VSC460 Veterinary Professional Practice (8)

This subject provides didactic material for students underpinning clinic rotations completed during the final phase of their degree. As such, it bridges other clinical rotation subjects, providing a foundation for reflection, the integration of theory and practice and the identification of generic information and skills relevant to diverse vocational settings. Information is provided in lectures and online. The online Interact environment is utilised to provide self-assessment activities to assist students in preparation for their final examination process, as well as to maintain communication with students as they complete their rotation subjects asynchronously and by a combination of intramural and extramural placements. The seven night afterhours rotation roster provides experience in ICU patient care, afterhours and clinical observations and is assessed as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. The final grade for this subject is determined by a final exam process combining written, oral and practical assessment tasks. This provides students with opportunities to demonstrate knowledge across the scope of veterinary species and vocational settings encountered during Phase 3, and to display proficiency in practical skills across a broad spectrum of clinical activities. 

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 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC460. 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

Restricted to students enrolled in Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science (4488BS) or Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) (4588BS)

Assumed Knowledge
It is assumed that students will have a thorough knowledge of the pre-clinical and para-clinical disciplines underpinning veterinary professional practice. That is, that each student will have successfully completed all Phase 1 and Phase 2 subjects prior to commencing Phase 3 subjects. It is further advised that students do not attempt this subject unless they have completed, or are in the process of completing, all Phase 3 subjects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to display proficiency in a range of clinical procedures commonly encountered in veterinary practice and relating to veterinary medicine, surgery, diagnostic imaging, clinical reasoning, pharmacology and therapeutics, anaesthesiology, reproduction, and the optimisation of herd / flock health and production.
  • be able to interpret the results of appropriate clinical examination and diagnostic methods to diagnose common disorders of animals, and identify appropriate treatment(s).
  • be able to utilise epidemiological principles and appropriate investigations to optimise production and/or to diagnose endemic and exotic disease incursions in animal populations;
  • be able to demonstrate assimilation of information from diverse sources and display appropriate clinical judgement and critical thinking to problems encountered in veterinary professional practice;
  • be able to apply existing knowledge to novel situations, contexts or problems in a logical and rational manner;
  • be able to communicate effectively with peers, both verbally and in writing;
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the ethical and legal obligations of the profession; and
  • be able to apply scientific method and principles of evidence based veterinary practice to the interpretation and implementation of veterinary literature and research findings.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Small animal medicine and surgery
  • Equine medicine and surgery
  • Farm animal medicine, surgery and production
  • Epidemiology, biosecurity and public health
  • Pathology and clinical pathology
  • Anaesthesiology and intensive care
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Practice management and jurisprudence

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 7 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students will be required to attend patients afterhours in the Veterinary Clinical Hospital for regular treatments, clinical observations and care.

The rotation begins on a Monday evening at 5pm on the first day of the rotation, and finishes at 8am the following Monday. Students are required to attend afternoon rounds at the VCC so that they can be fully informed of the condition of each hospitalised case and advised of their responsibilities for the night. The CR1 student responsible for each case will ensure that all medication required for overnight management of each patient is ready before they depart at the end of the day, and that clear instructions for overnight monitoring and treatment are provided. There are always more than two students rostered together and staff attend when required.

Student responsibilities during this rotation are:
1. Provide afterhours care (6pm to 8am) of intensive patients at the VCC under direction from attending clinicians.
2. Attend rounds at the VCC at 5pm and 8.30am.
3. Sleep / rest during the day.

Special Resources

Students will be required to stay in the overnight accomodation at the Veterinary Clinical Centre during the week they are rostered to Afterhours.


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.