What is the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences programme?

The BSc Bioveterinary Science programme is a full-time three-year undergraduate degree that will equip you with the latest skills for a range of careers in the veterinary sphere of employment.

The programme is a unique blend of the biological sciences relating to animals, the way they work, their health, their diseases and their relationships with humans. You will be taught by a range of skilled scientists and clinicians with extensive experience of animal disease and research. We will cover virtually every aspect of animal biology, management and disease that is likely to interest you.

Widely recognised and highly acclaimed, the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences programme is:

In November 2012, the BSc Bioveterinary Science course was featured in British national newspaper, ‘The Guardian’, in an article entitled “Science students gain practical skills on postgrad courses”.

The course is taught primarily at the London campus of the RVC, Univeristy of London, with occasional visits to our Hertfordshire campus. As well as lectures on the latest scientific theory and techniques, you can expect plenty of practical ‘hands on' laboratory experience, taught by leading experts in their field.

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 desire to improve animal health and 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.

Please note that holders of the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences 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.

What will I learn?

During the programme you will learn, among other things:

  • To understand the physiology, cellular and molecular biology of a variety of animal species, in particular the domesticated animals which form the bulk of veterinary work, and the mechanisms of disease
  • The anatomical, developmental, physiological, pathophysiological and pharmacological aspects of mammalian biology in an integrated manner
  • The importance of current and relevant research
  • Laboratory and analytical skills, which are developed in parallel with theoretical knowledge
  • To be a lifelong learner – an essential attribute in a rapidly changing world.

All of this is designed to produce skilled bioveterinary scientists who will play a vital role in the nationwide promotion of animal and human health and welfare.

Programme delivery

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 bioveterinary science or to apply for further training in veterinary medicine. You'll be taught by some of the UK's most prominent bioveterinary scientists in an environment of cutting-edge bioveterinary research. Sessions will include:

  • Small group directed learning
  • Dissections
  • Laboratory placements in the RVC research labs
  • Lectures
  • Small group tutorials
  • Laboratory practical classes
  • Research projects (as coursework).

Underpinning the course is a tutorial programme which allows you to work in small groups with a tutor, and to develop the transferable and professional skills needed to complete the main taught parts of the degree. The programme also looks at career opportunities and related skills, such as interviewing and CV writing.

Course content and structure

For further details of the course content and assessment methods see the course outline (programme specification).

The minimum academic requirements for entry to the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences programme are outlined below.

If you do not satisfy these requirements, you may be interested in the Extended Sciences degree offered by the University of Hertfordshire. Upon successfully completing the initial year of this degree you can automatically transfer into the first year of the BSc Bioveterinary Science programme provided you achieve the required marks in the Biology and Chemistry modules.

If you wish to apply for Veterinary Medicine courses on completion of the Bioveterinary Sciences degree please note that Chemistry and Biology are normally required.

Academic qualifications

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


Three A2 subjects including Chemistry or Biology/Human Biology. General studies is not accepted as a third subject.  

Where an applicant is taking Biology/Human Biology/Chemistry AND another science subject (Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), they will receive an offer of BBB.  

Where an applicant is taking Human Biology/Biology/Chemistry and two other non-science subjects, they will receive an offer of ABB including an A in the science subject they are taking.

See additional GCSE requirements.

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

Diplomas and Further Certificates (including BTECs and Access)

14-19 Diploma

Diplomas must be Science based and include a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Chemistry or Biology and 15 Level 3 credits in a second Science subject with Merits achieved in the Chemistry/Biology and second Science subject modules.

See additional GCSE requirements.

Access to HE Diploma

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.

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.

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

DDM (Distinction, Distinction, Merit) overall required. Required units:

  • Animal Nutrition 
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics 
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology in Animal Management (Distinction required) 
  • Scientific Investigation in Animal Management 
  • Genetics and Genetic Engineering
  • Chemistry for Biology Technicians OR Fundamentals of Science (Distinction required in either of these modules).

See additional GCSE requirements.

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

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.

BTEC National Diploma/Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science

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.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Chemistry

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

You will also require A-Levels (or equivalent) in another Science (Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology) and one other subject both at grade B.

See additional GCSE requirements.

Cambridge Pre-U

Three principle subjects including Chemistry or Biology and:

Where an applicant is taking Biology/Chemistry AND another science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), they will receive an offer of M2 in each subject.  

Where an applicant is taking Human Biology/Biology/Chemistry and two other non-science subjects, they will receive an offer of M1, M2, M2 including M1 in the science subject they are taking.

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.

Welsh, Scottish and Irish applicants

Welsh Baccalaureate

Where applicants have achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma we will accept, in addition to a pass in the Welsh Bac Core, two A-levels in:


Chemistry or Biology at grade B and Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Human Biology at grade B


Chemistry or Biology at grade A and another subject 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

 2 Advanced Highers at grades AB in Chemistry or Biology and another subject


2 Advanced Highers at grades BB in:

Biology/Chemistry AND another science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths) 

5 Highers including:

Chemistry or Biology

And either:

Biology/Chemistry,Mathematics or Physics

In addition to at least Intermediate 2, Standard Credit grade 2 or National 5 grade B in:



Irish Leaving Certificate

At Higher level - Grades of BBBBBB including:

Chemistry or Biology

And at least one from either:




At Ordinary level minimum grade B in:


Mathematics (if not offered at Higher Level)

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

GCSEs (only in addition to other qualifications)

At least:

Double Science* award or Science & Additional Science at BB grades or a B in two individual science subjects, if taken separately.

And grade B or above in:

English Language


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

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from applicants with European or International qualifications. 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.

The course demands an excellent understanding of both written and spoken English language, as demonstrated preferably by an IELTS (Academic) (International English Language Test) qualification with an overall level of 7.0 or higher and no less than 6.5 in each component (for full information see IELTS (Academic) from the British Council). Contact the Admissions Office if you are taking a different test from the above to see if it is acceptable.

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.

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 general advice for International and EU applicants above.

USA Advanced Placements

Four APs at grades 4443 with grade 4 in Chemistry or Biology and either Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths OR Four APs at grades 5443 with grade 5 in Chemistry or Biology.

Canadian High School Certificate

Canadian High School Certificate with 85% overall and 90% in Year 12 ‘University’ level Chemistry or Biology.


Canadian High School Certificate with 80% overall and 80% in Year 12 ‘University’ level Biology or Chemistry AND 80% in another Year 12 ‘University’ level science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics).

International Baccalaureate Certificate/Diploma

At Higher level: Chemistry or Biology

Where an applicant is taking Biology/Chemistry AND another science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths), they will receive an offer of 555 in their Higher Level subjects including HL5 in both science subjects. 

Where an applicant is taking Biology/Chemistry and two other non-science subjects, they will receive an offer of 655 in their Higher Level subjects including HL6 in the science subject they are taking.

An acceptable (equivalent to grade B or higher at GCSE) qualification in:



See additional GCSE requirements.

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

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 entry requirements, you will not be automatically rejected.

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. Applicants re-sitting other qualifications should contact the Admissions Office at admissions@rvc.ac.uk for further information.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

Our Bioveterinary Sciences degree has a very high employment rate post-qualification.

It is ranked by the Guardian's University League Guide 2013 as the top Biosciences course in the country for graduates gaining industry-relevant employment within six months (based on our 2009/2010 'Destinations of Leavers Data').

In 2010/2011 at least 29.41% of our Graduates went into employment, with 7.84% going into employment and study, while the majority (50.98%) went on to further study (see below).

With the expansion and development of paraveterinary groups – including veterinary scientists, veterinary nurses and veterinary physiotherapists – there are many opportunities for our graduates to work in roles that complement and support veterinary surgeons in their promotion of animal health and welfare in all its aspects. 

Other graduates go on to hold prominent positions in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, in government, in the medical research sector, in publishing and as entrepreneurs.

Postgraduate research options

One very popular route following graduation from the BSc Bioveterinary Sciences programme is postgraduate study. Since the course was established in 2002 (first graduates 2005) numerous graduates have gone on to study PhDs at the RVC. These have included the following research projects:

  • Renal proteases, ENaC, P2X receptors and blood pressure control
  • Fat and foul, foal fiends: the role of fatty acid and cholesterol catabolism in the pathogenesis of Rhodococcus equi
  • Tissue-specific roles for cyclooxygenase isoforms in endothelial cell function and angiogenesis
  • The regulation in bone cells of Sost/sclerostin by mechanical strain
  • Spatial vision and social discrimination in the hen: from perception to cognition
  • Structural and functional specialisation of locomotion in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • Effects of camelid antibodies on disease progression in prion-infected mice
  • Comparative sensory biomechanics of locomotion in horses, dogs, and insects
  • Identification of host factors which restrict African swine fever virus replication
  • Role of the sulphatases Sulf1A and Sulf1B in canine cancer
  • Predisposition to pasture-associated laminitis: role of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation
  • Deciphering the chemokine repertoire in chickens and their role in disease resistance
  • Physiological and biomechanical assessment of free-ranging sports dogs.

BSc Bioveterinary Sciences graduate Michelle Reeve, who is currently a PhD student in the RVC's Structure and Motion Lab, has been featured in The Independent newspaper discussing her research in the lab and the path that has brought her here - Where might a career in science take you?

If you are interested in research then you may like to read about our Undergraduate Student Research at the RVC.

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 £14,230 £11,410

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.

RVC Scholarship - Bioveterinary Sciences

For September 2015 entry, RVC will be offering one BSc scholarship per cohort and can be offered to a home or international student entering our BSc in Bioveterinary Sciences programme.

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