The Royal Veterinary College's academic departments reflect the many challenges facing society today and ensures that our research, teaching and clinical activities continue to innovate and lead the way in veterinary medicine and science. 

Comparative Biomedical Sciences

The RVC's Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS) is responsible for integrated teaching and research in various basic science disciplines including anatomy, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology, genetics and physiology. Staff are based at both campuses.

Departmental focus

The department’s focus is to advance understanding of animal biology from the molecular to whole animal level and within this environment to train undergraduate and postgraduate students. This focus enables us to provide students with the cognitive skills and understanding of animal structure and function required for careers as veterinarians, scientists and veterinary paraprofessionals.

The department’s research interests, which feed into the RVC-wide research themes, includes long-standing international strengths in a number of areas including biomechanics, musculoskeletal biology, cardiovascular biology, reproduction, development and pharmacology.

The department is committed to the provision of training of the highest standards and to the development of innovative methodologies.

Clinical Science and Services

The Department of Clinical Science and Services brings together research, teaching and clinical care to deliver innovative veterinary medicine - applied science in the care of companion animals - be they large (RVC Equine) or small (Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at Hawkshead and Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in Camden).


A reciprocal relationship exists between research and clinical activity; clinical services are driven by and input to our research, providing the benefit of evidence-based veterinary medicine and expert opinion with an international reputation. An average of 180 research papers are published each year and almost 30 PhDs are currently in progress supervised by academics in CSS.

Teaching and Learning

The Department contributes extensively to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching on all of the RVC’s veterinary and bioscience programmes - this includes the Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed), a dedicated Centre for Veterinary Nursing whose graduates are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and clinical internships and residencies for 79 veterinarians across three teaching hospitals. In addition, three other units within the Department play a leading role in educational development:

  • The Clinical Skills Centre provides a supportive environment for students to hone their practical veterinary skills.
  • The Lifelong Independent Veterinary Education (LIVE) Centre hosts a multi-professional team focusing on the development and evaluation of new tools for teaching, learning and assessment as well as promoting teaching excellence both in house and across the veterinary profession with our on-site veterinary education courses, which informs all of the RVC’s teaching programmes
  • The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) unit supports the veterinary community with world-class on-site and online courses extending the RVC's mission to the veterinary community at large.

Clinical Services

Collectively, our three hospitals see more than 32,000 animals per year. They employ more than 360 people including over 120 Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) and over 80 veterinarians, fifty of whom are veterinary specialists recognised by the RCVS

Pathobiology and Population Sciences

The Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences (PPS) is home to academic staff with a broad spectrum of professional interests and networks.

Expertise within the Department encompasses production animal (also known as farm animal, food animal or livestock) medicine, animal welfare, epidemiology, economics and veterinary public health, clinical and anatomic pathology, virology, bacteriology, immunology and parasitology.

That broad spectrum of expertise enables Departmental researchers to consider disease processes from the molecular and cellular level through to the whole animal and to animal populations. The effects of disease on welfare and the impact of disease on human-animal interactions and human health are fostered by this multidisciplinary approach.

The Department also provides extensive undergraduate and post-graduate teaching (including residency programs in pathology and epidemiology) and runs a large diagnostic service for clinical colleagues within the Royal Veterinary College and further afield.

Departmental staff work at both the Hawkshead and Camden campuses and at a number of sites across the UK.

Specialist consultancy advice is provided on a national and international basis.


This department was created in January 2017 by the merger of the departments of Pathology and Pathogen Biology (PPB), and Production and Population Health (PPH).

Professional Services

The Professional Services Department (PSD) plays a central role in ensuring the Royal Veterinary College functions efficiently and the right infrastructure is in place to provide the best experience for students and staff.

The department, which operates across both campuses and employs around 250 staff, is led by the Chief Operating Officer, Ian Darker.

There are seven Professional Service Department (PSD) Teams:

  • Learning and Wellbeing promotes wellbeing through how we deliver teaching and learning, and support to the wider RVC community. The Advice Centre provides general advice on student issues, counselling and mental health support. Learning & Teaching Enhancement and Support works with academic colleagues to develop inclusive approaches to curriculum design through ongoing staff development opportunities. It also provides Study skills Support to students. The Digital Learning Team supports innovative approaches to digital and blended learning. Careers and Employability offers careers events and advice. The Chaplaincy offers non-judgemental support to deal with issues that arise through work or study.
  • Academic Registry provides a range of further services to current and prospective students; including fees and funding; welfare and disability support, and guidance; examination arrangements and advice; results and transcripts; timetable information; general and programme specific regulations; and enrolment administration. In addition the Graduate School provides support to post-graduate programmes, while Academic Quality leads on quality assurance and enhancement.
  • The Business Improvement Unit works to improve data and systems and business processes and operational efficiencies.
  • Infrastructure Services manages the RVC's physical estate as well as the Library and all services and facilities relating to information and technology provision - via computers, mobile devices, AV or traditional media. The Campus Services Team looks after cleaning, security, reception, postal accommodation, maintenance and hospitality. In addition, capital developments, which include new build and major refurbishment are managed by our Projects Team.
  • International and Strategic Engagement leads a comprehensive and integrated approach to internationalisation across the RVC and manages the operation of Global Mobility and Strategic Partnerships.
  • Human Resources provides a range of services covering employee relations; pay and reward; equality and diversity, and staff development; staff recruitment, contract administration and employee information.
  • External Relations is responsible for providing guidance and advice on all aspects of promotion to support delivery of the goals set out in the Strategic Plan. In addition is responsible for the Animal Care Trust which manages voluntary income for the RVC, fundraising and charity governance, and Alumni Relations (see RVC4Life).

Other Departments/Divisions

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