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Surrey vs RVC

Hi, I have recently been accepted into the 5-year VetMed program at both RVC and the University of Surrey for the 2024 intake.

I'm starting VetMed as a second degree (having completed a bioscience degree at RVC) and I'm struggling to decide what to put as my firm choice for veterinary. For anyone who has experience with/at both universities which would be your preference and why?
(edited 1 month ago)
Hi, I know this isn’t an answer but I have some questions. I’m probably going to do a bioscience degree at RVC (I’ve recently been rejected from vetmed) and it feels like I’ll never be able to be a vet because it’s so competitive and funding a second degree seems impossible. How are you finding the process?
Original post by lilylovescats111
Hi, I know this isn’t an answer but I have some questions. I’m probably going to do a bioscience degree at RVC (I’ve recently been rejected from vetmed) and it feels like I’ll never be able to be a vet because it’s so competitive and funding a second degree seems impossible. How are you finding the process?

Hey I am also a graduate applying for VetMed as a second degree. Honestly, as useful as my degree is, I would highly suggest reapplying for Vetmed as an A-level student. Firstly you have the added experience of the vet interview compared to other students, so would know what to expect and taking a gap year has lots of benefits.

Doing a vet degree is stressful and having the financial stress added is not ideal. I have little support financially from my family, so if this would be the same situation for you I would advise against doing a vetmed as a second degree.

With that being said, I do think it is manageable doing VetMed as a second degree, and lots of people are able to fund the degree which minimal support. One thing I did which helped me massively was living at home and saving all of my maintenance loan during my undergrad and working part time to cover my commute to and from uni. I hope this helps.
Original post by karishma979

Hey I am also a graduate applying for VetMed as a second degree. Honestly, as useful as my degree is, I would highly suggest reapplying for Vetmed as an A-level student. Firstly you have the added experience of the vet interview compared to other students, so would know what to expect and taking a gap year has lots of benefits.

Doing a vet degree is stressful and having the financial stress added is not ideal. I have little support financially from my family, so if this would be the same situation for you I would advise against doing a vetmed as a second degree.

With that being said, I do think it is manageable doing VetMed as a second degree, and lots of people are able to fund the degree which minimal support. One thing I did which helped me massively was living at home and saving all of my maintenance loan during my undergrad and working part time to cover my commute to and from uni. I hope this helps.


It isn’t possible for me to keep living at home, which makes a gap year feel impossible and I will have 0 support financially. Do you think it’s still possible for me to be a vet?

I am waiting for a response for the gateway at RVC but I’m starting to feel hopeless
Original post by lilylovescats111
It isn’t possible for me to keep living at home, which makes a gap year feel impossible and I will have 0 support financially. Do you think it’s still possible for me to be a vet?

I am waiting for a response for the gateway at RVC but I’m starting to feel hopeless
Harper Adams and Keele offer foundation years to be able to get on the HKVS degree. I know people who got places last minute and didn’t apply for the January deadline - for both courses. That way you’ll have your foundation year cost included as an undergrad and you’ll qualify in 6 years instead of 8/9 years. You’re best contacting both uni’s separately. I know the Keele course has recently changed (for academic year 24/25) as it used to be a biology foundation year.

I’m currently doing the year at HA, as my vet nursing diploma wasn’t accepted by pretty much all vet schools apart from one, and I didn’t do my a levels & don’t have GCSE chemistry. I simply could not afford to do vet nursing as a degree to get on to vet med, so definitely recommend! Either that or do an Access to HE course and reapply.

My friend did vet med as a second degree as she had similar home life issues and she struggled tremendously financially
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 5
Original post by lilylovescats111
Hi, I know this isn’t an answer but I have some questions. I’m probably going to do a bioscience degree at RVC (I’ve recently been rejected from vetmed) and it feels like I’ll never be able to be a vet because it’s so competitive and funding a second degree seems impossible. How are you finding the process?
Hi, I'm sorry to hear you've been rejected from vet med. I was also rejected from vet med when I got the offer for my bioscience degree (which I'm about to finish) and I remember feeling exactly how you feel. I found the bioscience degree a bit tricky at first as it wasn't the degree I wanted and it took me a while to get into it. I started on Bioveterinary science before transferring to another bioscience course, as at RVC most of the bioscience courses do the same first year so there is the potential to change to another bioscience degree in your second year if you feel yours isn’t suited to you. I feel doing my degree has given me knowledge I can take forward into veterinary and I personally feel a bit more prepared for starting a veterinary but I know it's not the same for everyone. Some of my friends who are on the same pathway and initially wanted to be vets have now decided not to become vets and instead to do more research-based science, while others are committed to continuing onto vet med, so it's an individual situation.

Doing veterinary as a second degree isn’t always ideal and I’m not going to lie, finances are definitely a big factor I’m struggling with too, but I’m lucky to have a bit of support financially from my family which will help and I only applied for places where I can live at home which is a big factor too. I won’t say it's an easy pathway as doing veterinary as a second degree means you’ve got a long time at uni, which is a lot of work and is a more expensive route to take but it depends on your personal situation. It took me a long time to decide to take this pathway and I talked it through with family and friends and had many talks with student fiance to see my future options before I committed.

For my situation, a gap year wasn’t really an option but if you decide to take a gap year I’d recommend getting lots of work experience at vet practices and other animal-based places and maybe taking free online courses like the EDIVET: Do you have what it takes to be a veterinarian? course to help you decide if veterinary is right for you. Just because you didn’t get in this time (hopefully you’ll get into the gateway) doesn’t mean you’ll never be a vet, if it’s your dream keep working towards it. You don’t have to start veterinary straight out of A-levels, I’m 24 and only just about to start, so there’s always time. Hope this helps 🙂
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Bookworm73
Hi, I have recently been accepted into the 5-year VetMed program at both RVC and the University of Surrey for the 2024 intake.
I'm starting VetMed as a second degree (having completed a bioscience degree at RVC) and I'm struggling to decide what to put as my firm choice for veterinary. For anyone who has experience with/at both universities which would be your preference and why?
Hi there!

You might find our Unibuddy page useful, where you can chat to our students, specifically Vet Med students, and get a feel for what it's like studying at Surrey, and Guildford in general.

Sometimes it just boils down to the location, and I can tell you that Guildford is a lovely town to live and study in, whilst being very close to London, so no travel issues. Either way, I wish you the best of luck with your decision.

Hope this helps!

Marko
Accounting and Finance BSc
Reply 7
Original post by Bookworm73
Hi, I'm sorry to hear you've been rejected from vet med. I was also rejected from vet med when I got the offer for my bioscience degree (which I'm about to finish) and I remember feeling exactly how you feel. I found the bioscience degree a bit tricky at first as it wasn't the degree I wanted and it took me a while to get into it. I started on Bioveterinary science before transferring to another bioscience course, as at RVC most of the bioscience courses do the same first year so there is the potential to change to another bioscience degree in your second year if you feel yours isn’t suited to you. I feel doing my degree has given me knowledge I can take forward into veterinary and I personally feel a bit more prepared for starting a veterinary but I know it's not the same for everyone. Some of my friends who are on the same pathway and initially wanted to be vets have now decided not to become vets and instead to do more research-based science, while others are committed to continuing onto vet med, so it's an individual situation.
Doing veterinary as a second degree isn’t always ideal and I’m not going to lie, finances are definitely a big factor I’m struggling with too, but I’m lucky to have a bit of support financially from my family which will help and I only applied for places where I can live at home which is a big factor too. I won’t say it's an easy pathway as doing veterinary as a second degree means you’ve got a long time at uni, which is a lot of work and is a more expensive route to take but it depends on your personal situation. It took me a long time to decide to take this pathway and I talked it through with family and friends and had many talks with student fiance to see my future options before I committed.
For my situation, a gap year wasn’t really an option but if you decide to take a gap year I’d recommend getting lots of work experience at vet practices and other animal-based places and maybe taking free online courses like the EDIVET: Do you have what it takes to be a veterinarian? course to help you decide if veterinary is right for you. Just because you didn’t get in this time (hopefully you’ll get into the gateway) doesn’t mean you’ll never be a vet, if it’s your dream keep working towards it. You don’t have to start veterinary straight out of A-levels, I’m 24 and only just about to start, so there’s always time. Hope this helps 🙂

Hello,

I am following in your footsteps. I was rejected from all vet meds that I applied to so I've gone down the bio vet science route and been given a conditional offer, I would still like to be a vet and this will give me the opportunity to learn value skills and prepare me for the 4 year vet med.

Can you tell me how the work load is, what you study (what the study is like - hands on or mostly theory based). Are exams difficult? Do they give you good study material and what's the time table like for the first year? I'm trying to figure out if I can travel via train or if I need to apply for student housing. Anything you wish you had none before you joined the course? Anything that has helped you succeed in your course so far?

Thank you, sorry for all the questions.
Reply 8
Original post by Zoe101!
Hello,
I am following in your footsteps. I was rejected from all vet meds that I applied to so I've gone down the bio vet science route and been given a conditional offer, I would still like to be a vet and this will give me the opportunity to learn value skills and prepare me for the 4 year vet med.
Can you tell me how the work load is, what you study (what the study is like - hands on or mostly theory based). Are exams difficult? Do they give you good study material and what's the time table like for the first year? I'm trying to figure out if I can travel via train or if I need to apply for student housing. Anything you wish you had none before you joined the course? Anything that has helped you succeed in your course so far?
Thank you, sorry for all the questions.


Hi, sorry to hear you’ve been rejected from vet med but congratulations on your bio-vet science offer!.

To answer your questions, I started in bio vet science before transferring to wildlife bioscience. For 1st year, I initially found the workload quite hard but got used to it over time. 2nd year was a step up from 1st year but I presume it's the same for any uni course. I would say the bio vet course is mostly theory-based, but you do quite a few laboratory practicals in 1st year, so you get hands-on study too as I only did year 1 of bio vet before changing courses I can’t speak for the 2nd or 3rd year. I found the exams tricky but manageable, it depends on how much you understand a module/teaching some modules I did well in and others I didn’t, everyone is different and some modules you might find harder than others. Some lecturers are better at explaining things than others so that also makes a difference. The study material is generally good, there’s always staff to assist during the practical sessions and the lectures are recorded so you can watch them again at any time and you have access to all lecture slides, etc. I can’t really remember my 1st year timetable I started at the end of Covid so my timetable wasn’t normal and a lot of my classes were online.

Something I wish I’d known before I started is probably the importance of getting a really good study technique, cliché I know but being organised and getting good/clear notes makes exams and assignments much easier to manage. Studying/working with friends/your tutor group also helps when I found a topic hard or I wasn’t understanding the material or assignment, studying with a friend or a group that understood it better than me was really helpful (you’re not in competition with each other, you’ve all got into the same course so work together!). Also, don’t be too hard on yourself in your 1st year, uni is an adjustment for some people and you’re learning all new things so be kind to yourself. Another thing I wish I’d known is the funding options for veterinary as a second degree, if you want to do veterinary afterwards definitely look into your options so you’re prepared when you reach that point.

I will say doing a degree before veterinary has made me feel a bit more prepared and given me skills to take forward but I know it’s not the same for everyone. I’d suggest attending any open/offer holder days and talking to loads of students to hear different views.
(edited 3 weeks ago)
Reply 9
Surrey uni is on one site which is much easier than RVC that is on two sites. Year 1 and 2 is in Camden in London and years 3-5 are at Hawkeshead in Potters Bar which is lovely. For me just dont want to be in London but got no choice if I go with RVC.
Reply 10
Original post by Bookworm73
Hi, sorry to hear you’ve been rejected from vet med but congratulations on your bio-vet science offer!.
To answer your questions, I started in bio vet science before transferring to wildlife bioscience. For 1st year, I initially found the workload quite hard but got used to it over time. 2nd year was a step up from 1st year but I presume it's the same for any uni course. I would say the bio vet course is mostly theory-based, but you do quite a few laboratory practicals in 1st year, so you get hands-on study too as I only did year 1 of bio vet before changing courses I can’t speak for the 2nd or 3rd year. I found the exams tricky but manageable, it depends on how much you understand a module/teaching some modules I did well in and others I didn’t, everyone is different and some modules you might find harder than others. Some lecturers are better at explaining things than others so that also makes a difference. The study material is generally good, there’s always staff to assist during the practical sessions and the lectures are recorded so you can watch them again at any time and you have access to all lecture slides, etc. I can’t really remember my 1st year timetable I started at the end of Covid so my timetable wasn’t normal and a lot of my classes were online.
Something I wish I’d known before I started is probably the importance of getting a really good study technique, cliché I know but being organised and getting good/clear notes makes exams and assignments much easier to manage. Studying/working with friends/your tutor group also helps when I found a topic hard or I wasn’t understanding the material or assignment, studying with a friend or a group that understood it better than me was really helpful (you’re not in competition with each other, you’ve all got into the same course so work together!). Also, don’t be too hard on yourself in your 1st year, uni is an adjustment for some people and you’re learning all new things so be kind to yourself. Another thing I wish I’d known is the funding options for veterinary as a second degree, if you want to do veterinary afterwards definitely look into your options so you’re prepared when you reach that point.
I will say doing a degree before veterinary has made me feel a bit more prepared and given me skills to take forward but I know it’s not the same for everyone. I’d suggest attending any open/offer holder days and talking to loads of students to hear different views.

thank you, I understand there is no funding as such for a second degree however I did find that on the gov website you can get additional funding (not sure how much) for studying a second degree (photo added WhatsApp Image 2024-03-22 at 22.38.10.jpeg) so that might be worth looking into? There are also uni funds and bursaries available but I appreciate these can be difficult to get. For me, I do not have the grades to get into vet med and was rejected from all gateways as I didn't meet their criteria so it's really the only way forward for me (who knows, I. might decide I prefer bio vet science as a career instead). However I am extremely persistent and will happily go to every vet around me (closer to the time) and argue my case for funding in return for work. At the end of the day, its an investment - we are on this earth for a long time and so we may as well do something we love and have passion for - even if it takes longer to get there then we anticipated. Bare in mind I am a mature student so for me, time is not on my side.

Thank you for answering my questions. It's really helpful and a huge insight into what's next.
(edited 3 weeks ago)

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