinical methods, post mortem work, radiography, clinical pathology and gynaecology. Regular formal assessment takes the form of course exams spread throughout the terms, the aim being to encourage steady work and personal development; students need to pass all these modular exams (Final Veterinary Examination Part I) to be eligible to sit the Final Veterinary Examination Part II exams at the end of 5th year.

The final year of the clinical course is a lecture-free 40 weeks consisting of small group rotational work through the clinics of the Department of Veterinary Medicine. There is an increasing emphasis on students taking responsibility for their learning and development, with case and client management under supervision. During this period, some of the rotations and Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) will be during University vacation. Continuous assessment forms an important part of this rotational work and contributes marks towards the VetMB Final Examamination Part III that completes the course at the end of the final year. On passing this exam, students are registered as members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

There is a proportion of elective work in the clinical course which is carried out during the final year clinical electives, when students choose areas of interest to study in greater depth. The final year elective project is assessed within the Final Veterinary Examination Part III.

Extra-Mural Studies

In addition to PAM and PfVP, you will need to complete a minimum of twelve weeks pre-clinical and twenty-six weeks clinical Extra-Mural Studies (EMS).

At the beginning of the 1st year, there is an introductory lecture on farm safety – attendance at this lecture is compulsory for all students. Each student will be allocated a Veterinary School Clinical Supervisor (VSCS) who will advise on EMS, both in pre-clinical and clinical parts of the course. If you have not been contacted by your VSCS before the end of the second week of term please contact Katheryn Ayres (kma28@cam.ac.uk). Your VSCS should meet with you at least once per term.

You will submit a report on visits to each farm and certificates from all placements to demonstrate your attendance. The pre-clinical submission is by the end of the first week of Easter Term of 3rd year (2nd year for Affiliated students).

Study Skills

University is not like school. There are significant differences between the way you were taught at school and the way you will learn at University, and sometimes you may feel bewildered by the transition. 

In place of relatively small school classes, information at University is delivered by means of lectures, (essentially a 50-minute monologue) which can be to groups of over 300 students.  Most lecturers  will issue hand-outs, but you will also need to develop your listening, concentration and note-taking skills to get the best out of the lecture experience. The material will be delivered quickly, and it is then up to you to understand and assimilate it; you are also expected to read further material on the subject matter. Some of these materials may be available via the University’s virtual learning environment, Moodle.  The information you are provided within lectures will be developed and set in context in practical classes.  Although some classes may be large, you will work in small groups with demonstrators on hand to help and answer questions. These practical sessions are vital to your education and attendance is mandatory.

The supervision system is there to complement the formal teaching and the onus is very much on you to make use of it, and to develop study and time management skills to help you cope with, and master, the material. College supervisions will play a very important part in your education. Make them interactive and take full advantage of them to ask questions about any parts of the course you need help with.

You will need to use the internet to consult library catalogues, past examination papers, databases of scientific literature - and much, much more. The departments that deliver your teaching provide increasing amounts of supplementary information on Moodle, and the Faculty of Biology website (www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/facbiol/mvst/) also provides a lot of basic information. You need to be aware that the University takes plagiarism very seriously. You can read more about this on the Faculty website (http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/facbiol/plagiarism.html).

Attendance

Diligent attendance is a requirement of the Faculty Board of Biology as you will need a certificate of diligent attendance to permit you to take the Tripos and 2nd Vet MB examinations.
Attendance at practical classes (but not lectures) is recorded and, if your attendance at the practical classes is unsatisfactory, the Head of Department concerned will be unable to provide a certificate of diligent attendance and your progression in the course and professional future will be in jeopardy.

If there is a good reason why you are unable to attend a practical class then you should tell your Director of Studies and the appropriate Course Organiser. It may be possible for you to do the practical at some other time. Organisers of practical classes may notify students and their Colleges if a student’s attendance record is unsatisfactory.

As a student your timetable is likely to be very full. Most of the teaching in the first three years will be on the University’s Downing site.  If you haven't time to go to your College for lunch, undergraduates are welcome at the University Centre, which is at the end of Mill Lane.

MIMS and HOM lectures will take place in Lady Mitchell Hall on the Sidgwick Site. The Sidgwick Buttery is open Monday-Friday 08:30 – 16:00.

Assessment and Exams

Courses have been designed to allow students, wherever possible, to learn for themselves rather than being passive recipients of instruction. You will get far more out of your course, and are more likely to do well in your exams, if you regard university as an opportunity to study what interests you, rather than just learning a syllabus to pass an exam.

You will encounter two kinds of assessment:

Formative assessment is an informal, continuous review of progress. Meetings are organised by your College supervisor and Director of Studies on a weekly or termly basis.

Summative assessment is your formal end of year exams. The 2nd Vet MB determines whether you are able to proceed to the clinical part of the course and the Tripos determines your class of BA qualification. 

There are three sections to the summative assessment. Section I involves one-hour theory exams based on the lecture material and consists of short notes or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Section II involves one or two-hour practical exams based on practical material covered. Because these 2nd Vet MB exams constitute a professional qualification, you are expected to pass them at a qualifying level, and to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of the whole of the subject material. Furthermore, you will be expected not merely to know this material but, more importantly, to understand it and apply that understanding to the solving of problems.

You must pass all 2nd Vet MB courses to progress onto the clinical part of the course. If you do not pass the 2nd Vet MB sections, you are allowed one further attempt at a separate 2nd Vet MB examination in September. Students are permitted only two attempts at 2nd Vet MB examinations unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or another good cause. If you require a third attempt, your College has to apply for this on your behalf to the Faculty Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Section III involves two or three-hour exams consisting of essay questions from a wide range of topics. This last section only contributes (along with Section I and II marks) toward your Tripos qualification, not your professional VetMB. To do well in the Tripos, you will need to show a deeper understanding of the material, and to be able to marshal facts into coherent arguments. You should remember you would be expected to know more than just enough to pass exams when working as an excellent professional veterinary surgeon!

In addition to the main science courses, there are other courses, for example Principles of Animal Management and Preparing for the Veterinary Profession, which are only assessed for the 2nd Vet MB.

Further details of these exams and how they relate to the course can be found in following examination summary tables and on the MVST website http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/facbiol/mvst/courses.html

Programme Outcomes

YearSkillOutcome
Pre-clinical part of course Knowledge and Understanding
  • a knowledge of the structure and function of healthy animals, which will allow students to recognise and understand abnormal and disease states of body systems;
  • a sympathetic understanding of the handling, management and nutrition of domesticated animals and of their needs in health and disease;
  • a knowledge of the principles and practice of preventive veterinary medicine and veterinary public health;
  • a knowledge of reproductive physiology and genetics sufficient to understand breeding management in farm and companion animal species;
  • an understanding of the principles underlying the pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology and control of disease;
  • basic knowledge of the law, and of welfare and ethical codes affecting veterinary practice;
  • knowledge of the principles of surgical techniques;
  • basic knowledge and interpretation of diagnostic imaging (radiography and ultrasound), and basic introduction to advanced imaging techniques, e.g.: nuclear medicine, MRI;
  • basic clinical knowledge of veterinary pharmacology, pharmacy and toxicology;
  • a basic knowledge of clinical pathology.
Intellectual Skills
  • basic skills in diagnostic problem solving, and in the formulation of treatment strategies.
Practical Skills
  • the ability to take a clinical history from an owner;
  • the ability to carry out a full clinical examination in all the main domestic species;
  • the ability to handle and restrain animals safely;
  • the ability to dispense and administer drugs to animals;
  • the ability to undertake basic clinical diagnostic problem solving;
  • the ability to formulate disease treatment and prevention strategies.
Transferable Skills
  • an understanding of scientific method, and an ability to apply basic scientific knowledge, sufficient to enable students to extend their knowledge of, and utilise future developments in, veterinary science;
  • basic communication skills.
Clinical part of course Intellectual Skills
  • knowledge of techniques necessary to carry out under supervision common surgical procedures in domesticated animals, including anaesthesia of most species;
  • the ability to employ clinical reasoning to draw up a rational list of differential diagnoses following investigation of disease;
  • the ability to devise and carry out a treatment or management plan following clinical assessment of common medical problems.
Practical Skills
  • an ability to manage common obstetrical problems;
  • the ability to perform intravenous catheterization and to take a blood sample;
  • the ability to perform basic surgical techniques;
  • the ability to perform basic diagnostic laboratory techniques.
Transferable Skills
  • the capacity to communicate effectively with clients and with colleagues both in the veterinary profession and in other disciplines;
  • the ability to work well as a member of a team;
  • the capacity to undertake successfully an extended study of a topic and to communicate the results verbally and in writing.

Year One Examination Summary

Course

Exam paper structure

Material examined

Assessment

Exam format

Notes

Homeostasis (HOM)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs or Short Notes

Sections I & III taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

2 hours

Practical material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions (by MCQs)

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Molecules in Medical Science (MIMS)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs

Sections I & II taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

2 hours

Practical material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Veterinary Anatomy and   Physiology (VAP)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs

Sections I & III taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

2 hours

Practical material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions (short notes and MCQs)

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Introduction to the Scientific Basis of Medicine (ISBM)

One paper

45 minutes

 

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

 

MCQs

 

Principles of Animal Management (PAM)

One paper

1 hour

 

 

2nd Vet MB

 

MCQs

 

Note 1 Histology will be examined as part of the Homeostasis practical.
Note 2 The regulations for MVST IA stipulate that each subject of the IA examination should carry the same marks. Form and conduct notices http://www.biology.cam.ac.uk/exams/form-conduct have been published in the Reporter, which describe in detail the format of each examination.

Year Two Examination Summary

Course

Exam Structure

Material examined

Assessment

Exam format

Notes

Biology of Disease (BOD)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs

Sections I & III taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

2 hours

Practical material

2nd MB 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Mechanisms of Drug Action (MODA)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs and short notes

Sections I & III taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

2 hours

Practical material

2nd MB

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Neurobiology and Animal Behaviour (NAB)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Short Answer Questions

Sections I & III taken   as a single 3 hour paper

Section II

1 hour

Practical material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions

Section III

2 hours

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Veterinary Reproductive Biology (VRB)

Section I

1 hour

Lecture material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

MCQs

Sections I and III taken as   a single 2½ hour paper

Section II

1 hour

Practical material

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Practical questions

Section III

1½ hrs

Whole course

 

Tripos

Essay questions

Comparative Vertebrate Biology (CVB)

Part I

1½ hrs

Whole course

 

2nd Vet MB

Tripos

Steeple chase

 

Part II

1½ hrs

 

Tripos

Essay questions

 

Preparing for the Veterinary Profession (PfVP)

One Paper

45mins

Whole course

 

2nd Vet MB

 

MCQs

 

Note: The regulations for MVST IB stipulate that the maximum marks allocated to each subject at IB should be in the following proportions:

Biology of Disease 10                                            
Comparative Vertebrate Biology 8
Neurobiology and Animal Behaviour 10               
Veterinary Reproductive Biology 8
Mechanisms of Drug Action 10          

Form and conduct notices http://www.biology.cam.ac.uk/exams/form-conduct have been published in the Reporter, which describe in detail the format of each examination.                   

Costs

In addition to standard living costs, vet students should expect to have to meet some extra costs.

 The following items (estimated from previous years) can be pre-ordered via the vet school and collected at the Introduction to the Vet School session – via separate order form. If you do not manage to obtain a lab coat from the vet school, you must purchase one during the Molecules in Medical Science (MIMS) lab coat session.

Lab coat

~£10.00

Wellington boots (with toe protector)

£11.70

Overalls (boiler suit)

£15.79

Waterproof trousers

£7.07

The following items will be provided and should be paid for at your Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (VAP) practical – remember to bring cash or cheque.

Dissection kit,   gloves, safety glasses, loan of locker and key, loan of dog skeleton

£24.00

Veterinary Dissection Manual which includes course guides for Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (1st Year) and Neurobiology and Comparative Veterinary Biology (2nd Year) - essentially to replace a text book of human or veterinary anatomy.

£14.00

The following items will be required later in the year:

University approved calculator

£14.00

Electron micrographs (optional)

£2.00

EMS (preclinical) 12 weeks practical vacation experience with animals, particularly farm animals.  BVA Insurance cover at a cost of £39.00 per annum, will be met by the Veterinary School, but no subsistence grants are payable.

Variable
Additional Costs for Clinical Years

Fourth year students are expected to purchase the equipment items below from the Department’s Stores Office for practical/rotation work during term time and for EMS use in the vacations (please note that the Veterinary Department’s Stores do not stock ‘Yard Boots’).

Locker padlock

£1.56

Stethoscope (basic - many students purchase a higher quality one, and fob-watch for use in theatre, later in clinical course via Student Soceity

£2.82

Clinical thermometer

£3.84

Digital thermometer

£1.19

6” scissors, curved on flat

£2.90

Spencer Wells forceps, 5”

£3.66

Pen torch

£1.44

Dog lead (red)

£1.26

Hoof pick

£0.69

‘Yard Boots’ (steel toe-capped leather boots)

see above paragraph

EMS - 26 weeks required by RCVS - variable depending on chosen placements (Grants are available to assist with costs)

 Variable

BVA insurance cover, at a cost of £39.00 per annum, will be met by the Veterinary School, for 4th, 5th and 6th year students

 

In addition to the list above, students will be required to purchase white theatre shoes (~£1.95) and protective clothing to be worn in theatre (~£12.20) prior to starting their 6th year rotations.

Feedback and Representation

Course Organisers will actively solicit opinions from you about the teaching you receive.  We do change our teaching as a response to comments and suggestions made by previous students, and you owe it to those coming after you to respond to questionnaires, so that those responsible for organising the teaching know when something is right, and when something could be improved.  When you complete a teaching questionnaire try to be honest, informative, and, if possible, helpful.

Course liaison committees also have student representatives and it is at this level that most of the useful work is done in providing feedback to those who teach from those who are learning.

The Faculty Board has student representatives, and we hope that some of you will wish to contribute through this means of discussion.  The student elected to the Faculty Board from the medical and veterinary students also sits on the Medical Education Committee, which maintains an overview of Cambridge medical education from admission to qualification. There is also a Faculty Committee, the MVST Part I Committee, which oversees MVST IA and IB, and includes student representatives.  Please feel free to take any thoughts you have about the course to any of your student representatives.

Concerns About Other Students/Members of Staff

The Student Code of Conduct requires students to ‘take action at an early stage when any problem arises'.  All veterinary students should seek advice from the College Tutor or Director of Studies if they think another veterinary student has behaved in such a way that suggests he or she is not fit to practise. Examples of such behaviour include:

  • behaviour that adversely affects other students or staff;
  • misusing information about clients;
  • treating animals without properly obtaining consent;
  • posting material about farmers, clients or their animals on social media sites
  • behaving dishonestly in financial matters, or in dealings with clients, or research;
  • making sexual advances towards clients;
  • misusing alcohol or drugs.

Complaints About the Course

If you have problems with the organisation of a particular course, you should communicate this to the Course Organiser.  You can also tell student representatives who sit on the Management Committee for the course to raise the problem on your behalf.  Please don’t hesitate to raise an issue, especially since the problem may be general. If all else fails, raise the problem with the Head of the Department.

Problems with the teaching provided for you by your College should be raised with your Director of Studies, if that fails, with your Tutor or with the Senior Tutor.  

Complaints about Exams

Any complaints about the conduct or the results of examinations must be raised in the first instance with your College Tutor, not directly with the Examiners concerned.  It is your Tutor’s responsibility to advise on these matters. Cambridge exam rules and regulations make provision for cases of illness or other misfortune. If you encounter any such impediments to exam preparation, the sooner you inform your College Tutor the better.  All liaison between a student and the central administration must be conducted through your College Tutor.

Cambridge Culture

The Complementary Roles of the University and the Colleges

Cambridge is a collegiate University, and responsibility for your education is shared between the University and your College. 

Within the University, the Faculty of Biology is responsible for organising your teaching for the first three years. You will undergo practicals and lectures from staff of six departments: Biochemistry; Genetics; Pathology; Pharmacology; Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN) and Veterinary Medicine. Departments will provide course handbooks for each of the courses you take, and these will include details of the arrangements for lectures and practical classes in that subject, and detailed guidance about the form and conduct of examinations.  Much more information, especially on timetables, is available on the Faculty of Biology website and you should become accustomed to consulting this:

http://www.biology.cam.ac.uk/undergrads/mvst/course-details/mvst-general

This teaching will be augmented and enhanced by small-group teaching (Supervisions) organised by your College.  These help with academic work, but also communication and writing skills. Your College Director of Studies will get to know you as an individual, and will organise the provision of Supervisions to support and enhance the formal teaching given by Departments. Your College Supervisors, Director of Studies and Tutor provide a unique pastoral network designed to support your studies at Cambridge.

Student Societies

Within Cambridge there are societies organised by, and run for, veterinary students. Here are ‘welcome’ messages from two of them:

Cambridge University Veterinary Society (CUVS):

CUVS is the Cambridge University Veterinary Society and we are the representative body of the vet students at Cambridge. We have a 17 strong committee composed entirely of students whose main role is to act as a platform for student opinion and a source of information, advice and entertainment.

Our many functions include: sitting on several committees around the vet school, arranging weekly talks on topics of veterinary interest, ordering vet school ‘stash’ and, most importantly, organising entertainments for you, the vet students! The committee will be introduced to you early on in your first term and one of you will even have the chance to become ‘1st year rep’, so make sure you keep an eye out for emails and leaflets in your college pigeonholes to tell you more about it!

Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society (CUVZS):

Are you interested in working with exotic animals, zoo animals or wildlife? The Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society warmly welcomes all vet students to join our society and learn more about how to become an exotics vet. With fortnightly talks, weekend events and our annual symposium attended by vet students from all seven vet schools, CUVZS offers exciting opportunities to meet and learn from exotics, zoo and wildlife vets. Take a look at our website www.cuvzs.com for information on becoming a member and the latest events.

Support

Academic Support

Are you Having Difficulties Coping With the Demands of the Course?

Begin by asking your College Supervisor in the appropriate subject, but University lecturers can be approached if a problem remains unresolved and, in practical classes, demonstrators are on hand to deal with immediate queries.   Problems with lectures and practical sessions can be raised with those who are lecturing or running a particular class.

Are you on the Right Course?

If you are having serious doubts, talk about them immediately with your Tutor and/or Director of Studies.  There are students who realise, having got to this stage, that it was all a big mistake. It is never too late to change your mind. Cambridge offers exit routes from Veterinary Medicine into other Triposes, so you can still acquire a degree. Many students study subjects which contribute greatly to the practice of veterinary medicine, e.g. genetics or pathology, without becoming a veterinary practitioner.

The Medical and Veterinary Student Progress Panel

The College tutorial and pastoral system is supported by the Medical and Veterinary Student Progress Panel. The Panel maintains a general overview of medical and veterinary student progression throughout both the preclinical and clinical course at Cambridge and monitors the cases of students who, for one reason or another may be having problems with the course. The Medical and Veterinary Student Progress Panel consists of senior members of the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Clinical Medicine and Department of Veterinary Medicine together with College tutorial representatives. The committee is not a disciplinary body but is set up to provide support for students and Colleges. Its basic remit is to ensure that students have a timely and trouble-free progress through the course. See more at:

http://www.biology.cam.ac.uk/exams/monitor

Non-Academic Support

We understand that some members of the student body may encounter problems in their private lives which can affect their progress on the course. There are a variety of sources of support for students within colleges, the wider university and externally.

Confidential Sources of Advice 

Student’s College:

University:

External:

Chaplains

Director of Studies

Nurse

Supervisors

Student Mentors

Tutors

 

Dr David Good, Director of Education (Biological Sciences)
Tel. (01223) (7)66899
Email:

Prof Alun Williams, Director of Teaching (Veterinary Department)
Tel. (01223) (3)37640
Email:

Counselling Service:
http://www.counselling.cam.ac.uk/
Tel. (01223) (3)32865
Email: counsellingreception@admin.cam.ac.uk

Disability Resource Centre:
http://www.disability.admin.cam.ac.uk/ 
Tel. (01223) (3)32301
Email: disability@admin.cam.ac.uk

Occupational Health Service:
http://www.oh.admin.cam.ac.uk/
Tel. (01223) (3)36594
Email: occhealth@admin.cam.ac.uk

Cambridge Student Linkline:
http://linkline.org.uk/ 
Tel. (01223) 744444
Email: email@linkline.org.uk

University Church Chaplain:
http://www.gsm.cam.ac.uk/chaplaincy/chaplaincies/
Tel: (01223) (7)41720
Email: office@gsm.cam.ac.uk

Alcohol - Drinksense
http://www.drinksense.org
Tel. (01223) 350599

Bullying - Bullying UK / Family Lives 
http://www.bullying.co.uk
Tel. 0808 800 2222

Bereavement - Cruse Bereavement
http://www.cruse.org.uk
Tel. (01223) 633536

Counselling - Centre 33
http://www.centre33.org.uk
Tel. (01223) 316488

Disability - Disability Rights UK
http://disabilityrightsuk.org
Tel. 0800 328 5050
Email: students@disabilityrightsuk.org

Domestic Violence - Abacus Counsellors
http://www.abusecounselling.co.uk/Counselling.html
Tel. (01223) 511551 / 07988 803620

Drugs - Inclusion
http://www.inclusion-cambridgeshire.org.uk
Tel. 0300 555 0101

Eating Disorder - BEAT
http://www.b-eat.co.uk
Tel. 0845 634 1414

Forced Marriage / Honour Killings - Foreign office Forced marriage Unit
https://www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage
Tel. 0207 008 0151
Email: fmu@fco.gov.uk

Housing Advice and Information (Cambridge City Council)
https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/get-advice-about-housing
Tel. (01223) 457918

Mental Health / Emotional Distress - Samaritans
http://www.samaritans.org
Tel. 0845 790 9090
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Racism - Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum
http://www.cecf.co.uk
Tel. (01223) 655241

Rape - Cambridge Rape Crisis
http://www.cambridgerapecrisis.co.uk
Tel. (01223) 245888
Email: support@cambridgerapecrisis.co.uk

Sexuality - SexYOUality
http://www.syacambs.org.uk
Tel. (01223) 369508
Text: 2byou to 07808 189158
Email: info@syacambs.org

Sexual Health - iCASH
http://www.icash.nhs.uk
Tel. 0300 300 3030

Veterinary Student Register Agreement October 2015

If you have a difficulty with any element of this declaration, please contact your College Senior Tutor to discuss how this might be resolved.

1   I have read the following information:

  • The University’s Veterinary Student Code of Conduct and explanatory notes[i];
  • The University’s Confidential Sources of Help and Advice[ii].

2    I will comply with the rules and procedures laid down by the Faculty Boards of Biology and Veterinary Medicine, and by the Examinations Board;

3    I will respond promptly to all communications from my College, and University (incl. Departmental) staff;

4    I recognise that all information obtained about any animal/patient or their owner during the course of my duties is strictly confidential and may not be divulged to anyone other than in a clinical context;

5    I recognise that my conduct and dress when engaged in the care of patients and while undertaking Extra-Mural Studies will be appropriate to the status of a veterinary practitioner;

6    I will inform the Director of Education (Biological Sciences), the Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and my College Senior Tutor immediately if I am involved in any police investigation which may lead to charges being brought against me;

7    I will inform the Director of Education (Biological Sciences), the Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and my College Senior Tutor immediately if I am no longer able to meet the requirements of this agreement or if I am/become aware of any change to my physical or mental health that may affect my performance/progress on the course, and/or put at risk the health and well-being of other students, animals/patients or their owners;

8    I understand that all members of University and College staff have a duty, in the public interest, to report matters that may affect my fitness to practise to the Director of Teaching in the Department of Veterinary Medicine including matters relating to behaviour, health and academic progression.

9   I understand that the Veterinary Fitness to Practise Committee may, in the public interest, share information about my registration with external bodies and has the authority to remove my name, either temporarily or permanently, from the Veterinary Students Register for failing to observe the Veterinary Student Code of Conduct or failing to progress academically;

10 I understand that I will remain on the Cambridge Veterinary Student Register and observe the University’s Veterinary Student Code of Conduct until I have:

  • completed the requirements of the clinical Veterinary course satisfactorily;
  • sat any Vet MB examination on two occasions without passing;
  • been suspended by the Veterinary Fitness to Practise Committee;
  • withdrawn from the veterinary course.

11 I understand that, if I fail to abide by this agreement and the Code of Conduct, I will be responsible for paying any reasonable costs arising from a review of my fitness for practice in the event that such review leads to me being found unfit for practice or fit for practice only on certain conditions;

Student Name: ………................................      Witness Name: ………................................

(BLOCK CAPITALS)

Signature: ………..........................................     Signature: ………..........................................

Date: ........................    

Please return this form, at your first Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (VAP) to Dr David Bainbridge.