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    Hiya, so I'm currently applying for Vet school in order to start in September - I applied to Cambridge, Bristol, Surrey and Edinburgh. So far I've got offers from both Bristol and Cambridge which I completely didn't expect! Just had a Surrey interview and soon to have an Edinburgh one. I just wanted some opinions on what the vets that come out of Cambridge are like, and if it would be wise to choose it over another vet school in the future?

    It's always been rumoured that at Cambridge there is less hands on with animals, and so can be less employable when they graduate; but is this partly down to the students that apply there? When I went to a taster day, the Director of studies said otherwise, that its hands on from day one, but does anyone know how much? Any information would be greatly appreciated please, especially from current/past students!
    Thanks in advance
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    I studied NatSci at Cambridge so can't comment on the animal time but vets took physiology with us and the medics so it wasn't specifically veterinary physiology but an overview we all did the same. For "mims" (molecules in medical science, I believe it's the biochemistry part of the course) it was again one general course for human and animal medics. I have a friend who quit veterinary at Cambridge partly because it was so general.
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    (Original post by Lostbiologist)
    I studied NatSci at Cambridge so can't comment on the animal time but vets took physiology with us and the medics so it wasn't specifically veterinary physiology but an overview we all did the same. For "mims" (molecules in medical science, I believe it's the biochemistry part of the course) it was again one general course for human and animal medics. I have a friend who quit veterinary at Cambridge partly because it was so general.
    Wow okay thanks, so was it every lecture that vets, medics and NatSci shared of physiology? For how many years? I knew medics and vets shared, wasn't sure to what extent though.
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    You'll be perfectly good as a vet graduating, however the lack of animal handling earlier on and practicals is well documented, but cambridge are becoming more practical as time progresses.
    Physiology and the odd other thing are shared with medics and other degrees.

    Also worth noting that Cambridge is a 6 year degree (due to the compulsory intercalculating); with is an added amount of debt
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    You'll be perfectly good as a vet graduating, however the lack of animal handling earlier on and practicals is well documented, but cambridge are becoming more practical as time progresses.
    Physiology and the odd other thing are shared with medics and other degrees.

    Also worth noting that Cambridge is a 6 year degree (due to the compulsory intercalculating); with is an added amount of debt
    The six year is originally what appealed to me, I think I will inter calate wherever I go but what better place to do a year of research than at Cambridge! Okay that's reassuring thanks for the help!
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    (Original post by 0arbute)
    Wow okay thanks, so was it every lecture that vets, medics and NatSci shared of physiology? For how many years? I knew medics and vets shared, wasn't sure to what extent though.
    Sorry I only took Physiology for first year so not 100% sure. The course websites for Cambridge can be a bit painful but they used to have chapter and verse on each module so you may be able to find the answer.

    We had vets join our 3rd year Zoology course and I'm not sure how much support they got - Idk how intercalating usually works but we gained about 12 people to study ecology, behaviour, conservation etc who were just dropped into our final year as far as I could tell! We had a field course the summer between 2nd and 3rd year which they joined us for and started their research projects on then they shared our lectures and supervisions for the rest of the year.
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    (Original post by Lostbiologist)
    Sorry I only took Physiology for first year so not 100% sure. The course websites for Cambridge can be a bit painful but they used to have chapter and verse on each module so you may be able to find the answer.

    We had vets join our 3rd year Zoology course and I'm not sure how much support they got - Idk how intercalating usually works but we gained about 12 people to study ecology, behaviour, conservation etc who were just dropped into our final year as far as I could tell! We had a field course the summer between 2nd and 3rd year which they joined us for and started their research projects on then they shared our lectures and supervisions for the rest of the year.
    Okay that's interesting about the inter calating, will def ask how it works when I go for the applicants day. Overall did you really enjoy the Cambridge experience, and not regret going to get the 'normal' uni life at another uni?
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    Mhmm my response will be really mixed haha. Ill try and do positives and negatives to avoid writing an essay

    positive:
    Looks great on your cv (although maybe less so for vets)
    Amazing world class researchers will teach you
    Funding is great, plenty of bursaries, libraries are well stocked etc
    Lovely city although nightlife is limited but tons of student societies, good access to shopping/bars/city things AND green spaces/river/outdoors. Totally flat so you can cycle everywhere.
    Weird old traditions - being able to get a three course meal for nine quid if you wear your gown and behave yourself (ish),
    Weird awesome old stuff - living in centuries old buildings with beautiful gardens was definitely a privelidge I won't forget.

    Negative:
    Teaching can be archaic (returning to vet open days now, the idea of being able to download lecture notes beforehand, listen to recorded lectures, or basically use any method besides lectures, labs following protocols and 1hr discussions with supervisors sounds amazing). Supervision vary in quality, you might get an amazing PhD student who did the same course a few years ago and understands it for one module then a random person who gives more feedback on your handwriting than anything else for the next. Also we had to do almost all our work by hand, no typing.
    Teaching can focus in deeply on whatever your lecturer does (I had two sets of lectures on arctic archaeology/biology in an unrelated course because why not. Very hard to link to anything else I learned that module.)
    Weird old rules - not allowed a car, not meant to have a job, have to live within x miles of town. Very little private student accomodation, living in buildings with porters on the door def alters the uni experience and I could never keep my room over any holidays.
    Weird old traditions - some colleges have people to come in and tidy your room. Sometimes I felt like the traditions went beyond "oooh how charming" to "when did I enter the twilight zone?"
    People - NOT everyone and def avoidable of you can't stomach it but the most privileged people in the world end up there and you will meet them. I got into a lot of arguments until I found my own friends haha. I didn't go to private school and wasn't from the south and or abroad.
    Pressure - at school you're probably top of the class and in Cambridge you'll inevitably meet at least a few people who can't understand how anyone is as thick as you are.

    Basically I found it incredibly stressful, it made me and a lot of my friends ill, but I think given the choice I'd do it again. Constant challenge was probably really good for me academically and I had to learn to be resilient and safeguard my mental health which are good skills!

    Ended up writing an essay anyway haha Hope it helped, it sounds overly negative probably but I met tons of Cambridge applicants at open days stressing about if they'll get in and tbh it's not the be all and end all.
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    (Original post by Lostbiologist)
    Mhmm my response will be really mixed haha. Ill try and do positives and negatives to avoid writing an essay

    positive:
    Looks great on your cv (although maybe less so for vets)
    Amazing world class researchers will teach you
    Funding is great, plenty of bursaries, libraries are well stocked etc
    Lovely city although nightlife is limited but tons of student societies, good access to shopping/bars/city things AND green spaces/river/outdoors. Totally flat so you can cycle everywhere.
    Weird old traditions - being able to get a three course meal for nine quid if you wear your gown and behave yourself (ish),
    Weird awesome old stuff - living in centuries old buildings with beautiful gardens was definitely a privelidge I won't forget.

    Negative:
    Teaching can be archaic (returning to vet open days now, the idea of being able to download lecture notes beforehand, listen to recorded lectures, or basically use any method besides lectures, labs following protocols and 1hr discussions with supervisors sounds amazing). Supervision vary in quality, you might get an amazing PhD student who did the same course a few years ago and understands it for one module then a random person who gives more feedback on your handwriting than anything else for the next. Also we had to do almost all our work by hand, no typing.
    Teaching can focus in deeply on whatever your lecturer does (I had two sets of lectures on arctic archaeology/biology in an unrelated course because why not. Very hard to link to anything else I learned that module.)
    Weird old rules - not allowed a car, not meant to have a job, have to live within x miles of town. Very little private student accomodation, living in buildings with porters on the door def alters the uni experience and I could never keep my room over any holidays.
    Weird old traditions - some colleges have people to come in and tidy your room. Sometimes I felt like the traditions went beyond "oooh how charming" to "when did I enter the twilight zone?"
    People - NOT everyone and def avoidable of you can't stomach it but the most privileged people in the world end up there and you will meet them. I got into a lot of arguments until I found my own friends haha. I didn't go to private school and wasn't from the south and or abroad.
    Pressure - at school you're probably top of the class and in Cambridge you'll inevitably meet at least a few people who can't understand how anyone is as thick as you are.

    Basically I found it incredibly stressful, it made me and a lot of my friends ill, but I think given the choice I'd do it again. Constant challenge was probably really good for me academically and I had to learn to be resilient and safeguard my mental health which are good skills!

    Ended up writing an essay anyway haha Hope it helped, it sounds overly negative probably but I met tons of Cambridge applicants at open days stressing about if they'll get in and tbh it's not the be all and end all.
    Wow thank you so much for all of that!! Given me a real insight which I needed! I guess I just want to make sure that if I do turn down the offer I'm not going to regret such a unique - if not always positive - opportunity and you've been so much help I'm going to talk to the vets I did placements with and would continue to in the future and get their opinion on graduates! Thanks again
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    No worries sorry for writing tons. Good luck with your decision! Which college is your offer from btw?
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    (Original post by Lostbiologist)
    No worries sorry for writing tons. Good luck with your decision! Which college is your offer from btw?
    Emmanuel! I had a taster day there back in March last year and it seemed lovely
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    (Original post by 0arbute)
    Emmanuel! I had a taster day there back in March last year and it seemed lovely
    Emma is lovely! I had a couple of friends there and used to go sit in the gardens and feed Moorhens
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    Do you have to do a dissertation as a vet student at Cambridge? I'm skipping intercalated year (as ill be a grad)
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    Hey - so I graduated in Cambridge in 2010, and I've taught and worked there on and off since as well as in general practice. I now run an emergency clinic in Canada.

    I can tell you off the bat that the Cambridge course is extremely hands on - final year is completely lecture free, all clinical work and students are exposed to practical sessions and patients from year 1. Cambridge gave me the skills and knowledge to do what I do today in my job - which is extremely hands-on. All the universities require you to do a lot of EMS outside of the course and this, in reality, is where you really learn the bulk of your hands-on skills so it's very student dependent.
    As for employability - Cambridge grads are in extremely high demand - especially in other countries I've found. There are fewer of them around as it's a smaller school (great for small-group teaching!) and they always bring something different to a practice.

    I'm sure you'll be happy wherever you end up - and very big congratulations on being in a lucky position to chose where you want to go, most do not get such a luxury. I can only speak for where I've been, but I can say with a high degree of confidence that you would not regret taking up a place at Cambridge. The people you'll meet and the opportunities you would have are unmatched anywhere else.
 
 
 
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