University of Technology Sydney

60102 Ethics in Animal Research

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science
Credit points: 2 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject is designed to introduce the concepts of animal ethics inside the context of ethical and humane use of animals in research, both in the laboratory and in their natural environment. This course consists of three modules that introduce students to the use and importance of animals in research; delve into the legislation, regulation and guidelines that govern the ethical use of animals in research; and also highlight the importance and maintenance of research animals' wellbeing. This subject focuses on the broad definition of animal research recognised by the Australian legal system and includes activities such as teaching, medical research, testing of biologicals/pharmaceuticals, wildlife studies, and agricultural field trials. Students also learn about the humane and ethical treatment of animals in research; how it is strictly governed and monitored by legislation, regulations and guidelines, as well as care and ethics committees.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Consider the complexities of using animals in research and be able to reframe opinions based on ethical use, legislation and regulation of animals in research.
2. Examine the role that animal ethics plays in research and responsibilities of both animal ethics and research stakeholders
3. Assess and apply animal ethics legislation, regulation and guidelines in animal research laboratories, agriculture and in the natural environment.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Analyse: Demonstrate critical engagement with the appraisal of advanced knowledge in Medical Biotechnology in a range of professional contexts. (1.1)
  • Analyse: Critically evaluate information such as scientific literature in the investigation of complex medical biotechnology problems. (2.1)
  • Synthesise: Tackle the challenge of complex real-world biotechnology and medical problems by investigating, analyzing and critically evaluating different solutions to complex problems. (2.2)
  • Analyse: Engage in work practices that demonstrate an understanding of health and safety requirements, ethical conduct, risk management, and organisation and collaborative skills, record keeping in the context of medical biotechnology. (3.1)
  • Synthesise: Determine and prepare ethical solutions to global medical and health problems that can impact on society. (3.2)
  • Synthesise: Present and Communicate complex ideas and justifications in a rigorous, effective and professional manner across all mediums to a range of audiences using appropriate media. (5.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The Faculty of Science has six graduate attributes that you will develop during your course at UTS. This subject is intended to assess the following graduate attributes:

Graduate Attribute 1 - Disciplinary knowledge: This subject provides an introduction to the complex concept of animal ethics and covers a broad range of aspects associated with this topic. It is designed to give a strong fundamental knowledge base for you to build on your own skills and knowledge in the area, while also prompting inquiry and reflection. This attribute will be assessed using online quizzes that will reinforce the content delivered in the subject and identify shortcomings to be addressed.

Graduate Attribute 2 – Research, inquiry and critical thinking: This subject will allow you to develop and understand important aspects in the topic of animal ethics. You will be informed of the legal and regulatory framework that govern the use of animals in research and development, and on the evaluation and implementation of ethical practices.

Graduate Attribute 3 – Professional, ethical and social responsibility: You will exercise your ability and motivation for intellectual development through the use of reflective essay tasks. These tasks gauge your thoughts and opinions at the beginning and end of the subject. The initial reflection will allow you to identify what you already understand regarding the subject matter. This knowledge is developed through engaging in the subject resources which will lead to a final reflective essay that will internalize new knowledge and thoughts to help you understand and navigate the diverse topic of animal ethics. You will learn about the importance of the use of animal research and why ethical conduct is necessary for the quality treatment of animals.

Graduate Attribute 5 – Communication You will be given the opportunity to develop your communication skills through written reflective essays that focus on your individual knowledge and opinion regarding the topic of animal ethics. You will need to critically articulate your opinion on the use of animals in research and engage with subject content on a broad stakeholder perspective. You will need to communicate the existing legal and regulatory framework as well as the excellent practices required for animal ethics.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is delivered entirely online and consists of three interactive, self-directed learning modules. Content in each of the topics will be delivered in a range of formats designed to help you actively engage with the materials. You will be expected to think critically about the materials and develop your own research skills as you find additional materials. As you develop your knowledge you will also have the chance to engage with your peers using the discussion board within CANVAS to share ideas and ask questions. Each topic will be followed by an interactive quiz with immediate formative feedback to test your grasp of the content and help you develop for future assessments.

Content (topics)

Over the course of the subject you will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to use of animals in research
  • Important breakthroughs involving animal research
  • Communicating the importance of animals in research
  • Regulatory requirements for the use of animals in research
  • Animal care and ethics committees
  • Responsibilities of stakeholders
  • Well-being of research animals
  • Importance of animal welfare
  • Implementing good practices
  • Humane endpoints

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Initial Reflection on Animal Ethics

Intent:

The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

5. Communication

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

3.1 and 5.2

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 5%
Criteria:

Your reflection will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Ability to examine own bias and world view in regards to the complex topic of animal ethics
  • Quality, structure and clarity of written expression including grammar, spelling and appropriate referencing.

Assessment task 2: Module Multiple Choice and Short Answer Quizzes

Intent:

The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1 and 2.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Criteria:

Correct responses to multiple choice questions and demonstration of comprehension and critical thinking in short answer responses. The short answers will ask the students to develop their critical thoughts in regards to a specific topic (module 1, 2 and 3).

Assessment task 3: FLAIRE eModule

Intent:

The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1 and 3.2

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Criteria:

Module is completed.

Assessment task 4: Final Reflection on Animal Ethics

Intent:

The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

5. Communication

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.2, 3.2 and 5.2

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%
Criteria:

Your reflection will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • In-depth reflection on the critical skills gained in the course, providing clear detailed examples, as applicable.
  • Ability to reflect upon the experience of developing knowledge around animal ethics and any changes in personal opinions since writing initial reflection.
  • Ability to examine own bias and world view in regards to the complex topic of animal ethics
  • Quality, structure and clarity of written expression including grammar, spelling and appropriate referencing.

Minimum requirements

In this subject you must acheive a grade of 50% overall in order to pass the subject. In addition you must have also acheived the following:

  • A grade of 'complete' the FLAIRE module
  • In any assessment task worth 40% or more of the final, overall assessment, you are required to obtain at least 40% of the possible marks for that task. If a mark of 40% or more in not achieved, a fail grade (X) may be awarded for this subject, regardless of an aggregate mark of 50% or greater for the subject, overall. Assessment task 2 is comprised of 3 components, totaling 50%. Students must obtain a minimum of 40% overall for this assessment task in order to pass this subject.

Other resources

Other resources will be provided via CANVAS.