Course content

The course includes modules addressing various topics in laboratory animal science including e.g. laboratory animal housing and handling, experimental design and biostatistical methods, in vivo pharmacology and toxicology, drug development and animal models of human diseases and their validity. In these modules, relevant theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and competences are provided, e.g. relevant laboratory methods, current animal models used in biomedical research and societal aspects. Finally, the first course week is a common module with other veterinary and medical master students regarding One-Health challenges related to handling of antibiotic resistance in clinical settings.

The laboratory animal science part of the course has been accredited by the Danish Ministry of Food, agriculture and fisheries and by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Associations (FELASA) as adequate for researchers acquiring a license to perform animal experiments.


MSc Programme in Veterinary Medicine - differentieringskursus (valgfag)

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to provide the students with relevant veterinary competences and qualifications required in the broad field of biomedical research. This includes qualifications to manage a housing facility for experimental animals and to design, perform and evaluate laboratory animal experiments in biomedical research and assess pharmacology and toxicology in vivo. Moreover, it provides the students with a thorough knowledge of immunology, genetics and experimental pathology and histopathology centred on animal models of human diseases and the role of these subjects when applied in drug- and vaccine development. The course provides the student with knowledge on a broad range of animal models used in translational medicine including construction, use and shortcomings of the models.


After the course, the students are expected to be able to apply the relevant terminology to:

  • Describe modern diagnostic methods and principles when using experimental animal models for research purposes
  • Describe and summarize rules and regulations, principles, methods and terminology relevant for the planning, execution and evaluation of experimental animal research projects.
  • Describe various animal models for human diseases as presented in the course
  • Describe principles of housing, breeding and use of laboratory animals including how to avoid spontaneous infections (such as zoonoses) in an animal facility
  • Describe basic procedures and practical methodologies in Laboratory Animal Science incl. experimental surgery
  • Describe In vivo pharmacological methods and evaluation of drug effect and principles of regulatory toxicology testing
  • Describe the principles of vaccine development and effects of use of vaccines. 
  • Describe selected genetic technologies used in biomedical research
  • Describe pathological and histopathological findings and hallmarks and elaborate on the underlying pathological processes and disease aetiology (when relevant).



After the course, the students are expected to be able to:

  • Explain and assess strengths and weaknesses of commonly used laboratory methods biomedicine
  • Evaluate the use of In vitro and In vivo methodology in research and drug development
  • Explain basic ethical theories on use of animals in research and on animal welfare, including the 3 Rs
  • Use basic statistical and inference methods and apply those when designing an in vivo experiment and analysing data material.
  • Evaluate histological lesions and reactions in laboratory animals.
  • Use basic surgical methods in laboratory animal science
  • Analyse, evaluate and present results from simple diagnostic tests in experimental animals
  • Explain and apply the basic methodologies and principles demonstrated and practiced at the practical and theoretical exercises during the course work



After the course, the students are expected to be able to:

  • Work independently with problem solving, diagnosing and presenting relevant findings in experimental pathology and In vivo pharmacology.
  • Be able to identify virulence factors of microorganisms
  • Use knowledge on virulence factors in development of methods to control infections, e.g. in the form of active and passive immunizations and new drugs
  • Be able to work independently with basic laboratory procedures
  • Discuss the ethical use of animals and In vitro methods in research and product development
  • Discuss strength and weaknesses of common animals models (including genetically modified animal models) in pharmacology- and toxicology research, in neuroscience and immunology and in studies of infectious diseases, autoimmune- and metabolic diseases. Discuss the methods of induction of the model as well as the validity.
  • Be able to design, execute, evaluate and manage experimental animal research projects
  • Use theoretical and practical methodology in laboratory experiments employing live animals
  • Critically evaluate experimental designs and stated outcomes
  • Use acquired knowledge to assess novel problems or problem areas and confidently apply knowledge-based suggestions for solutions
  • Be able to find new information/literature on topics within the area of biomedicine and critically evaluate results and information presented in the literature
  • Be able to take responsibility for own professional development and specialization.
  • Be able to confident and competent present, communicate and discuss scientific research results


The course consists of both theoretical and practical teaching.

Evaluation model: Survey-based model

Various materials including videos, exercise descriptions, hand-outs and recommended papers and selected textbooks.

An updated list of relevant material and suggested further readings will be posted on course homepage before course start and during the individual course modules.

Approved course certificate on following courses:
SVEK13043U Veterinary Imaging
SVEK13023U Akutmedicin, obstetrik, intensiv terapi og klinisk anæstesiologi
SVEK13007U Almen klinisk praksis familiedyr
SVEK13008U Almen klinisk praksis, store husdyr
SVEK13006U Praktisk besætningsrådgivning og kødkontrol
SVEK13044U Veterinary Paraclinics
Passed the following courses:
Medicin, kirurgi og reproduktion - mindre og store husdyr SVEK13005 og SVEK13004.

Only veterinary students holding (as a minimum) a laboratory animal science course EU function a/d (equivalent to the laboratory animal course on the veterinary bachelor at University of Copenhagen) can obtain admission to this MSc programme

After completing the full course, the participants will be certified to independently plan, implement and take responsibility for the design and performance of animal experimentation within the European Union according to the EU Directive 2010/63/EU Article 23.2 and the Danish executive order 2028 of 14/12/2020, §56

Continuous feedback during the course
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
26,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 timer under invigilation
Type of assessment details
Written case-based examination at CPH-exam venue in practical and theoretical skills obtained during the course.
Passing the exam in Biomedicine provides FELASA authorization EU function abd.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal censorship. More than one examiner.
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the maximum grade of 12, the student must demonstrate satisfactory acquisition of the measurable learning outcomes, primerly put into practice as stated below. 


  • must demonstrate ability to define, explain, analyze and discuss animal models presented during the course.
  • must be able to explain and discuss principles of use of live animals for experimentation as presented during the course.
  • should present a broad knowledge on various laboratory methods and be able to present, explain and discuss these methods including applicability, limitations, challenges and benefits.
  • must demonstrate the ability to present, explain and discuss in details relevant histopathological findings of relevant animal models including detailed histopathological findings in relation to a specific disease or insult.



  • should be able to discuss and explain principles of drug development and the application of experimental animals in In vivo pharmacology and regulatory toxicology.
  • Should be able to analyze and critically evaluate experimental data obtained from in vivo studies.
  • should be able to summarize, discuss and judge (defend as well as criticize) all aspects of the work of fellow students in the form of a presented poster prepared during the course.



  • should be able to deduce and independently suggest from known models and/or experimental designs possible ways to proceed with future research.
  • should be able to independently incorporate and combine knowledge from all modules taught during the course, when approaching the exam questions.
  • Should be able to reflect on advantages and disadvantages on specific animal models, experimental methods and experimental design.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 139
  • Preparation
  • 300
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Practical exercises
  • 85
  • Project work
  • 100
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Exam Preparation
  • 50
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 728


Course number
26,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

2 blocks

Block 3 And Block 4
Final schedule for the course will be listed on Absalon two weeks prior to course start
There is no teaching in block week 8 in block 4.
9 weeks in block 3 and first 8 weeks in block 4
36 participants. Only veterinary students holding (as a minimum) a laboratory animal science course EU function a/d equivalent to the laboratory animal course on the veterinary bachelor at University of Copenhagen can obtain admission to this MSc programme
The Study Board for Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinators
  • Dorte Bratbo Sørensen   (4-6777667945787a736933707a336970)
    Chief responsible; Module leader
  • Pernille Tveden-Nyborg   (3-7478724477797268326f7932686f)
    Co-responsible; Module leader
If you need to contact the study secretary, please the Student Affairs Department contact information (list in Danish only): https:/​/​​kontakt/​aus-medarbejderoversigt/​#Studieservice

Teachers and researchers from the University as well as from relevant, external sources.
Additional module leader is Camilla Hartmann Friis Hansen (pnc385) on Animal models of Autoimmune and metabolic diseases.

Saved on the 29-03-2022

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