Overview

About the degree programme

This five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) programme will prepare you for many aspects of the veterinary profession. 

Graduating from this programme will make you eligible for registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), as well as international accrediting bodies. You will then be able to practice veterinary medicine in the UK and overseas. 

There are opportunities available to you at the end of your 2nd, 3rd or 4th year to temporarily pause your undergraduate studies for a year to pursue an intercalated BSc (Hons) Vet Sci degree.

An introduction to Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh for prospective students.

How long it takes to complete this degree programme

The degree is taught over five years.  

Years 1 to 2: Pre-clinical  

You will learn about the normal function of the animal body from the cell level to the entire organism.  

Clinical and professional skills are taught from the first year of the programme.  

Extra Mural Studies (EMS) are a key component of the degree, and you will be required to complete 12 weeks of Animal Husbandry placements by the end of the second year. 

Years 3 to 5: Clinical 

You will learn about disease and treatment with species-specific integrated courses as well as pathology, pharmacology and veterinary public health.  

You will also be required to complete 26 weeks of clinical EMS placements by the end of final year.  

The final year comprises clinical rotations in our on-site hospital facilities, giving you real-life exposure to the work you will be undertaking following graduation. 

Extra Mural Studies

Edinburgh was my first-choice vet school because I liked the fact that the R(D)SVS has it’s own referral hospital and has consistently done so well in the vet school league tables. I fell in love with the city when I visited for the open day, and when I met students on my interview day I could see how much they were enjoying their course.

Programme rankings

  • 1st in UK for agriculture, food and veterinary science research together with SRUC (REF 2021) 
  • 1st in UK for Veterinary Science (Guardian League Tables 2022) 
  • 1st in UK for Veterinary Science (Shanghai Rankings 2022) 
  • 2nd in UK for Veterinary Science (QS World Rankings 2023)

Programme benefits

  • Our purpose-built campus is home to one of the largest concentrations of animal science expertise in Europe, and students benefit from access to our three on-site veterinary hospitals. 
  • Studying Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh will give you transferable skills such as effective communication, teambuilding and an understanding of business management. 
  • Veterinary training also provides an outstanding background for those who wish to pursue a career in biomedical research, including both veterinary and human medicine. 
  • Our long-standing combination of tradition and cutting-edge veterinary teaching benefits from a close-knit collegial community of students. 
  • Our school prides itself on the excellent teaching and continuing support for students. This is reflected in our continued success in the National Student Survey (NSS) results, where our most recent teaching satisfaction score is 95% (2022/23).

I knew that the programme was one of the best in the world and would set me up for a successful career. The facilities are world class - that includes a beautiful teaching building and state of the art hospitals.

Entry requirements

Find your entry requirements

Use the dropdowns to find out your entry requirements.

  1. Select the country where you are studying or where you studied your qualification.
  2. Select the qualification you are studying or studied.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for BVM&S Veterinary Medicine

View the tuition fees for one academic year of BVM&S Veterinary Medicine.

Additional costs

Additional costs include: 

  • compulsory specialised equipment and protective clothing (approximately £150)  
  • locker deposits (£15)  
  • travel costs for getting to the Easter Bush Campus (around £560 a year on public transport from the city centre. We subsidise this proportionally, in line with your year of study. In addition, anyone aged under 22 and residing in Scotland will be eligible for free bus travel.) 

Extramural study (externships) of 38 weeks will also incur additional accommodation and travel costs. You may be able to access the limited grant funding available from the University, but this is unlikely to cover the full costs of extramural study. 

International students may have to pay a healthcare surcharge of around £470 a year as part of their immigration application. This fee is correct at August 2023 but may be subject to change.

(*Revised 31 August 2023 to clarify accuracy of healthcare surcharge fee.)

Accommodation

Accommodation costs depend on where you live while studying at university and the type of accommodation you choose.

In private accommodation, you can expect to pay more for a private studio or flat than a room in a flat where you share a kitchen and living space with others.

In University accommodation, factors impacting the rent are room size and the available facilities, such as ensuite rooms and catered halls.

University of Edinburgh student accommodation

Scholarships and funding

Funding information

You can find detailed information on financial support available, based on where you are living, in our fees and funding section. 

Programme details

What you will study

Veterinary medicine is first and foremost a scientific discipline, but wherever possible the science will be presented in the context of its clinical relevance, so you have a clear understanding of where it all leads. 

We offer an integrated programme of study where you will be taught about large animals, small companion animals, exotics and wildlife. This style of degree allows you to broaden your understanding of different species, diversifies your career prospects and provides you with a level of flexibility to specialise at a later stage if you wish. 

Our programme offers a wide range of stimulating teaching and learning methods designed to equip you with the confidence and skills for a fulfilling career in veterinary medicine. You will be taught by some of the UK’s most prominent veterinary scientists in an environment of cutting-edge veterinary research. 

BVM&S 5-year programme information 

Option of an intercalated degree 

If you have a special interest, there are opportunities available to you at the end of your 2nd, 3rd or 4th year to temporarily pause your undergraduate studies for a year to pursue an intercalated BSc (Hons) Veterinary Science degree.

You can also take one year of advanced study in a subject such as: 

  • biochemistry 
  • infectious diseases 
  • neuroscience 
  • zoology 

With permission, you may attend intercalated degree courses at other UK universities or veterinary colleges, or in other parts of the University of Edinburgh. You will then return to the Veterinary Medicine programme at Year 3 to complete your BVM&S. 

Exceptional candidates may also have the opportunity to study a one-year research MSc or an intercalated three-year PhD. 

After Year 3 of the BVM&S (or if you already hold a BSc), you can enrol on one of our prestigious, taught MSc programmes in: 

  • The Animal Body 1 & 2  
  • Animal Life & Food Safety 1 
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 
Find courses 

The courses you can study will vary from year to year and may be different for your year of entry. 

You can get an idea of what you might study by viewing the latest course information for this programme. 

Find Year 1 courses (2023-2024 academic year) 

  • The Animal Body 3 & 4  
  • Animal Life & Food Safety 2  
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 2 
  • Student research component (foundation skills) 
Find courses 

The courses you can study will vary from year to year and may be different for your year of entry. 

You can get an idea of what you might study by viewing the latest course information for this programme. 

Find Year 2 courses (2023-2024 academic year) 

  • Veterinary Pathology  
  • Integrated Clinical Course: Cat and Dog 
  • Clinical Foundation Course 
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 3 
Find courses 

The courses you can study will vary from year to year and may be different for your year of entry. 

You can get an idea of what you might study by viewing the latest course information for this programme. 

Find Year 3 courses (2023-2024 academic year) 

  • Integrated Clinical Courses in Farm Animal, Equine, and Exotics  
  • Veterinary Public Health  
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 4 
Find courses 

The courses you can study will vary from year to year and may be different for your year of entry. 

You can get an idea of what you might study by viewing the latest course information for this programme. 

Find Year 4 courses (2023-2024 academic year)

  • Final year rotations (selected and core)  
  • Student research component 
Find courses 

The courses you can study will vary from year to year and may be different for your year of entry. 

You can get an idea of what you might study by viewing the latest course information for this programme. 

Find Year 5 courses (2023-2024 academic year) 

Placements

The Roslin Institute and the Moredun Institute offer placements to BVM&S undergraduate students. 

You will also have opportunities to complete short laboratory-based research placements, usually over the summer after Year 3. 

You may also get the chance to do an overseas placement, for example, at the Colorado State University and on the Cornell Leadership programme. 

Extra Mural Studies (EMS) 

In your pre-clinical and clinical years, you will gain practical experience by completing mandatory Extra Mural Studies (EMS). This is in addition to any placements you may take on. 

Learn more about Extra Mural Studies (EMS) 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of: 

  • lectures  
  • small-group teaching tutorials  
  • practical work  
  • case-based learning  

Our virtual learning environments will support your studies. These include: 

  • a virtual farm  
  • a virtual post-mortem room  
  • a virtual hospital  
  • a virtual pharmacy 

Assessment

You will be assessed by: 

  • exams  
  • coursework  
  • practical and clinical work 

An average day is a mix of lectures and practical classes. Lectures cover all aspects of anatomy and often feature case examples to help understand how tissue and organ function is affected by disease or injury. Practical classes follow on the same topic to put the learning into practice. 

Live animals feature in classes from year one with our teaching horses, cows, sheep and exotic animals living on-site and staff pets used in companion animal classes. 

Example Year 1 timetable

Support for your studies

As well as a strong commitment to teaching and learning, the School recognises the need to provide robust student support services. 

We offer students: 

  • student advisers – first point of contact for guidance, advice and support 
  • professional mentors – an academic member of staff to follow you through the programme 
  • student support advisory group – a group of academic staff with specific responsibilities relating to student support 
  • academic skills development and support – support to adapt to university teaching methods 

We also work closely with central support services to cater for lots of different support you may need.

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies – Student Support Team 

Academic support and guidance 

Our academic staff

We count among our staff some of the most distinguished veterinary professionals and academics in the world. 

Clinical staff within our hospitals have a teaching responsibility so we can offer our students an exceptional learning experience that’s rooted in a real-world clinical context. 

Where you will study

Study location

The Easter Bush Campus is a purpose-built home for veterinary teaching, research and practice. Set against the idyllic backdrop of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, the Campus lies seven miles south of the city centre. It is easily accessible by bus and has ample, free car parking facilities. 

The University of Edinburgh and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies are committed to sustainability. With electric car charging points, hedgehog tunnels, recycling initiatives, an apiary for bees, allotments, shower facilities for bike commuters and bike safety checks, and a solar farm in development, we’re proud to call Easter Bush a sustainable campus. 

Academic facilities

The Easter Bush Campus is home to: 

  • state-of-the-art veterinary teaching facilities 
  • Hospital for Small Animals, referral services and first opinion practice 
  • equine hospital, referral services and ambulatory practice 
  • farm animal hospital, referral services and ambulatory practice 
  • Exotic Animals and Wildlife Service 
  • sheep farm 
  • The Roslin Institute  
  • Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems 
  • Jeanne Marchig International Centre of Animal Welfare Education 

Nearby is Langhill, our school's 250-hectare livestock farm, where you will learn animal handling and farm animal medicine, and the campus is within easy reach of a pig unit. 

We also have links with Edinburgh Zoo and African wildlife projects. 

As a University of Edinburgh student, you will also have access to facilities across all University sites, for example: 

  • laboratories 
  • libraries 
  • study spaces (some study spaces are open 24 hours) 
  • computing facilities 
  • social spaces 
  • leisure facilities

Virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site. 

Take a tour of the facilities at Easter Bush 

Video of Easter Bush campus

A 4-minute video of the Easter Bush campus buildings.

Career paths and further study

Accreditation

This programme is accredited by:

  • the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)  
  • the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)  
  • the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE)
  • the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC)  
  • the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) 

You will be entitled to practise as a veterinarian as soon as you have earned your BVM&S degree and registered as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

The reciprocal arrangement between the RCVS and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC) allows BVM&S graduates to register to practice in Australia and New Zealand without requiring any further qualifications.  

We are also accredited by The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC). 

In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will recognise your degree as equivalent to those awarded by veterinary colleges in the United States following a successful pass in the NAVLE. 

Please note local licensing requirements may vary, may incur additional costs and can be subject to change over the duration of your studies.

The BVM&S is the equivalent of the North American Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), with the same standing worldwide. 

Career paths

Clinical careers 

This programme will train and prepare you for a career as a veterinary practitioner, either in general practice or a specialised field of practice, such as:

  • small animal practice
  • mixed practice
  • equine practice
  • farm/production animal practice
  • exotic animal practice
  • wildlife disease prevention
  • wildlife conservation
  • endangered species conservation
  • military support
  • livestock husbandry education in the developing world
  • industry
  • research
  • government service
  • academia

    Research careers 

    You can pursue a research career.

    Our school incorporates the Roslin Institute. This, along with the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland's Rural College, makes up the Easter Bush Research Consortium - one of the world's highest concentrations of animal scientists in one place.

    While many of our graduates enter the veterinary profession for life, many others find that their training at Edinburgh enables them to pursue a career in:

    • research  
    • government  
    • private enterprise  
    • academia 

    You can find more information on career prospects at the vet school website:

    Careers Service

    The University of Edinburgh Careers Service offers support and advice in early post-graduation career. Recent graduates can continue to use all the services for two years after graduation.

    Through the Careers Service, you can:

    • get tailored careers advice 
    • book one-to-one appointments and practice interviews 
    • attend careers events 
    • access a range of online resources 
    • get help finding work while you study and after you graduate

    Further study

    After you complete this degree programme, you may want to go on to further study at Edinburgh or a different university. 

    Graduate profiles

    Andy Hopker

    Andy Hopker

    Degree: BVM&S Veterinary Medicine

    Year of graduation: 2003

    Path after graduation:

    • worked in mixed practice for ten years and in UK private practice
    • volunteer in India working with NGO’s
    • clinician and lecturer at the R(D)SVS in Farm Animal Practice
    • runs an education programme for small farmers in rural India
    • assessor for the RCVS Advanced Veterinary Practitioner Certificate in cattle

    Stacy Eastman

    Stacy Eastman

    Degree: BVM&S Veterinary Medicine

    Year of graduation: 2015

    Path after graduation:

    • Small Animal Associate Veterinarian

    Applying

    How to apply

    You must submit a full application through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) before the relevant deadline, unless you are a North American graduate applicant.

    Read our Admissions Policy

    Read our 2024 Admissions Guide brochure

    North American graduate applicants

    You are a graduate applicant if you already have a degree or you are about to graduate with one.

    If you are a North American graduate applicant, you need to apply through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) on the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges website.

    Guidance about applying through VMCAS

    If you are a North American high school student or a graduate applicant from another country, you must apply through UCAS.

    Deferred entry

    You cannot apply for deferred entry for this programme, unless you are doing National Service. In this case, we can consider a deferral of one year only. 

    If you are already enrolled on a programme

    You cannot apply for this programme if you have started another programme.  

    What you need to apply

    As part of your application, you will need:

    • your academic qualifications
    • your predicted grades (if relevant)
    • a personal statement
    • evidence of your English language skills (with relevant qualifications)
    • evidence of practical work experience
    • an academic reference

    Guidelines for Referees

    Academic transcripts

    If you are applying with a first degree or international qualifications, you must submit a copy of your transcript showing subjects and grades achieved to date.

    You should submit your transcript by 22 October 2023.

    Work Experience Summary form

    You need to provide information about relevant practical experience in your UCAS application.

    In our decision-making process, we can only consider practical experience you have completed. If you are due to do work experience, then we may give you a conditional offer.

    You should complete a Work Experience Summary form to the Admissions Office by 22 October 2023

    Complete your Work Experience Summary form

    How we select

    There are usually 72 places for UK applicants and 35 for international and graduate applicants each year.

    Competition for places is therefore extremely intense. The majority of applications are from candidates of high academic calibre. Unfortunately, meeting the academic entry requirements does not guarantee an offer.

    Each application is considered individually. Academic qualifications play an important part in the selection process, but close attention is also given to non-academic factors, including work experience, motivation, interests and attainments.

    An interview forms part of the selection procedure for all offered places.

    Interviews

    If you meet our entry requirements and present a competitive application, you will be selected to attend an interview between December and March. Offers are then made on the basis of performance at interview.

    We interview around 600 applicants for this programme each year.

    BVM&S Interview information and dates

    When to apply

    UCAS deadline

    • 2024 entry UCAS deadline: 16 October 2023 (6pm GMT)

    This is the deadline for all UK, EU and international applicants applying through UCAS.

    VMCAS deadline

    • 2024 entry VMCAS deadline: 18 September 2023 (11.59pm EST)

    This is the deadline for North American graduate applicants through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).

    After you apply

    After you have applied for your degree programme, we suggest you have a look at the following information to help you prepare for University.

    Learn about fitness to practise and complete a health questionnaire

    You need to show evidence that you are fit enough to participate in the practical applications and physical activities of this programme. 

    If you are invited for an interview, then you need to sign a written declaration and state anything that might affect your fitness to practise ability. If we give you an offer, then we will give you further information.

    All holders of Unconditional Firm offers are required to complete a health questionnaire prior to entry to the programme regardless of whether a disability or health condition was declared on application or not, and enrolment is subject to Health Clearance.

    No health condition automatically precludes a student from studying veterinary medicine, and we consider any disability or health condition on an individual basis.

    You will be asked to complete a Confidential Health Questionnaire form, which will be assessed by the University’s Occupational Health Unit. Your form will not be seen by the vet school.

    Find out more about the health questionnaire

    Applying as an international student

    As an international student, you apply for this degree programme through UCAS, unless you are a North American graduate applicant.

    Guidance about applying through UCAS

    If you are a North American graduate, you apply through the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges website.

    Guidance about applying through VMCAS

    Visas and immigration

    If you do not have the right to live in the UK, you will need to apply for and secure a Student visa before the start date of your degree programme.

    Our Student Immigration Service can help you with the Student visa application process.

    Applying for a visa

    Agents

    An education agent is someone who can help you with the application process as an international student.

    We work with education agents around the world and have a list of local offices you can contact.

    Find contacts details for an education agent

    Life at Edinburgh

    Student and campus life

    From sports and fitness to societies, social activities and accommodation, we have your back. 

    Undergraduate veterinary medicine student experience.

    Accommodation

    Our guarantee

    We realise you need more than just a place to live. You need an environment in which you can thrive. That’s why we guarantee accommodation for as many new undergraduates as possible. If you’re from outside Edinburgh, intending to study for the full academic year, and apply by the deadline, our accommodation guarantee is open to you.  

    Accommodation guarantee criteria 

    City centre accommodation

    The University is an integral part of the city. You’ll be living just a short walk or bus ride from the city centre of one of Europe’s most vibrant capitals. Our undergraduate accommodation is in the city centre, and typically includes: 

    • all heating, hot water and electricity costs 
    • wi-fi in your study-bedroom and in common areas 
    • contents insurance 
    • secure bike storage 
    • laundry facilities 

    Once you accept your offer to study at the University, our accommodation team will be in touch to provide you with details of the packages that are available. 

    Free bus travel

    Excellent transport links exist between student accommodation and the Easter Bush Campus where the Vet School is based. Bus travel in Scotland is free if you are under 22 years of age, and the School subsidises student bus passes for those who need them.

    Semester dates and impact on catered accommodation

    Semester dates for the vet school are slightly different to the University’s regular term time. This can impact students who opt for catered accommodation options where meals are served at set times. 

    BVM&S semester dates 

    University semester dates  

    Private accommodation 

    Some of our students choose to find their own accommodation through private landlords. Rent varies, but you should make sure you compare to other rental prices and see the accommodation before signing or paying any money.  

    Look at bus routes to vet school 

    Consider visiting the city before you move here, and look at bus routes to make sure your neighbourhood will offer easy access to the vet school. 

    Exercise, leisure and support facilities

    Sport and exercise

    The Easter Bush Campus is home to a fantastic gym, and you can attend a range of fitness classes on campus.   

    Whether you’re a recreational gym user or a performance athlete going for gold, our world-class sport and fitness offering caters for you. We’ve long been recognised as one of the UK’s leading sporting universities, consistently finishing in the top four of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings.  

    The best gym we’ve ever used.

    Societies and clubs

    Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) 

    As soon as you join the University, you’ll be welcomed into the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), which works on your behalf to ensure you have the best possible experience during your time here. 

    EUSA is led by five elected students (sabbatical officers) and maintains a Student Council. You will be represented by elected college, school and programme representatives, and by black and minority ethnic, disabled students’, LGBT+, and women’s officers. EUSA supports more than 290 student-led societies and volunteering groups, from the A Cappella and Business societies, to the Yoga and Zoology societies. 

    EUSA facilities include a world-class centre for student activities at the iconic Pleasance complex, which includes dance studios, a multipurpose performance space, TV and radio production studios and a café and bar. 

    Their venues deliver award-winning food and drink and hundreds of events throughout the year, from language cafés to silent discos and from ceilidhs to food fairs. 

    EUSA 

    Dick Vet Student Union (DVSU) 

    The vet school is also host to a variety of clubs and societies, and has its own Students’ Union, the DVSU. The School hosts several events throughout the year where students and staff come together to celebrate. 

    These range from the annual Pre-Burns Night supper to the Halloween party. These events are just one example of the many ways the School includes all its students and makes them feel more like a family.

    DVSU 

    The city of Edinburgh

    Edinburgh skyline as seen from the Salisbury Crags at sunset.

    Scotland's inspiring capital will form the background to your studies — a city with an irresistible blend of history, natural beauty and modern city life. 

    What our students say

    Isabelle's experience

    Vet student experience - Isabelle Towell.

    Shaily's experience

    Vet student experience - Shaily Dhinoja.

    Health and wellbeing support

    You will have access to free health and wellbeing services throughout your time at university if you need them.

    The support services we offer include: 

    • a student counselling service  
    • a health centre (doctor's surgery)  
    • support if you're living in University accommodation  
    • dedicated help and support if you have a disability or need adjustments 

    Chat to our students on Unibuddy