The Royal Veterinary College offers several small animal 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 animal practice. All residents are also registered for a Master's degree in Veterinary Medicine

Residencies typically last three years and start in the first week of July each year; commencing with a short induction programme. The residencies are mainly based at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA). Not all residencies are available each year.

Residency programmes include the following disciplines:

Please view Comparative Residencies if you are interested in Anaesthesia and Analgesia or Neurology and Neurosurgery.

"The training provided by the Residency is supported by specialists that are leaders in their field with both international and local training, providing a diverse experience for the resident. Ranked as one of the leading veterinary schools in the world, the team environment at the Royal Veterinary College provided by the ancillary staff and the students forms the core of the residency programme. The didactic portion of the residency is strong and structured, including participation in a Masters of Veterinary Medicine and guidance and encouragement for participation in scientific research"
- Kerry Doolin BSc, BVSc, MVetMed, MRCVS (SCTS in Emergency and Critical Care 2013-2016).

Dates for 2024 Small 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
  • 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)
  • 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 6.5A 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.

Applications that do not satisfy our 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.

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

For details see How to Apply.

Admissions Policy & Procedures

Further information on the recruitment procedure can be found here.

Visiting the QMHA

If you wish to visit the QMHA prior to applying for a residency then please contact the director of the specific Residency programme


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

If you have queries relating to the specific programmes please contact the appropriate directors/lecturers of the Residency:

General enquiries and questions about the application process should be directed to

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. 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 Residencies

The following are contact details of all Small Animal disciplines:

Please view Comparative Residencies if you are interested in Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Laboratory Animal Medicine and Welfare or Neurology and Neurosurgery.

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 will also be enrolled onto a Masters of Veterinary Medicine (MVetMed) programme

For an informal discussion about these Residencies, please contact the programme directorsFor general queries/how to apply: 

Dates for 2024 Small Animal Residency applications

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

We endeavor to inform those who have been short listed for interview, in writing, at least 2 weeks before the interview date. Shortlisted candidates may have the opportunity to visit the relevant discipline team for a day or more. Candidates should contact the team by email (contact above). 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.

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 is 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 course

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

        International Fees




2024/25 £9,000


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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