This programme has been constructed using the Biosciences (2015), Biomedical Sciences (2015) and Veterinary Science (2002) benchmark statements as a guide. Particular reference has been made to the threshold statements - these being the minimum requirement described in the benchmarking statements by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Any individual student will take the equivalent of 18 modules in total, which will include core and optional modules. The structure and content of the core modules is such that all students will have the opportunity to develop the "skills and attributes required by the bioveterinary science graduate.
Department of Biological Sciences
Tuesday 28th June 2016
The overall aims of the Bioveterinary Science programme are to:
Facilitate a widening of access to higher education within the local community and beyond through flexibility in admissions procedures and learning and teaching styles;
Offer undergraduate awards promoting academic, vocational and personal development;
Provide a coherent and challenging learning experience for students who have an interest in Bioveterinary Science;
Offer attractive and flexible learning opportunities to full-time and part-time students;
Encourage a critically and theoretically informed and reflective approach to academic study and professional practice;
Foster a critical appreciation of the role and value of research and of a scientific approach to study;
Optimise the use of learning resources by providing opportunities for shared learning for students undertaking related programmes;
Increase self awareness and insight into both professional and ethical issues relevant to the practice of Bioveterinary Science;
Advance professional practice to benefit animal healthcare services and professions related to Bioveterinary Science;
Develop specific knowledge and competence that underpins Bioveterinary Science.
Subject Knowledge (SK)
Understand and demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts, principles and theories that underpin bioveterinary science; anatomy, physiological and biochemical systems, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and pathology. (SK1)
Subject-specific Thinking and Cognitive Skills (STC)
Be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gathered from the academic literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the work place, in order to propose solutions and communicate findings to problems relevant to Bioveterinary Sciences. (STC1)
Critically apply understanding of theory and knowledge of case-studies to unfamiliar problems, relevant issues and current developments in bioveterinary sciences and show strategies for evaluating and solving these problems .(STC2)
The ability to design and perform research in Bioveterinary Science. This includes selection of appropriate research questions, experimental design, laboratory methods and equipment as well as the use and interpretation of appropriate statistical tests, the effective use of graphical displays of data and the ability to come to well supported conclusions through reflection and discussion of results. (P1)
Be able to deploy academic and practical techniques for the integration of knowledge and understanding into effective practice relevant to Bioveterinary Science, with appropriate consideration of ethical issues and risk. (P2)
Numeracy and IT. The ability to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal and graphical. To be able to carry out sample selection; record and analyse data in the field and/or the laboratory; ensure validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and highlight uncertainty during collection. To prepare, process, interpret and resent data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques, statistical programmes, spreadsheets and programs for presenting data visually and solve problems by a variety of methods, including the use of computers. (GTKS1)
Communication. The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with professional colleagues, the public and clients responding to the influence of economic and emotional pressures. Maintain professional relationships with clients and colleagues developing trust, protecting confidentiality and respecting differing views. Produce reports both verbal and written in a form maximizes usefulness to the intended audience. (GTKS4).
Interpersonal and Teamwork. The ability to identify individual and collective goals and responsibilities and perform in a manner appropriate to these roles, to work effectively within a team, giving and receiving information and ideas and modifying responses as appropriate To recognise and respect the views and opinions of other team members. (GTKS3).
Self-management and professional skills. The ability to work and learn independently while effectively managing time and resources, demonstrating academic integrity and possessing the skills of self-evaluation to understand own strengths and weaknesses in order to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies where judged necessary. (GTKS4)
The programme is designed so that academic knowledge and understanding accompany the development of work-related skills. The curriculum is modular and is built over three levels of study, and will be delivered predominantly via blended learning, comprising face-to-face tuition and requiring self-directed study.
Within the programme students are expected to undertake 120 credits of study each year. Modules have a value of 20 credits with the exception of the Level 6 Dissertation module, which is 40 credits. Modules are assessed on a 4000 word-equivalent basis using a variety of assessment strategies.
The development of the programme reflects level-related characteristics, as indicated in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. In respect of subject knowledge, emphasis at Level 4 concerns “describing” and “knowing about” fundamental principles that can be reinforced and developed when constructing rational argument and questioning skills.
Level 5 encourages and promotes more research informed study, making reference to, and linking, complex elements of knowledge, and subsequently allowing students to demonstrate their own critical approach to data and evidence.
Level 6 focusses on analysis and synthesis of knowledge, data and evidence, which requires students to develop a more reflective approach to skills and concepts. Level-specific characteristics are embedded in the learning outcomes of the programme and Level 6 outcomes necessitate high order cognitive application in both generic and subject-specific areas.
The modules at Level 4 provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for a range of students. Students undertake six core modules. This is to ensure that students develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, skills and concepts necessary for the study of bioveterinary sciences. Whilst five of the modules focus on the basic sciences underlying the programme, the final module introduces students to the application of bioveterinary sciences and the opportunities available to them on graduation in a range of fields.
Level 5 requires students to study five core modules The study of modules at Level 5 involves far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing understanding and further enhance key concepts and skills. Study at Level 5 culminates with students taking a 6 week designated module that applies and practices practical skills that promote employability within the bioveterinary sector.
Modules at Level 6 of the programme are directed towards developing academic expertise and professional skills within the bioveterinary sector. There are four core modules at Level 6 and the Dissertation module (40 credits) module.
The dissertation module allows students to focus on individual research interests, and will require them to utilise advanced knowledge and understanding, as well as practical skills in Bioveterinary Science. The development of subject specialism at Level 6 will support the transition to a particular area of employment within Bioveterinary Science.
Students graduate with BSc Honours on completion of Level 6 having obtained 360 credits (120 per year).
Students may obtain an exit award of Dip HE on completion of Level 5 having obtained 240 credits (120 per year).
Students may obtain an exit award of Cert HE on completion of Level 4 having obtained 120 credits.
280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels, including a grade C in one of the subjects recommended by the department. Typical offer - BCC/BBC
GCE A LEVEL:
The department requires one of the following subjects as essential for entry:
GCE A Level: Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science GCE Applied A Level: Applied Science
BTEC Extended Diploma (Applied Science): DMM
BTEC Diploma (Applied Science): D*D*
B in 4 subjects, including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology
26 points including 5 in Biology or Chemistry
Access to Science course to include 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit
OCR National Extended/Diploma: merit profile plus one of the GCE A level subjects listed above
Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.
All successful applicants for this Programme should be vaccinated against hepatitis B virus and tetanus. This is essential under Health and Safety Regulations for those who come into contact with blood and/or blood products. Whilst students may still enrol on this programme if they choose not to be vaccinated, their learning experiences and choice of work placement may be limited in this case.
The following categories of QAA Subject Benchmark Statements have been used to develop this programme in Bioveterinary Science:
Biomedical Sciences (2015).
Veterinary Science (2002).
Bioveterinary Science encompasses a range of scientific disciplines that support the care of animals and understanding of animal disease. Bioveterinary science along with other industries contributes to the improved welfare of both captive and wild animals, as well as acting to protect the health of those people who interact with animals. It is also important to acknowledge that bioveterinary science has a role in protecting the wider environment that may be adversely affected by animal disease.
A bioveterinary science degree should provide the knowledge and skills required to confidently and professionally support the animal health industry. Such attributes should recognise the diversity of skills required to support animal health, from animal husbandry and nutrition, to the technical monitoring and diagnosis of disease. In recognition of the human responsibility towards animal welfare it is also important that bioveterinary scientists have a working understanding of the legal and ethical duties that relate to animal care. In response to such diverse responsibilities the QAA subject bench marks from the Biological, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences have all been utilised to develop standards within this Bioveterinary Science programme. In particularly this programme will focus on the technical knowledge and skills, typically applied within the Biomedical sector, and identified within the Biomedical sciences benchmark statements, that can be applied to the animal health industry as it develops towards a more preventative and less responsive industry. Fundamental biological knowledge and skills identified from the Biosciences benchmarks will be used to support a basic understanding of animal science, whilst the Veterinary Science benchmark statements will be utilised to develop skills and knowledge directly relevant to the veterinary and animal healthcare industries.
Members of the Department of Biological Sciences have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral experience levels. The Department has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with ‘non-standard entry’ qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development. Consequently, students encounter a broad range of teaching and learning experiences across all levels of study as befits the subject matter. Methods of teaching and learning are indicated clearly in each module descriptor and the list that follows describes the variety of approaches used by tutors.
These feature in most modules as an effective way of imparting important content, themes and pointers for further study. However, they are supplemented by a variety of other methods of teaching and learning as described below.
The majority of modules at Levels 4 and 5 include practical classes. These provide the opportunity for students to develop their data handling and analytical skills as well as their practical skills (e.g. handling equipment, develping new scientific techniques). An important aspect of practical work is also the opportunity it offers for group work, encouraging working with others. At level 6, the amount of practical work is limited but students undertaking the dissertation module (BI6110) normally carry out a practical project involving a relevant empirical study.
Opportunities to experience direct contact with Bioveterinary professionals and relevant institutions via field trips will be utilised, especially at Level 4. This very important form of learning will be provided in support of module learning outcomes and will not be directly linked to assessments in order to provide equality with students unable to attend such sessions.
Seminars are used most often in Level 6 modules in which group sizes are relatively small and students tend to be more confident. Selected topics of the module content are chosen to provide the opportunity for more in-depth study and dissemination of ideas. Amongst other key skills, students are able to practise oral communication skills in a relatively informal context.
When students have specific queries that have not been addressed during formal teaching sessions, they can contact module tutors directly. In practice, these discussions tend to focus on assessment issues, including feedback on formative essays, the initial drafts of assignments, and performance in examinations. A system is in operation whereby students can make appointments to consult tutors.
Intranet-based support materials
The University has an intranet (SharePoint Portal) available to all students on or off campus. This offers access to a wide range of facilities including Learning Resources, the Library and all modular support materials. Staff are increasingly using Sharepoint for making additional support materials available to students. The Department has recently invested in the on-line Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences, which is an excellent additional resource for undergraduates.
As reading is central to the process of knowledge acquisition in higher education, module tutors provide reading lists to guide their students to appropriate material. Increasingly, these lists include references to the Internet and electronic sources, as well as more traditional book and journal references.
There are transferable skills that needs to be demonstrated in higher education. Throughout the programme, working with others has been incorporated with progression incorporated from one level to the next. In many modules, particularly in practical work in the laboratory, students are encouraged to work in groups and to share ideas.
Employability skills encompass the attributes that help graduates to secure employment , enable them to respond to the changing demands of the workplace and contribute positively to their employer’s success and their own progress are essential as outcomes in programmes of study. Employability skills include; self-management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem-solving, communication and literacy, application of numeracy, application of information technology. All programme modules delivered by the Department of Biological Sciences have identifiable employability learning outcomes.
The University's level related criteria are a key reference when designing modular assessments. Transferable and employability skills are useful for guidance on level-related assessment. Therefore, progression towards more complex and involved assessments, that require greater levels of study autonomy and greater levels of critical analysis, underpins the overall assessment strategy of the programme. Regular and structured formative assessment is a feature of the programme ensuring that students have regular and informed feedback on their learning.
Course Work and Examinations
It is departmental policy to use a variety of assessment processes so that our students can demonstrate their abilities in a variety of assessment modes. Generally, staff choose 50% course work and 50% examination except for those modules where this would be inapplicable (e.g. BI6110 Dissertation).
We feel that in preparing course work, which can include essays, laboratory and field exercises, case studies and presentations, students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes particularly where an examination would be inappropriate. However, we are aware that examinations have an important role in summative assessment and give academic credibility (both externally and internally) to our degree programmes.
Lab or Field Report
Other (e.g. case study, critical review)
Exam or class test
Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Animals
Genetics and Evolution
Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Introduction to Microbiology and Immunology
Data Handling and Project Design
Animal Management and Bioveterinary Science
Biology of Animal Disease
Microbiology for Animal Sciences
Domestic Animal Husbandry and Welfare
Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Applied Skills in Bioveterinary Sciences
Non-Experimental Project with Information Project
Non-Experimental Project with Presentation
Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals
Public Health, Surveillance and Disease Control
Veterinary Disease Investigation
Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
The Bioveterinary Science programme is designed to equip graduates with the practical (transferable) skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to embark on a career as a Bioveterinary Scientist or Animal Health Care Scientist, either in industry or within the veterinary sector. It is appreciated, however, that some graduates may ultimately decide not to embark on such a career pathway. The transferable skills embedded throughout the programme equip graduates to enter other areas of employment or to continue their studies for a postgraduate qualification.
Graduates of the BSc Bioveterinary Science should have:
knowledge and understanding of the application of science and research methods to the practice of bioveterinary science.
ability to apply academic knowledge and techniques to practical solutions in bioveterinary science.
skills of academic enquiry to generate potential solutions to problems relevant to bioveterinary science, and cognitive skills to critically evaluate these to arrive at solutions fitted to context.
an understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations.
skills to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in written and oral form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
confidence and transferable skills to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies that will enable them to assume responsibility within organisations related to the bioveterinary sciences.
Graduates from the programme should be able to:
(i) adopt a systematic and rigorous approach to academic study
(ii) demonstrate extensive knowledge and a critical understanding of relevant theories and concepts
(iii) integrate and synthesise knowledge and understanding in the biosciences
(iv) be able to use a range of practical (e.g. observation, recording of findings, data interpretation, etc.,) and work-related skills
(v) apply a critically and theoretically informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments (as appropriate) in biosciences
(vi) apply and evaluate a scientific approach to academic study;
(vii) demonstrate the competence and skills necessary to progress from tutor-led to student-led learning
(viii) adopt appropriate problem-solving, communication and presentation skills and ICT and numeracy
(ix) plan and implement an appropriate project and critically reflect on their practice.
It is expected that graduates in Bioveterinary Science from the University of Chester would be well placed to find employment in the following areas with a focus on laboratory based technical skills:
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories (with microbiological, biochemical, genetic and cellular specialities).
Animal reproductive laboratories.
Animal Welfare/Agricultural assessment and inspection in the regulatory or quality control sector.
Animal nutrition assessment.
Commerce (sales and marketing) related to animal nutrition.
Commerce (sales and marketing) related to animal healthcare and diagnostic products.
Research and Development of therapeutics, diagnostics and services relevant to animals including clinical trials.
Food industry and food safety.
Education – With relevance to animal healthcare or within a traditional educational institution.
Postgraduate specialisation – Veterinary Support as a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) able to prescribe certain medicines, Veterinary Science, Veterinary Nursing and Animal Physiotherapy.
The programmes of study in the Dept of Biological Sciences fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:
Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues. Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.
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