Studying Biosciences at the RVC

Our biosciences programmes are designed to give students a clear and detailed understanding of physiology, cellular and molecular biology, and the mechanisms of disease.

The courses explore the basic biological sciences that inform current biomedical research and clinical practice. We also offer specialisms in animal behaviour, welfare and ethics, and wild animal biology. All of our pathways are hands-on and they include extensive practical and small-group teaching, as well as lab placements. Students are exposed to cutting-edge fields of research in Comparative Physiology and Medicine, Livestock Production and Health, and Animal Welfare Science and Ethics. At least 18 weeks of practical research experience is available during the second and third years of study. An optional MSci year provides the opportunity to carry out a more in-depth piece of original research in the fourth year of study, either at the RVC or in industry.

Our students come from many different schools, backgrounds and countries and we welcome applications from all individuals wishing to gain a better understanding of current fundamental research questions in biology and applied biomedical sciences. Past students have produced novel and publishable research and successfully applied for paid summer studentships and internships. Our biosciences students are also strongly encouraged to present their work at scientific meetings and to contribute their data to scientific publications.

Five Reasons to Choose the RVC

  1. Exceptional time dedicated to research both within and outside of the curriculum
  2. Teaching is by experts at the cutting edge of their field
  3. Industry-relevant curriculum
  4. Focus on Employability
  5. The London Factor

Read more!

Beyond the RVC

We support our students as they develop the professional skills needed in their careers. The RVC offers dedicated tutorials, workshops and one-to-one sessions on a regular basis. Scientists from the biotechnology industry, including from the London BioScience Innovation Centre, have taught on the course.

RVC bioscience graduates have impressive prospects for the future. Some go on to further study, such as medicine and veterinary medicine, doctoral study, and masters programmes. Others begin careers in teaching, medical and science publishing, public engagement of science or the pharmaceutical industry. The professional skills developed during our programmes are also valued by non-scientific employers. Alumni of our bioscience courses have been accepted onto corporate graduate trainee programmes and central government graduate trainee schemes.

The philosophy behind our science degree programmes has featured in British national newspaper, ‘The Guardian’, in an article entitled “Science students gain practical skills on postgrad courses”.

What is the BSc Biological Sciences (Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics) programme?

Animal welfare is at the heart of the RVC’s mission, and building on the scientific excellence of our BSc Biological Sciences, this new pathway will be taught by staff from our outstanding Animal Welfare Science and Ethics group. The group aims to translate good behavioural and physiological science and ethical analysis into practical application, by working closely with farmers, animal owners, policy makers, and welfare charities.

During this programme you will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to answering fundamental questions about:

  • Broad biological and laboratory techniques and experimental design
  • How animals perceive and process information about their world
  • How animals may adapt their behaviour to their environment and other stimuli
  • Practical and ethical implications of this for their management and welfare.

There will be opportunities to study welfare and behaviour across a range of species, including farm, companion, laboratory and zoo animals.

We use a range of interactive and imaginative teaching methods on this degree, such as:        

  • Lectures from experts in their fields        
  • Interactive directed learning, e.g. games to illustrate theories, debates, group discussions of learning materials      
  • Practicals and demonstrations, e.g. common laboratory techniques, animal handling, animal welfare assessments, analysis of clinical material, animal training demonstrations        
  • Field trips, e.g. to a zoo, farm, laboratory, an animal behaviour research conference, and a parliamentary debate      
  • Two research projects, plus other coursework including essays and oral presentations

The first and second years of the course are taught primarily at the Camden Campus in London, with the third year being based at our Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire. As well as lectures on the latest scientific and ethical theories and techniques, you can expect plenty of practical ‘hands on' laboratory experience, and opportunities to observe and even handle animals.

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Prospective Modules

Year 1

Biology of Cells (15)

This module will provide you with the basic information necessary to understand cellular structure and function, placing particular emphasis on cellular architecture, cell communication and the processing of signals received by each individual cell, and how cells are affected by the structure and function of the specialised extracellular matrix environment. These aspects are integrated into a holistic framework through an introduction to homeostasis at the cellular, extracellular, tissue and organ levels of the body.

Inheritance, Genetics and Evolution (15)

Appreciating how different characteristics are inherited is key to a fuller understanding of the mechanisms underlying all biological processes in health and disease. This module will provide a comprehensive overview of genetics from molecules to populations and how genetics can be applied to increase our understanding of diseases and in the design of new therapies to treat them.

Developmental Biology (15)

The overall aim of this module is to introduce the student to principles of developmental biology in humans and other vertebrates. By the end of the module, students should be able to understand the concepts of how a single cell forms an embryo and how genes control this process.

The Moving Animal (15)

Locomotion is one of the primary behaviours of daily living in humans and animals, and healthy locomotor function is essential to well-being. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the principles of movement across the range of organisational levels:  from the whole organism interacting with its environment, to integrated systems, tissues, and cells. This module will provide a framework to recognise healthy and impaired locomotor function. We will also highlight interactions among different body systems in the whole organism. Throughout this module you will be thinking about how many fundamental structures and mechanisms are shared between different body systems and how the different systems interact and influence one another.

Integrated Physiology I (15)

This module is split into two units. The first unit explores reproductive physiology in humans and other mammals from fertilisation to an adult capable of reproduction. The second unit provides the basic concepts in immunology by defining the components of the immune system and how they work in concert to eradicate pathogens.

Integrated Physiology II (15)

The module is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of physiology using a systems-based approach. Units on fundamentals of cellular biochemistry and metabolic processes, digestive physiology, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, neurology and renal physiology, will provide a good overview of how biological processes at the cellular, tissue and organ level contribute to function of the organism as a whole.

Problem Definition and Investigation (includes first-year project) (30)

The aim of this module is to encourage development of your critical and analytical thinking whilst consolidating the biological principles learned in the previous modules. The approach to learning in this module is problem-based.   For the first three weeks you will work in small groups to answer scientific questions in different areas of current research strength within the various departments of the RVC.  For the second three weeks of this module, you will undertake an in-depth independent library-based project focused on an active area of research within the college, under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Through independent analysis of the scientific literature, you will review why the scientific question that you are focusing on is important, describe the methods by which it is being investigated and provide an analysis, with appropriate conclusions, drawn from published data.

Academic tutorials and professional skills workshops 

Year 2

Core modules

The Enemy Within (30)

This module investigates various aspects of health degeneration, through genetic differences present at birth or through changes in the genetic material leading to dysfunctional growth, how ageing affects health, as well as cancer biology and immune dysfunction.   It is divided into 6 units: Genetics; Protein Malfunction and Disorders; Principles of Pathology; Cell Division and Transformation; Homeostasis, Breakdown and Repair; Immunopathology. 

The Enemy Without (30)

This module will provide you with further insight into how pathogens enter the host and establish infections.  You will study examples of bacterial, viral, parasitic and prion diseases; rather than learning a long list of pathogens, you will focus on principles and general concepts, with some illustrative examples. This module comprises 6 taught weeks divided into 4 units: Principles of Infection, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Virology and Parasitology. 

Introduction to Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics (15)

The module will introduce theoretical and methodological concepts in Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science and Ethics. Each topic will normally comprise a 45-minute lecture followed by an interactive directed learning session. Practicals will include: sessions on animal welfare and livestock production, applied farm animal behaviour (stockmanship), and husbandry of common livestock species.

Second-Year Research Project (30)

All students will undertake a pathway-specific six week hypothesis driven research experience in the third term. This will be carried out in groups and will develop a number of different professional skills including team working and leadership skills that are highly sought after in industry, as well as enhancing your practical laboratory skills, data analysis and interpretation, and academic writing and presentation skills.

Optional modules

Principles of Pharmacology (15)

The Principles of Pharmacology module builds upon knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology gained earlier in the course. The module will provide fundamental knowledge of pharmacodynamics (drug action) and pharmacokinetics (the effects of the body on drugs).  This module is divided into three units: Principles of Drug Action, Drug Targets and Selectivity of Drug Action.

Wild Animal Biology (15)

The module will provide an introduction for students to important topics in conservation as well as reviewing the basic anatomy and physiology of the non-captive animals. Topics will include anatomy and physiology of non-domestic animals; principles of decision making in conservation and assessment of currently running conservation projects.

NB: The modules above are what have been offered previously and illustrate the type of content one can expect but are currently undergoing review. Modules will be confirmed here in due course. 

Year 3

Animal Behaviour and Cognition

The module will provide theoretical and applied training in animal behaviour science and animal cognition. It will focus on wild animals, but relevance to domesticated animals will be made clear and examples will be given. The course covers mammals and birds in depth, but also includes information on reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Practicals/ field trips will include a dog training demonstration and a visit to a professional Animal Behaviour conference.

Science of Animal Welfare

The module will provide theoretical and methodological training in Animal Welfare Science, which is broadly equivalent to the biology of sensations, motivation and emotions. It will cover a range of behavioural, physiological and other indicators of diverse welfare states, illustrated with examples including wild, farm, companion and laboratory animals. Visits include small group tours of appropriate animals in the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals to observe behavioural indicators of pain and sickness and the efforts made to alleviate suffering; practicals will include using heart rate to measure mild psychological and physical stress in oneself, developing and applying a welfare assessment protocol to a horse, measuring physiology, and examining available tissue pathologies to assess the likely pain caused by the pathology in the animal.

Animals and Human Society

The module will provide theoretical and applied training the ethics and law associated with animals and society. It will focus on the interactions between, and uses of, animals and society at large, including the political and legal frameworks that govern this. The module will be divided into the different areas of animal use, such as companion, working, industrial, research and culinary; and particular focus on the different approaches by society to these animals will be addressed. The course covers ethical theories, the social contract and jurisprudence; legal case studies of breaches in animal care will be used to highlight this understanding. Additionally, social science research and political tools will be used to demonstrate how society may respond to scientific research and how to improve impact. Practicals/field trips will include a trip to Parliament or Court to view animal welfare impacts and debates or an away day of criminal cases.

Applied Animal Welfare

The module will examine important animal welfare issues from a UK and global perspective. Investigating and critically evaluating the demands of current and future practices on the welfare of animals under the domain of humans. Independent learning will be encouraged with the use of small group student-lead learning, directed learning, use of learning resources and self-directed independent study. Field trips/practicals will include visits to an abattoir, livestock market, London Zoo and to a farm.

Third-Year Project (60)

12-week project on a relevant topic within Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics.

NB: The modules above are what have been offered previously and illustrate the type of content one can expect but are currently undergoing review. Modules will be confirmed here in due course. 

The minimum academic requirements for entry to the BSc Biological Sciences (Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Ethics) programme are outlined below.

Academic qualifications

Click on the links below for details of the minimum academic requirements for this course.

A Levels

EITHER:

ABB in three A2 subjects including:

  • Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry at grade A

OR:

BBB in three A2 subjects including:

  • Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. 
  • A third subject of your choice

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.

The non-prescribed A Level subjects should not overlap with Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry, and cannot be General Studies.  

See additional GCSE requirements.

Welsh, Scottish and Irish applicants

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Applicants who have achieved this qualification with grade B in the Advanced Welsh Bac Core will be accepted with two A Levels, including:

EITHER:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade A
  • Another subject of your choice (excl. General Studies) at grade B

OR:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade B
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths at 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.

See additional GCSE requirements.

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

EITHER:

Advanced Highers in:

  • Chemistry or Biology at grade A
  • Another subject of your choice at grade B

OR:

Advanced Highers in:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade B
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at grade B

In addition to:

5 Highers at grade B or above

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

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3 including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

If not included in the above, O3 is required in:

  • A second natural science (i.e. Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
  • English
  • Mathematics

Pre-2017 scheme:

At Higher level, grades of BBBBBB including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

At Ordinary level (or Higher level) grade B:

  • Physics*
  • English
  • Mathematics 

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

For those on the pre-2017 scheme, it should be clearly stated on the UCAS form which subjects are being studied at Higher level and which at Ordinary level.

International Baccalaureate

EITHER:

655 at Higher Level including:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade 6

OR:

555 at Higher Level including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths
  • One other subject of your choice

Our standard offer is based on specific subject-grade requirements, rather than a total points score.

See additional GCSE requirements below. 

Where candidates have not taken GCSEs or an equivalent qualification prior to 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 from outside the UK 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 Chemistry at Distinction or 15 level 3 credits in Biology at Distinction, and with Merits achieved in all other Level 3 modules.

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

See additional GCSE requirements.

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

Merits must be achieved in the Chemistry and Biology modules.

See the Birkbeck website for further details. Please note, this course is based in London. 

See additional GCSE requirements.

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

Animal Management (2010-2015 syllabus)

DDM (Distinction Distinction Merit) overall required, including Distinctions in the units marked by an asterisk (*):

  • 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.

Applied Science (2010-2015 syllabus)

DDM (Distinction Distinction Merit) overall required, including Distinctions in the units marked by an asterisk (*):

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

See additional GCSE requirements.

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

Pearson 'Applied Science' or 'Biomedical Science': DDD overall with Distinctions in:        

  • Principles and Applications of Science I        
  • Principles and Applications of Science II        
  • Science Investigation Skills        
  • Contemporary Issues in Science

Candidates must also pass the following units:         

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

Pearson 'Animal Management with Science': DDD overall with Distinctions in:         

  • Animal Biology   
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics         
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics        
  • Practical Skills in Animal Science        
  • Animal Metabolism

Recommended: Human and Animal Interaction

City & Guilds 'Animal Management (Science)': D overall with Distinctions in:         

  • Biological Systems of Animals        
  • Principles of Health and Safety        
  • Undertake and Review Work Related Experience in the Land-Based Industries        
  • Three of: Inheritance and Genetics; Chemistry for Biological Technicians; Cell Biology and Genetics; Biochemistry and Microbiology  

Cambridge Pre-U

EITHER:

M1, M2, M2 in three Principle Subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry at grade M1

OR:

M2, M2, M2 in three Principle subjects including:

  • Biology or Chemistry
  • Another science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths
  • One other subject of your choice

Applications are welcome from those who meet our science requirements and are taking a combination of A-levels and the Cambridge Pre-U. Offers will be made on an individual basis, depending on the combinations.

See additional GCSE requirements.

GCSEs (only in addition to other qualifications)

At least grade B in:

  • Science & Additional Science or two individual sciences, if taken separately
  • English Language
  • Mathematics

New GCSE curricula (teaching starting 2015-2017)

England

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

Wales

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

International entry requirements below are in line with our double-science 'BBB' offer at A Level. Those taking a single science should contact us for details of the standard offer for their qualification. 

Candidates must meet the entry requirements by means of the prescribed qualifications listed or 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

USA

Graduate High School with at least four full-year Advanced Placement examinations at 4443 with Grade 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and either Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Calculus.

Alternatively, the following combinations can be accepted:

  • ACT score of 26 (including Writing test) plus APs in two sciences (as above) at Grade 4;
  • ACT score of 26 (including Writing test) plus IB Higher Level certificates in two sciences (as above) at Grade 5;
  • SAT score of 570 in each of 'Evidence-Based Reading and Writing' and 'Math', and an Essay score of 5,5,5 - plus APs in two sciences (as above) at Grade 4;
  • SAT score of 570 in each of 'Evidence-Based Reading and Writing' and 'Math', and an Essay score of 5,5,5 - plus IB Higher Level certificates in two sciences (as above) at Grade 5.

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

Please contact us for the previous SAT requirements, if you sat these prior to the revised qualification. 

Canada

Pass the Secondary School Diploma/High School Graduation Diploma with 86% overall and 86% in Biology or Chemistry grade 12 courses. Specific requirements may vary depending upon the province, but we would typically look for 'U' courses in grade 12 Biology/Chemistry. Applicants should also achieve 86% in grade 12 English, Physics and Maths, or 90% in these subjects in grade 11. 

Caribbean

Obtain Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit 2 grades of II, II, II (two, two, two) in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths) plus a third subject of your choice in addition to Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) grade II (two) in English A, Mathematics and Physics.

Europe

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.

European Baccalaureate

Pass the Baccalaureate with 75% overall, and 7.5 in elective Biology or Chemistry and a second science (elective Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths 5/Advanced Maths). An 8 must be achieved in Year 5 Physics, if not used as second science. L1 English at grade 7 is an accepted English language qualification for entry to the College.

France

Pass the Baccalauréat 'S' stream with 12 (mention assez bien) overall and individual grades of 13 in Biology or Physics-Chemistry, and 13 in Maths. [OIB applicants must achieve the same grades, but if 14 is achieved in English, no further English language qualification is required].

Italy

Pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato from a Liceo Scientifico with 80 overall and individual grades of 8 in Biology or Chemistry, and 8 in Maths. 

Malta

Pass Advanced Matriculation with BB at Advanced Level in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), and BBB in three Intermediate Level subjects. In the Secondary Education Certificate, grade 3 must be achieved in Maths and a further science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics); alternatively O Levels at grade B in these subjects are accepted in place of the Secondary Education Certificate. 

Netherlands

Pass the VWO with 7 overall and grades 7 and 8 in two sciences from: Biology or Chemistry, and Maths. 

Norway

Pass the Vitnemal - videregaende opplaering with 4 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths. 

Poland

Pass the Polish Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Matura) with 70% average and 75% in Advanced Level Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), plus 75% in Standard/Basic Level Maths and Physics where not taken at Advanced Level. 

Portugal

Pass the Certificado de fim de Estudos Secundários / Diploma Nível Secundário de Educação with 16 overall and 17 in Biology or Physics-Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Physics-Chemistry or Maths). 15 must be achieved in Maths if not used as the second science. 

Romania

Pass the Diploma de Bacalaureat (General/Theoretical) with 8 overall and individual grades of 8.5 in Biology or Chemistry, and 8.5 in Maths. 

Serbia

Pass the Diploma o stecenom srednem obrazovanju/Matura with 4 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths. 

Slovakia

Pass the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške with 2,2,2,2 including 2 in Biology or Chemistry, and 2 in Maths.

Slovenia

Pass the Maturitetno spričevalo (Matura) with 20 overall and 4 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4 in Maths.

Spain

Pass the Bachillerato with 9 overall and individual grades of 8 in Biology/Biology-Geology or Chemistry/Physics-Chemistry, and 8 in Maths. 

Switzerland

Pass a Federal Maturity Certificate or Federally Recognised Cantonal Maturity Certificate with an overall average of 4.6 (on the 6-point scale) including 4.5 in Biology or Chemistry, and 4.5 in a second science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). A minimum of 4.0 must be achieved in Maths if not used as the second science.

Asia

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 554 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).

Malaysia

Obtain the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with grades BBB in three Principal level passes including Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), plus five grade A-C Subsidiary level passes including grade B in English, Maths and Physics.

Singapore

Obtain Singapore GCE A Level grades BBB at H2 level in Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths). O Level Maths, English (first language) and Physics at grade B.

University of London Foundation programmes for International Students (UK-based)

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

You must take Chemistry and a second Science subject as Core Units. You must achieve 65% overall in the Certificate, and 65% in Chemistry and the second Science Unit.

View website for more information on the programme. 

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.

INTO St George's International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences

You must achieve 60% in Biology and Chemistry, and 60% overall. 

View website for more information on the programme.

Email: ukes@intoglobal.com   Tel: +44 (0)1273 718640

-

Other qualifications

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

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.

FAQs

Does it count against me if I re-sit a qualification?

No, we accept re-taken grades or modules at GCSE and A-Level or equivalent without penalty for this programme. 

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

We accept repeat applications for this course and new applications will be treated separately from any previous one. 

What will I be able to do with my degree? 

Our Bioveterinary Sciences degree has a very high employment rate post-qualification, so we anticipate similar rates following this new pathway.

The BSc in Biological Sciences (Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics) has relevance to many career options, including, for example:

  • Animal welfare policy or advisory positions in diverse organisations, from charities to government, pharmaceutical companies to the agricultural industry
  • The animal behaviour component will equip you with background knowledge suitable for work in animal training, behavioural consultation and animal conservation work
  • Para-veterinary careers, including veterinary scientists, veterinary nurses and veterinary physiotherapists and other roles that complement and support veterinary surgeons in their promotion of animal health and welfare in all its aspects 
  • Academic publishing or science journalism
  • Animal management positions in organisations ranging from zoos to laboratories, kennels to liveries, and animal sanctuaries to farms
  • Livestock and companion animal food and husbandry industry roles

Please note that holders of this degree are not qualified to become members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons or to practise as a veterinary surgeon. However, upon graduation you will be able to apply for entry onto the BVetMed Accelerated Programme.

Postgraduate research options

This degree will also prepare you for further study if you wish to pursue this path. It is relevant to veterinary and scientific research, for example. Some recent PhD and Masters research titles within the Animal Welfare Science and Ethics group include:

  • Relationships between different outcome-based indicators of welfare in the dairy cow
  • Scientific validation of a quality of life assessment in UK horses
  • Quantifying health conformational limits in domestic dog breeds
  • Comparison of the effects of alternative identification-marking methods on laboratory mouse welfare
  • Objective and subjective assessments of positive emotional states in companion dogs
  • Adolescent attitudes to farm animal welfare and animal welfare education

The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU Tuition FeesInternational Fees

Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

£9,250A £18,030 £10,820

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 £1,733A    
  • Tuition Fees for New regime2 students studying Sandwich/ Placement year will be £1,032A  
  • Tuition Fees for 2016 entrants students studying Sandwich/ Placement year will be £1,800A  
  • 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

 

A. Provisional Fees- not yet confirmed, to be confirmed soon. 

  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.

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

Top of page