The Royal Veterinary College offers several Residencies that are first class, world-renowned training programmes for veterinary specialisation.

These residencies are designed for qualified veterinary graduates with appropriate experience who wish to specialise in specific disciplines related to equine practice.  Residencies in equine medicine, equine surgery and large animal diagnostic imaging are three-year programmes during which you will also be registered for the degree of Master in Veterinary Medicine (MVetMed), which you will complete during the residency. You will progress through a structured training programme consisting of specialist clinical training based at the RVC’s Equine Referral Hospital, and academic, scholarly and applied clinical research training structured through the MVetMed degree based at the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus.

Two surgery, two medicine and one large animal diagnostic imaging Residencies are run in the hospital at any given time so positions are not available every year. Available positions can be found under residencies available.

The programmes in equine medicine and in equine surgery are three-year training programmes that are approved by the European and American Colleges of Veterinary Surgery, the European College of Equine Internal Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animals) and, for diagnostic imaging, the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. The programmes are designed to enable residents to fulfil the credentials requirements of the respective specialist college so that the resident is eligible to sit the diploma examination at the end of the training period.

Residents are supported by a team of ten diplomates in the Equine Referral Hospital (four surgery diplomats, five medicine diplomats and one large animal diagnostic imaging diplomate). There is also extensive diplomate support in related disciplines at the RVC including anaesthesia, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology and gross and clinical pathology. Residents rotate through clinical services relevant to their chosen area of study, training rotations in related subjects and through research training blocks. Residents work under supervision throughout and are given increasing responsibility as they gain experience during the programme.

Residents work as an integral part of the Equine Referral Hospital’s clinical teams and are intimately involved with the Hospital’s clinical, teaching and clinical research activities. Career routes of equine residents after completion of the programmes include specialist clinical work in private practice, specialist clinical work in university teaching hospitals and further research training (PhD) to become a clinical scientist.   

What Qualifications Do I need?

You must be eligible for full Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).  You must organise and pay for this yourself. Applicants must be an MRCVS by the date the Residency starts, and ideally by the date of application and interview.

You will also need to:

  • Hold a veterinary degree which is registrable by the RCVS and provide certificate and transcripts
  • Confirm you have the right to study in the UK. 
    • Non-EU citizens are welcome to apply for any Residency.  We are keen to find the best candidates regardless of their nationality and currently have several non-EU Residents.  Funding models for these posts are weighted towards EU citizens, so when candidates are equal, Residencies will be offered to EU citizens.
  • Confirm how you meet the English language requirements, and if applicable submit your English language test results (see below)

The UK government have confirmed that EU students will be allowed to remain in the UK to complete courses started in or before 2018/19. Therefore there should be no change to our July 2018 EU intake: UKCISA Student News.

  • And provide evidence of:
    • Work you have undertaken in a veterinary practice
    • Any postgraduate qualifications, with certificates
    • Your experience of research
    • Published any papers or conference presentations
    • Previous visits to the RVC
    • Completion of an internship programme (minimum duration 12 months) or similar experience in practice

Some of the Residency disciplines require additional qualifications and experience which you will find in the relevant pages.

If English is not your first language, you must be able to communicate clearly in English, both verbally and in writing. You must take an IELTS (Academic) test. For the Residency programme you must attain 7 in IELTS (Academic) with no element below 6.5. Further information on English language requirements  A certified copy of your test result must be submitted with your application. Applications that do not satisfy these criteria cannot be considered. Foreign language applicants are encouraged to practice as a veterinary surgeon in the UK for at least one year prior to application to the Residency programme. Applicants who do not meet the minimum proficiency requirements, cannot be considered.

What individual attributes do I need?

The  programme is designed for highly motivated veterinary professionals who wish to specialise in a specific clinical field whose goals include:

  • Advanced development of their veterinary skills
  • Experience and knowledge by working under supervision in a multi-disciplinary referral hospital.

What attributes do you need to demonstrate to join the programme?

  • Willingness to work hard
  • Highly developed organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to cope under pressure
  • A positive attitude at all times
  • Desire to take part in advancing veterinary science
  • Able work with a range of people including veterinary students, senior clinicians and nursing and support staff
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to communicate well with other team members, clients, and referring veterinary surgeons
  • Have the patience to teach and guide veterinary undergraduate students

How to apply

The programmes in medicine, surgery and diagnostic imaging run for three years and are designed to meet the requirements of the relevant European and American Colleges.

Please see the respective websites for further information on specific requirements:

Annual Leave

The annual leave entitlement is 25 days inclusive of bank holidays; however, timing needs to be coordinated with the hospital’s needs and fellow residents. Further details can be found in the Code of Practice.


Constructive feedback will be provided both informally and formally throughout the programme. Your clinical and academic progress will be assessed on an individual basis. Each resident has a formal appraisal after the first and second year to track progress, and to ensure that all learning objectives are completed and requirements for board certification are met.

Code of Practice

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


Visiting the RVC ERH

We strongly 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 Josh Slater (  with your preferred date.

If you are a graduated veterinarian living outside the UK who is planning to apply for a Clinical Training Residency and wish to visit please contact Josh Slater  ( If you are unable to visit you are still encouraged to apply to the programme. You will be able to visit the facilities if you are invited for interview.  

Further Information

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

RVC Equine        

Postgraduate study options at the RVC 

If you have any specific queries, please contact one of the directors of the Equine Residency, who are:

For General Residency application enquiries, please contact the Graduate School at 


You may also find these FAQs helpful


Equine Medicine will be available commencing Monday 2nd July 2018.   

Residencies are open to veterinary graduates holding a degree registrable with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. These are three-year post-graduate programmes involving supervised clinical work and applied clinical research. Residents/students will receive specialised training in the relevant discipline while working within the College’s Equine Referral Hospital and will be expected to prepare to sit the examination for membership of the relevant European or American speciality boards after completion of the residency programme. Residents will also be enrolled onto the RVC’s Masters of Veterinary Medicine (MVetMed) programme (subject to revalidation early 2018).     

The tax-free stipend will start at £17,500 per annum, increasing by annual increments to £18,500.  

For an informal discussion about these residencies,  please contact Prof Josh Slater (; General queries/how to apply: 

How to Apply          

Closing Date:     Sunday 7th January 2018

Interview Date:  Sunday 12th February 2018

We endeavour to inform those who have been short listed for interview, in writing, at least 2 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 a resident, and their motivation for pursuing a residency. Candidates will also be required to take a Cambridge Personality Styles Questionnaire (20-30 minutes).  Further details will be provided to short-listed candidates as part of the interview process.

The residencies are highly competitive and, regrettably, this inevitably means that many good applicants are not successful. If you are unsuccessful you may re-apply the following year but you should contact the appropriate programme director before doing so. 

Fees for the 2018/19 academic year

All Clinical Training Residencies are fully funded. 

As a Resident your academic fees will be paid by the department that you are working in.

You will also receive a tax-free stipend to cover your living expenses which will be paid monthly.

The Residency stipend rate is currently:

  • £18,000 subject to annual review

For more information and the latest news affecting fees see Tuition Fees.

Funding Options

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