Veterinary Sciences

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Health Sciences
Awards available PhD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: three to four years full-time; up to six years part-time
MScR: one year full-time; part-time available

All programmes have an additional optional year for writing up.
Location of programme Langford campus
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study requires regular supervisory meetings at times convenient to both supervisor and student. We would usually anticipate that such meetings would take place during normal weekday working hours.
Start date Not fixed, but in order to fully benefit from the induction process we strongly encourage students to start in September 2020.

This research degree is also available via distance learning.

Programme overview

Postgraduate research in the Bristol Veterinary School is largely based at the Langford campus, which houses a large number of research groups along with Langford Veterinary Services and the University farm.

The strength of the school's research programme is greatly enhanced by its position within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Our research extends from the fundamental to the applied and we collaborate with other research groups in the faculty and beyond, building on a policy of integration of basic science with veterinary activities.

Our postgraduate students are members of the Faculty of Health Sciences graduate school and benefit from the training opportunities this provides. We welcome enquiries and applications from prospective MSc and PhD students.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant subject.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Research activities in the school are focused on two research themes, aligned with cross-cutting critical mass across the University of Bristol, and encompass both clinical excellence and strong basic science.

Our themes

This theme embodies a multidisciplinary approach to studying the health of populations, spanning molecules to communities of animals including the human animal through One Health approaches.

Research in this theme addresses major challenges to sustainable intensification of livestock production, including epidemiology, infectious disease, nutrition and management, ‘One Health’, parasitology, veterinary public health, animal behaviour and animal welfare.

Our underpinning research communities

Interdisciplinary and cross-theme/group research is encouraged and supported. There are four Research Communities underpinning our two main themes:

This spans fundamental studies of cognition and emotion, through validation of animal welfare assessment methodologies, identifying and quantifying welfare problems and their causes in farm, laboratory, companion and working animals, to implementing research-based solutions in the ‘real world’.

The community brings together several research strengths ranging from the fundamental to more applied research with potential for impact and all collectively benefit from being part of a university-wide infection and immunity research theme. The research areas include: immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, mathematical modelling, infectious diseases, zoonoses, parasitology and social science approaches.

This community focuses on naturally-occurring diseases within the clinical caseload and is directed towards the prevention and treatment of animal and human diseases. This community brings together veterinary clinical specialists engaged in high-quality clinical research, working in new clinical and imaging facilities, with biomedical scientists who study fundamental physiological mechanisms and disease processes

Research is promoted and facilitated by the “AMR Force”, an active and inclusive group of enthusiastic researchers. Work is carried out in the South West, nationally and internationally, and the team are interested in decreasing antibiotic use while improving animal health through a plurality of approaches addressing differing styles and attitudes. 

Data platforms and infrastructure

The school has a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to realising 21st-century veterinary research and is developing platform technologies, data analytics and biobanking facilities to support cohort studies and high-quality clinical trials. With the completion of both the CIEL poultry research facility and the John Oldacre Farm Platform, a highly instrumented dairy farm on site, a wide range of data-intensive studies are possible to tackle grand challenges in both animal and human health. These studies are supported by strong links to data-intensive research and facilities across the University.

Interdisciplinary research is a major strength of the school and is reflected by our participation in these University and UK initiatives:


We recruit both veterinary and basic science students to our postgraduate programme and this may have an impact on subsequent careers. Many of our graduates go on to pursue academic roles in universities, performing a range of research, teaching and clinical roles. Other graduates have been recruited by research institutes (eg BBSRC), government bodies (eg Defra) or industry (pharmaceutical, animal feed, etc) where they perform research and advisory roles. A number of veterinary graduates now perform specialist clinical activities in veterinary practices.

Staff profiles

Dr Kate Allen, (Senior Lecturer in Equine Sports Medicine), Equine Sports Medicine - The management of diseases that affect athletic performance (in particular dynamic upper respiratory tract obstructions).

Professor Mick Bailey, (Professor of Comparative Immunology), Comparative and mucosal immunology.

Professor Alistair Barr, (Professor of Veterinary Surgery), Equine Orthopaedics and Veterinary Musculoskeletal Imaging

Professor David Barrett, (Professor of Bovine Medicine, Production and Reproduction), Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). ; Bovine medicine, production and reproduction.

Dr Emily Blackwell, (Dogs Trust Lecturer in Canine Behaviour and Welfare), Companion animal behaviour and welfare.

Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock, (Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health), Mathematical modelling in Public Health and Epidemiology (in particular - bovine tuberculosis, human tuberculosis and influenza).

Dr Andrew Butterworth, (Reader in Animal Science and Policy), Animal welfare.

Dr Guillaume Chanoit, (Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery), Cardiovascular surgery; Large animal models of cardiovascular and thoracic diseases

Dr Tristan Cogan, (Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases), Microbial pathogenesis - examining the interaction of bacteria and host, and how bacteria can alter, and adapt to, the phenotype of their host.

Professor Andrew Dowsey, (Chair in Population Health Data Science, Chair in One Health Bioinformatics and Biostatistics), The combination of bioinformatics and biostatistics approaches to integrate disparate data sources for medical and veterinary research.

Professor Mark Eisler, (Chair in Global Farm Animal Health), Epidemiology and control of infectious diseases of ruminant livestock, and veterinary public health, both in the UK and internationally, focussing particularly but not exclusively on vector-borne and parasitic disease.

Dr Rose Grogono-Thomas, (Senior Lecturer in Farm Animal Science), Infectious diseases of small ruminants such as campylobacter and footrot in sheep.

Professor Edward Hall, (Professor), Canine gastroenterology.

Professor Richard Hammond, (Professor), Veterinary Education

Dr Ross Harley, (Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Pathology), Feline infectious diseases (such as Chlamydia and FIP), Swine Influenza, T-cell repertoire analysis in pigs, veterinary pathology and immunology.

Dr Suzanne Held, (Senior Lecturer in Animal Science), Animal behaviour and welfare; Animal cognition

Dr Chris Helps, (Senior Research Fellow), Molecular biology; Molecular diagnostics - in particular, novel molecular methods to diagnose infectious and genetic diseases of cats

Dr Melanie Hezzell, (Senior Lecturer in Cardiology), Cardiology research, in particular myocardial remodelling in valvular heart disease and the use of biomarkers in clinical veterinary practice.

Professor Sorrel J Langley-Hobbs, (Chair in Small Animal Orthopaedic Surgery), Canine orthopaedics - in particular humeral condylary fractures in spaniels, cranial cruciate ligament rupture, patella luxation; Feline orthopaedics - in particular bone disease and stress fractures of the patella in the cat

Professor Toby Knowles, (Professor of Farming and Food Science), Animal Welfare and Sustainable Production Systems

Dr Sarah Lambton, (Lecturer in Livestock Welfare and Innovation), Animal Welfare and Behaviour

Dr Michael Lee, (Professor of Sustainable Livestock Systems), Sustainable livestock production and food security.

Dr Emma Love, (Senior Clinical Fellow), Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. 

Professor Mike Mendl, (Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare), Animal Welfare; Cognition; Emotion

Dr Siobhan Mullan, (Senior Research Fellow), Animal Welfare and Behaviour. ; Improving animal welfare through farm assurance

Dr Jo Murrell, (Reader in Veterinary Anaesthesia), Mechanisms of pain perception and veterinary anaesthesia.

Dr Liz Paul, (Senior Research Fellow), Animal welfare; cognition; emotion; empathy.

Dr Maria Paula Escobar-Tello, (Lecturer in Farm Animal Science), Environmental Governance, Social Science in Public Policy, Environmental Cultural Politics, Livestock Farming, Risk and Regulation, Anti-Microbial Resistance, Human-Animal Relations, Food and Agriculture in Colombia.

Dr Laura Peachey, (Lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology), Interactions between parasites and the microbiome, and their impact on host immunity.

Dr Kristen Reyher, (Senior Lecturer in Farm Animal Science), Antimicrobial resistance.; Farm animal science.

Miss Veronica Roberts, (Senior Clinical Fellow in Equine Medicine), Equine surgery and headshaking.

Dr Nicola Rooney, (Senior Teaching Fellow), Animal behaviour and wellbeing of companion animals, and their interactions with humans.

Dr Fernando Sanchez-Vizcaino Buendia, (Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health), The development of a ‘One Health Informatics’ approach, linking animal, human and environmental electronic data together at scale to provide a new understanding of emerging antimicrobial resistance and other zoonotic infections, and new opportunities to mitigate their risk.

Dr Louisa Slingsby, (Teaching Fellow), Clinical analgesia in cats and dogs.

Dr Taro Takahashi, (Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Livestock Systems and Food Security), Bioeconomic modelling and life cycle assessment (LCA) of livestock production systems as well as programme evaluation and general equilibrium modelling of pasture and livestock-based economies.

Professor John Tarlton, (Professor of Regenerative Medicine), Biochemistry and biomechanics of skeletal disease ; Injury, inflammation and repair.

Professor Séverine Tasker, (Professor of Feline Medicine), Infectious diseases, particularly haemotropic mycoplasmas & feline coronavirus ; Small animal infectious diseases and haematology.

Dr Katy Turner, (Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Infectious Diseases), Infectious disease mathematical and economic modelling.

Dr Ed van Klink, (Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health), Veterinary public health.

Professor Becky Whay, (Professor of Animal Welfare and Behaviour), Animal welfare Assessment; Dairy cow welfare, lameness and pain experience; Working equine welfare

Dr Doug Wilson, (Senior Lecturer), Equine immunology.

Professor Linda Wooldridge, (Chair in Translational Immunology), T-cell immunology in humans and animals with interests in autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infectious disease.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 428 2754 Email:

Faculty of Health Sciences
1st Floor
5 Tyndall Avenue
School website: Bristol Veterinary School

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2014 results

  • Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science:
  • 35% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 53% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 11% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 0% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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