VET351 The Structure and Function of Animals in Veterinary Medicine

Credits (ECTS):20

Course responsible:Bjørn Høyheim

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Yearly

Teaching and exam period:Fall

About this course

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.


·                molecular cell biology

·                molecular genetics / molecular 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, genetics, biochemistry, 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

  • 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), presentation colloquia (presentation and peer review of the given task) as well as digital tests.

    A seminar on bioethics is organized.

  • Examination

    Final exam: A written exam at the end of the semester - 4 hours

    Allowed aids: None

    Assessment: Graduated marks, A-F

    Continuation Exam

    See the semester plan

  • 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.
  • 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.

    Mandatory tests

    There will be 3 small tests at Canvas during the semester in conceptual understanding, anatomical structures in image format and a lab test. All tests must be approved in order to take the final exam.

    Test 1: Test in anatomical structures will consist of pictures where students will recognize structures in the cell, tissues, organs and animals as well as multiple-choice assignments

    Test 2: Test in conceptual understanding will consist of multiple-choice assignments

    Test 3: Lab test will consist of multiple-choice assignments

    Grading: Approved/not approved