(Original post by SilverstarDJ)
I'm a first year Liverpool vet and am absolutely loving it so far. In first year we have lectures almost everyday, with first semester being around 15-20hours contact time (this includes labs and dissections), and in second semester we have around 6-10 hours so we have more time to revise before our exams. The course structure is traditional, meaning we do biochemistry, body systems, physiology, animals in their environment (farming & equine industries), anatomy of the limbs, animal behaviour, genetics etc. In some topics, clinical scenarios have been integrated in a session lasting a few hours so we can use what we have learned in a clinical context, although we use these to understand the symptoms rather than how to treat. We do, however, mention general classes of drugs and why we use them, though we are not strictly learning how to treat until future years. We also do a lot of dissections (very useful learning tool -- these last 9-5pm) and a bit of histology (microscope work) too. Lectures are very helpful, often replying the same day to emails. Some have also spent individual time with me when I was really struggling with a topic -- if you ask for help and want things explained again, lectures are more than helpful in my opinion. We have days out to our uni's farm & to a local riding stable where we learn basic practical skills on all the most common species -- listening to their heart, temperature, learning where to take bloods, restraint, safe handling etc. If you have extensive experience with all these animals, you will find this basic and not exciting, but if you have not worked with some of these animals it may be quite useful to you. Liverpool is one of the only Unis who owns hospitals in all 3 disciplines -- we have a very busy small animal, equine & farm hospital where we will work in years 4/5 and I believe we also do our clinical EMS there. We also own a dairy, beef, sheep & pig farm. I think this was the major factor which made me apply -- the facilities are excellent and all owned by the Uni (Nottingham only has contracts with other people).
I am not sure but would Nottingham's course focus more on the usual cases compared to other unis with tertiary referral hospitals? I think that is what they said in their open day when I went. I think, although most of us will be dealing with day to day cases, I do think it is useful to see a large number of complex cases too -- you never know, you might end up in a referral hospital and also it may make it easier to identify cases which could be helped by a referral as opposed to saying it is 'untreatable'.
I live in the city center next to Uni, thought most students live 10min bus ride away. Taxis around here are very cheap, especially when sharing, for when you return from a night out. The Uni is close to major train stations, shopping centre (Liverpool ONE is HUGE and good for shopping when you have the ££), and all the clubs & bars (of which there are plenty to choose from). Most take the bus/taxi in and get a taxi back.
Liverpool is a great city -- its accessible from halls, cheap, has a lot of culture (e.g. I really enjoy all the museums & art galleries as I'm an arty person).
We have a good support network if you are struggling -- you can simply email peer (vet student) mentors in confidentiality if you need it and you are also given a 'buddy' in first year who is a 3rd year student, as a point of contact & advise.
Any more questions about Liverpool, just ask
Nottingham does seem more practical based, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier than anywhere else. It all depends on youyr learning style but I personally dont mind if my course isnt practical based. Go to an open day perhaps or maybe see if a Notts vet can comment too so you can get a feel for that Uni as well.