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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

VETS6102: Professional Skills 1A

In this unit of study students will be introduced to, and begin to develop confidence and competency in, fundamental professional skills relevant to veterinary practice. The skills will include basic animal handling, basic clinical skills, personal and professional attributes, basic laboratory skills and clinical experience in veterinary teaching hospitals. Successful completion of this unit of study requires students to: (1) Attend and actively participate in all compulsory classes, (2) Achieve at least a pass grade in all compulsory assessment tasks, and (3) Submit all compulsory documents (veterinary teaching hospital site contracts and skills logs, feedback forms etc.).


Academic unit School of Veterinary Science Academic Operations
Unit code VETS6102
Unit name Professional Skills 1A
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camden, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

Basic knowledge of clinical veterinary practice; empathy for and confidence in interactions with animals, One semester of study in each of general chemistry (physical and inorganic), organic chemistry, biology and biochemistry.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Paul Sheehy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Skills based evaluation Skills list/supervisor assessment
See Canvas for more details
0% Ongoing Variable
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Placements Attend and actively participate in all compulsory classes
100% participation with Required Learning Activities (RLAs)
0% Ongoing See Canvas for more details
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Skills based evaluation Individual assessment of animal handling, practical, clinical and safety skills
See Canvas for more details
0% Ongoing Dependent on task
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Skills based evaluation Submission of skills via SONIA
See Canvas for more details
0% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3

Students are assessed on competency of completion of skills outlined in a skills list (core and opportunistic) for each practical class.

Details of skills lists and practical class activities are detailed in Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

Successful completion of this unit of study requires students to:

  • Actively participate in all compulsory classes;
  • Achieve at least a pass grade in all compulsory assessment tasks
  • All assessments are pass/fail and must be completed
  • Required learning activities are compulsory classes

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 02 Horse handling 1 (9 hr) LO1
Surgery 1 (2 hr) LO2
Biosecurity 1 (2 hr) LO2
Week 03 Horse handling 2 (7 hr) LO1
Clinical consultation skills (3 hr) LO2
Week 04 Cattle handling 1 (4 hr) LO1
Cattle pregnancy diagnosis 1 (2 hr) LO1
Small animal workshop (8 hr) LO1
Week 05 Clinical consultation skills 2 (3 hr) LO2
Small animal handling 1 (8 hr) LO1
Week 06 Clinical consultation skills 3 (3 hr) LO1
VTH-S1 (9 hr)  
Week 07 Clinical consultation skills 4 (3 hr) LO2
Pig handling 1 (3 hr) LO1
Week 08 Clinical consultation skills 5 (3 hr) LO2
VTH-C1 (9 hr)  
Week 09 Clinical consultation skills 6 (4 hr) LO2
Week 13 Poultry 1 (3 hr) LO1
Therapeutics 1 (3 hr) LO2
Sheep handling 1 (4 hr) LO1

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. confidently and competently perform basic animal handling skills to species commonly presented to veterinary practice
  • LO2. confidently and competently perform basic clinical, laboratory and necropsy skills
  • LO3. Contribute as a member of the inter-disciplinary team workplace of a veterinary hospital

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

Alignment with Competency standards

Outcomes Competency standards
Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Attributes - AVBC
3. The underlying basis of health and disease in a broad range of species
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Day One Competencies - OIE
2.8. Animal welfare
American Veterinary Medical Association - AVMA
5. basic medicine skills and case management
European Coordination Committee for Veterinary Training (EECVT) Day One Competencies - ECCVT
1.16. Handle and restrain animal patients safely and with respect of the animal, and instruct others in helping the veterinary surgeon perform these techniques.
2.4. A knowledge of the businesses related to animal breeding, production and keeping.
2.9. The principles of disease prevention and the promotion of health and welfare.
Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Attributes - AVBC
10. To collect, organise and analyse information in relation to specific problems, assessing its validity and reaching probabilistic judgements
11. To perform basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
4. Fundamental clinical skills in a broad range of species
European Coordination Committee for Veterinary Training (EECVT) Day One Competencies - ECCVT
1.20. Assess the physical condition, welfare and nutritional status of an animal or group of animals and advise the client on principles of husbandry and feeding.
1.21. Collect, preserve and transport samples, select appropriate diagnostic tests, interpret and understand the limitations of the test results.
American Veterinary Medical Association - AVMA
1. comprehensive patient diagnosis (problem solving skills), appropriate use of diagnostic testing, and record management
5. basic medicine skills and case management
Compulsory Student feedback has been withdrawn and class timetabling reviewed to consolidate activity requiring travel.

Work, health and safety

There are inherent risks in working with animals and with medicines, and every effort must be made to minimise these. It is your duty to take reasonable care, not just for yourself, but also for staff, other students, and anyone else likely to be affected by your actions. The (SSVS) expects that agencies providing placements for veterinary students of The University of Sydney will provide a safe working environment.

Further information regarding work, health and safety requirements can be found under Placements Information page on the SSVS Student Portal –

Risk assessments for each class can be found on Canvas.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.