VET352 Professional Studies

Credits (ECTS):33

Course responsible:Eystein Skjerve

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:All students enrolled in the veterinary programme 

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:A total of 22 weeks (33 ECTS) throughout the whole study.

Teaching and exam period:VET NMBU

About this course

The professional studies thread consists of three parts. The thread is continuous in the study and runs from the first to the last semester in the study, with three main parts:
  1. Veterinary Public Health  and Veterinary Regulations (Responsible Marit Nesje and Eystein Skjerve) where students will learn about the legal framework for veterinary professional practice, ethical assessments and the veterinary social responsibility with regard to important areas of society such as food production, disease control, animal welfare, the environment and sustainability. Teaching starts in the 1st semester, continues in 2/3 and 6th semester, and includes meat control in the 9th semester. The module concludes with a thorough introduction to the veterinary regulations in the 11/12 semester.
  2. Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology (Responsible Ingrid Toftaker) where students will be able to read, understand, extract and critically evaluate information from scientific articles as well as learn important techniques in statistics and epidemiology. The module starts the 1st semester and goes via the 2nd and 3rd and and 6th semesters and leads to the assignment starting in the 6th semester and delivery in the 8th semester.
  3. Communication  (Responsible name coming spring 2023)  starts with a focus on communication and interaction in learning student groups in the 1st semester. As the clinic approaches, the focus moves on to communication with colleagues and clients in the clinical setting in the 8th semester.

Learning outcome


After completing the course, the student should:

Veterinary Public Health and the veterinary regulations

Regulations governing veterinary activities

  • Know the basic features of the regulations that define veterinary activities, including the Food Act and key regulations in the so-called hygiene package and the Act on Animal Health Personnel and Animal Welfare Act. 
  • Know the national regulations that set the framework for controlling infectious diseases in animals and zoonotic infections, including import regulations.
  • Know the emergency procedures, reporting requirements and principles for dealing with severe / exotic infections in livestock and farmed fish.
  • Know about the Food Safety Authority and its organization, as well as the cooperation with the Scientific Committee for Foods and the Environment and the use of risk assessments

Veterinary Public Health

  • Have a basic understanding of the veterinarian's professional role and our responsibilities concerning society as well as the relationships to other disciplines and professions
  • Be able to reflect on this in food safety, environmental protection, infection control, terrestrial and marine bioproduction and sports and family animal medicine.
  • Know central parts of veterinary professional history
  • Know professional, ethical principles and ethical guidelines for the veterinary profession
  • Be able to put the veterinary profession into a One Health context
  • Know the important challenges when it comes to mental health for the veterinary profession.
  • Know the signs of damage to animals, and have knowledge of various forms of neglect of animals.
  • Understand the connections between violence against animals and violence against humans.
  • Understand the importance of the subject in development towards sustainable bio-production, focusing primarily on the Norwegian animal-based food chains.
  • Know critical elements of animal welfare at slaughterhouses and the role of meat control in disease monitoring and control
  • Be able to describe the most relevant control strategies for our conditions, and account for the knowledge elements that are essential for choosing strategies for disease control and zoonosis control.
  • Have theoretical knowledge about the inspection/audit of food companies and the quality system of slaughterhouses and other food companies.
  • Know the structure and function of essential surveillance programs under the auspices of the Food Safety Authority and the livestock industry.

Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology

  • Be able to evaluate the strength of evidence from various sources, explain different types of study design and understand the importance of study design for how we assess and interpret the results of scientific studies.
  • Know the structure of scientific articles and important elements for critical appraisal.
  • Know the main principles of evidence-based veterinary medicine
  • Understand the principles of causality.
  • Understand the principles of population and sampling, different ways of making samples, and the implications for interpreting study results.
  • Understand and explain key concepts and terminology used in veterinary epidemiology, including measures of association and disease frequency.
  • Understand and explain key concepts and terminology used in statistics.
  • Know the main sources of bias and evaluate possible bias in scientific publications.
  • Know the main principles of descriptive statistics and simple statistical analysis used for inference on populations based on a random sample. 
  • Know the main principles for the interpretation and evaluation of diagnostic tests.
  • Know the basic principles used in infectious disease epidemiology and its use in disease control.


  • Understand how group interaction contributes to the learning of a complex subject such as veterinary medicine
  • Know the principles of good communication with pet owners as an important part of good clinical practice
  • Know the importance of communication and interaction with veterinarians, veterinarians and administrative staff in the clinic.
  • Know principles for written communication of subject matter in different channels


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

Veterinary Public health and the veterinary regulations

  • Assess the use of relevant regulations in connection with cases that are under the veterinarian's professional responsibility
  • Review and evaluate established disease control and monitoring programs and propose specific strategies for controlling infections in animals and zoonoses
  • Carry out ante- and post-mortem control, including emergency slaughter
  • Make relevant professional assessments when it comes to meat control assessment of slaughter
  • Present a simple assessment of slaughter hygiene and animal welfare in  slaughterhouses
  • Have the ability to reflect on complex situations that veterinarians have to deal with, where intersecting societal interests meet

Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology

  • Formulate a research question and create a simple causal diagram.
  • Present descriptive statistics for simple data sets and interpret results from certain types of statistical analysis.
  • Calculate, present and explain measures of association and measures of disease frequency from relevant data material.
  • Conduct and describe a systematic literature search in relevant databases in veterinary medicine.
  • Critically appraise and extract relevant information from various sources with emphasis on scientific literature.
  • Use scientific literature as a basis for decisions in veterinary medicine, both for clinical questions and research questions.
  • Evaluate results from diagnostic tests using knowledge of the diagnostic properties and other important factors for the application of test results.
  • Do basic assessments related to infectious disease epidemiology.
  • Write a literature-based specialization assignment and present a sumamry of this.


  • Work well in regular colloquium groups and other group-based teaching
  • Communicate with the pet owner in a respectful and good way
  • Establish good relationships with other veterinarians, veterinarians and others in a clinical situation
  • Have good skills for written communication with others, including risk communication to society.

General competence

  • Reflect on own level of knowledge and skill level in relation to the learning outcome.
  • Self-evaluate and identify own professional strengths and weaknesses within the subject area.
  • Professional studies is a complex thread with many different student activities divided into three parts: Veterinary Public Health, scientific method and communication. Teaching materials ares presented through traditional lectures, video lectures and the partial use of "reverse classroom". Processing and reflection will take place with the help of exercises and discussion tasks, both individually and in groups. Some of the teaching is field-based in the form of excursions. In the 9th semester, there is practical training in meat control in Sandnes. Professional studies also includes the veterinary students' specialization assignment, a in-cepth essay  carried out as a literature study with submission in the 8th semester.
  • The thread is taught throughout the study, and Canvas will be used to communicate directly how the students can get in touch with the subject teacher. Some of the academic guidance is given when assessing assignments, and in some contexts assessments from other students are used - so-called peer assessment.
  • Following the thread requires the student to have passed study requirements for the previous year in the study.
  • Veterinary Public Health

    • Multiple choice test in the 2nd semester (assessment passed/failed). Individual resit exam.
    • Individual reflection assignment with peer assessment in the 3rd semester) (assessment passed / failed)
    • Group-based reflection assignment with presentation in the 6th semester) (assessment passed / failed)
    • Practical exam in meat control in the 9th semester (assessment passed / failed) Oral examination in Veterinary Regulations in 11/12 semester (assessment A-F)
    • Oral examination in the veterinary regulations in 11/12 semester (assessment A-F)

    Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology

    • Group assignment with each other's assessment in the 3rd semester (Assessment passed / failed)
    • Written exam 6th semester. (Assessment passed / failed)
    • Students will write an spezialisation assignment in the form of a literature study. The assignment is assigned in the 6th semester and must be submitted before the end of the 8th semester. (Assessment passed / failed by external examiner).


    • Group-based assignments in 3rd semester (assessment passed/failed)
    • Group assignments with presentation 6th semester (assessment passed / failed)

  • Veterinary Public Health

    • Multiple choice test in 2nd semester, quality assured with external examiner
    • Practical exam in meat control in the 9th semester, examiner is appointed
    • Oral examination in jurisprudence in 11/12 semester, examiner is appointed

    Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology

    • Written exam in the 6th semester, external examiner
    • Specialization assignment, examiner is appointed
  • Parts of the course require mandatory attendance. Lectures are not normally compulsory unless specifically stated in the Canvas room.

    Mandatory parts of VET352 include:

    • For group assignments with performances, attendance is mandatory
    • Specific group discussions with teacher present are mandatory (see Canvas)
    • All excursions (see Canvas)
    • The teaching of meat inspection in its entirety

    Canvas will, for each year, be used to define mandatory parts of the teaching

  • Own equipment

    Some parts of the teaching will be practical or field oriented. This is especially for training in meat inspection (5th year). Information about equipment will be made available on Canvas for each year.

  • Professional studies is a heterogeneous thread throughout the study in veterinary medicine. The teaching consists of lectures, group discussions and exercises, practical teaching and field contact

    Veterinary Public Health

    • About 7 weeks in total
    • 2 weeks Lectures
    • 2 weeks Group assignments and individual assignments
    • 1 week practical meat inspection
    • 2 weeks preparation and exam

    Epidemiology, statistics and research methodology:

    • 14.5 weeks in total
    • Written assignment, 8 weeks
    • The rest of the time is divided between lectures, group assignments and own work


    • Lecture and group-based exercises 6 days
  • No direct overlap, but the subject requires close collaboration with the parts of the study being taught at the same time.
  • VET, passed study requirement for previous year.