This Veterinary Gateway course is aimed at students who want to study veterinary medicine but who might not otherwise meet our entry requirements. The programme integrates an additional preparatory year designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to study veterinary medicine.
This course is open to UK students only, who come from a 'widening participation' background.
The programme focuses on developing your analytical, problem solving and practical skills in the biological sciences; improving your study, team working and communication skills; and introducing you to the handling and husbandry (control and management) of animals, most of them farm animals. If you successfully complete this course, you will be given a place on our Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree programme. You will also be eligible to apply for veterinary degrees at other UK universities.
“I have always wanted to be a vet so, naturally, I looked at the RVC. The RVC offer the Veterinary Gateway programme to people from different backgrounds. The requirements took the pressure off my A-Levels, and I ended up with better grades than I expected anyway!
“I chose to study the Veterinary Gateway programme, so that I could acclimatise to life at university and study anatomy and biology. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made, it has set me up so well for the rest of the course and I will probably will do better in the future because of it.
“Now that I am in BVetMed Year 2, you cannot tell the difference between Gateway and non-Gateway students.”
Rhian Jeffries, Veterinary Gateway and Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
We are the only veterinary school in the world to achieve full accreditation by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and full recognition by the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), as well as a reciprocal arrangement between the RCVS and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC).
What does this mean for you? It means that when you graduate in veterinary medicine at the RVC, you will be qualified to practise in Europe, North America and many Asian and African countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand – a real advantage for those looking to develop an international career.
The Veterinary Gateway course is a one-year programme with the aim of preparing you for the five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine undergraduate degree on completion.
For an outline of what you will study on the five-year course, please see our BVetMed course page.
- Biology of the cell - Inheritance, genes and evolution - Development - The moving animal - Integrated physiology - Animal handling and husbandry - Problem, definition and investigation - Library research project AHEMS is undertaken during the pre-clinical years of the programme. AHEMS is designed to develop your knowledge, critical thinking, understanding and practical skills. A minimum of six weeks AHEMS is to be completed by the end of BVetMed Year 1 (which includes the summer vacation period), including a minimum of two weeks lambing experience to be undertaken at the Easter vacation block in your Gateway Year. The remaining weeks are to be completed by the end of the summer vacation in BVetMed Year 2. In total, you must complete: AHEMS placements involve spending a number of weeks based at employers where you can focus on developing work place skills and industry expertise that will sit alongside the knowledge you gain throughout your course.
Animal Husbandry Extra-Mural Studies (AHEMS)
- Biology of the cell
- Inheritance, genes and evolution
- The moving animal
- Integrated physiology
- Animal handling and husbandry
- Problem, definition and investigation
- Library research project
AHEMS is undertaken during the pre-clinical years of the programme. AHEMS is designed to develop your knowledge, critical thinking, understanding and practical skills.
A minimum of six weeks AHEMS is to be completed by the end of BVetMed Year 1 (which includes the summer vacation period), including a minimum of two weeks lambing experience to be undertaken at the Easter vacation block in your Gateway Year.
The remaining weeks are to be completed by the end of the summer vacation in BVetMed Year 2. In total, you must complete:
AHEMS placements involve spending a number of weeks based at employers where you can focus on developing work place skills and industry expertise that will sit alongside the knowledge you gain throughout your course.
You will need to fulfil our requirements in the following three areas to be considered for interview:
In addition to your UCAS application (deadline 15 January 2018), you will also need to submit your Supplementary Gateway Form (deadline 22 January 2018) directly to email@example.com in order to be considered for interview. Interviews are normally held in January or February each year.
Widening Participation pre-conditions (to be met by all)
The Veterinary Gateway programme is available to UK or EU students only that satisfy all of the following specific non-academic requirements:
- You are a UK or EU national who is resident in the UK.
- You are EITHER currently predicted to achieve no more than two grades below the standard Gateway entry offer for that qualification (NB: all successful applicants will receive the standard offer for the course, irrespective of their predicted grades) OR you have gained a qualification that meets the standard offer for the Gateway course in the 12 months prior to your application.
- You have studied only one period of Level 3, unless you are resitting that same qualification the following year.
- You have never attended university or a higher education institution.
Widening Participation criteria (route-dependent)
To be eligible for the course, you must meet all of our Route A or Route B requirements. You will be able to indicate how you meet these on the Supplementary Gateway Form.
- You have completed all education since the age of 11 at a UK state school that does not select based on academic performance, charge tuition fees to any of its students, or is classified by the UK government as an independent school.
You will also need to meet three of the below criteria:
- POLAR3 Score: You live in an area with a POLAR3 score of 1 or 2. You can check this via the HEFCE website.
- Care Leaver: You are a person who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 (requires letter from relevant authority).
- Level 2 School: The school at which you took your GCSEs is a school with an RVC contextual flag. You can check this here.
- Level 3 School: The school at which you are taking your Level 3 qualifications (A Levels or equivalent) is a school with an RVC contextual flag. You can check this here.
- Income: Your parental income (your household income in the case of mature students) is less than £25,000 and your parent(s) are in receipt of child tax credits or another government-assessed income award that demonstrates household income below this threshold (requires submission of the full child tax credits letter for the current year, or similar)**
- Refugee: You are a refugee (requires Home Office letter).
- Parental Education: Your biological parents and/or step-parents and/or guardians have no higher education qualifications, such as a degree, diploma or certificate of higher education (attendance as a mature student is exempt). This must be also be indicated on your UCAS application.
** Please note: payslips, P60s, JSA statements, bank statements, or any other item that refers only to one's personal income is not proof of household income and therefore cannot be accepted in support of this criterion. You should be in a position to provide proof of household income if you are going to use this criterion in support of your application.
- You have completed all education since the age of 11 at a UK state school that does not charge tuition fees to any of its students, or is classified by the UK government as an independent school.
- You attended the RVC Sutton Trust summer school within the 18 months prior to application.
Widening Participation eligibility will be determined based on the information provided in the Supplementary Gateway Form (available here), which applicants must submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 22 January 2018.
Where the number of applicants meeting at least 3 of the criteria exceeds the number of students the College is able to interview, weighting will be applied to the criteria and applicants will then be selected based on their total score.
The minimum academic requirements for entry onto the Veterinary Gateway programme are outlined below. Please note that only one period of study of Level 3 qualifications will be accepted unless applicants are resitting those qualifications the following year.
CCC in three A Level subjects including:
- One other subject of your choice*
Where one is taking science A Levels as part of the new English curriculum (taught from 2015 onwards), it would also be expected that candidates pass their science practical for each subject.
For further information on our policy on reformed UK qualifications, please click here.
*The third A Level subject should not overlap with Biology or Chemistry, and cannot be General Studies.
We support the opportunity to take additional subjects at AS Level, but do not prescribe or prefer any particular subject choices or combinations.
- There is no third subject which is preferred by selectors or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subjects are treated equally for the third subject.
See additional GCSE requirements.
Welsh and Scottish Applicants
Applicants who have achieved the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate with grade C will be accepted with CC in two A Levels, including:
Please also see notes under the 'A Levels' tab above.
Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
Advanced Highers at grade C or above in:
in addition to 5 Highers at grade C or above including:
and at least National 5 grade C in:
L3 Extended Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U
All qualifications below are considered on top of existing GCSEs or National 5s only.
Level 3 Extended Diploma (syllabus for students starting this qualification from 2016)
Pearson 'Animal Management with Science': DDM overall with Distinctions in:
- Animal Biology
- Animal Breeding and Genetics
- Animal Welfare and Ethics
- Practical Skills in Animal Science
- Animal Metabolism
City & Guilds 'Animal Management (Science)': D overall with Distinctions in:
- Biological Systems of Animals
- Principles of Health and Safety
- Fundamentals of Science
- Chemistry for Biology Technicians
In addition, candidates must take two of the below, achieving a Distinction in at least one and no lower than a Merit in the other:
- Inheritance and Genetics; Cell Biology and Genetics; Biochemistry and Microbiology
Pearson 'Applied Science' or 'Biomedical Science': DDM overall with Distinctions in:
- Principles and Applications of Science I
- Principles and Applications of Science II
- Science Investigation Skills or Contemporary Issues in Science
Candidates must also achieve at least Merits in the following units:
- Genetics and Genetic Engineering·
- Physiology of Human Body Systems or Human Regulation and Reproduction
- Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques or Diseases and Infections
- Biomedical Science or Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
In addition, candidates must take two of the below, achieving a Distinction in at least one and no lower than a Merit in the other:
- Applications of Organic Chemistry; Applications of Inorganic Chemistry; Practical Chemical Analysis
BTEC/Level 3 Extended Diploma (syllabus for students who started this qualification in 2015)
Animal Management (2010-2015 syllabus)
DDM (Distinction, Distinction, Merit) required overall, including the units below and with Distinctions in those units marked by an asterix(*):
- Fundamentals of Science*
- Chemistry for Biology Technicians* OR Understand the Principles of Chemistry for Biological and Medical Science *
- Understand the Principles of Animal Biology
- Understand Animal Anatomy and Physiology
- Undertake an investigative project in the land-based sector.
Applied Science (2010-2015 syllabus)
DDM (Distinction, Distinction, Merit) overall, including the units below and with Distinctions in those units marked with an asterisk (*):
- Genetics and Genetic Engineering
- *Physiology of Human Body Systems AND/OR *Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction
- *Biochemistry and Biochemical Techniques AND/OR *Chemistry for Biology Technicians
- Biomedical Science Techniques AND/OR Chemical Laboratory Techniques
- Using Statistics in Science AND/OR Informatics in Science
Grade P1 (or higher) must be achieved in three Principal Subjects:
- One other subject of your choice
There is no third subject which is preferred by selectors or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subject are treated equally for the third subject.
Applications are welcome from those who meet our science requirements and are taking a combination of A Levels and the Cambridge Pre-U. Offers will be made on an individual basis, depending on the combinations.
444 at Higher Level in:
- One other subject
All third choices are equally acceptable to RVC selectors. There is no third subject which is preferred or gives any special advantage in the selection process. Science and non-science subject are treated equally for the third subject.
See additional GCSE requirements.
GCSEs (only in addition to other qualifications)
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade C including the following subjects:
- Either Science & Additional Science or Biology, Chemistry and Physics if taken as three separate GCSEs
- English Language
If taking Science & Additional Science, you would also need at least one further GCSE at grade C or higher in any subject.
New GCSE curricula (teaching starting 2015-2017)
Where we ask for grade C, we will require a grade 4 under the numerical grading system.
Please note, GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy will not be accepted instead of a C or above in GCSE Mathematics but is welcome alongside it.
>>Work experience (optional extra)
Although we don't require applicants to have any work experience, it is desirable. If you can get work experience try to get it both in veterinary practice and in other animal environments in order to develop animal handling skills and obtain an insight into the work of veterinary surgeons.
We encourage you to think creatively about these environments and are interested to hear about any experiences that have helped to give you a sense of the veterinary role in the wider world. Examples of such environments might include, but are not limited to: kennels, cattery, animal shelter, rural or city farm, stables, pet shop, lambing, intensive livestock, abattoir, animal research laboratory, wildlife park, zoo, etc. You do not have to have gained experience in all these areas.
If you wish to inform us of work experience you have completed, there is a section to do this in the Supplementary Gateway Form (available here).
I started doing a Level 3 qualification but then switched colleges/qualifications. Does this count as two periods of Level 3?
Where you have only studied for one year (e.g. completed AS Levels) and then gone on to a new college or qualification, you should still be eligible under this pre-condition. However, if you have attended more than one college, both will need to be contextually-flagged for you to meet this WP criterion. Otherwise, it is at the discretion of the RVC as per our Admissions Policy.
I only meet two of the WP criteria. Do I still have a chance of getting an interview?
Unfortunately not. Many of the applicants who apply to our standard BVetMed (D100) will meet at least one of the criteria; to be considered eligible for the Veterinary Gateway programme, you must meet at least three.
What will I be able to do with my qualification?
Upon successful completion of this six-year course, you will graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine.
Our graduates go on to enjoy a wide range of careers in veterinary medicine, including positions in:
- Small animal practices
- Mixed practices
- Equine practices
- Farm/livestock environments
- Wild animal environments
- Wildlife conservation
- Military support
You will be entitled to practice as a veterinarian as soon as you have earned your BVetMed degree and registered as a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The RVC's accreditation status with the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the reciprocal arrangement between the RCVS and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC) allows BVetMed graduates to register to practise in Europe, Australia and New Zealand without requiring any further qualifications.
In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will recognise your degree as equivalent to those awarded by veterinary colleges in the United States. The RVC is the only English veterinary school accredited by the AVMA, and this gives you a unique advantage. Some of the USA’s major veterinary employers recruit actively among our final year students. Please note, however, that you will be required to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) if you intend to work in North America after qualifying.
RVC Gateway students testimonials
Rhian Jefferies and and Abbie Ward both came to the RVC on the Gateway programme and are now studying BVet Med. Listen them talk about how they came take the Gateway path into study and how they feel it has benefitted them as they progress through their studies.
The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2018/19 are as follows:
|UK Tuition 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.
- For Sandwich/ Placement year fees for UK, EU and international students see link
- Students from countries outside the European Union (EU) who wish to undertake full-time study at the RVC are required to pay the international fee for their programme of study (please see Fee status section).
- Information on Fees & Funding for existing students can be found here
Bank Of England Scholarship Programme
Bank of England Scholarship for new students starting a full-time undergraduate degree in September 2017 from a black or mixed African/Caribbean background.
Bank of England in partnership with Windsor Fellowship
If you're from a black or mixed African/Caribbean background and are looking for financial support whilst at university, our scholarship programme may be for you.
It’s a great way to experience our fascinating work as a central Bank in a collaborative and inclusive environment. The programme will provide you with:
• Up to £30,000 to support living costs during your undergraduate degree.
• Paid summer internships.
• Mentoring, coaching and support from a member of our team.
The programme is open to students who are eligible to work and study in the UK, with at least 260 UCAS points and a household income below £50,000. You must be planning to start a full-time undergraduate degree in Autumn 2017.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 26th February 2017
Applications for the 2017 intake are now closed.
To register your interest for the 2018 and to find out more about the full eligibility criteria, visit see link.
Loans and Grants - Government Financial Support for Undergraduate UK and EU Students
Alongside the bursaries and scholarships offered by the RVC, there is financial support available from the Government to help cover the costs of living and studying. Financial support is available for students from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other EU countries.
Financial support is made up of four main elements
- Fee Loan
- Maintenance Loan
- Maintenance Grant - this is only available to full-time UK undergraduate students who commenced their studies on or before 2015/16 academic year.
For further details visit;
NB: All undergraduate students are eligible for a full tuition fees loan and this means that you will not have to pay undergraduate tuition fees before you start or during your time at RVC. Please note BVetMed Graduate Accelerated students are not eligible for tuition fee loans and grants. They are only entitled to a variable means tested living cost loan and RVC bursaries.