VSC455 Transition to the Profession (8)

This subject prepares students for their final year of study in Clinical Rotations, and provides a lead in to the workplace. As such it is an opportunity to examine the operation of veterinary practices including legislation, professional obligations, ethical dilemmas and introductory business management.

Emphasis is given to the laws governing the practice of veterinary science, general workplace legislation, and the particular role of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board in maintaining governance of the profession. In addition the basic financial management of veterinary practice is covered, including costing of services, the need for public and professional liability insurance, and the basis of employment contracts and wage negotiation are presented. Ethical and welfare dilemmas are discussed during case based presentation.

Students who will enter the Honours stream will be asked to write a literature review, and other students will be expected to submit an essay from a choice of topics. Students cannot progress to Phase 3 of this subject, without the completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the veterinary science program.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC455. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Bachelor of Veterinary Biology /Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) student only


VSC427 and VSC450 and VSC451 and VSC453

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and access the relevant veterinary legislation and apply this to practical situations as they apply to professional conduct, responsibilities and restrictions;
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the ethical frameworks influencing animal use in society;
  • be able to set in place safety nets such as consent forms, client advice forms and to also be capable of achieving informed consent;
  • be able to demonstrate communication skills resulting in the ability to effectively interact with clients, staff and colleagues;
  • be able to draft a weighted list of desired criteria to be considered in selecting a suitable position;
  • be able to demonstrate developing knowledge of basic practice financial management;
  • be able to identify opportunities for research and further education;
  • be able to demonstrate skills of critical analysis and personal reflection; and
  • be able to demonstrate professional behaviour.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Professional ethics, conduct and veterinary regulations including the Veterinary Practice Act, Stock Acts etc
  • Defensive veterinary practice - working with the legal profession and the Veterinary Board's role as expert witness
  • Practice management, including appropriate fee setting for services, profits and profitability, record keeping, budgeting
  • Personal management, personal budgeting, debt control, life/ work balance, personal stress, drugs: use and abuse and appropriate legislation, burnout, dealing with euthanasia
  • Health and safety, including injury avoidance, sensible work practice and workplace hazards
  • Acquiring employment; selection of potential workplace, the needs of employers, writing CVs,the application process
  • Research - finding and evaluating literature, training in experimental design, interpreting and analysing research data and the ethical use of animals in research
  • Communicating effectively with different cultural groups including Indigenous and non-Indigenous


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.