Veterinary Professional Practice

Subject VETS70009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 100
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Year Long, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 04-Jan-2016 to 11-Nov-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Jan-2016
Census Date 31-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1590 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

2400 hours.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:

A sound understanding of structure, function and dysfunction in domestic animals, animal management systems and diseases of importance in domestic animals and principles of their treatment.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

Refer to the Core Participation Requirements statement within the course entry for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine:


Assoc Prof Caroline Mansfield



Subject Overview:

This subject is undertaken as a series of 25 weeks of scheduled clinical rotations, internally within the University Veterinary Hospital and in external placements, 19 weeks on extramural elective placements, and concludes with a one week capstone 'transition to the workplace' lecture and workshop series. The subject comprises 45 weeks of study.

This subject addresses and assesses the five core learning domains of Veterinary Professional Practice:

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice
  • Clinical Skills
  • Ethics and Animal Welfare
  • Biosecurity and Population Health

The internal rotations include training in clinical disciplines such as; general practice, small animal medicine, small animal surgery/neurology, equine medicine and surgery, production animal medicine, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesiology, small animal emergency medicine and pathology.

The external rotations include training in clinical disciplines such as; veterinary public health, dairy cattle medicine and surgery, and shelter medicine and surgery.

Nineteen weeks of extramural elective placements must be completed, of which 15 weeks are scheduled in the final year rotation schedule. The remaining 4 weeks may be completed immediately after achieving passes in all subjects in Year 2 of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (i.e. DVM2). The scheduled 15 weeks must be completed after achieving passes in all subjects in DVM3. These may be taken in sequences lasting from one to five weeks' duration. They may be undertaken in approved veterinary practices in Australia or internationally, in government veterinary laboratories or other organisations, or in a veterinary research environment. A research project may be undertaken during extramural elective rotations.

A compulsory Capstone series of lectures and workshops concludes the year with reviews of topics that prepare students for transition to the workplace. An annual research project under supervision of an appropriate mentor is also required to be completed.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an extensive body of contemporary knowledge encompassing all disciplines and aspects of veterinary science
  • Apply research methodology and integrate knowledge and research skills to address a research question in veterinary science
  • Apply knowledge and skills to solve problems that arise in practical settings and professional contexts in veterinary science and develop an integrated understanding of knowledge and practice
  • Apply an understanding of the development of evidence-based practice and evidence-based methods in practical setting in veterinary science
  • Recognise the importance of and utilize evidence-based methods in veterinary practice
  • Investigate, evaluate, interpret and manage problems encountered as a veterinary scientist employing practical skills and the application of knowledge
  • Perform the Day One Competencies as outlined in the document Day One Competencies of a Graduate of the Melbourne School of Veterinary Science
  • Graduate and register as a veterinarian with certifying bodies that recognise teh DVM degree
  • Contribute to the further advancement of veterinary knowledge and veterinary practice

Overall assessment

  • Core internal and external clinical rotations, and elective clinical rotations worth 55%
  • Extramural placements and electives worth 15%
  • Up to five oral/practical examinations worth 10%
  • A two-hour multiple choice/short answer written examination at the end of the year worth 10%
  • Research project worth 10%

Core internal and external clinical rotations and elective clinical rotations (55% of total subject assessment) PLUS Extramural placements and electives (15% of total subject assessment)

Continuous assessment of performance in the internal clinical rotations at the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital and in the external clinical rotations and in the extramural elective placements. Students will be assessed in each of the five core themes of Veterinary Professional Practice (70% of total subject assessment).

Each of the five core themes will be equally weighted (14% each of total subject assessment). Rotation marks and feedback will be provided to the students within approximately 1 - 2 weeks of each rotation.


Passing each of the five core themes individually, averaged across all internal and external clinical rotations, and extramural elective placements, is a hurdle requirement for this subject.

Internal and External Clinical Rotations

All students must perform satisfactorily in each of the clinical rotations. Performance appraisal is undertaken by veterinary staff supervising the rotation and generally encompasses evaluation of attendance and punctuality, theoretical knowledge, practical skills, professional demeanour, oral and written communication skills, initiative and enthusiasm. Some rotations may require submission of a short written assignment or case report, an oral presentation, and /or successful completion of objective assessment tasks as part of the assessment.


Achieving a pass in each of the clinical rotations is a hurdle requirement for this subject. A student who fails any rotation may be given the opportunity to repeat that rotation once.

Extramural Elective Placements

Students must perform to a satisfactory standard (as assessed by the designated Academic Associate or Supervising Veterinarian) during each of the 19 weeks of extramural elective placements.


Achieving a pass in each of the extramural elective placements is a hurdle requirement for this subject.

A case log-book must be submitted in the required format if learning at an extramural elective placement is case-based (e.g. general and referral veterinary practices). A case log-book will comprise case record sheets of a minimum of 5 cases observed per week of placement and will illustrate the variety of cases investigated and treated over that period. Each Log-book must be submitted in a neat format with the case record sheets bound or otherwise constrained within a presentation folder. All information presented in the log-book must be in English. The log-book or report must be submitted to the Faculty Academic and Clinical Programs Office. Each log-book or report will be reviewed by appropriate members of the Faculty.

A placement block report must be submitted if an extramural elective placement does not involve case-based learning (e.g. placements with the Department of Primary Industries or equivalent).

The format of the report should be agreed upon in advance with the supervising veterinarian and the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs, but is generally expected to describe the experience and achievements of the student during the placement. As a guide, the placement block report should be between four and five pages of double-spaced 12-point text.

A Research Report must be submitted where an extramural elective placement is completed in a research facility. The form of this report will vary depending of the length of the research placement. The report should include a review of current research activities of the laboratory and a description of methodologies observed in the laboratory. Where students spend more than 3 weeks in the research facility, the report should in addition include an aim, description of results obtained and discussion of the results.


Students must submit a satisfactory case log-book, placement block report or a research report for each of the three electives.

Written examination (10% of total subject assessment)

One 2-hour multiple choice/short answer written examination scheduled at the end of the year covering all components from the DVM curriculum relating to Veterinary Public Health and also all applied aspects of all clinical disciplines of DVM3 and DVM4 (10% of total subject assessment).


Students must pass the written examination.

Oral/Practical Examinations (10% of total subject assessment)

Up to five short oral/practical examinations covering applied aspects of all clinical disciplines of DVM3 and DVM4 and scheduled at the end of the year (10% of total subject assessment). These examinations cover the fields of general practice, horses, cattle, small ruminants and dogs and cats.


Students must pass each of the oral/practical examinations.

Research Project (10% of total subject assessment)

Details to be provided to students at the start of the year.


Students must pass the Research Project.

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

This is rotation-dependent and will be provided prior to the start of each individual rotation.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students completing this subject will:

  • Be able to seek solutions to problems through the application of knowledge, the ability to initiate and integrate new ideas, an appreciation of the broad picture of science, and an understanding of the importance and application of scientific method
  • Deal with integrity and honesty with professional colleagues, clients and the general public
  • Demonstrate empathy and concern for animals and people
  • Possess an understanding of both scientific and vocational aspects of veterinary science
  • Be motivated to be a veterinarian, aware of the veterinarian’s place in society, and prepared to be a leader in the community
  • Have broad knowledge of veterinary science and be able to develop intellectual and physical skills as circumstances dictate
  • Be trained in all disciplines and aspects of veterinary science
  • Be adaptable to changes in their specific field of employment and to advancements in veterinary science in general
  • Be confident in their veterinary capabilities on day one post-graduation whilst recognising the limitations of their training
  • Be aware of the global society and equipped to contribute to it
  • Be a graduate of choice for employers


The requirement of students to complete 19 weeks of extramural elective placements and some rotations on sites external to the Werribee campus may incur additional incidental costs associated with travel and/or accommodation. The amount of these incidental expenses will depend on the location of these external placements. Students should take into account expected incidental expenses prior to organising or confirming external placements.

Related Course(s): Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

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