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I’m taking Biology A level, and love animals, what degrees can I do?

Hello, my name is Dr Rachael Neal, Associate Professor and Admissions Tutor for BSc Bioveterinary Sciences. This week I will be answering your questions about studying Bioveterinary Sciences!

I will be checking back each day this week, so if you have any questions please do add these onto this post and I will get back to you.

Choosing a Bioveterinary Sciences degree

Choosing an animal-related degree where do I start?

There are many degrees you can do which focus on animals from veterinary medicine, bioveterinary or animal sciences and animal behaviour, to zoology, wildlife and conversation courses. All these courses are different and the choice can be baffling! Even degrees with the same name vary in their emphasis and content between universities, so the best way to make a choice is to research what each one offers and consider your fit.

What is a Bioveterinary Sciences degree?

Bioveterinary Sciences degrees first and foremost enable you to build skills and knowledge as a biological scientist, and tend to have special emphasis on applying this underlying science to addressing challenges associated with optimally managing animals in our society. Some have a strong emphasis on animal disease and pathology, while others take a broader approach to the science of animals.

‘Bioveterinary Science(s)’ or ‘Veterinary Bioscience(s)’ degrees are a great choice for those interested in animal physiology (function), health and welfare, often focussed on farm animals, household pets or zoo animals. Whilst studying Bioveterinary Sciences doesn’t train you or qualify you to practice as a veterinarian (only a Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Science degree designed to meet the requirements of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons provides this training), it offers a breadth of knowledge and skills that will lead you to a rewarding range of careers in the wider animal and veterinary-allied industries.

At the University of Reading, Bioveterinary Sciences provides in-depth study of the biology underpinning how animals function at molecular, cellular, organ and whole organism levels through teaching on cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology and animal physiology. Different Bioveterinary Sciences courses at different universities tend to have different areas of focus and at the University of Reading we recognise the breadth of factors contributing animal health and welfare, studying interconnected applied science areas such as animal nutrition, behaviour, prevention and management of disease, the animal’s environment, and how human decisions affect animal function. We also look at animal ethics and the role of animals in wider society, especially for food production and companionship/leisure, as well as considering hot topics like sustainability in the context of keeping animals.

For more info about the course and the entry requirements visit our webpages: https://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/bioveterinary-sciences-ug

If you have any questions about Bioveterinary Sciences at the University of Reading, ask me this week!
Teaching and facilities on the Bioveterinary Sciences course

Hello again, it's Dr Rachael Neal, Admissions Tutor for BSc Bioveterinary Sciences, here again to share more with you about studying Bioveterinary Sciences at Reading!

I will be checking back this week, so if you have any questions please do ask them on this post and I’ll get back to you.

How is the course taught?
At Reading, students will learn in a variety of ways including lectures, tutorials, field trips, practical classes and lab work. There is no dominant focus, we give you a flavour of many different techniques, skills and ways of learning, which will be useful for a range of future jobs and careers. We offer specialist hands-on research modules and the opportunity to undertake an individual research project in your final year.

What are the facilities like at The University of Reading?
On our lovely green campus, students have access to our laboratories which are regularly used in teaching key biology topics such as microbiology, cell biology and physiology, as well as for project work.

Reading also has a University farm which combines a commercial farming enterprise with our farm animal research centre (‘CEDAR’), which students visit for research and projects. We currently have cows and calves, poultry, pigs, llamas and facilities for other species.

As part of the course there are also visits to external providers for off-site learning. For example, students may visit veterinary practices, laboratories, equine businesses, zoos and animal nutrition/feed companies.

Does the course have optional modules?
Yes. The course at Reading is made up of core modules that all students take across the three years, plus some optional choices in the 2nd and 3rd years, allowing you to specialise in areas that interest you the most.

What is a typical week like?
A typical week in the life of a ‘Biovet’ student at Reading will comprise of around 12-15 hours of classes (lectures, practical classes or field trips) but this varies depending on the year of the degree and which optional modules you choose. In addition, students are expected to engage in guided independent study (reading, working on assignments, preparing for tests or exams). Wrapped around their academic study, students get involved in all aspects of student life including joining clubs and societies and often do part-time jobs locally.

For more info about the course and the entry requirements visit our webpages: https://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/bioveterinary-sciences-ug

If you have any questions about Bioveterinary Sciences at the University of Reading, ask me this week!
(edited 2 months ago)
Student working at the Cole Museum
University of Reading
Reading
Visit website
Hello again, it's Dr Rachael Neal, Admissions Tutor for BSc Bioveterinary Sciences, here again to share more with you about studying Bioveterinary Sciences at Reading! I will be checking back this week, so if you have any questions please do ask them on this post and I’ll get back to you.

Skills, experience and careers in Bioveterinary Sciences

What transferrable skills will I gain?
Scientific skills and knowledge are embedded throughout the course, which has also been designed to include many transferrable skills so you are ready for employment in a range of job roles. For example, you’ll enhance your communication, teamwork and organisational skills, to name but a few. You’ll gain an awareness of the global environment and challenges we are facing, develop evidence-based approaches and problem-solving skills.

Can I get work experience?
Yes, we encourage all students to gain work experience both industry-relevant and general work experience. Within the course you can opt to do a ‘mini work placement’ as part of your degree, or gain in-depth insight into the animal or veterinary industries with our BSc Bioveterinary Sciences with Placement Year degree, a four-year version of this course with an integrated work placement between your second and final year.

For the placement year, students can apply for an advertised placement or approach an organisation of interest. Placements can be paid or voluntary. Paid placements tend to be with the bigger scientific, biotechnology or commercial companies and may be lab based or animal nutrition focussed, whereas animal charities or zoos typically offer voluntary placements. We have a dedicated placements team who provide advice and support in finding a suitable placement, as well helping with applications and preparing for interviews.

What kinds of jobs can I do afterwards?
Studying Bioveterinary Sciences at Reading opens up a range of job options you could build your career in animal health, veterinary pharmaceuticals, animal nutrition, animal behaviour and welfare, teaching in FE colleges, science communication, scientific research and development and more.

Some students may go on to further study (e.g. PGCE, Master’s, PhD). After a PGCE you could teach Biology or sciences in schools. Bioveterinary Sciences can also be a stepping stone for entry to a second degree in Veterinary Medicine/Science to qualify as a vet our course provides highly relevant grounding for pursuing this path, and we can offer support to those considering this option.

What career planning support will I receive?
You’ll have plenty of opportunity to research different careers paths, and you’ll receive teaching on how to develop a great CV, how to communicate effectively in a covering letter or job application, and how to articulate your skills and attributes as part of the course.

For more info about the course and the entry requirements visit our webpages: https://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/bioveterinary-sciences-ug

If you have any questions about Bioveterinary Sciences at the University of Reading, ask me this week!
(edited 2 months ago)
Hello again, it's Dr Rachael Neal,Admissions Tutor for BSc Bioveterinary Sciences, here for the final installment about studying Bioveterinary Sciences at Reading! I will be checking back tomorrow, so if you have any questions please do ask them on this post and I’ll get back to you.

Tips for your application
Which subjects are most beneficial to take at level 3 (sixth form/college)?
Requirements will vary between universities, but at Reading we accept a range of qualifications including A-levels, BTEC, City and Guilds, and International Baccalaureate.

Typically we would ask for BBB at A level including Biology and another science subject, or DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in a comparable subject such as Applied Science, Animal Science or Animal Management, where there is evidence that sufficient science based modules have been taken.

Acceptable second science subjects for A level include: Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Statistics, Psychology, Geography, Environmental Science/Studies, Applied Science, Geology, Computer Science, IT.

If you don’t fit the subject requirements or grades for university courses in Bioveterinary Sciences/Veterinary Biosciences, some universities offer a foundation year as an entry point. At Reading we have a BSc Bioveterinary Sciences with Foundation year which develops your academic and scientific skills ready for the subsequent years of the course.

If you have any questions about the suitability of your qualifications, it is always worth checking with the admissions office.

What sort of thing can I write in my personal statement?
My three top tips for a personal statement focusing on Bioveterinary Sciences are:

1) Explain why you want to do an animal-focused course and/or why you have a passion for animals.
2) Talk about why you love science and why you want to study a degree that allows you to develop scientific knowledge and skills.
3) Tell us about any relevant experience you have this could be hands on animal experience, or wider work experience or volunteering.

How can I find out more about the course at Reading?
There are lots of opportunities to visit the University of Reading including on one of our Open Days in June and October each year.

For more info about the course and the entry requirements visit our web pages.

I hope you have enjoyed following along this week and if you have any questions about Bioveterinary Sciences at the University of Reading, please get in touch!
(edited 2 months ago)

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