Course code VET351

VET351 The Structure and Function of Animals in Veterinary Medicine

Check for course changes due to the coronavirus outbreak on Canvas and StudentWeb.

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2020 .

Course responsible: Bjørn Høyheim, Bjørn Høyheim
Teachers: Peter Carl Gustaf Alestrøm, Runa Rørtveit, David James Griffiths, Charles Mclean Press
ECTS credits: 20
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: 2020H
Course contents:

The vertebrate animal will give students an insight into today's perception of life and life processes. On the basis of the whole animal, the students must move down to the main building block of everything living, the cell, before moving on down to the molecular processes inside the cell. At the same time as the students move from the vertebrate, via the cell, down to the molecular and atomic plane, they will partly move up towards the cell in a "social" context, where one studies specialized tissues and organs.

The block forms the basis so that the student after completing the course will master the following «Day one skills» by EAEVE: 1.1, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.7


·                molecular cell biology

·                elements of anatomy,

·                elements of physiology

The Vertebrate in relation to future courses:

The vertebrate block touches into a number of topics that comes later in the programme - in varying scope and level of detail. The basic understanding of cellular processes are essential for studying physiology, anatomy, nutrition, general pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology / toxicology, microbiology, hematology / clinical laboratory diagnostics, reproductive physiology and internal medicine and food hygiene.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge: After completing the course the student should be able to:

Appearance and structure

- explain the microscopic structure of cells and tissues in mammals, birds and fish and be able to identify the different cells and tissues in digital sections

- describe and explain how a cell with its cytoskeleton and cell membrane is constructed

- recognize different tissues in different organisms / species

Function and communication

- explain how the cell functions as a whole and be able to explain the structure and function of the cell from the molecular and atomic level up to the cell's connection in specialized tissues and organs

- describe what different functions a protein can have and how proteins and other molecules are transported across the cell membrane or into organelles

- describe and explain how cells and tissues communicate with each other and how signals from outside can lead to signaling in / out of the cell

- explain how an action potential arises and spreads and how this is transferred from one nerve cell to another or to the recipient cell

Molecular Biology and Embryology

- describe and explain the information flow from DNA to protein

- understand how cell communication / cell signaling results in changes in gene expression and / or protein function

- broadly explain the embryological structure of tissues and apply this knowledge to understand the contribution of different tissues to the development of the basic form of the organism


- explain how modern molecular genetic / biological techniques can be used in veterinary research

- explain what homeostasis is, and give an overview of how different species are physiologically adapted to their living environment

- Know basic X-ray physics and opacities and understand the importance of practical radiation protection

Skills: After completing the course, the student should be able to apply the learned knowledge to:

- be able to read and evaluate professional literature in the academic field

- observe how tissues / organs look and shape a dog and what this looks like in chickens and fish by dissecting themselves

- observe and recognize cells and tissues in digital sections and be able to draw and describe what they see

- carry out dissections and use basic laboratory equipment and methods, all in accordance with HSE requirements

- Collaborate on applying and applying knowledge to solve assignments related to the relevant subject area and discuss and present their part of the group work in plenary using technical terms

General competence: The student should be able to:

- reflect on / evaluate one's own knowledge level and skill level in relation to the learning outcomes, including identification of one's own academic strengths and weaknesses

- reflect with ethical awareness of biotechnology, biomedicine and bioproduction

- have an understanding that working with chemicals / radiation can lead to health hazards and the need to exercise hygienic care

Learning activities:

With the whole animal as a starting point, the students must first move towards the molecular and atomic plane and partly towards the cell in a "social" context, where one studies specialized tissues and organs.

Around 130 hours are used for organized teaching, of which about 40 hours are laboratory courses. In addition, organized colloquium teaching will be used. Assignments will be issued on a weekly basis and approximately once a week the teachers will organize a colloquium review where students can ask questions related to the colloquium assignments of the week.

Classroom lectures, reverse classrooms, demonstrations, laboratory courses (includes both classical laboratory and tissue and embryology courses), colloquiums (assignment solutions), evaluation colloquia (solving multiple-choice assignments with self-evaluation and review with teachers), and presentation colloquia (presentation and peer review of the given task).

A seminar on bioethics is organized.


Learning materials

Recommended literature and detailed description of the course are found at the block's home area on Canvas. 

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Parts of the teaching require compulsory attendance. Alternative arrangements are only offered in case of documented valid absence to the extent that it is considered to be professionally sound. Nonetheless, if the valid absence, the subject may have to be resumed next year even if the absence is valid. In the event of an invalid absence, the subject is not approved until the student has attended the required compulsory teaching.

In order to start semester 2, compulsory activities must be approved if no exemption has been granted for postponed repetition of compulsory education. A professional assessment together with the extent of absence is used as the basis for the decision and it cannot therefore be appealed with the exception of formal circumstances.

The course is not passed until all compulsory teaching is approved and the exam is passed.

Absence rules for laboratory courses and evaluation and presentation colloquiums:

11 laboratory courses are held; 2 in molecular biology, 7 in microanatomy and 2 in embryology which are then compulsory. This means that students who lose more than 2 courses due to valid absence must complete these before compulsory teaching is academically approved. Alternative arrangements may be made for further valid absenteeism if this is regarded as academically sound. In case of invalid absence, the courses must be taken next year and may mean that you cannot continue on semester 2.

In addition, students must participate in 2 compulsory evaluation colloquia and 2 presentation colloquia. In the event of valid absence, this may be replaced by a written assignment that must be submitted before the student can take the exam. In the event of an invalid absence, the colloquia must be taken next year and may mean that you cannot continue on semester 2.



The exam in this course consists of 4 exams that test different learning outcomes at different times in the semester. There will be 3 small midterm exams during the semester in conceptual understanding, anatomical structures in image format and a lab test as well as a final exam which is a written integrated exam at the end of the semester.

Midterm exam 1: Secondary examination in anatomical structures will consist of pictures where students will recognize structures in the cell, tissues, organs and animals (10%).

Midterm exam 2: The partial examination in conceptual understanding will consist of multiple-choice assignments (10%).

Midterm exam 3: The part / lab test will consist of multiple-choice assignments (5%).

Final exam: A written integrated exam at the end of the semester (75%).

The marks obtained in all the part-examinations are counted as a final grade, which is assessed with an overall graded mark for the entire course after the examination in all parts has been completed.

The exam consists of 4 partial exams. The exam starts at the partial exam 1. It is not possible to withdraw from this exam. A total of 100 percentage points can be obtained. To pass the exam, you must have achieved 40 percentage points. Then the points are graded at equal intervals for the different grades E to A. There is no requirement to have completed the individual parts if you pass a grade for the entire examination. In the case of documented valid absenteeism, it is possible to retrieve missing (parts) according to rules under even with passing grade.

Allowed aids: None

Assessment: Graduated marks, A-F

Continuation Exam

At the continuation exam, all 4 exams must be taken again. This is done by a combined exam with all four exams integrated.

Rules for non-attendance of part-time exams due to valid / invalid absence:

In the case of documented illness / other documented valid reasons for one or more part-examinations and delivering a medical certificate within 5 working days, the following applies:

Valid absence on part-examination 1-3: This / These can be taken at the same time as part-examination 4 when there is documentation of valid absence. Valid absence at part 4 exams only this part in week 33.

Each section can only be completed once.

Other absence: Not met = 0 points on the part-examination. It is not possible to repeat the regular exam even when assignments are made due to sick students.

Then the following can happen:

• The student achieves more than 40 credits after completing part-time exam 4 and gets a grade and credits in the course, even if another exam is not passed and passed.

• The student does not achieve 40 points and must account for all four part-time exams, as in ordinary rapids

Based on the assessment guidance the external examiner perform an individual assessment of the answers, then the external and internal examiners meet to finalize the grade.
Examination details: :