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Your route to a degree in Veterinary Medicine

University preparation 11 March 2019

Veterinary science is a highly competitive degree with only seven UK universities1 offering an undergraduate programme in this subject. According to UCAS2, 5,090 students were studying this subject in 2014/15 and only 18% were international students.

Ben Dolbear, a university advisor at CATS College London, shares his top tips with international students seeking to study veterinary science at a UK university.

CATS Colleges, with four boarding schools for 14-18 year olds, specialises in preparing international students from over 80 countries for a range of competitive professions including veterinary science. 

1. Plan your route to a Veterinary Science degree

You need to possess relevant higher level qualifications to progress to a veterinary science degree – A level and International Baccalaureate are the most commonly accepted qualifications. At CATS Colleges we offer a variety of programmes.

 

 

Fast-track A level

A level

International Baccalaureate

Ideal for

High achievers who can manage a demanding study programme and for students that need an additional A level within one year.

A classic two year study programme allowing you time to prepare your UCAS application half way through the first year.

A classic two year study programme allowing you time to prepare your UCAS application half way through the first year.

Length of course

1 year

1.5 - 2 years

2 years

Start dates

Sept

Sept, Jan, April

Sept

Language level

IELTS 6.5 or above

IELTS 5.5 or above

IELTS 5.5 or above

University application preparation

You are ready to complete your university application in the first month of the course. You have relevant work experience and have read topical material.

You are ready to start the process of completing your university application and take expert advice on relevant reading and work experience (ideally some work experience will already have been completed).

You are ready to start the process of completing your university application and take expert advice on relevant reading and work experience (ideally some work experience will already have been completed).

CATS Colleges locations

London

Cambridge, Canterbury, London

Canterbury

2. Choose your subjects wisely

Students need relevant subject qualifications at a higher level. Universities’ entry requirements vary, but normally three A levels (or equivalents) are required including Chemistry and either one or two subjects from Biology, Physics, or Mathematics. Students choosing IB will need a high score of at least 36 overall and should choose Chemistry at higher level as well as either Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

3. Demonstrate your academic achievement with top grades in your subjects and English

Because of the competitive nature of a veterinary medicine degree, universities demand a high level of academic achievement. A typical offer is at least three As at A level, but universities’ entry requirements do vary. Applicants also need to demonstrate a high level of English and this is usually a minimum of IELTS 7.0 overall. Universities’ selection processes are rigorous as a result and you may be required to attend an interview.

4. Showcase your commitment to animal welfare through work experience

Work experience is an essential part of any aspiring vet med student’s application. Universities are looking for students with a passion and commitment to the veterinary profession, both understanding the health and disease of animals. Typical work experience placements include assisting in a veterinary practice, stables or a farm. We’ve had students work at an animal welfare charity in South Africa, a city farm and even at an abattoir. As part of a veterinary science degree, you will also complete extensive out-of-term work experience anywhere from 12 to 26 weeks per year.

5. Prepare a compelling personal statement

Students need to submit their online application through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) by 15 October. In your personal statement you need to demonstrate:

  • Your passion and commitment to veterinary science
  • Your academic curiosity regarding the sciences and vet med
  • Your work experience with animals and at a veterinary practice
  • Your skills and qualities that will make you a great vet

Ben adds:

“In summary, preparation is key to achieving a place to study veterinary science at a top UK university, but I’d also encourage all international students to enjoy their study experience in the UK. Make friends from around the world, and explore relevant places of interest to support your studies such as the museum of zoology (Cambridge) and London Zoo.”

  1. Glasgow, Cambridge, Nottingham, Royal Veterinary College, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol.
  2. https://www.ucas.com/ucas/subject-guide-list/veterinary-science

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About Ben Dolbear

Ben is responsible for the pastoral care of Year 13 students and those on Fast-track A Level. His role involves offering advice, guidance, academic counselling, and supporting students through the university applications process.

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To discuss your route to a degree in veterinary science, contact us for a free counselling session.

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