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Fifth Year

Fifth Year

During the 5th year, students continue to apply their scientific knowledge from the preclinical years to clinical scenarios, and clinical practice, and start to develop their specific species and systems knowledge.

A list of lecture courses for the 5th year is given below, with some examples of the material covered within them, and an indication of how the material relates to other parts of the clinical curriculum.  Courses are listed by term.  A full list of lectures is given on the department’s web page (Raven access only).

As in 4th year, two mornings per week are set aside for ‘rotations’, in areas such as consultation skills, bovine footcare and obstetrics, neurology, equine cardiology and further visits to the Vet School-affiliated RSPCA Clinic in Cambridge.

I enjoyed going to the RSPCA clinic throughout the clinical course as it was a great opportunity to touch base with a clinical veterinary setting, which complimented the teaching we received during lectures and rotations.

Lisa 2015

Many of the lecture courses are also completed by practical classes, such as Dermatology and Cardiology, which look at gross and/or histological samples in the Teaching Laboratory and other settings. Students will further hone their practical skills in the Clinical Skills Centre.library1

Assessment: Once students have successfully passed the Final Vet MB Part I examination, they will take the Final Vet MB Part II examination, at the end of the third term of the 5th year. The Part II Examination tests the students' understanding of principles and concepts of veterinary medicine, as well as their ability to integrate information across the Part I series of subjects.

Michaelmas Term (September to December)


Emphasis will be placed on the pathology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of congenital and acquired heart disease in both companion and Equine species.

Introduction to Emergency and Critical Care

The first part of the course is to endure that the student is familiar with common emergency situations in practice including dealing with distressed owners. The second part of the course complements and extends preclinical teaching in physiology, pharmacology, pathology and biochemistry and relates it to critical care of the domestic animals, primarily dogs and cats. It is a brief ‘taster’ of critical care. 


The course is designed to enable the students to develop their physiological knowledge of the endocrine system into an understanding of the effects that would be produced by excessive or deficient production of a hormone.


This course, which adopts a basic principles approach, will build on preclinical knowledge to form a framework for understanding, diagnosing and treating nervous system disease in animals, although the dog will be used as the basic model the course will cover all species.

Pig Medicine

The material covered in this lecture course is intended to provide a theoretical basis on which newly qualified graduates can recognise, investigate, treat and control the more significant diseases of pigs in the UK and Western Europe.

Reproductive Pathology

This course aims to lay the foundations for the discussion of reproductive disorders in the Infertility and Obstetrics course.  On completing the course, the student should have an overview of the common disorders of the reproductive system.

SAM1Small Animal Medicine

The course aims to provide a problem-oriented approach to small animal medicine from basic principles of pathophysiology. This is basic core material. At the end of the course, the student should understand the investigation, differential diagnosis and outline management of the most common conditions of the dog and cat.

Small Animal Orthopaedics

This course aims to produce a graduate with a good general knowledge of fracture repair techniques and implants and ability to recognize when fractures need stabilization, and also which fractures are amenable to conservative treatment and which would benefit from surgical repair.

Lent Term (January to March)

Cattle Medicine

The content of the 5th year component of this course complements the 4th year components, and covers aspects of surgery and herd health. Knowledge of the material covered in the 4th year Cattle Medicine lectures is a pre-requisite for the 5th year component.


I really enjoyed the extraction practical: the quality of instruction from all the demonstrators was very high.

Matt 2016


This course covers, for example, basic dental care in small animal practice and the essential theoretical and practical aspects of equine dentistry.


This course aims to enable the students to understand the diagnostic approach to cases of skin disease in all animal species and to be able to obtain a useful case history, instigate appropriate diagnostic investigations.

Equine Orthopaedicshorse1

The course aims to produce a graduate able to identify and treat the common conditions that cause lameness in the horse and to be able to apply orthopaedic principles to new situations using a problem solving approach.

Equine Surgery

This course aims to produce a graduate able to identify and manage the common soft tissue surgical conditions of the horse and to be able to apply basic clinical and surgical principles to new situations using a logical problem-solving approach.

Courses which run over multiple terms


Clinical Pathology (Lent and Easter)

This course aims to provide a bridge between the other 4 /5th year courses and application of those principals in clinical cases in the final year rotations.  By the end of this course, students will understand how to analyse a urine sample, and how to interpret the laboratory data in a clinical case in a variety of diseases in dogs, cats, horses, farm animals and rabbits, for example.

Equine Medicine (Michaelmas and Lent)

The content of this course complements and extends instruction provided in other courses related to health and disease in horses. It is designed to ensure that students have gained a level of academic competence which would allow them to begin the practice of clinical equine medicine.

Infertility and Obstetrics (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter)Rectalling1 3

This course builds upon the knowledge of reproduction acquired in the preclinical years, and the 4th year Animal Breeding Course to ensure that students are fully conversant with the endocrinological, physiological, anatomical and behavioural changes that occur in normal animals and their involvement in infertility.

Practice Management (Lent and Easter)

At the end of the course the main objectives are, for example, for the veterinary student to have a clear understanding of the industry structure, be able to understand and interpret a practice’s profit and loss account and to recognise the role of ethical marketing in building a veterinary business.

Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery (Michaelmas and Lent)

During the course, the students will discuss surgical anatomy, disease pathogenesis, specific surgical indications, basic surgical procedures, and complications of surgical conditions affecting the urinary, reproductive, gastrointestinal, respiratory and integement systems.

Urology (Michaelmas and Lent)

The course is designed to enable the student to understand alterations in renal and urinary function from a pathophysiological standpoint.  At the end of the course the student should be able to use this information in the diagnosis and management of renal and urinary disorders.

 Go to sixth year pages