Experiential learning outcomes

The Society’s Education and Training committee are keen to ensure that the curriculum for the use of research animals stays relevant and up to date in between more formal reviews. We welcome all feedback on the below experiential learning outcomes. If you would like to send us some feedback, please email education@bps.ac.uk.

The curriculum for the use of research animals is intended to support undergraduate and taught masters degree programmes in which students are expected to analyse literature and/or data that have been generated from studies involving animals that are subject to regulation (“research animals”), for example under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 - A(SP)A.  The following experiential learning outcomes are intended to provide additional support for those who wish to go on to study research animals in their courses, placements, projects and careers.​

In addition to the knowledge statements in the core curriculum, students will acquire an appreciation of:

Frameworks and principles

  • Good practice in biosecurity to mitigate harms to humans, animals and the environment
  • The important role of mentors and experienced personnel in education and training

Experimental design, analysis and communication

  • The need for assessment of the welfare of research animals including pre and post-operative care and the use of anaesthetics and analgesics
  • Appropriate formulations and routes of administration of compounds used in experiments
  • Recovery and non-recovery surgical techniques applicable to animal research
  • How pharmacological agents (eg anaesthetic) or environmental conditions (eg subclinical infections) can affect experimental outcomes


In addition to the skills statements in the core curriculum, students will be able to:
  • Set appropriate exclusion and termination criteria with regard to welfare limits and the quality of experimental data
  • Appropriately handle at least one species of research animal
  • Gain experiential learning through direct involvement in at least one of the following:
    • Ex vivo (in situ/semi-intact) eg working heart brainstem
    • Terminally anaesthetised research animals
    • Conscious research animals eg behavioural or pharmacological study
    • Surgical techniques eg cadavers, use of reputable/realistic simulation
  • Engage in discourse (at least with peers) about the use of research animals