How you Learn
A major feature of the Cambridge course is its practical emphasis – progressively guiding you towards your clinical goals. From their first week, our students learn handling and management skills in all the major domestic species, and subsequently with amphibians, reptiles, birds and ‘exotic’ mammals. In the early years this is supplemented by integrated sessions in clinical examination, thoracic auscultation, abdominal palpation, orthopaedic evaluation, echocardiography and neurological examination. Our students have the use of superb facilities – bespoke consultation and examination facilities, imaging and surgical suites, a linear accelerator for radiotherapy, clinical pathology and post mortem labs, and our Clinical Skills Lab is available 24 hours a day for students in all years.
The key to being a skilled vet is combining practical skills with excellent grounding in the science underlying practice. Cambridge gives you the unique opportunity to study to become a vet at the world’s premier science university – also consistently ranked as one of the best-funded and most productive UK universities. You will be fully immersed in our environment of cutting-edge biomedicine, and experience shows that this makes our graduates better equipped to deal with the high pace of change in veterinary medicine, and poised for a wide variety of flexible and challenging careers.
Most important is the additional third year – when those of our vet students who do not already have a degree study a single subject to a high level to gain a full Cambridge BA science degree. Most select a biological discipline, but other options are available, such as Management Studies – ideal for a role in leading a veterinary practice. The unique opportunities provided by a Cambridge veterinary education are invaluable in our graduates’ future career progression and flexibility. Indeed, external feedback confirms that our graduates are better equipped to deal with unexpected clinical situations and the high pace of change in veterinary medicine.
Ours is the smallest UK vet school, training around 70 each year, and this is central to our students’ experience. Right from the start, you will be in very small dissection, animal handling, and lab practical groups. You will also benefit from Cambridge’s unique ‘supervision’ small group teaching system – which gives you regular opportunities to consolidate your learning and follow up on your interests. Later in the course, the small class sizes become even more valuable. Our clinical rotation groups are tiny, which ensures a high caseload, and thus more experience and confidence by the time you qualify.
|Typical Offer Conditions
||41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level
||See the University’s Entrance Requirements page
||Chemistry, plus one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics
||We recommend that applicants should take three of the above subjects, or two of them plus Further Mathematics
All applicants are required to sit the Natural Sciences Admission Assessment, which they will sit at an authorised centre local to them (for many applicants, this will be their school/college). This is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate the ability in the physical and biological sciences, and maths – it is considered alongside all the information we receive about each applicant. There is no fee for this assessment, but your school/college must register you for it by October 15th. Please see the Admissions Assessments page on the University website for further details.
Veterinary applicants are no longer asked to take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT).
We seek applicants with strong scientific and clinical potential, as evidenced by performance in science/maths subjects at school, and in the University’s admissions assessments, as well as an ability to discuss any veterinary work experience they have seen. Indeed, if you are doing well in science/maths at school, then you may find that Cambridge is the veterinary course on which you have the highest chance of gaining a place.
Work experience is not a requirement but some experience is useful to understand the profession and what is required of its members. We suggest that a total two weeks of experience shadowing a vet or vets in any clinical setting is sufficient. You will probably be asked about your work experience at interview, and the focus will be on how observant, questioning, interactive and thoughtful you have been about the veterinary practice you have seen.
Applicants whose on-paper information suggests that they might be successful will be called for interview – usually in early December. Applicants will have two interviews on the same day. These will focus on candidates’ aptitude in science/maths subjects, as well as discussion of any work experience. While we will ask about clinical cases you have seen, or any additional reading in science, maths or Veterinary Medicine, we will not expect you to know any detailed information normally taught as part of a university veterinary course.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has certain expectations regarding the attitudes, behaviour and performance of veterinary students. For information about the (1) RCVS fitness to practise requirements, (2) Disclosure and Barring Service checks, and (3) Cambridge’s confidential occupational health assessment, see this link.