The Royal Veterinary College offers several Internships that are first class, world-renowned training programmes for veterinary specialisation, including within the equine field.

These internships are designed for qualified veterinary graduates who wish to specialise in equine general practice or specific disciplines related to equine practice. The internship programme typically lasts one year and is particularly attractive if you are a recent graduate and wish to apply for a position in equine practice or wish to pursue specialist training in a specific discipline i.e. a three year residency, where a rotating one year internship is often a necessary initial qualifying step. The internship is coupled with a post graduate diploma in Veterinary Clinical Practice (PGDipVCP) and the successful applicant will be automatically enrolled in the course.

The Internship programme commences in mid-June each year, with a short induction programme.

Dates for 2023 Equine Internship applications

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To apply for the Equine Internship you must meet the following requirements:

Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (or eligible) RCVS.

You must be eligible for full Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). All applicants must be an MRCVS by the date the internship starts, and ideally by the date of application and interview. It is the applicant's responsibility to organise and pay for the annual membership fee.

Meet English language requirement 

You must be able to communicate clearly in English, both verbally and in writing. If you are not exempt from proving your English language proficiency, you must take an IELTS (Academic) test (or equivalent). 

We require an overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0, with no element below 6.5. A certified copy of your IELTS test result should be submitted with your application. The test result must have been obtained within 2 years of the start date of the course.  Applications that do not satisfy these criteria will not be considered for shortlisting.

Please see a list of English qualifications we will accept as alternatives to IELTS.

Foreign language applicants are encouraged to practice as a veterinary surgeon in the UK for at least one year prior to application.

Twelve months experience as a qualified veterinarian (desirable)

A minimum of twelve months experience as a qualified veterinary surgeon in the UK is desirable. However, we will consider exceptional new graduates on the Equine Internship, so please do not be put off of applying if you are a new graduate, and you must have received confirmation of passing your finals in good time prior to start date of the programme. 

Overseas Students

Students classifed as "Overseas" with regards to tuition fees are very welcome to apply for the internship. We are keen to find the best candidates regardless of their nationality and have had occasional Overseas interns. Candidates should note that funding models for this programme are weighted towards "Home" fee candidates, so when candidates are equal, internships will be offered to applicants eligible for "Home" fees. To help determine whether you would be eligible for "Home" fees please see the UKCISA's 'Who pays 'home' fees for higher education in England?' guide found here.

What essential attributes do you need to join the programme?       

  • Be a highly motivated recently qualified veterinary surgeon          
  • Keen to  develop your veterinary skills, experience and knowledge          
  • Willing to work hard        
  • Ability to cope under pressure        
  • Positive attitude at all times        
  • Great teamwork skills        
  • Work effectively and efficiently with a range of people from support staff, veterinary students to Professors        
  • Patience to teach and guide veterinary undergraduate students  

Admissions Policy & Procedures

Further information on the recruitment procedure can be found here.

The programme begins with an introduction and orientation week that is partially shared with the small animal interns.  The remainder of the year is divided into rotation blocks of varying lengths.

You will rotate through equine soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, equine medicine, large animal anaesthesia and large animal diagnostic imaging. The time spend on each service will depend on requirements of the hospital.

You will also participate in the out of hours (OOH) rota and you should expect to work a one in four or one in three rota. Very occasionally, depending on demand, working a one in two rota might be necessary.

Two weeks of extra mural study (EMS) time will be allocated to you in the second half of your programme.

A prerequisite for successful completion of the internship programme is successful completion of the PGD VCP coursework. This includes passing of several practical and oral assessments throughout the clinical rotations. In addition, written assessments in form of case reports are required for each rotation.

Visiting the RVC Equine Referral Hospital

We recommend that applicants visit prior to application and spend a day with the clinical services. Informal meetings with available members of the clinical teams will be arranged during the visit. To arrange a visit, please contact Dr Bettina Dunkel ( with your preferred date.  If you are unable to visit you are still encouraged to apply to the programme. Please contact the Admissions Team ( about requirements for non-UK applicants. You will be able to visit the facilities if you are invited for interview.  

If you have any specific queries, please contact Equine Director, Dr Bettina Dunkel at or Dr Melanie Perrier at

For General application enquiries, please contact the Admissions Team at 

If you would like to know more, the following links may be useful:

Annual Leave

The total annual leave entitlement is 20 days inclusive of bank holidays. Further details can be found in the Code of Practice (see below).


Constructive feedback will be provided both informally and formally throughout the year. Your clinical progress will be assessed on an individual basis and feedback given on an informal basis every three months based on your performance during rotations. Each intern has a formal appraisal six months after the start of the internship i.e. half-way through. This is intended to track progress, and to ensure that all learning objectives are completed by the end of the internship. Further information can be found in Course Assessment and Award Regulations 2019/20:  PGDip in Veterinary Clinical Practice.


Information on accommodation can be found under Funding Options.

Code of Practice

All interns must adhere and abide by the Royal Veterinary College. The Code of Practice can be found under Essential Information in the Graduate School.


Current information on stipend can be found under Funding Options


You may find these FAQS helpful.

Equine Internships are available this year. Equine interns/students will receive advanced training and gain experience in the disciplines of equine soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, equine medicine, large animal anaesthesia and large animal diagnostic imaging in the Equine Referral Hospital (Hawkshead campus). These internships count as a rotating internship for the Specialist European Colleges. Internships usually commence in June, and run for 54 weeks. 

Dates for 2023 Equine Internship applications

We endeavour to inform those who have been short listed for interview two weeks before the interview date. The interview typically lasts 20-30 minutes.  It is designed to test the applicant’s understanding of the role and function of an intern, and their motivation for pursuing an internship.  

For an informal discussion about these internships, please contact: Dr Bettina Dunkel ( or Dr Melanie Perrier ( For general queries/how to apply:   

Please see How to Apply for more details on the application process, but if you have a specific query you should contact the Admissions Team. 

Only online application forms submitted through our system will be considered.

Please ensure that your English qualification meets our requirements in time for applying.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2022/23 are as follows:

Home Tuition Fees including Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

International Fees



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.

Funding Options

Clinical Training Internships

All Clinical Training Internships are fully funded. 

  • As an intern your tuition fees will be paid by the department that you are working in.
  • A stipend will be paid monthly in arrears. Currently the stipend is £17,200 per annum (subject to review)
  • A single occupancy room in a shared (with others interns) house on-site is available for the duration of the internship for RVC based interns. No pets are allowed in the accommodation.

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