Veterinary Medicine as a second degree (career change of heart?!)

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cpenz7
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#1
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#1
I graduated University with a Law degree last year, having taken a year out, I think I've come to the conclusion that in fact I want to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Deep down I think I always knew Law was not the career for me, having also completed numerous placements and having worked in a law firm, which makes me now resent my 17 year old self for choosing Law (but what can you do?)

I am reaching out to anyone who has had a complete change of heart and decided to do a vet med degree as a second degree and how they went about doing so, as there are so many things to take into consideration. Funding the degree being the main thing!!!

Also, I am aware that I may be missing some of the basic qualifications for the course, and may have to go back a few years and take a Biology A- level for example.

I understand there are going to be numerous hurdles I am going to encounter and pursuing this career route will not be an easy one. But mainly I would really like to hear of anyone's personal experiences if they themselves have had a similar change of heart? Or even people's experiences of Veterinary medicine school in general or of the application process?!
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alleycat393
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#2
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#2
(Original post by cpenz7)
I graduated University with a Law degree last year, having taken a year out, I think I've come to the conclusion that in fact I want to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Deep down I think I always knew Law was not the career for me, having also completed numerous placements and having worked in a law firm, which makes me now resent my 17 year old self for choosing Law (but what can you do?)

I am reaching out to anyone who has had a complete change of heart and decided to do a vet med degree as a second degree and how they went about doing so, as there are so many things to take into consideration. Funding the degree being the main thing!!!

Also, I am aware that I may be missing some of the basic qualifications for the course, and may have to go back a few years and take a Biology A- level for example.

I understand there are going to be numerous hurdles I am going to encounter and pursuing this career route will not be an easy one. But mainly I would really like to hear of anyone's personal experiences if they themselves have had a similar change of heart? Or even people's experiences of Veterinary medicine school in general or of the application process?!
I'm going to get this moved to the vet med forum. You may have to do the A level in biology though you may want to email unis and ask. Work experience is key and the vet med forum has all the info about this. I'm not sure how funding will work but be prepared for having to fund this yourself as you will have used your student finance allowance up for your first degree.

Little Tail Chaser may have more insight.
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username1539513
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#3
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#3
I believe that Edinburgh and RVC have accelerated fast track courses for graduates wishing to pursue Vet med but financing it yourself will present the biggest hurdle as unlike graduate medicine and related disciplines you won't get government funding for a second degree in vet med
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Lizziefickling
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#4
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The only universities that do an accelerated 4 year degree are edinburgh and RVC, however edinburgh is likely out of everyone league as a graduate, as the fees are in the 20,000’s and no funding for it. You can do the 5 year or 6 year courses at the other universities, however because you don’t have a science degree they are going to ask for more A levels, and chemistry is one you’ll definitely have to have. There’s a 6 year course at Nottingham which doesn’t have many places available however it requires less A level wise but you would have to look into it yourself.

Your 4th and 5th years of veterinary medicine will be funded by student finance (as long as you did your initial degree in 3 years), however you’ll still have to fund 3 years of £9000 a year yourself, and we get a maintenance loan but it’s not enough to pay for tuition fees and live at the same time.

You’ll need to gain the relevant work experience, each university is different so refer to the websites for what each uni requires from this.

I didn’t have a change of heart, but I did do it the graduate route, and it’s tiring and expensive. I’ve been in higher education a long time now and it’s not been easy, but if you want it enough you can get it. Application wise as a grad student it’s exactly the same as an a level applicant.
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Popsicle_pirate
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#5
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#5
Just to add to the above - the accelerated 4 year courses at RVC and Edinburgh are for holders of 'relevant biological science' degrees so you would be looking at the 5 year or possibly 6 year gateway courses.
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SilverstarDJ
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#6
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#6
I would also question - why do you want to be a vet? I say this as a vet myself, I love my job but it is not what most people think it is. We are not paid as much as the general public think we are (you would get paid more as a medic/dentist). We have to work long hours to suit the general public (including bank holidays, weekends, nights) and it's not unusual to work beyond your contracted hours without any extra financial reward. We have to tolerate emotional blackmail from clients. We loose a lot of vets at the 5-8 years mark post graduation for various reasons... if you have spent time seeing practice then this is great, but if you haven't then do speak to vets and see what their job really entails. I would describe the jobs as a very rewarding but also stressful and difficult.
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lwescott
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#7
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#7
I would echo above and definitely see as much practice and work experience as you can. The job can be very different to what is perceived so think of it as confirmation of your career choice not an application requirement; there are so many people who have done the bare minimum WEX and then complain about the course...

A friend did a Fine Arts degree and then applied for vet med at RVC. She graduated last year and is now working in Mixed Practice and loving it.
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kitkat1234567
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Lizziefickling)
The only universities that do an accelerated 4 year degree are edinburgh and RVC, however edinburgh is likely out of everyone league as a graduate, as the fees are in the 20,000’s and no funding for it. You can do the 5 year or 6 year courses at the other universities, however because you don’t have a science degree they are going to ask for more A levels, and chemistry is one you’ll definitely have to have. There’s a 6 year course at Nottingham which doesn’t have many places available however it requires less A level wise but you would have to look into it yourself.

Your 4th and 5th years of veterinary medicine will be funded by student finance (as long as you did your initial degree in 3 years), however you’ll still have to fund 3 years of £9000 a year yourself, and we get a maintenance loan but it’s not enough to pay for tuition fees and live at the same time.

You’ll need to gain the relevant work experience, each university is different so refer to the websites for what each uni requires from this.

I didn’t have a change of heart, but I did do it the graduate route, and it’s tiring and expensive. I’ve been in higher education a long time now and it’s not been easy, but if you want it enough you can get it. Application wise as a grad student it’s exactly the same as an a level applicant.
Are you sure about the funding being available for course fees for two of the years? I have seen both conflicting information and information in agreement with this. I spoke to one person at student finance who said it was was possible to get a loan for two years of the course but I have spoken to several other people at student finance who have said it is not possible. I just can't seem find any accurate information on the matter. I know you can definitely receive a maintainence loan for vet med as a second degree.
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lwescott
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#9
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#9
I've a friend in third year studying post-grad in the UK who I told about the Student Loan being available so anymore info you have that I can pass on would be great
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Lizziefickling
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#10
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(Original post by kitkat1234567)
Are you sure about the funding being available for course fees for two of the years? I have seen both conflicting information and information in agreement with this. I spoke to one person at student finance who said it was was possible to get a loan for two years of the course but I have spoken to several other people at student finance who have said it is not possible. I just can't seem find any accurate information on the matter. I know you can definitely receive a maintainence loan for vet med as a second degree.
I’m a grad student, so I’m sure 😂
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kitkat1234567
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#11
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#11
I've tried looking into it and I always get told something different everytime haha...but that's great if you can get funding!🖒
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kitkat1234567
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#12
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(Original post by Lizziefickling)
I’m a grad student, so I’m sure 😂
Did you find out from the student loans company? And do you think it's only available for people applying for the graduate entry or for people applying for the 5 year course who already have a degree as well?
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Lizziefickling
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(Original post by kitkat1234567)
Did you find out from the student loans company? And do you think it's only available for people applying for the graduate entry or for people applying for the 5 year course who already have a degree as well?
Found out by ticking the box when applying for 4th year student finance. Rang up to confirm because thought it was a mistake and they said the final two years were funded by SFE. I’m on the 5 year course. It’ll be available for the 4,5 and 6 year degrees, Just the first 3 years of any vet med degree won’t be funded.
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kitkat1234567
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#14
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#14
Thanks very much for your help!
(Original post by Lizziefickling)
Found out by ticking the box when applying for 4th year student finance. Rang up to confirm because thought it was a mistake and they said the final two years were funded by SFE. I’m on the 5 year course. It’ll be available for the 4,5 and 6 year degrees, Just the first 3 years of any vet med degree won’t be funded.
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GradVetStudent
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Lizziefickling)
Found out by ticking the box when applying for 4th year student finance. Rang up to confirm because thought it was a mistake and they said the final two years were funded by SFE. I’m on the 5 year course. It’ll be available for the 4,5 and 6 year degrees, Just the first 3 years of any vet med degree won’t be funded.

Just on hold to SFE now and they've said this simply isn't true and that those students who have been told that they can access final 2 years of tuition loan for their vet med degree will need to pay that money back to SFE if they've been granted it
Apparently they don't count the final 2 years because it is still technically the same level of qualification as your previous undergraduate degree and if you wanted 5 years worth of tuition fees you'd have to have done the vet med degree first. The advisor checked with the written rules as well as 2 managers to make sure it was correct.

Absolutely gutting!
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Lizziefickling
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#16
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#16
(Original post by GradVetStudent)
Just on hold to SFE now and they've said this simply isn't true and that those students who have been told that they can access final 2 years of tuition loan for their vet med degree will need to pay that money back to SFE if they've been granted it
Apparently they don't count the final 2 years because it is still technically the same level of qualification as your previous undergraduate degree and if you wanted 5 years worth of tuition fees you'd have to have done the vet med degree first. The advisor checked with the written rules as well as 2 managers to make sure it was correct.

Absolutely gutting!
See that’s weird because I said this to my friends who applied for it and said they had got it - that it would need repaying immediately and they said they mentioned that to SFE and SFE said it wasn’t true 🤦🏼*♀️
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GradVetStudent
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#17
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(Original post by Lizziefickling)
See that’s weird because I said this to my friends who applied for it and said they had got it - that it would need repaying immediately and they said they mentioned that to SFE and SFE said it wasn’t true 🤦🏼*♀️
Is it possible its just because they have different circumstances e.g. they're international students or perhaps did a lower qualification than a BSc Hons in their previous degree?

I know this is super cheeky, but I don't suppose you could ask your friends who were granted the loan for their final 2 years if they would be willing to privately share a copy of their entitlement from SFE, obviously omitting personal details? Its just that funding would be literally life-changing for me, but I fear SFE wouldn't grant it unless I had written proof that other students had already been given it! Other students seem to be getting similar resistance from SFE about this too
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Lizziefickling
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#18
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#18
(Original post by GradVetStudent)
Is it possible its just because they have different circumstances e.g. they're international students or perhaps did a lower qualification than a BSc Hons in their previous degree?

I know this is super cheeky, but I don't suppose you could ask your friends who were granted the loan for their final 2 years if they would be willing to privately share a copy of their entitlement from SFE, obviously omitting personal details? Its just that funding would be literally life-changing for me, but I fear SFE wouldn't grant it unless I had written proof that other students had already been given it! Other students seem to be getting similar resistance from SFE about this too
Nope they are UK students and they did a BSc (hons) as their first degree like i did.

I can’t really do that unfortunately it wouldn’t be appropriate, I can however apply for 4th year finance myself and give you mine if I get it.
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GradVetStudent
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Lizziefickling)
I can however apply for 4th year finance myself and give you mine if I get it.
That would be a great help, do let me know! I hope you do get it and can tell me the secret to convincing SFE 🤔
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Nessie162
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#20
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#20
I'd be interested to know how it turns out too. I've been in contact with the Scottish student finance and they're definitely not funding anything, even the last 2 years.

Recently I've also been digging into Glasgow and Edinburgh to find out the reason for their enormous grad entry tuition fees. I've been in touch with the Scottish student finance too. And no one seem to know or care as to why the fees are so high. It's really beyond me as the Scottish gov seem to be funding everything else other than VetMed. Ayyy
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