Becoming a vet in the UK

Want to know how to become a veterinary surgeon in the UK? This page will answer all your frequently asked questions (FAQs). This includes information about training, placements and what support is available.


To become a vet in the UK you must complete a 5 year degree programme at one of the UK’s eleven veterinary schools. 

After you complete a veterinary degree programme, you will need validation by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Then you will get added to the RCVS register of practising veterinary surgeons.

UK veterinary professionals are regulated by the RCVS. This includes Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses.

Students starting with no prior higher education experience take a 5 year degree programme.

If you have a previous science degree, then 4 year programmes are available. If you don’t meet the entry requirements, foundation or gateway courses are available at some universities to provide access to veterinary programmes.

Veterinary science is sometimes known as veterinary medicine. It is the study of science subjects associated with the practice of veterinary medicine. 

It is the application of science and professional clinical skills to provide healthcare to animals. It's sometimes called veterinary science. 

Bioveterinary sciences are the biological and non-clinical veterinary sciences. Bioveterinary sciences include the study of animal biology and physiology. They also look at animal science and management.

They consider the practical and scientific considerations of managing animals under human care. This includes a range of scientific and technical skills.

We are based in Preston, Lancashire in North West England. We are one of only 11 vet schools in the UK, and the second in Northern England.

We're building state-of-the-art vet facilities at our Preston Campus. 

  • Adelphi Building Clinical Skills Suite
  • Greenbank Building refurbishment
  • New School of Veterinary Medicine building

Our Veterinary Medicine courses have standard fees. Our course fees can be found on our fees and funding webpage.

There is no interview for the BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Sciences course.

We have a variety of University-owned and private accommodation option available at Preston Campus. See our accommodation page for details.

Financial bursary information can be found on our bursaries and scholarships webpage.

There is no upper age limit for any of our programmes. 

Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS)

Yes. Our BVMS Foundation Entry programme offers a great potential entry route to our standard BVMS programme. You'll start at Year 0. You'll get the chance to develop the necessary subject-specific knowledge and skills. This will allow you to take part in the progression process.

Our BVMS course is competitive. To progress onto Year 1 of our BVMS course, you'll need to partake in the standard application process. This requires the following:

  • Meet the qualifying grade criteria in Year 0
  • Apply for BVMS Year One in your first semester of Year 0
  • Complete the interview selection event
  • Receive an offer to join the BVMS 5-year programme
  • Meet any conditional requirements of the offer
  • Join the BVMS 5-year programme at the start of the next academic year

For further guidance on this process please view the BVMS application guide.

Widening participation is at the core of our school's mission. We can offer a reduced entry tariff for those who's life experiences may have resulted in academic challenges. See our contextual admissions page for more details.

  • AA in Advanced Higher in Biology or Chemistry
  • AABBB minimum at Higher level, to include Biology and Chemistry
  • Minimum of AAAAA in National level 5, including biology and chemistry (or double science)

Correct as of September 2022.

You don't need any work experience to get on the course. However, having some work experience (even if it’s not vet-specific) is always a good thing. 

Our BVMS interviews usually take place between December to February. If your application gets shortlisted, you’ll receive an invitation to interview with plenty of notice.

Interviews will be held in person at our Preston Campus.

We're one of a select few UK universities to offer practical placements from Year 1 of the BVMS course. 

We will organise your animal handling and intra-mural placements. Your travel and/or accommodation will be either covered in full or subsidised.

We have built a network of local placement providers. But, if you know of a practice in your local area that you'd like to work at, please let us know. We are always open to expanding our practice network. 

We will also support you in getting pre-clinical and clinical extra mural studies placements. This will be from a list of pre-approved EMS providers. You can nominate new providers if this is more convenient for you.  

Intramural rotation (IMR) placements are built into our BVMS course curriculum. Extramural studies (EMS) are extra placements you'll do in the holidays. You'll need to do both placement types to graduate.

Our intramural rotation (IMR) placements are built into the BVMS course and we'll usually arrange these on your behalf. In Years 1 to 4, you'll spend one week per semester on these placements, which increases to 28 weeks in Year 5.

Our extramural studies (EMS) are extra placements you'll need to complete outside our course structure. In Years 1 and 2, we'll support you to gain 12 weeks of pre-clinical EMS experience. Then, in Years 3 to 5, you'll need to gain a further 26 weeks of clinical EMS experience. These are usually done at veterinary practices, and the University does not provide financial support.

For more information on our placement types, visit our Veterinary Medicine placements page.

Many placements will be in Preston and surrounding areas. Some placement providers may be further afield.

We've built a network of local placement providers. But, we are always open to expanding our practice network. If you know of a practice in your local area that you'd like to work at, please let us know.

We cover all travel and accommodation costs for the animal handling (AH) and intramural rotation (IMR) placements.

Funds are not available for extramural studies (EMS) placements. We do have a variety of general student support schemes and bursaries available. Find out more on our fees and finance page.

Placements are not paid.

Useful links

Veterinary Medicine

Our brand-new School of Veterinary Medicine is the UK’s 11th Veterinary School, only the second in the North of England and the first in Lancashire.

School of Veterinary Medicine

Our brand-new School of Veterinary Medicine is the UK’s 11th Veterinary School, only the second in the North of England and the first in Lancashire.

Veterinary Medicine contextual admissions

Widening participation is at the core of our mission. We firmly believe in helping people to seize every opportunity to flourish in education.