kc2209
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Hi I’m only year 12 but have started looking at universities to consider for vetmed. But of an open ended question here but anyone willing to share their own experiences with the ones below? At the moment I am most inclined towards Cambridge Thank you all so much!!
And to anyone who’s been/going through the process, how much and what types of work experience did you have?

- Bristol
- Cambridge
- RVC
- Edinburgh
- Nottingham
- Liverpool
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KJ2003
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Hi I’m in year 12 too but I found thishttps://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6458800 thread helpful for looking at students experiences at different unis.

I wouldn’t compare work experience at the moment due to covid as it would have been a lot easier to get more work experience pre covid and hopefully the universities will lower their requirements and expectations.
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TheWannabeFarmer
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As above - whilst at present work experience is both hard to find and universities are not expecting much so the websites may not be overly useful for future applications - this won't last forever.

Personally I am a student at Liverpool and applied to RVC, Nottingham and Surrey also.
I received interviews and offers from Liv, RVC and Nottingham and a flat out rejection the day after application for Surrey.
Whilst I did apply to Surrey (and again personally) I would not overly rate it as a vet school - I did so as my application seemed weak and as a new school I felt I had higher chances of being accepted there (irony you may say)

Cambridge is a very research/theory focussed vet school. Lots of biochemistry and not necessarily vet related content (I think shared with medics unless this has recently changed). This is not to say they have not improved the course and included more practical elements but it is my and the opinion of many experienced vets I have spoke to that Cambridge is not perhaps the university of choice for someone who wishes to work as a practicing clinical vet. The course there is 6 years with forced intercalation and I believe you have to live in your college halls for this entire time. Another major difference is other universities you apply directly to whereas Cambridge you must pick a specific college to apply to veterinary medicine through. As Cambridge only has a low number of places (around 60-65) there is competition which is heightened as you are actually only able to apply for your chosen colleges places (I think there are a handful of colleges offer vet). The flipside of this is due to high academic requirement and its reputation (true or false up for debate) is there are typically fewer applicants than the other vet schools. If you want to intercalate and have a career in research/academia Cambridge will set you up amazingly but to practice as a vet I would maybe reconsider.

When I applied I had a few years out working within the animal industry and applied with 24 weeks work experience which is overkill but was massively beneficial and noticed within interviews as you have a far greater insight. What is key is varied experience - just a small animal practice will not suffice you need lots of husbandry experience to give you a broad insight into the profession and those that pay your wages.

Liverpool was one of the better rated vet schools locally amongst employers in my area and when I looked around it (again covid times may make that more difficult)) it and Nottingham were by far my favourites.
Liverpool when I applied wanted over 10 weeks experience and gave points for interview based on how many weeks you had - now I believe this has dropped to be more in line with most universities (typically around 4-5 weeks total outside of coronavirus times). I would definitely go above the minimum to be a strong applicant however. You can do this as part of a Saturday job, full time job or just in holidays shadowing vets and volunteering. At the end of the day even 10 weeks is not a lot of time to better your understanding and know the career you will spend your life within.
My experience was: Dairy farm milking and calving, lambing, stud yard, livery yard, small animal practices, farm animal practices, abattoir days and also work within a kennel and cattery

You typically apply - fill out your work experience then are interviewed - Liverpool do not even read the personal statement as they are so false and often written by tutors - if you are successful at interview you receive a conditional offer subject to reaching grades.
Nottingham was similar but had a situational judgement test to screen applicants prior to interview - they also read over my personal statement
RVC have a work experience questionnaire and then interview if successful
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ReadingMum
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(Original post by TheWannabeFarmer)
Cambridge is a very research/theory focussed vet school. Lots of biochemistry and not necessarily vet related content (I think shared with medics unless this has recently changed). This is not to say they have not improved the course and included more practical elements but it is my and the opinion of many experienced vets I have spoke to that Cambridge is not perhaps the university of choice for someone who wishes to work as a practicing clinical vet. The course there is 6 years with forced intercalation and I believe you have to live in your college halls for this entire time. Another major difference is other universities you apply directly to whereas Cambridge you must pick a specific college to apply to veterinary medicine through. As Cambridge only has a low number of places (around 60-65) there is competition which is heightened as you are actually only able to apply for your chosen colleges places (I think there are a handful of colleges offer vet). The flipside of this is due to high academic requirement and its reputation (true or false up for debate) is there are typically fewer applicants than the other vet schools. If you want to intercalate and have a career in research/academia Cambridge will set you up amazingly but to practice as a vet I would maybe reconsider.
To provide a different view...including some actual up to date information.
My daughter started at Cambridge a week ago. She has already had practical dissection and her first animal handling is tomorrow I think. She has also had her first weekly face to face tutorial as Cambridge put a lot of emphasis on small group teaching. The smaller cohort means that they are managing very well within Covid constraints.
They do share a few lectures with the medics - but only where the content is truly relevant to the vet course. They did used to have more common lectures with medics but that changed some time ago when the course was overhauled - that hasn't stopped people rolling out this old chestnut as a criticism, based on out of date information. You do not have to live in halls the whole time - different colleges offer the first 3 or 4 years in uni accomodation (not all halls, there are lots of uni owned properties of all styles) as an option if you want it but you do not have to take up the offer. Many do as it is pretty cheap compared to some private options in Cambridge - as well as comparing very favourably to other vet school provision. Her ensuite room is £1,652 for the term - it is a shorter term and you usually have to move out for holidays and store any stuff that you don't take home (in non Covid times the rooms are used for conferences in the holidays). The shorter term does mean that it is a more intense learning atmosphere but that does appeal to some students.
Cambridge typically takes 74 students spread across a number of the colleges - there are 8 out of the 29 colleges that do not take vets.
You can apply to a specific college or you can make an open application - if you don't get an offer from the original college you might well get pooled and get an offer from another college if you are seen as a good candidate but the original college just can't offer you a place.
Intercalation either appeals or it doesn't. If it does then the fact that it is compulsory at Cambridge means that you won't have to step out of your year group to do it. It also has the advantage that you can spread the 12 weeks required pre-clinical EMS over 3 years not 2 if you want to - although the longer holidays mean that shouldn't be necessary.
From a finance point of view Cambridge is appealing for students from lower income families - if you get the full maintenance loan because your family income is below £25k then you are also in line for an up to £3500 annual bursary from Cambridge that you do not have to pay back. They also offer a daily allowance for clinical EMS (the 26 weeks bit).
Last edited by ReadingMum; 3 months ago
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TheWannabeFarmer
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
To provide a different view...including some actual up to date information.
My daughter started at Cambridge a week ago. She has already had practical dissection and her first animal handling is tomorrow I think. She has also had her first weekly face to face tutorial as Cambridge put a lot of emphasis on small group teaching. The smaller cohort means that they are managing very well within Covid constraints.
They do share a few lectures with the medics - but only where the content is truly relevant to the vet course. They did used to have more common lectures with medics but that changed some time ago when the course was overhauled - that hasn't stopped people rolling out this old chestnut as a criticism, based on out of date information. You do not have to live in halls the whole time - different colleges offer the first 3 or 4 years in uni accomodation (not all halls, there are lots of uni owned properties of all styles) as an option if you want it but you do not have to take up the offer. Many do as it is pretty cheap compared to some private options in Cambridge - as well as comparing very favourably to other vet school provision. Her ensuite room is £1,652 for the term - it is a shorter term and you usually have to move out for holidays and store any stuff that you don't take home (in non Covid times the rooms are used for conferences in the holidays). The shorter term does mean that it is a more intense learning atmosphere but that does appeal to some students.
Cambridge typically takes 74 students spread across a number of the colleges - there are 8 out of the 29 colleges that do not take vets.
You can apply to a specific college or you can make an open application - if you don't get an offer from the original college you might well get pooled and get an offer from another college if you are seen as a good candidate but the original college just can't offer you a place.
Intercalation either appeals or it doesn't. If it does then the fact that it is compulsory at Cambridge means that you won't have to step out of your year group to do it. It also has the advantage that you can spread the 12 weeks required pre-clinical EMS over 3 years not 2 if you want to - although the longer holidays mean that shouldn't be necessary.
From a finance point of view Cambridge is appealing for students from lower income families - if you get the full maintenance loan because your family income is below £25k then you are also in line for an up to £3500 annual bursary from Cambridge that you do not have to pay back. They also offer a daily allowance for clinical EMS (the 26 weeks bit).
Perhaps you could get your daughter to register here then she can provide some views from an actual vet student at Cambridge
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ReadingMum
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(Original post by TheWannabeFarmer)
Perhaps you could get your daughter to register here then she can provide some views from an actual vet student at Cambridge
not going to happen - she was completely turned off TSR by the negativity and bias against the uni that she liked best.
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kc2209
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Thank you so much all for your replies!!!
Liverpool and Cambridge would be my two top choices (Idealistic - I know!) and brilliant to hear experiences from people at both.
I think the both also have the best equine facilities out of the vet schools, which is the path I’d consider specialising in.
Work experience wise, I have a lot already at livery and stud yards, and have calving/foaling/lambing lined up for spring but as mentioned a wider variety is definitely needed! It’s just the smaller practices/settings that are currently more difficult to get into at the moment.
Thank you so much for this insight, and yes - I did read the other day that over the past few years the cambridge veterinary course has become far more practical based.
This has been beyond helpful!
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ReadingMum
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Liverpool was my daughter's insurance offer - both great choices.
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