Module title: Veterinary and Scientific Ethics

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: VET09110
Module leader: Jane Stirling
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Jane Stirling
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module content will be delivered through a combination of face to face classes (lectures and tutorials) and Moodle (All LOs). Wherever possible the subject matter will be related to prior learning. A problem solving approach will be adopted relating theoretical concepts to everyday situations (LO 2). The online Animal Ethics Dilemma tool will be used to introduce ethical theories (LO 1).
Discussions within class will allow students to examine topics in more depth and reflect on their own experiences, and learn from each other (LO 2 and 3). Lectures and discussions will be held on veterinary procedures including euthanasia and the withholding of treatment or over-treatment of animals (LO 3). There will be a workshop on resilience and coping strategies relating to legal and professional responsibilities (LO 4). In-class debates will foster group-working skills and respect for other viewpoints (LO 1 and 4). Students will be encouraged to develop analytical and discursive talents, improving verbal and written communication skills.

Formative Assessment:
Moodle discussion forums posing ethical dilemmas similar to those encountered in the summative assessment will provide an opportunity for peer and tutor feedback.

An essay plan can be submitted for feedback in week 7

A formal debate will be held in Week 12 on a topical subject.

Summative Assessment:
2,500 word Essay demonstrating competence in all learning outcomes. The subject of the essay will be an ethical dilemma experienced by the student in practice.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 21
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 9
Independent Learning Guided independent study 160
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 100 1,2,3 & 4 1 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Students will study the major ethical theories relating to animal use: contractarianism, utilitarianism, deontology, respect for nature, relational and feminist ethics and the principles of bioethics. Concepts such as anthropomorphism, speciesism, and the socio-zoological scale will be explored in relation to animals in a range of contexts. The use of animals in research and the ethical framework of the 3Rs will be evaluated. Ethical decision-making within the veterinary practice will form a major part of the module. This will include: consent, responsibility and accountability, legal matters, Duty of Care, euthanasia and the with-holding of treatment. Coping strategies and resilience for veterinary staff will be discussed. Where possible, students will reflect on their experiences in practice with the summative assessment providing the opportunity to explore an ethically challenging experience in depth.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Apply ethical theories to critique the uses of animals in society
LO2: Utilise a problem solving approach to apply ethical decision- making to real life situations
LO3: Evaluate arguments for and against a range of veterinary procedures.
LO4: Prioritise legal and professional responsibilities in relation to animals in a variety of different environments

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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