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 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).


"I have really enjoyed learning about the actual diseases animals get and how to cure them.

I have also really enjoyed learning practical skills with the lovely ladies in the CSC (Clinical Skills Centre). They are so helpful and patient, it really makes you feel like you are making progress in learning the skills to become a vet.

It is fantastic that you have a small animal, equine and farm hospital on site as many vet schools do not have these and have to send students to external facilities."

Jessica La Brooy, BVetMed student

You will need to fulfil 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. 

A Levels

AAA-AAB in three A2 subjects:

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

Where one is taking science A Levels as part of the new English curriculum (taught from 2015 onwards), we also require a 'pass' in the science practical for each subject.

For further information on our policy on reformed UK qualifications, please click here.

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 2017 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.

Welsh, Scottish and Irish Applicants

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Applicants who have achieved this qualification with grade A in the Advanced Welsh Bac Core we will be accepted with two A-levels:

  • Biology/Human Biology at grade A
  • Chemistry at grade A

Please also see notes under the 'A Levels' tab above.

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 National 5 grade B, or Intermediate 2/Standard Credit grade 2 in:

  • Physics
  • English
  • Mathematics

Irish Leaving Certificate

At Higher level Grades of AAAABB including:

  • Biology at grade A
  • Chemistry at grade A

At Ordinary level (or Higher Level) grade B:

  • Physics*
  • English Language
  • Mathematics

* where Physics is not taught at this level at your school, please contact us prior to submitting your application.

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

International Baccalaureate

766 at Higher Level including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • One other subject 

Our standard offer is based on specific subject-grade requirements, rather than a total points score. The ‘7’ can be in any of the Higher Level subjects. 

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.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

Where candidates have not taken GCSE’s or an equivalent qualification prior to the IB, they will need a minimum of grade 5 in:

  • SL Mathematics
  • SL English A OR SL English A Lang-Lit

and must also demonstrate competency in Physics.

Candidates may sit one of the English language qualifications listed further down the page in place of the English A subjects above. Mathematical Studies and English A Literature or English B cannot be accepted in lieu of our English Language and Mathematics requirements, but can be taken on top of existing qualifications that meet our requirements.  

Diplomas and Further Certificates (including Access and L3 Extended Diploma)

Access to HE Diploma (England and Wales)

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 graded Level 3 credits.

See the Access to Higher Education website to search for possible courses in your area. We do not accept on-line versions of the course.

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.

See additional GCSE requirements below.

BTEC/Level 3 Extended Diploma (syllabus for students who started this qualification in 2010-2015)

Animal Management (2010-2015 syllabus)

DDD (or D for City & Guilds) 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

Applied Science (2010-2015 syllabus)

DDD 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 & Additional Science), Mathematics and English Language plus AS Level Chemistry at grade A.

Level 3 Extended Diploma (syllabus for students starting this qualification from 2016)

Pearson ‘Animal Management with Science’: D*D*D* overall with Distinctions in:

  •  Animal Biology
  •  Animal Breeding and Genetics
  •  Animal Welfare and Ethics
  •  Practical Skills in Animal Science
  •  Animal Metabolism
  •  Advanced Animal Nutrition
  •  Investigative Research Project

City & Guilds ‘Animal Management (Science)’: D* overall with Distinctions in:

  • Biological Systems of Animals
  • Principles of Health and Safety
  • Fundamentals of Science
  • Chemistry for Biology Technicians
  • Undertake Investigative Project in the Land-Based Industries

In addition, candidates must take two of the below achieving a Distinction:

  •  Inheritance and Genetics; Cell Biology and Genetics; Biochemistry and Microbiology

Pearson ‘Applied Science’ or ‘Biomedical Science’: D*D*D* overall with Distinctions in:

  •  Principles and Applications of Science I
  •  Principles and Applications of Science II
  •  Science Investigation Skills or Contemporary Issues in Science
  •  Genetics and Genetics Engineering
  •  Physiology of Human Body Systems or Human Regulation and Reproduction
  •  Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques or Diseases and Infections
  •  Biomedical Science or Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways

In addition, candidates must take two of the below achieving a Distinction:

  •  Applications of Organic Chemistry; Applications of Inorganic Chemistry; Practical Chemical Analysis

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 & Additional Science), Mathematics and English Language plus AS Level Chemistry at grade A.

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.

GCSE (only in addition to other qualifications)

At least five A grades including:

  • Science & Additional Science at AA grades OR
  • an A in Biology and A in Chemistry if taken as separate GCSEs

 with at least a grade B in:

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

New GCSE curricula (teaching starting 2015-2017)


Where we currently ask for grade A, we will require a grade 7 under the numerical grading system. Where we currently ask for a grade B, we will require a grade 6.


Please note, GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy will not be accepted instead of an A or B in GCSE Mathematics but is welcomed alongside it.

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 useful to international applicants, 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 5544 including Biology and Chemistry both at grade 5.

Alternatively, the following combinations can be accepted:

  • ACT score of 28 (including Writing test) plus AP Biology and Chemistry at Grade 5;
  • ACT score of 28 (including Writing test) plus IB Higher Level certificates in Biology and Chemistry at Grade 6.
  • SAT I score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus AP Biology and Chemistry at Grade 5;
  • SAT I score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus IB Higher Level certificates in Biology and Chemistry at Grade 6.

The RVC's institution code for College Board to be used when sending your results is 7970.


Pass the Secondary School Diploma/High School Graduation 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. Applicants should also achieve 86% in grade 12 English, Physics and Maths (of any type), or 90% in these subjects in grade 11. 


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.


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, and 12 in Maths. 


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


Pass the Polish Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Matura) with 80% average and 85% in Advanced Level Biology and Chemistry, and 75% in Standard/Basic Level Maths and Physics. 


Pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat (science stream) with 9 overall and individual grades of 9.5 in Biology and Chemistry, and 8.5 in Maths and Physics. 


Pass the Bachillerato with 9 overall and individual grades of 9 in Biology/Biology-Geology and Chemistry/Physics-Chemistry. Achieve 7 in Maths and 7 in Physics if Physics-Chemistry not taken. 


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.


If not specified, you must also demonstrate you have studied English (first language), Physics and Mathematics to the equivalent standard of GCSE/O Level grade B.

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).


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, Maths and Physics. 


Obtain Singapore GCE A Level grades AAA at H2 level in Biology, Chemistry and a third subject. O Level Maths, English (first language) and Physics at grade B.


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.

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.

For advice on the eligibility of other qualifications, please contact Admissions at admissions@rvc.ac.uk. Please note, we typically do not accept Foundation years unless otherwise advertised.

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

Graduate Applicants

Applications will not be considered from students currently on a degree programme unless they are in their final year.

Graduates holding related degrees

If you have a first degree in a relevant biological sciences discipline, or you are a North American college graduate, you should apply directly to our Graduate Accelerated BVetMed (D102) degree.

Graduates holding non-related degrees

Applicants with a degree from a non-related discipline should apply to the standard BVetMed (D100), and will need to meet the standard academic entry requirements stated above (in addition to 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.

Transferring into BVetMed

It is not possible to transfer to the BVetMed course from a degree programme partly completed at another university, nor can we use partial qualifications towards entry.

Internationally-qualified veterinarians

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).

The above four weeks must be obtained within the 18-month period directly preceding the application deadline. Earlier experience is welcome but will not count towards the four week requirement.

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.

> Work experience questionnaire

All applicants (except North American students applying through VMCAS) must complete the online work experience questionnaire by 15th October 2016.


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 throughout December and all applicants must ensure they are available during this period before applying, with the exception of those attending interviews in North America (November) or Hong Kong / Singapore (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.


For those applying from September 2016 onwards, the BMAT is no longer required for entry onto the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, or any other RVC programme.


What if I haven't achieved 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. 

Does it count against me if I re-sit part, or all, of my qualification? 

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).

Applicants re-sitting other qualifications, or those taking new qualifications following an attempt in an alternative qualification, should contact the Admissions Office at admissions@rvc.ac.uk for information about minimum grades required at first sitting.

Can I re-apply if I've been unsuccessful previously?

You may, but 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.

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 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).

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

Global careers

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 practise 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 tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2016/17 are as follows:

UK/EU Tuition FeesInternational Fees

Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

£9,000 £33,000 £21,870

  • Tuition fee amounts are subject to increase each academic year, please be aware of this when making your calculations and planning how much money you will require.
  • Tuition Fees for Old regime1 students studying Sandwich/ Placement year will be £1,733    
  • Tuition Fees for New regime2 students studying Sandwich/ Placement year will be £1,032  
  • Tuition Fees for 2016 entrants students studying Sandwich/ Placement year will be £1,800  
  • North American students are reminded that Placement year programme does not confer eligibility for Federal Students Aid!
  • 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).
  • Information on Fees & Funding for existing students can be found here

  1. Old regime - Students who started their current course of study at a UK institution before September 2012 (2012/13 academic year)
  2. New regime - Students who started their current course of study at a UK institution from September 2012 to September 2015 academic year

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 link 
  • A variable means tested living cost grant This is only applicable to full-time UK undergraduates who are continuing or start their course in 2015. If your household income is between £25,000 and £42,620 you would be entitled to a grant of between £50 and £3,387 which you won’t have to pay back, please see link 

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 link 
  • please note  BVetMed Graduate Accelerated students are not eligible for tuition fee loans, grants and RVC bursaries.

Maintenance support for Prospective 16/17 (UK and EU students)

An indication of the support available to you in 2016/17, 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.

RVC International Scholarships for BVetMed 16/17

RVC offers one Merit full fee waiver scholarship awarded to one high quality international student entering our BVetMed programme.

Singaporean Veterinary Medicine Scholarships

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

Tuition Fees Loan (UK and EU Students)

UK/ EU full-time undergraduate students will not have to pay tuition fees upfront unless you wish to. Instead, you will be able to apply for a student loan for the full tuition fees.

Please note this doesn’t include Graduate Accelerated BVetMed students who are not eligible to apply for a tuition fees loan.

For further details on what funding could be available to you, try the Student Finance calculator

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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