VSC118 Veterinary Practice 1 (8)

Veterinary Practice 1 offers Veterinary Science students an introduction to the realities of the veterinary profession, and skills essential for the remainder of the veterinary course by providing a broad basis to the professional practice subjects. The subject has a strong emphasis on applying scientific information for writing. The subject includes the role of animals in societies including that of Indigenous Australian peoples, and companion animal behaviour, handling and welfare.  Generic skills such as communication (with academic staff, peers, placement supervisors), effective use of scientific information in writing, and critical thinking and reflection are included.

Practical animal handling sessions will be undertaken on site, utilising CSU's Equine Centre and Pre-Clinical Centre.

Visits to clinical practices will be in pairs or on a small group basis. Students are required to attend a debrief session after these visits, thus ensuring that areas of experiential learning are further discussed and reinforced.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC118. 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



Two sessions


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the following courses:

Bachelor of Veterinary Biology
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate developing skills in formal academic writing, such as appropriate literature research, correct referencing and a developing capability in interpreting and analysing texts;
  • be able to display an emerging awareness of the role and responsibilities of a veterinarian in societal context through understanding the history and development of the profession, and of human-animal relations including that of Indigenous Australian peoples;
  • be able to demonstrate the behaviours, values and ethical standards expected of a novice professional during class activities and workplace learning through discussion with workplace supervisors, academic staff and peers as an individual or working in a team;
  • be able to discuss the legal and ethical frameworks influencing animal use in society, for safe practices in workplaces and when working with animals;
  • be able to discuss fundamental concepts in animal behaviour through description and analysis of normal and abnormal behaviour in domesticated animal species;
  • be able to describe how animal behaviour can be measured in a range of production and companion animal species, and how this infomation can be used to assess welfare for animals;
  • be able to apply theory and knowledge from class and and technical skills to be able to safely handle several performance and companion animal species; and
  • be able to demonstrate an emerging understanding about personal and professional learning and development needs and sources of support.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Learning at University
  • Expectations of student conduct
  • Expectations of CSU
  • Generic skills
  • Library skills, ability to source relevant information
  • Scientific writing & reading
  • Introduction to the veterinary profession
  • Animal handling practical sessions and tutorials including animal examination/ medication techniques
  • Introduction to practice (2 days)
  • Expectations of participating practices
  • Legal issues with clinical activities
  • Safety issues with clinical activities
  • OHS in the veterinary workplace
  • Introduction to the human - animal bond and how this may differ between different cultures, including Indigenous Australian peoples and non-indigenous groups

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 2 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students visit participating veterinary practices in pairs or small groups. After visits students attend a debrief session to discuss experiences seen on the placement, and write reports outlining the structure of the clinic and the major activities undertaken.

Special Resources

Students will be required to provide their own transport to visit veterinary clinics, as well as suitable professional clothing and footwear (such as work shirt, scrub top, overalls, boots).

Overalls and/or lab coats and boots are required for all animal handling practicals.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.