I had the opportunity last week to sit down with Nina Davies, Head of Undergraduate Student Recruitment, at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), located in London, England. This is the first year that RVC has opened up entry to international high school students to the Bachelor of Veterinary Medecine (BVetMed) program; prior to this international students had to have an undergraduate degree and then do 4 years at RVC, thereby following the same timeline as they would in Canada if they wanted to become a vet. Now you can apply directly from high school and do the program in 5 years, or 6 if you want to do a dual degree (Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Veterinary Medecine).
A little bit about the university… it is the oldest English-speaking veterinary school in the world having been started in 1791 by the same man who started the very first veterinary school in the world, located in France. There are two campuses now: the original site in London (Camden) where BVetMed students spend the first two years, and the clinical campus 20 minutes away in Hertfordshire, home to the largest small animal hospital in Europe. Rugby, rowing, and riding are the 3 main sports that RVC competes in, but students can also participate in the University of London sports and social life activities.
To be eligible for admission, RVC requires all applicants to present a minimum 2 weeks of work experience (with at least one week in a vet clinic) in a vet related field, but it was suggested that in order to be competitive, applicants are expected to present much more than 2 weeks (e.g. a summer job at a clinic, shelter, or zoo). An applicant’s personal statement should be focused on their work experience in the vet field and on their aspirations; the interview will be based on what is written in the personal statement. In addition to presenting a minimum average of 85% in grade 12 with a minimum of 85% in both Bio 12 and Chem 12, students have to write the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) after applying to UCAS for Oct 15 deadline. Detailed information about applying can be found here. RVC offers scholarships based on academic merit to three international students, to the tune of one year’s tuition, or approximately 20 000 British pounds, two thirds of the money given in first year and the rest in the last year of the program.
If research is more your thing, RVC also offers a Bachelor of Science in Bioveterinary Science, a 3 year program with the highest amount of lab time of any similar program in the UK. It is a training ground for research scientists, many of whom also have the opportunity to go on and work in the field of medical research involving veterinary species. Students are also able to take this as a four year program and spend a year in a work placement before their final year of study (called a “sandwich” year).
If you are interested in animal and/or veterinary science, check out their website for more information about all of the program options.