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 who wish to specialise in specific disciplines related to small or large animal practice. All residents are also registered for a Master's degree in Veterinary Medicine.

This residency will cover all aspects of exotic animal medicine with the main focus on herpetology. The programme is specifically designed to provide with the resident with the necessary training to credential and sit for the examination for the European College of Zoological Medicine (Herpetology).

The programme lasts three years and starts in the first week of July; commencing with a short induction programme.  The resident will be based at the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital (BSAH), although some time will also be spent at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA).

If you have any queries about the Exotic Animal programme please contact Joanna Hedley ( For general information about the programme see: Residencies

Dates for 2024 Exotic Animal Residencies applications

What qualifications do I need?

You must be eligible for full Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), this includes meeting the RCVS English language requirements. 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
  • Have graduated from an European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVA)-approved veterinary school.
  • Confirm you have the right to study in the UK. 
  • Students classified as "Overseas" with regards to tuition fees are very welcome to apply for the residency. We are keen to find the best candidates regardless of their nationality and have had occasional Overseas residents. Candidates should note that funding models for this programme are weighted towards "Home" fee candidates, so when candidates are equal, residencies 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.
  • Confirm how you meet the English language requirements, and if applicable submit your English language test results (see below)
  • 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.

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 score of 7 in IELTS (Academic) with no component 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 to the Residency programme.

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 dedicated Exotics service.

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

For details see How to Apply.

Admissions Policy & Procedures

Further information on the recruitment procedure can be found here.

Visiting the BSAH

If you have queries relating to the specific programme or wish to visit the BSAH prior to applying for a residency, then please contact Joanna Hedley (


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

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 (see below).


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.  Please click here for Assessment and Award Regulations.

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.


Current information on stipend can be found under Funding Options.


You may also find these FAQs helpful

2024 Exotic Animal Residency

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 hospitals (or farms/referral facilities where relevant) and will be expected to prepare to sit the examination for membership of the relevant European or American speciality boards. Residents/students will also be enrolled onto a Masters of Veterinary Medicine (MVetMed) programme.

For an informal discussion about these residencies, please contact Joanna Hedley (; General queries/how to    

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. 

Tuition Fees

All Clinical Training Residencies are fully funded.

  • As a resident a scholarship will be awarded for your fees 
  • A stipend will be paid monthly in arrears. Currently the stipend is £24,500 per annum (subject to review)

The tuition fees (which are covered by your department) are as follows:

Year commencing  Home Tuition Fees including Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man) International Fees
2021/22 £9,000 £27,380
2022/23 £9,000 £28,750

Tuition fee amounts are subject to increase each academic year.

Funding Options

Clinical Training Residencies

All Clinical Training Residencies are fully funded. 

  • As a Resident your tuition fees will be paid by the department that you are working in.
  • Residents are required to cover the cost of their own accommodation.
  • A stipend will be paid monthly in arrears. Currently the stipend is £27,000 per annum (subject to review).

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