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Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Course Description

Programme description

In veterinary management of animals, anaesthesia (rendering animals unconscious to permit procedures) and analgesia (reducing the pain an animal is suffering) have vital importance in improving animal welfare, as well as permitting the ongoing developments in medical and surgical advances.

Knowledge and advances in anaesthesia over the last 20 years have been considerable. We can use techniques to block sensation locally or over a region of the body not just total unconsciousness. We have an array of drugs and methods of drug administration available to us in our fight against pain. Anaesthesia has always carried risks, and we have an increasing availability of monitoring equipment to help us monitor the physiological function of the body during anaesthesia with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality in our animals.

The University of Edinburgh is offering this unique opportunity for an entirely online MSc to study these advances, during which students can gain knowledge and understanding in the equipment, drugs and techniques associated with anaesthesia and analgesia. Our team can provide a wide range of clinical and research experience across many species.

Online learning

Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community.

Expert tutors will support you through every stage of the programme and you can engage with fellow students in supportive and constructive online networks.

Your progress will be assessed through online presentations, essays, critical reviews of literature, student self- reflection activities, short-answer questions, scientific posters, group wiki events and peer review activities.

Programme structure

The programme is taught part time over 3 years, but its flexible nature will allow you a maximum of 6 years to complete it. There are also options for studying for a certificate (1-2 years) or a diploma (2-4 years).

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms, structured into two blocks of five weeks of study, with a week in between for independent study and reflection.

The Postgraduate Certificate year (Year 1) starts with a series of compulsory courses to give a foundation in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, then progresses to examine how this may be applied in a variety of species. In the Postgraduate Diploma year (Year 2), you have the choice of selected courses to tailor the programme to your requirements. A dissertation completes the final year, however, this is a very flexible course, which can be tailored to suit you (subject to approval).

Year 1
Compulsory courses:

Basic sciences in anaesthesia and analgesia
Anaesthetic equipment
Patient assessment, critical incidents and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

You will also choose 2 out of 4 species-related courses in dogs and cats, equidae, ruminants, camelids and pigs or small mammals (e.g. rabbits, rats etc).

Year 2
You will choose courses to total 60 credits from the following:

Emergency case management (10 credits)
Chronic pain and advanced analgesic principles (10 credits)
Advanced cardiovascular procedures and monitoring (10 credits)
Lung ventilation and mechanical ventilators (10 credits)
Reptiles and birds (20 credits)
Ethics in veterinary anaesthesia: animal welfare and euthanasia (10 credits)

In addition, you could choose to select additional species courses from Year 1.

Year 3
During the written reflective element of the programme you will have the opportunity to further develop your scientific skills and utilise scientific theory. The form of the dissertation may vary to suit individual candidates, subject to approval of a submitted proposal. The dissertation will be a piece of written work 10-15,000 words long, which may take the form of a research study, analysis of techniques used in previous clinical work or an extended literature review. A casebook or portfolio submission may also be permitted.

Career opportunities

The MSc Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia is likely to be desirable for veterinary surgeons seeking employment in research environments (e.g. as Named Veterinary Surgeon or other roles) due to the key importance of anaesthesia and the emphasis on this from Home Office regulation of research work in the UK.

The MSc will be a different route for progression for veterinary nurses who have key roles in private veterinary practices with regard to veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. This may be desirable for practices wishing to show a wide range of expertise amongst their staff and patient support for surgical procedures.

Visit the Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK), in veterinary medicine or veterinary nursing. A degree in a related science with appropriate practical experience may be accepted subject to individual approval.

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