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ACE1056 : Principles of animal physiology and health (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Miguel Velazquez
  • Lecturer: Dr Andrew Beard, Dr Abdul Chaudhry, Dr Jonathan Guy
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The overall aim is to develop students’ understanding of the principles of animal physiology and health, and link between these two disciplines with particular reference to domestic animals (farm and companion animals). Broad knowledge of mammalian physiology will be provided as a foundation to understand how animal health can be disrupted through various challenges. The module will illustrate the contribution of various organ systems to the maintenance of the internal environment of the body of animals. The physiological mechanisms that allow body systems to perform their functions in mammals and the link of form with function will be examined in lecture material and a practical. The module will then introduce general concepts in animal health with examples of how animals deal with injuries and infections, covering a range of environmental elements and pathogenic organisms that disrupt health. Selected examples of physical, metabolic and infectious challenges to health and their management will be provided. The ethical and welfare considerations of animal health will be also addressed during the module.

Outline Of Syllabus

•Components, organization and main function of organ systems:
-Cardiovascular system.
-Respiratory system.
-Digestive system.
-Endocrine system.
-Muscular system.
-Skeletal system.
-Nervous system.
-Immune system.
•Homeostatic circuits.
•Feedback mechanisms.
•Mechanisms of cell membrane transport.
•Intercellular signalling.
•Membrane potential.

•Importance of animal health including the role of domestication, climate change, and the one health concept.
•Challenges to animal health including physical (e.g. fractures), metabolic (e.g. nutritional disorders), poisonous (e.g. plant toxins) and Infectious challenges (e.g. viruses).
•Prevention of infection:
-Husbandry strategies (Biosecurity)
-Innate animal protective strategies including cellular (e.g. role of the epithelial barrier), morphological (e.g. role of skin and scales), mechanical (e.g. peristalsis), biochemical (e.g. enzymes), and behavioural strategies (e.g. rejection of toxic food).
-Vaccines (types and mode of action).
•Antibiotic use (including antibiotic resistance) and alternative therapies.
•Zoonoses and notifiable diseases.
•The role of animal health in animal welfare.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture401:0040:00PiP - Outline principles of physiology and health
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion127:0027:00Preparation of group oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion138:0038:00Revision and completion of semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00PiP - Help students to understand concepts of animal physiology
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching16:006:00PiP - Oral presentation on a selected animal health topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Synch online. Revision session of lecture material
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0042:00Background reading on module topics
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0042:00Compilation of notes after lectures and practical
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture material provides the basic subject knowledge required by students to understand the underlying principles of animal physiology and animal health. The lecture material describes the specific role of various organ systems within the body and the mechanisms involved in these functions, with a practical on farm to reinforce the information delivered in lecture material (learning outcomes). This is followed by delivery of lecture material addressing physical, metabolic and infectious challenges and their management (learning outcomes). Group oral presentations and background reading help students to further develop their academic and professional skills (skill outcomes) and complement knowledge imparted via lecture material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination1202A80Final exam as MCQ and simple answer questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Group oral presentation of an allocated topic related to animal health (15 min to present plus 5 mins for Q&A)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The MCQ examination assesses the knowledge and understanding of information delivered in lectures and the practical (learning outcomes) under time constraints. The group oral presentation allows an opportunity to assess students’ ability to convey topic-specific information (i.e. on an aspect of animal health) while working as part of a team. The students are also able to develop presentation skills for a non-specialist audience (skills outcome).

Reading Lists