The Student Room Group

Vet med; Alevel entry

For those of you who did chemistry, maths and a third non-science alevel, how difficult was it for you to get into vet med for uni for the normal 5 year course?
For the majority of veterinary science courses in the UK you will not meet the entry requirements if you do not do Biology at A level, whereas maths is not necessary for the majority of courses so I would rethink this decision. Of the top of my head Bristol is the only university that does not require biology at A2 with a grade A.
Reply 2
Original post by TheMixedVet
For the majority of veterinary science courses in the UK you will not meet the entry requirements if you do not do Biology at A level, whereas maths is not necessary for the majority of courses so I would rethink this decision. Of the top of my head Bristol is the only university that does not require biology at A2 with a grade A.


There are 4 universities that accept chemistry and maths, which is probably a bit risky since one university is cambridge which is why I had asked aha.

I'm not taking biology despite liking it because I feel I'd be able to get a better grade in maths although I'm limiting myself. I could take 4 alevels and add biology on, but obviously taking 4 is hard lol and I enjoy all 3 of the subjects I picked

(My school doesn't do AS).
Original post by Asentrix
There are 4 universities that accept chemistry and maths, which is probably a bit risky since one university is cambridge which is why I had asked aha.

I'm not taking biology despite liking it because I feel I'd be able to get a better grade in maths although I'm limiting myself. I could take 4 alevels and add biology on, but obviously taking 4 is hard lol and I enjoy all 3 of the subjects I picked

(My school doesn't do AS).

I wouldn’t do 4 A Levels. Why not take bio chem maths? You only need to get As for most unis, getting A*s will not put you above anyone else except potentially for Cambridge. Personally I’d take the combo which lets you apply to more places, and also biology is like 80% of the vet med course, so having background knowledge from A Level would 100% help.
Reply 4
Original post by RambleAmple
I wouldn’t do 4 A Levels. Why not take bio chem maths? You only need to get As for most unis, getting A*s will not put you above anyone else except potentially for Cambridge. Personally I’d take the combo which lets you apply to more places, and also biology is like 80% of the vet med course, so having background knowledge from A Level would 100% help.

I took time to think and I've decided to do bio chem and still deciding between maths/economics so thanks I guess 😅😅

Just have to tell my family now that I'm doing 'harder' alevels
Original post by Asentrix
There are 4 universities that accept chemistry and maths, which is probably a bit risky since one university is cambridge which is why I had asked aha.

I'm not taking biology despite liking it because I feel I'd be able to get a better grade in maths although I'm limiting myself. I could take 4 alevels and add biology on, but obviously taking 4 is hard lol and I enjoy all 3 of the subjects I picked

(My school doesn't do AS).


You are correct - I hadn't realised vet schools had started considering maths a science, when I applied it was bio, chem, physics.
If you feel you can score higher in Maths then given that there are 4 universities I would actually change my advice to take maths not biology. Yes Cambridge is deemed harder to get into but they seem to be more focussed on people gifted at chem/maths - atleast according to their website.

Realistically you wouldn't be missing much by not taking A level biology. All the (rather tedious and not useful) biochem is recapped anyway. Perhaps people who studied organ systems in more detail (i.e. kidneys, hearts etc.) may have a slight upper hand at the physiology aspect but then you will wipe the floor with them on the stats component of the course.
I’ll just say that in my experience (which is just of first year so far so TheMixedVet does have more experience than me) I personally would 100% have failed first year had I not taken bio at A Level. I believe that a lot of my marks from first year exams came from pure exam technique I learned from A Level bio, and I guess also helped me have a “bio” way approach to learning and revision. I do also think the background knowledge made a lot of topics so much easier, for example the organs etc we did do more at A Level I found I learned much easier and preferred, and I wished I had done more reading in my gap year of basic anatomy books as it would’ve been less of a struggle. I personally very much hate maths and have always struggled with it to the point I’ve considered going to the doctor about it (basically only reason I hated chem at A Level) but I haven’t really struggled too badly so far with learning basic formulas and repeating them as calculators are allowed, and so far the stats have been much less than the anatomy.

Also editing to add that if there are only 4 unis accepting maths instead of bio, if worst case scenario happens and for whatever reason you have to reapply, not all unis accept a second application so this could be a limiting factor if the next time round you can’t apply to those same 4.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
Original post by RambleAmple
I’ll just say that in my experience (which is just of first year so far so TheMixedVet does have more experience than me) I personally would 100% have failed first year had I not taken bio at A Level.

Also editing to add that if there are only 4 unis accepting maths instead of bio, if worst case scenario happens and for whatever reason you have to reapply, not all unis accept a second application so this could be a limiting factor if the next time round you can’t apply to those same 4.

Hi, thank you for your edit!!! I completely forgot that some universities don't accept a second application 😭 I'll have to do my research about that, and I have asked people who didn't do Biology at Alevels and they have said that they felt at a disadvantage in uni if they did a normal 5 year course, like you said. Also I do want my chances to be high the first time around because I don't want to take a gap year.. though it might be inevitable lolz
Thankss!!!
Reply 8
Original post by TheMixedVet
You are correct - I hadn't realised vet schools had started considering maths a science, when I applied it was bio, chem, physics.
If you feel you can score higher in Maths then given that there are 4 universities I would actually change my advice to take maths not biology. Yes Cambridge is deemed harder to get into but they seem to be more focussed on people gifted at chem/maths - atleast according to their website.

Realistically you wouldn't be missing much by not taking A level biology. All the (rather tedious and not useful) biochem is recapped anyway. Perhaps people who studied organ systems in more detail (i.e. kidneys, hearts etc.) may have a slight upper hand at the physiology aspect but then you will wipe the floor with them on the stats component of the course.

Hopefully I wipe the floor with them in both criterias because I've decided to drop economics 😅

Taking bio, chem, maths now which is the usual and econ I can always read up on about whenever I miss it :smile:

I decided that I definitely want to decrease my chances of a gap year as much as possible and want to get into my first choices aha

Thanks for your support though

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