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 focus on biological and bioveterinary basic sciences and 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 programmes 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.

Past students have produced novel and publishable research and applied for paid summer studentships and internships. Working within our internationally renowned research teams, undergraduates can pursue their research interests further. 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 bioscience 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 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.

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. We demand high levels of motivation and, in return, promise a rich and rewarding experience during your time with us.

We acknowledge that some students may wish to use their skills and knowledge acquired on this degree to pursue clinical careers. To that end, graduates of this programme are eligible to apply for the BVetMed Graduate Accelerated Programme

Prospective Modules

Year 1 Core Modules

The Moving Animal  

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.  

Systems and Investigative Biology  

The module is designed to provide the background knowledge and understanding that underpin scientific research as well as a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of physiology using a systems-based approach. Investigative biology units will provide a comprehensive introduction to: scientific practice and philosophy of science, ethics of experimentation, Integrity and ethical dilemmas, epidemiology and statistics. Units on digestive physiology, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, renal physiology, fundamentals of cellular biochemistry and metabolic processes 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.

The Living Cell  

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.  

Reproduction and Development  

The overall aim of this module is to introduce the student to principles of developmental biology and reproductive physiology in humans and other mammals. By the end of the module, the student should be able to understand the concepts of how a single cell forms an embryo that grows into an adult that can reproduce, and how genes control these processes.  

Basic Concepts in Immunology  

The immune system is a combination of cellular and humoral components which work in partnership to prevent infection and disease and a functional immune system is vital for the host’s survival against the daily onslaught of foreign organisms and pathogens. This module provides the basic concepts in immunology by defining how the immune system works and how this leads to the eradication of pathogens.  

Genes to Organisms  

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.  

Problem Definition and Investigation (includes first-year project)  

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 four 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 focussing on is important, describe the methods by which it is being investigated and provide an analysis, with appropriate conclusions, drawn from published data.    

Year 2 Core Modules

The Enemy Within

 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 

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.  

Principles of Pharmacology

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.  

Year 2 Optional Modules

Applied Pharmacology

This module builds on the Principles of Pharmacology module and discusses issues that are relevant to the clinical use of drugs. These include drug development, registration and post-marketing surveillance. It is integrated with coverage of the fundamental skills on which the development of innovative pharmacology products and services depend, thus broadening the scope from learning to employability in the field.The module is divided into three units: Selectivity of Drug Action; Drugs and Diseases; From Drug Discovery to Patients and Beyond, and will be taught by RVC lecturers with guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry.  

Imaging of Disease

Details to be confirmed.

Year 2 Core Project

Second-Year Research Project

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.

Year 3 Optional Modules (to add up to 60 credits)

Animal Behaviour and Welfare (30)  

The aim is for students to gain skills necessary to objectively evaluate the causes and consequences of animal behaviour and welfare; to understand how and why different species can differ in their behaviour and perceptual abilities; and to gain an applied understanding of how and why specific animals are affected by domestication and captivity. The module encompasses domesticated and wild animal behaviour and welfare, but a major emphasis is on companion animals and livestock species.  

Advanced Concepts in Biobusiness (15)  

This module will enable students to develop a work-relevant theoretical and practical understanding of commercial innovation, within the context of human and veterinary bio-medical sciences. Put another way, to learn and experiment with the knowledge, skills and attitudes scientists need in order to play a more effective and integrated role during the development of innovative life-saving and life-enhancing products and services including new medicines, diagnostics and healthcare provision. Students will be required to solve commercial problems in small groups and further develop their understanding of bioscience business, management and enterprise. This will allow students to link their scientific expertise with their new found understanding of commercial innovation and enterprise. These outcomes are crucial as numerous surveys of graduate employers in high technology disciplines state that science graduates lack important business and management competencies.  

Advanced Concepts in Reproduction (15)  

This advanced module is designed to build upon the knowledge you have gained in the 1st year in Reproduction. It concentrates on the veterinary applications of research in these two exciting fields and highlights how they make a real impact on animal health and welfare. To learn cellular and molecular aspects of reproductive biology from gonadal development and function to ovulation, fertilization and embryo and germ cells development, and establishment and maintenance of pregnancy and placental immunology in animals.  

Advanced Skeletal Pathobiology (15)  

Failures in the skeletal system, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, provide one of the major challenges to human and animal welfare. Research activities in skeletal pathobiology are commonly directed at understanding the development, growth, ageing and functional maintenance of the skeletal system as well as the evolution of bone and joint pathologies. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to a broad range of skeletal tissues. This will touch on the anatomy, physiology and functional failure and on occasion include comparative aspects of the skeletal system across species. Throughout the course, examples of skeletal pathobiology will be used to emphasise specific aspects of skeletal function. The course has at its centre the desire to unite cellular and tissue aspects of skeletal health and disease, achieved by addressing cutting edge aspects as well as traditional understanding.  

Comparative Animal Locomotion (30)  

If we can understand how brains, muscles, and skeletons work together to produce locomotion, in the full context of other animals and the natural environment, then we will not only have solved one of the great mysteries of the natural world, but we stand to improve the lives of all animals, including humans, through treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal disease. Animal locomotion is an integrative, dynamic field of study and it is currently at an extraordinary juncture. This module will provide an exciting, hands-on introduction to the field of comparative animal locomotion at all levels. It does not rely on a background in maths or physics, but instead requires a willingness to think conceptually about how animals move. Examples will be drawn across the animal kingdom, so students will gain an appreciation for the breath-taking diversity of movement strategies.  

Comparative Models of Disease (30)  

The role of animal models in the understanding of human and animal physiology and in the treatment of infectious diseases is controversial. Modern society is increasingly re-evaluating the value of animal life and as a consequence questioning the use of animal disease models. In this module students will be introduced into the rationale behind use of animal models and the increasing number of alternatives, including cells, isolated tissues, zebra fish and drosophila.   Students will be introduced to the key aspects that need to be considered when developing/analysing models of disease and the following things discussed: uses and limitations of comparative models of disease; analysis of comparative models of infectious diseases, genetic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and neoplasia; models of lifestyle diseases including obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; the use of animal models in the development of new therapies and the production of research tools.  

Development and Disease (15)  

The nervous system is by far the most complex tissue in any animal. By understanding the molecular and cellular basis of nervous system development, we aim to understand how changes in these processes result in developmental defects – both morphological and function. For example, significant change in the morphology of the brain can be seen in conditions such as holoprosencephaly whereas functional changes are seen in autism and schizophrenia. This module will give insight into the latest research in nervous system development, will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of how researchers employ animal models in this research and inform you of the latest applications of developmental biology research, including the use of stem cells and molecular editing techniques.  

Endocrine & Metabolic Syndromes (15)  

The increasing problem of obesity in the human and pet population has resulted in a dramatic increase in research efforts to understand and influence metabolism, and treat associated side effects. We will seek to integrate the basic science of endocrinology into more translational topics relating to the diseases and syndromes associated with disorders of endocrinology and metabolism.   The module will focus specifically on clinical abnormalities affecting blood glucose regulation and feeding, growth and metabolism, endocrine-related cancers, and reproductive disorders including those affecting sex differentiation and intersex. In every unit, we will stress the importance of endocrine research in establishing the molecular and physiological basis of these conditions.  

Epidemiology: The Bigger Picture (15)  

If you want to discover more about how diseases affect animal (and human!) populations, and how to select the best ways to try to control diseases, then this half-module is for you! The sorts of questions that you will know the answers to if you undertake this half-module include: What is ‘One Health’ all about? How do you investigate a disease outbreak? Can we prevent the next pandemic? What are the challenges of working with wildlife? This module will help you to discover the patterns, causes, and effects of diseases in animal populations. The key concepts of epidemiology taught in a structured way, and case studies of pets, livestock, horses and wildlife will show you how to apply what you learn in the real world.  

Genetics in Action (15)  

This module is designed to build upon the knowledge you have gained in the 1st and 2nd years in genetics. It is designed to show you how genetics is used by different organisations and groups to improve the health and productivity of livestock, horses and domesticated animals.  

Infection & Immunity (30)  

Infectious diseases continue to be one of the major challenges to animal and human health worldwide. While several infectious diseases have been controlled in some countries, others still remain challenging. In addition, new pathogens continue to emerge and spread to new geographical ranges. An understanding of the biology of the pathogen(s) involved, how they behave in the host animal and animal populations, and an understanding of how the host combats infection are all requirements of modern and successful control strategies. The overall purpose of the course is to introduce students to key aspects that need to be considered when defining and controlling infectious diseases in individual animals and populations, using examples from virology, bacteriology and parasitology. Students should then be able to apply similar principles to additional pathogens of both animals and man.  

Parasitology of Human and Veterinary Tropical Diseases (15)  

Study major human and veterinary parasitic tropical diseases from the viewpoints of immunology, epidemiology, pathology, treatment and control. The module will cover major human tropical diseases caused by protozoan and helminth parasites. Major veterinary tropical parasitic diseases that cause significant production losses and/or are significant zoonoses will be covered. For each disease interesting aspects of research conducted on these organisms will be highlighted, for example, immune evasion by malaria using vargenes, granuloma pathology of schistosomes is necessary to protect host but also to allow egg release into the gut, intestinal parasitic helminths downregulate host immune responses and this has proved beneficial for treating inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, methods of resistance to chemotherapy.  

Practical Investigative Biology (15)  

This module has been designed to deliver an intense training course in cell and molecular biology, with a view to equipping students with the practical and design skills required to undertake research in areas of molecular biology. The two week module involves the completion of a ‘mini-project’, whereby the student will generate a plasmid DNA construct, amplify this in bacteria, purify and analyse the resulting DNA, then transiently express this gene in a eukaryotic cell line before analysing the effects of its expression by cell imaging techniques (confocal microscopy and flow cytometry). The learning environment is critical to the success of this module, and students will be closely supervised, with a staff student ratio of no more than 1:5 for practical components of module.

Third-Year/Final-Year Project

The aim of the project is to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a research project of their own interest, outline a hypothesis, design the experiments to test the hypothesis, and at the end of the year present the results in the form of a dissertation and as an oral presentation. These projects involve 12 weeks of laboratory or field-based research on a topic selected by the supervisor in light of the areas of expertise and cutting-edge research found within the RVC. However, students are welcome to propose a specific project to a supervisor in that area of expertise.

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.

A-Levels

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:

EITHER:

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

OR:

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

OR

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:

English

Mathematics

Irish Leaving Certificate

At Higher level - Grades of BBBBBB including:

Chemistry or Biology

And at least one from either:

Biology/Chemistry

Mathematics

Physics

At Ordinary level minimum grade B in:

English

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

Mathematics

*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.

OR

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:

English

Mathematics

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.

Other

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 and/or further study rate post-qualification.

Employment options

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. There is also the opportunity to apply to our Graduate Accelerated BVetMed programme if you aspire to become a veterinary surgeon.

Other graduates go on to hold prominent positions in:

  • the pharmaceutical industry
  • the agricultural industry
  • government
  • the medical research sector
  • publishing

Some graduates use their skills to become entrepreneurs or to go into careers one does not necessarily associate with science such as graduate schemes in the actuarial and banking sectors, the conservation and charity sectors or education. There is a broad range of potential careers out there waiting for our graduates in whatever field they wish to turn their hands to. We encourage our graduates to seek fulfilment and enrichment in their careers and aim to expose them to a variety of opportunities that may pique their interest and broaden their horizons. 

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?

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 £17,500 £11,980

  • 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 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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