What subjects do you need to be a vet

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

What education do I need to become a vet? | Vet Record Careers

Some veterinary information from the internet is not necessarily true. If you have been searching online for information on subjects such as what subjects aspiring veterinarians need to learn, the following article should provide you with all the information you need.

You will also discover the best related posts on what subjects do you need to be a vet, easiest vet school to get into australia, easiest veterinary schools to get into uk, vet school requirements, how to get into vet school with bad grades, hardest vet school to get into, ross vet school & cheapest vet schools on infolearners.

Meanwhile on this post, we shall find out about What Subjects Do You Need To Be A Vet, what qualifications do you need to be a vet uk, vet university, veterinary medicine degree and what qualifications do you need to be a veterinary nurse. Read on for the details.

What Subjects Do You Need To Be A Vet

Firstly, Let us consider What Subjects Do You Need To Be A Vet.

A-level subjects for veterinary medicine

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for veterinary degrees? 

Combining chemistry, biology and either maths or physics (or taking both) is the best way to keep all veterinary courses open to you.

  • What are university entry requirements?

What A-levels are useful for veterinary science degrees?

Critical thinking will help with section three of the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT), but it’s better to take it as a fifth AS-level rather than as a replacement for maths or physics. 

Do AS-levels still matter? We place them under the spotlight in the current A-level climate.

Take a look at individual veterinary science courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular subjects vet students studied before arriving at university. You can compare these with what universities ask for in their entry requirements.

Examples of veterinary science degree requirements

Below is a range of veterinary courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 07 June 2018):

Veterinary medicine at The Royal Veterinary College, University of London: ‘A,A,A-A,A,B. Biology at grade A; Chemistry at grade A; A third subject of your choice, preferably at A but no lower than B.’

Veterinary medicine at the University of Nottingham: ‘A,A,B. Including grade A in Chemistry and Biology and grade B in a third subject (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) at A level. A pass is required in science practical tests, if assessed separately.’

Veterinary science at the University of Liverpool: ‘A,A,A. – level: Three A-levels in Biology, one other academic science related subject and any other subject excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies. If Chemistry is not offered at A level, grade B at AS level is required. For applicants from England: Where a science has been taken at A level (Chemistry, Biology or Physics), a pass in the Science.’

Other similar degree subjects

  • medicine
  • veterinary nursing
  • dentistry

what qualifications do you need to be a vet uk

Now we shall explore what qualifications do you need to be a vet uk, then vet university, veterinary medicine degree and what qualifications do you need to be a veterinary nurse. Read on for the details.

What can you do with a veterinary science degree? | Student

To work as a vet, you need to study for a degree in veterinary medicine. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the body in charge of vets in the UK, and you can study a veterinary degree approved by the RCVS at the following universities:

University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of Liverpool
Royal Veterinary College, University of London
University of Nottingham

The University of Surrey is currently working with the RCVS to develop an approved course, but it will probably not be approved until 2019 or 2020.
The degree takes five years, or six years at Cambridge.

What GCSE do you need to be a vet? And what A-levels are required to get onto the degree course?

To get onto a degree course, you will need an A-level in biology and probably in maths, physics and chemistry as well, depending on the university.

The course is demanding and you will normally need at least As and Bs. Since there are lots of students applying for the course, the higher your grades, the greater your chances of getting a place.

As for GCSEs, you’ll need at least a 4 in English language, maths and science, often higher depending on the university. For any science that is not required by the university at A-level, you’ll probably need a high pass at GCSE.

Will I need work experience?

Hands-on experience is a must for students applying to study veterinary medicine – it’s something the university will want to see as a sign of commitment, although it’s important to remember they will value the quality of your work experience over the amount.

It’s advisable to have experience working in a vet’s surgery as well as working with farm animals. Use the RCVS find a vet tool to get in touch with a local practice. Talk to your careers advisor about getting work experience at a farm – local farms that are open to the public can be a good choice.

Because it’s such a big leap, work experience is a good way to see whether you’re cut out to be a vet before you apply.

Applying for your degree

The university application deadline for veterinary medicine is 15th October, earlier than the general UCAS deadline in January, so make sure you do your research early on and have plenty of time to get your application ready.

BMAT – what’s that?

If you’d like to apply to Cambridge or the Royal Veterinary College, you’ll need to take a BioMedical Admission Test (BMAT) as well. You won’t get an interview without it, so make sure you ask a teacher or careers advisor about this well in advance.

Getting work experience during your degree

You will need to spend time during your holidays getting hands-on experience as you study for your degree.

The RSPCA and PDSA are popular choices for veterinary students looking for work experience. Your university will offer help and guidance on finding work experience.

What will happen when I complete my degree?

Once you’ve finished your veterinary degree, you’ll need to spend some time working as a veterinary assistant before becoming a fully qualified vet. This allows you take what you’ve learnt at university and apply it under supervision. You’ll learn the tricks of the trade from a fully trained vet.

This is also your chance to try different things and decide what area of veterinary medicine you want to specialise in – do you want to work in a vet’s surgery, on a farm, in a research facility, for the military, or somewhere else?

vet university

Now we look at vet university and what are the best ones to study in.

To become a veterinarian, you need to complete an undergraduate or post graduate degree in veterinary science. Depending on the university, it takes between five and seven years of study to become a veterinarian.

The UK is home to many of the finest Vet Universities in the world, therefore, we shall focus on the Vet Schools there.

Top Eight Universities in the UK to Study Veterinary Medicine

Studying a veterinary medicine course in the UK will equip graduates with the knowledge and ability to help with the surgical treatment and care of animals.

Veterinary medicine shares much in common with regular medicine programmes, and students will find a large degree of crossover in terms of modules and topics covered. Courses generally last five years and once you graduate, you will be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and begin your career.

Learn more about the top eight UK veterinary medicine schools below (Guardian University Guide 2022). If you wish to begin your application to study veterinary medicine in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London today.

Top Eight UK Universities for Veterinary Medicine

1. University of Edinburgh

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh was the highest ranked veterinary school in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and is currently ranked the best in the UK by the Guardian University Guide.

Extra-Mural Studies placements allow students to further practice their animal handling and clinical skills, as well as increasing their confidence, increasing their work experience and providing a valuable insight into the real world of work and the School is fully accredited by the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Course to consider: BVMS (hons) Veterinary Medicine

2. University of Cambridge

Modern facilities in the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital at the University of Cambridge include a five-theatre small animal surgical suite, a fully-equipped intensive care unit and an equine surgical suite and diagnostic unit, with an MRI machine capable of imaging standing horses. Small animals, farm animals and horses are housed on-site to provide continual opportunities to consolidate your animal handling skills. The nearby University Farm also allows all students to become involved in lambing and dairy management.

  • Course to consider: Vet.M.B (hons) Veterinary Medicine

3. University of Nottingham

The School of Veterinary Science at the University of Nottingham ranked top of the National Student Survey (NSS) since its first graduating cohort in 2011, as well as being ranked 2nd in the UK for research power. In a recent Association of Veterinary Students survey, Nottingham was ranked first for career progression preparation, extra mural studies structure and student welfare.

  • Course to consider: Veterinary Medicine and Surgery including a Gateway Year

4. University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science has two on-site working farms as well as two referral hospitals, and three first opinion practices, enabling undergraduates to gain valuable hands-on experience of all aspects of veterinary practice. The Institute was voted second for veterinary science in a recent national student survey of universities.

  • Course to consider: BVSc (hons) Veterinary Science 1+5 year (Foundation route)

5. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Veterinary School is one of only four Vet Schools in Europe to have achieved accredited status for its undergraduate programmes from the American Veterinary Medical Association. In the 2016 National Student Survey, the School of Veterinary Medicine was voted number 1 in the UK for Veterinary Science.

  • Course to consider: BVMS veterinary Medicine & Surgery

6. University of Bristol

The Veterinary School at the University of Bristol currently offers three undergraduate degrees, one taught Masters programme and have been training veterinary professionals for over 50 years. In the School of Veterinary Sciences, academics are leaders in their field, whose research helps inform national policies that can lead to developments within veterinary practice.

  • Course to consider: BVSc Veterinary Science: Accelerated graduate entry

7. University of Surrey

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey is the UK’s newest veterinary school, opening in 2015. State-of-the-art facilities worth £45m include a Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre, Veterinary Pathology Centre and modern lecture theatres and laboratories. In the National Student Survey 2019 the School achieved 100% student satisfaction and continues to go from strength-to-strength.

  • Course to consider: BVMSci (Hons) Veterinary Medicine and Science

8. Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College is the first veterinary school in the UK, and the only one worldwide, to achieve full accreditation by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 86% of recent Veterinary Medicine students found work (or went on to further study) within six months of graduation.

  • Course to consider: BVetMed (hons) Veterinary Medicine

veterinary medicine degree

Veterinary medicine is a branch of health care science and deals with the well-being of animals, including pets, food animals, horses and wild animals. This field covers diagnosis, therapy, prevention of diseases and injuries, as well as narrow fields such as blood transfusions.

Veterinary medicine studies begin with a Bachelor’s degree in life sciences, zoology, biology and others and should continue with a Master’s degree in veterinary medicine or a PhD. Students usually specialize in certain fields such as physiotherapy or dentistry or in groups of species. By monitoring and constantly improving the health of animals, public health is also maintained. Medicine schools and colleges offer competitive degrees for students passionate about animals, preparing them in both theoretical and practical expertise.

Graduates can become researchers focused on developing treatments and medicines for animals or practitioners who are known as veterinary physicians or vets. Career prospects are wide in the field and range from science teachers, marine biologists, park managers, zoo animal care specialists, to veterinary pathologists or animal assisted therapists.

what qualifications do you need to be a veterinary nurse

Veterinary nurses are important in helping veterinarians with a variety of tasks, including performing safe procedures and monitoring animals after an operation. Learning the role of a veterinary nurse and how to become one can help you determine if it’s a career you’re interested in. In this article, we discuss the duties of a veterinary nurse, what kind of salary they earn, steps to becoming a veterinary nurse and skills to develop if you’re interested in the career.

What is a veterinary nurse?

A veterinary nurse, also called a veterinary technician or technologist depending on the degree, is a medical professional who works alongside a licensed veterinarian to help provide care for sick and injured animals. They can work with either large or small animals and usually work in an animal clinic, hospital or research center.

What does a veterinary nurse do?

A veterinary nurse performs similar tasks as a veterinarian and also assists them with advanced tasks, such as surgical procedures. They may also assist with nutritional management, dental cleaning, surgery preparation, laboratory specimen analysis, physical therapy and client education. Veterinary nurse duties can include:

  • Helping veterinarians administer anesthesia
  • Running tests on stool and blood samples
  • Performing dental procedures
  • Preparing an animal and surgical equipment for surgery
  • Educating pet owners on aftercare protocols
  • Give animals medications
  • Take X-rays of animals
  • Feeding inpatients
  • Cleaning out animal kennels
  • Helping bandage an animal
  • Maintaining records of animals
  • Holding and securing animals during their operations
  • Interviewing clients about their pets during intake

How to become a veterinary nurse

Here are some steps you can take to become a veterinary nurse:

1. Graduate from high school

In order to attend veterinary school, complete your high school education or earn a GED. While in school, focus on science and math since those subjects can be important in the veterinary field for various tasks such as weighing animals and measuring medicine dosages.

2. Gain experience with animals

Because work experience is usually a requirement for finding a job as a veterinary nurse, it is helpful to gain experience with animals early on. This can help you learn if being a veterinary nurse is a job you would be interested in and want to pursue an education for. Besides volunteering at a veterinarian clinic, consider other animal environments such as your local animal shelter or kennel.

3. Attend a nursing program

You can earn a veterinary nursing degree through a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Veterinary nurses can earn either a two-year degree to become a veterinary technician, or a four-year degree to become a veterinary technologist. Classes cover related topics, such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Small animal nursing
  • Preventive health care

3. Get licensed

Most veterinary nurse positions require being licensed. Research the requirements for your state so you can prepare to get your license to practice as a nurse.

4. Earn a certification

Depending on where you are located, you may also want to earn a related certification in animal studies, veterinary nursing or another related field. Earning a certificate can help you specialize your knowledge in the industry and become more marketable for jobs. You can earn a certificate online, and it typically takes less than a year to complete.

Skills for a veterinary nurse

Below are some skills needed to help a veterinary nurse excel:

  • Communication: A veterinary nurse works with a veterinarian, other staff and talks with an animal’s owner about the animal’s condition and treatment plan, so being able to communicate clearly is helpful.
  • Teamwork: Veterinary nurses work with a veterinarian and other veterinarian employees together to accomplish the overall goal of helping animals.
  • Animal anatomy: To help veterinarians work on a particular part of an animal’s body, a veterinary nurse learns and is knowledgeable about animal anatomy.
  • Compassion: Veterinary nurses may often have to give disappointing or concerning information to an animal’s owner so it’s important to be compassionate and understanding.
  • Patient care: An understanding of patient care, or how to prevent and treat diseases and injuries can help veterinary nurses in their role of assisting veterinarians.
  • Physical stamina: To perform tasks, veterinary nurses use physical strength when lifting animals to examination tables and working on their feet all day.

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