What is the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine?

The Royal Veterinary College's Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed) is a full-time five-year undergraduate degree programme that will qualify you to practice as a veterinarian.

The RVC, University of London, is the first veterinary school in the UK, and the only one world-wide, to achieve full accreditation by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and full recognition by the UK's Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), as well as a reciprocal arrangement between the RCVS and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC). This status is recognised throughout the world and qualifies our graduates to practice in Europe, North America and other countries such as Australia and New Zealand - a real advantage for those looking to develop an international career.

The course is split between the RVC's London and Hertfordshire campuses. As well as studying the latest theory and practice, you can expect plenty of practical ‘hands on’ experience, taught by leading experts in their field. The result is a unique degree course that will equip you for life for a range of careers in veterinary medicine and beyond.

Our students come from many different schools, backgrounds and countries, all sharing common goals – a strong ambition to succeed in the veterinary field and a passion for animal welfare. We welcome applications from all individuals with great potential and the dedication to commit to the course and succeed in the veterinary profession. We demand high levels of motivation and, in return, promise a rich and rewarding experience during your time with us.

What will I learn?

During the programme you will learn, among other things:

  • An understanding of the basic biological principles of normal body function and disease
  • The ability to distinguish the pathological from the normal
  • The ability to prevent disease and safely manage the processes of animal production
  • The expertise to diagnose and treat disease and alleviate suffering
  • The professional skills you need to work and communicate effectively with your colleagues and the public
  • Critical business and communication skills
  • To be a lifelong learner - an essential attribute in a rapidly changing world.

Programme delivery

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.

Our course 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'll be taught by some of the UK's most prominent veterinary scientists in an environment of cutting-edge veterinary research. Sessions will include:

  • Clinical skills development
  • Directed learning sessions
  • Dissections
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials (some of which involve live animals)
  • Computer-based MCQs
  • Practical classes (in the laboratory and at our working farm)
  • Research projects (as coursework)
  • Work experience placements

Course content and structure

We teach the curriculum from a comparative perspective. We use only one or two species – primarily the dog – to illustrate many aspects of the basic and clinical sciences, but we teach so that you will learn principles that can be applied to other common species.

In the more clinical parts of the course, much of the teaching will focus on common cases that you will encounter in veterinary practice, and on cases that will help you to understand the most important clinical principles. Teaching of Special Species (exotics, wildlife, birds, fish, etc.) is integrated into the mainstream teaching of body systems.

For further details of the course content and assessment download the Course Outline (Programme Specification).

You will need to fulfill our requirements in each of the following areas to be considered for interview:

Academic qualifications

The minimum academic requirements for entry to the BVetMed programme are outlined below. 


Three A2 subjects:

  • Biology/Human Biology at grade A 
  • Chemistry at grade A 
  • One other subject of your choice (excluding General Studies) preferably at grade A (no lower than grade B).

We support the opportunity to take additional subjects at AS-level, but do not prescribe or prefer any particular subject choices or combinations.

  • Our standard offer for A-Level students is AAA. For 2015 entry the RVC will not be requiring A* grades and predictions for A* will not give advantage at selection or offer stage over applicants predicted A.
  • The third A2 subject should not overlap with Biology or Chemistry, and cannot be General Studies.
  • There is no third subject which is preferred by selectors or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subject are treated equally for the third subject.
  • Restrictions apply to re-sits to all qualifications - see 'Does it count against me….’ below.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Diplomas and Further Certificates (including BTECs and Access)

14-19 Diplomas

Advanced Diplomas will be considered in addition to A-levels in Biology (or Human Biology) and Chemistry at AA grade.

Access to HE Diploma

Diplomas must be Science based and include a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Biology at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits in Chemistry at Distinction. You must achieve at least Merit in all other Level 3 credits.

See the Access to Higher Education website to search for possible courses in your area.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Birkbeck College's CertHE in Life Sciences for Subjects Allied to Medicine

Distinctions must be achieved in the Chemistry and Biology modules.

See the Birkbeck website for further details.

Students must demonstrate numeracy and literacy through the following:

  • GCSEs grade C or higher in Maths and English Language
  • OR by otherwise demonstrating that these subjects have been studied at a higher academic level (at Level 3 or in Higher Education).

BTEC National Diploma in Animal Management (old BTEC syllabus for students who started this qualification before 2010)

DDD (Distinctions) overall required including Distinctions in all of the following units:

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology in Animal Management
  • Scientific Investigation in Animal Management
  • Genetics and Genetic Engineering
  • Chemistry for Biology Technicians OR Fundamentals of Science.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

BTEC or City & Guilds Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management (NEW syllabus: for students who started this qualification in 2010 onwards)

DDD (Distinctions) overall required, including Distinctions in all the following units:

  • Understand the Principles of Animal Nutrition
  • Understand the Principles and Carry Out the Practice of Biochemistry and Microbiology 
  • Understand the Principles of Inheritance and Genetic Manipulation 
  • Fundamentals of Science 
  • Chemistry for Biology Technicians OR Understand the Principles of Chemistry for Biological and Medical Science

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Alternative requirements for Extended Diploma students not satisfying normal GCSE requirements:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade B including the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Science double awards), Mathematics and English Language plus AS Level Chemistry at grade A.

BTEC National Diploma/Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science

DDD (Distinctions) overall required, including Distinctions in all the following units:

  • Genetics and Genetics Engineering
  • Physiology of Human Body Systems AND/OR Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction
  • Biochemistry and Biochemical Techniques AND/OR Chemistry for Biology Technicians
  • Biomedical Science Techniques AND/OR Chemical Laboratory Techniques
  •  Using Statistics in Science AND/OR Informatics in Science

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Alternative requirements for Extended Diploma students not satisfying normal GCSE requirements:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade B including the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Science double awards), Mathematics and English Language plus AS Level Chemistry at grade A.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Chemistry

D (Distinction) overall required as an alternative to A Level Chemistry at grade A.

You will also require A Levels in Biology and one other subject both at grade A.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Cambridge Pre-U

Distinctions (D3 or higher) must be achieved in three Principal Subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • One other subject

The third subject should not overlap with Biology or Chemistry, and cannot be General Studies.

There is no third subject which is preferred by selectors or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subject are treated equally for the third subject.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Welsh, Scottish and Irish Applicants

Welsh Baccalaureate

Where applicants have achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma we will accept two A-levels:

  • Biology (or Human Biology) at A grade
  • Chemistry at A grade

in addition to a pass in the Welsh Bac Core.

We support the opportunity to take additional subjects at AS-level, but do not prescribe or prefer any particular subject choices or combinations.

For 2015 entry the RVC will not be requiring A* grades at A-level, and predictions for A* will not give advantage at selection or offer stage over applicants predicted A grade.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers at grades AA or AB in:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry

In addition to 5 Highers at AAAAB grades including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry

and at least Intermediate 2, Standard Credit grade 2 or National 5 grade B in:

  • Physics
  • English
  • Mathematics

Irish Leaving Certificate

At Higher level Grades of AAAABB including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry

both at Grade A

At Ordinary level (or Higher Level) grade B:

  • Physics
  • English Language
  • Mathematics

It should be clearly stated on the UCAS form which subjects are being studied at Higher level and which at Ordinary level.

GCSE (only in addition to other qualifications)

At least five A grades including:

  • Double Science* award or Science & Additional Science at AA grades OR
  • an A in Biology and A in chemistry if taken as separate GCSEs

 AND grade A or B in:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Physics (if taken as a separate GCSE)

*Double science refers to the Double Award GCSE in Science, which covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

International and EU Applicants

Candidates must meet the entry requirements by means of the prescribed qualifications listed or other acceptable alternative qualifications.

For advice on the acceptability of your qualifications please send details, referring to each of the required subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and English) to admissions@rvc.ac.uk.

For more information about international applications please go to the International students section.

North America

North American college students must apply through the VMCAS application system and will be considered for both the four year Graduate Accelerated BVetMed and the five year BVetMed programme. For more information see here. Please note that different deadlines apply to the VMCAS system.

North American high school students may only apply to the five-year BVetMed programme through UCAS, with the entry requirements as follows:


Graduate High School with at least four full-year Advanced Placement examinations at grade 5/4 including Biology and Chemistry both at grade 5.

Alternatively, either of the following combinations will also be accepted:

  • SAT score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus AP Biology and Chemistry at Grade 5;
  • SAT score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus IB Higher level certificates in Biology and Chemistry at Grade 6.


Pass the Secondary School Diploma with 90% overall and 90% in Biology and Chemistry grade 12 courses. Specific requirements may vary depending upon the province, but we would typically look for 'U' courses in grade 12 Biology and Chemistry.


Obtain Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit 2 grades of I, I, I (one, one, one) in Biology, Chemistry and a third subject, in addition to Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) grade II (two) in English A, Mathematics and Physics.

Rest of the World

The following qualifications will be accepted in conjunction with a suitable English Language qualification (see below). If not specified, you must also demonstrate you have studied Physics and Mathematics to the equivalent standard of GCSE grade B.


Pass the Baccalauréat 'S' stream with 14 (mention bien) overall and individual grades of 16 in Biology and Physics-Chemistry.

Hong Kong

Pass the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education with grades 555 in Biology, Chemistry and one other elective subject, plus grade 4 in Maths and grade 5 in English core subjects. We will consider Maths as a third elective subject provided both the compulsory and the extended modules are taken with grades A* (compulsory section) and A (extended section).


Pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato from a Liceo Scientifico with 95 overall and individual grades of 10 in Biology and Chemistry.


Obtain the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with grades AAA in three Principal level passes including Biology and Chemistry and five grade A-C Subsidiary level passes including grade B in English, Mathematics and Physics. 


Obtain Singapore GCE A Level grades AAA at H2 level in Biology, Chemistry and a third subject.


Pass a Polytechnic Diploma in Veterinary Bioscience, Veterinary Technology or Biotechnology with an overall GPA of 3.0 and with grade B in all Biology and Chemistry modules.


Pass the Bachillerato with 9 overall and individual grades of 9 in Biology and Chemistry.


Pass a Federal Maturity Certificate or Federally Recognised Cantonal Maturity Certificate with an overall average of 5 and individual grades of 5 in Biology and Chemistry.

UCL University Preparatory certificate for Science & Engineering (UPCSE) for International Students

You must take Biology and Chemistry as Core Units and achieve 70% in both subjects, and 70% overall for the Certificate.

These requirements assume that you have met the standard entry requirements for UPCSE: if you have entered that course with special circumstances or through a different route, please see advice for International and EU applicants, above.

International Baccalaureate Certificate/Diploma

IB Diploma including at Higher level:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • One other subject

In addition to an acceptable (equivalent to grade B or higher at GCSE) qualification in:

  • Physics
  • English
  • Mathematics

Our standard offer for IB students is 766 in the Higher-Level subjects.

The third Higher Level subject should not overlap with Biology or Chemistry and cannot be General Studies. 

There is no third subject which is preferred or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subject are treated equally for the third subject.

If you took the IB outside of the UK please also note our English language requirements in our International/EU advice.


For advice on the eligibility of other qualifications, please contact Admissions at admissions@rvc.ac.uk.

Email: admissions@rvc.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7468 5147/5149

For international enquiries contact:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7468 5146
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7468 5311

Graduate Applicants

If you have a first degree in a biological sciences discipline you should apply directly to our D102 Graduate Accelerated BVetMed degree.

North American college graduates must apply through the VMCAS application system and not through UCAS, see above.

Applicants with a degree from a non-biological sciences discipline should apply to the D100 BVetMed as normal, and will need to meet the standard academic entry requirements stated above (in addition to BMAT and work experience).

Graduate applicants should be aware that financial support is different for applicants taking BVetMed as a second UK honours degree: see Fees and Financial support.

Note: It is not possible to transfer to the BVetMed course from a degree programme partly completed at another university. Applications will not be considered from students currently on a degree programme unless they are in their final year and applying for graduate entry.

International applicants already holding a Veterinary Medicine degree who are seeking to practice in the UK are not eligible to apply for this course and should refer to the registration department of the RCVS.

Work experience

To apply for the BVetMed you will need to have prior work experience in order to have developed animal handling skills and obtained an insight into the work of veterinary surgeons. Before you apply, you must have completed the minimum requirements:

  • A total of two weeks of work experience (paid or voluntary) in one or more veterinary practices
  • A total of two weeks in a variety of different animal environments (outside of your home environment).

This experience must be gained in the 18 months prior to the application deadline. We encourage you to think creatively about these environments and are interested to hear about any experiences that have helped to give you a sense of the veterinary role in the wider world. Examples of such environments might include, but are not limited to: kennels, cattery, animal shelter, rural or city farm, stables, pet shop, lambing, intensive livestock, abattoir, research laboratory, pharmacy, wildlife park, zoo, etc. You do not have to have gained experience in all these areas.

All applicants (except North American students applying through VMCAS) must complete the online work experience questionnaire by 15th October.

The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

The BMAT is a supplementary science aptitude test to help inform the selection process. It is designed to test problem-solving, reasoning and data handling skills and is compulsory for all Home/EU students applying for the course. International fee paying students do not need to sit the BMAT. To find out more visit the RVC BMAT information page.

The RVC is concerned that the entry fee should not be viewed as a barrier to access and widening participation. Applicants may apply to the BMAT Support Team for a reimbursement of fees if they meet the criteria outlined in the BMAT FAQs.


All applicants to this course must attend an interview if invited and cannot receive an offer without attending an interview. Interviews will be held at our Camden campus in the week commencing 14 December 2015 and all applicants must ensure they are available in this week before applying, with the exception of those attending interviews in North America (mid-November TBC) or Hong Kong / Singapore (late January).

English language requirements

A good working knowledge of scientific English is essential in order to follow the course, which includes a significant proportion of oral instruction and written assessments. Applicants whose first language is not English must have an acceptable English Language qualification:

  • IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 or above with minimum 6.5 in each component

For those without IELTS, please see our English Language Requirements page for a full list of qualifications we will accept as alternatives.

What if I don't achieve the entry requirements?

Normally applicants need to have achieved our minimum entry requirements at both GCSE and A-Level in order to progress any further in the application process. It does not matter if you achieve these minimum grades by re-sitting modules within the qualification.

If you do narrowly miss the GCSE requirements, you will not be automatically rejected; a good score in the BMAT could compensate for this.

Does it count against me if I re-sit a GCSE or A-level? 

The RVC admissions policy is to accept re-taken grades or modules at GCSE, A-Level or equivalent without penalty. However, if you do re-sit any qualifications you will be expected to meet our grade requirements on second sitting (for example, AAA at A-level), and we also specify that you must have achieved minimum grades on your first sitting (BBC at A-level, with B in Biology).

Please note: in view of the large number and high quality of new candidates coming forward each year, the RVC is normally unable to consider more than one repeat application. Applicants re-sitting other qualifications should contact the Admissions Office at admissions@rvc.ac.uk for information about minimum grades required at first sitting.

How are applications assessed?

We have put together a document with advice on our process of selecting Veterinary Medicine students, from initial screening of applications through to making offers post-interview. This can be downloaded here.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

The RVC's BVetMed degree has a very high employment rate post qualification.

You will be entitled to practice as a veterinarian as soon as you have earned your BVetMed degree and registered as a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The RVC's accreditation status with the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the reciprocal arrangement between the RCVS and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC) allows BVetMed graduates to register to practice in Europe, Australia and New Zealand without requiring any further qualifications.

In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will recognise your degree as equivalent to those awarded by veterinary colleges in the United States. The RVC is the only English veterinary school accredited by the AVMA, and this gives you a unique advantage. Some of the USA’s major veterinary employers recruit actively among our final year students. Please note, however, that you will be required to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) if you intend to work in North America after qualifying. 

The RVC provides revision courses for NAVLE applicants and, in 2013/2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, 54 students out of a final year class of 231 took the exam, and of these, 51 passed.

Our graduates go on to enjoy a wide range of careers in veterinary medicine, including positions in:

  • Small animal practices
  • Mixed practices
  • Equine practices
  • Farm/livestock environments
  • Wild animal environments
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Military support
  • Industry
  • Research
  • Government
  • Academia

The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2015/16 are as follows:

UK/EU Tuition FeesInternational Fees

Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

£9,000 £25,750 £20,830

All students taking a sandwich year as part of their course will be charged £1,000 for the sandwich year, regardless of their fee status.

Students from countries outside the European Union (EU) who wish to undertake full-time study at the RVC are required to pay the international fee for their programme of study (please see Fee status section).

International fees will be subject to annual inflationary rises of approximately 5%. Please be aware of this when making your calculations and planning how much money you will require.

Information on Fees & Funding for existing students can be found here

Funding Options

Canadian Student Loans

The Royal Veterinary College is not involved in processing your application for a loan, however we can confirm your student status; please direct your queries to the Financialaidoffice@rvc.ac.uk

For an overview of the financial aid process for Canadian students, please visit the Campus Access website

Students should apply through their provincial student assistance office or website. When you apply for a loan, you are considered for funding by both the Provincial and Federal Government, meaning you only have to apply once for funding for the year. Federal loans are processed via the National Student Loans Service Centre and provincial loans through the provincial governments and student aid branches.

Loans and Grants - Government Financial Support (UK and EU Students)

Home UK students are entitled to;

  • A non-means tested tuition fee loan to the value of fees charged, for more details please see Tuition Fees Loan
  • A variable means tested living cost loan, please see Maintenance Loan
  • A variable means tested living cost grant If your household income is between £25,000 and £42,600 you would be entitled to a grant of between £50 and £3,387 which you won’t have to pay back. Please see our Maintenance Grant page.

EU students are eligible to apply for student support for tuition fees in the same way as home/UK students.

  • BVetMed Graduate Accelerated UK and EU students are only entitled to a variable means tested living cost loan, please see Maintenance Loan
  • please note  BVetMed Graduate Accelerated students are not eligible for tuition fee loans, grants and RVC bursaries.

Maintenance support for Prospective 15/16 (UK and EU students)

An indication of the support available to you in 2015/16, including RVC Bursaries.

All undergraduate students are eligible for a full tuition fees loan and this means that you will not have to pay undergraduate tuition fees before you start or during your time at RVC.

  • Please note  BVetMed Graduate Accelerated students are not eligible for tuition fee loans, grants and RVC bursaries, they are only entitled to a variable means tested living cost loan.

Singaporean Veterinary Medicine Scholarships

 The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is offering a scholarships for students from Singapore.

USA Student Loans

The RVC participates in the Direct Loan Program in which federal financial assistance is made available from the US Department of Education to US students studying at the RVC. The purpose of this page is to inform you about the process of applying for financial assistance.

The RVC College will originate Direct Stafford loans and Direct Graduate and Parent PLUS loans and full-time students from the USA who are attending at the RVC are normally eligible for funding. The RVC also participates in the VA Educational Benefits programme.

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