Further key veterinary programme information
Applying to Bristol
All costs quoted below are current as of 2023
Modes of teaching, attendance and workload (D100, D102 and D313)
All of our undergraduate programmes are full-time courses, and during non-clinical years students should expect to spend 40 hours per week over 29 weeks of the academic year engaged in educational activity. A large proportion of this time will be spent in class, in contact with teaching staff. Bristol Veterinary School continues to deliver teaching using a combination of in-person and on-line teaching methods and students are expected to be able to attend in-person teaching five days a week.
Certain components of teaching and assessment are mandatory (such as those which demonstrate particular knowledge, skills and competences required by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies).
We recognise that many students take paid employment to fund their studies. To achieve a sensible balance between work and study, students are advised to undertake paid work for no more than 15 hours per week during term-time.
During vacations students are required to complete Extra Mural Studies (EMS) or placements (see below), as well as preparing for formative assessments. This will impact opportunities for taking paid employment to supplement income outside of term time.
Additional veterinary degree programme costs
There is no requirement for students on our courses to own a car and/or have a driving license. However, because being able to drive is beneficial, particularly in the later years of our programmes and as a future veterinary surgeon, we would encourage students to take up any opportunity they may have to gain a driver’s licence. Note that many employers will expect you to be able to drive. Access to a car during the course is not essential but does make it easier to travel to placements on EMS and during final year.
Any students without a car/license will be supported to engage with all elements of the programme. For example, we can help students to find Extra Mural Studies (EMS) placements on public transport routes.
Some students may need to organise a visa before starting their course, and costs will vary depending on individual requirements. Further information is available at the Government website: Visa fees - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or email: choose-bristol.ac.uk. An opportunity for a scholarship for international students is also available: International scholarships | International students | University of Bristol
Bristol Veterinary School students whose teaching is primarily based at the Langford Campus will receive a free bus pass (mTicket) for unlimited travel on the Unibus U2 service: Bristol Unibus U2 | First Bus. For students whose teaching is primarily based at the Clifton Campus, coaches will be organised to bring them to Langford for teaching.
All students who successfully complete their programme will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony. Current prices (2023) for hiring Bristol academic dress start at £45, you may privately purchase a gown if you prefer. Funding towards the cost of hiring ceremony attire is available: Graduation gown bursary | Current students | University of Bristol.
Tuition fees are not adjusted during EMS / placement / rotations and student loan payments will not be affected.
Any students who find themselves concerned about tuition fees, living costs, student loans, grants and scholarships can contact Student Finances for assistance: Student finances | Current students | University of Bristol.
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) registration
The RCVS are the governing body that oversee all things veterinary in the U.K. To be able to practise, all veterinary professionals must be registered with the RCVS.
Graduates of Bristol Veterinary School’s Veterinary and Veterinary Nursing programmes are eligible to apply for registration with the RCVS. Registration fees are renewed annually and can be found on the following webpages: Fees - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk).
To be eligible to train as a Student Veterinary Nurse an RCVS enrolment fee must be paid, information can be found on the following webpages: Fees - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk). This is a one-off payment which lasts for the four-year duration of the programme.
Further information specific for veterinary students (D100 and D102)
Extra Mural Studies
Extra Mural Studies (EMS) are mandated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for all veterinary programmes in the UK.
1) Pre-clinical / animal husbandry phase (AHEMS): from 2024 entry - 10 weeks. Conducted in animal related establishments outside of the University, to gain experience of livestock farming, animal industries and the veterinary profession, gain life skills in the working environment, and learn about aspects of veterinary related businesses
Bristol Veterinary School has specific core species requirements for AHEMS as follows:
d.Small animal (cats and dogs)
Optional weeks in other establishments can be taken in addition to these minimum core species requirements.
2) Clinical phase (CEMS): from 2024 entry - 20 weeks. Clinical EMS will build on pre-clinical experience by observing and assisting with the management of clinical cases, in the context of veterinary practice
Most EMS is completed during vacation periods. Students will be required to undertake placements in a wide variety of workplace settings during their training, including, for example, farms, veterinary practices, charity settings and abattoirs.
Some students may complete placements allowing them to stay with friends and family, whilst others may be required to pay for alternative accommodation. Some EMS placements may provide free accommodation for students. Total costs associated with EMS placements will vary depending on the location and type of placements selected as these will affect both accommodation and travel expenses.
It is estimated that a two-week large or small animal placement may incur costs of between £100 and £200, not including costs associated with being unable to work elsewhere during these weeks.
Some EMS placements will involve higher travel expenses, for example where it is undertaken overseas, or only accessible by car, while other more local placements may be accessible via public transport.
It is also important that students are aware of the level of vehicle insurance that they may need and are required to check with their own insurance provider that their insurance is appropriate for driving to and from and during placements.
A small number of grants from external organisations, e.g., BVA - Travel grants for vet students, Vets4Pets and IVC Evidensia may be available towards the financial costs associated with completing clinical EMS placements.
Funding may be available for some students who choose to complete an EMS placement abroad: Turing funding for summer programmes | Centre for Study Abroad | University of Bristol.
Both of our veterinary science programmes have an extended clinical final year beginning directly after the assessment period, at the end of year 3 (D102) or 4 (D100).
During these clinical years students will be expected to work similar hours to a practising veterinary surgeon.
Final year clinical rotations (not to be confused with EMS placements) are organised by Bristol Veterinary School and will either be onsite at Langford Vets or based at external providers. When a commute requires more than one hour of travel by car from Langford/Bristol to enable attendance at external clinical rotations, accommodation costs will be covered by Bristol. Contributions will be made by Bristol Veterinary School towards travel costs for rotations, with car sharing strongly encouraged to reduce such costs.
Additional programme costs
Veterinary students will be supplied with wellington boots, boiler suits and waterproof clothing at the start of the course, which are expected to last for the duration of the course. It is recommended that students budget £100 for replacement items. Students will need to provide their own warm clothing for periods of working outside.
It is not recommended that first year students purchase a stethoscope, but this item will need to be purchased in subsequent years and can cost around £100. Additional items, such as dressing scissors, note pads and pens may be advantageous to purchase before beginning any practise experience, scissors can be purchased through the University online shop.
In later years students will be provided with scrub tops for clinical placements. Students must return these tops prior to final year examinations. If these are lost or damaged, then the student will need to replace them at their own expense. We recommend that students budget £30-50 for such replacements.
There may be an opportunity for students to intercalate on to another undergraduate or postgraduate degree, where additional costs may be incurred. The funding available for this varies and details can be found: Intercalation | Current students | University of Bristol.
Day one competences and Fitness to Practise
Bristol Veterinary School must ensure that all students accepted on to the course are capable of completing the training required to ensure they can fulfil day-one competences required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) https://www.rcvs.org.uk/news-and-views/publications/rcvs-day-one-competences-feb-2022/
Applicants must be aware of the nature of the training to be undertaken and the job of the veterinary surgeon. To fulfil the requirements of the RCVS, students need to fully participate in a range of practical classes and assessments including (but not limited to) those that cover the following:
- Working individually and in teams
- Handling and restraint of all common domestic species animals (companion and farm)
- Clinical examination and treatment of all common domestic species (companion and farm)
- Dissection and Surgical Skills
- Direct exposure to abattoir processes, including performing post-mortem inspection of food-producing animals
The focus is on common domestic species and exotic pets that may be presented for veterinary attention in practice.
Veterinary professionals have a vital role to play in the health, welfare and productivity of animals kept for laboratory research as well as the production of meat, milk and other products. Whilst all values and beliefs are respected, to ensure our graduates are equipped to promote the welfare of all animals, our veterinary science courses include compulsory teaching in the husbandry and medicine of laboratory animals, along with the structure and processes of relevant parts of the food industry.
Students are also required to actively engage in practical classes and assessments around communication skills, where students are required to participate in role-play sessions.
For more information on Fitness to Practise and what is expected from applicants, by the University and the RCVS, please visit the RCVS web site: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/news-and-views/publications/fitness-to-practise-a-guide-for-uk-veterinary-schools-and/
Further information specific for veterinary nursing students (D313)
Placements are mandated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for all veterinary nursing degree programmes in the UK.
The RCVS requires that Veterinary Nursing students complete a total of 1800 hours in clinical placements within an RCVS approved training practice. This is to allow enough time to complete the Nursing Progress Log, become competent in day-one skills and subsequently be eligible to join the register of veterinary nurses.
During their clinical years students may be expected to work outside of normal working hours, in a similar way to practicing veterinary nurses.
To successfully complete the programme students are expected to complete a maximum of 10 weeks of practice placements in their first and second year, these will occur during vacation periods and therefore may have an impact on opportunities for paid employment.
Bristol Veterinary School will support students to find placements based on individual circumstances and budgets. Costs associated with placements will vary depending on the location and type of placement.
Total accommodation costs will vary, with some students completing placements which allow them to stay with friends or family, whilst others may complete placements which require them to pay for alternative accommodation. It is estimated that the average expenditure is between £120 and £200 for a two-week small animal practice placement.
Total travel costs associated with placements in the first three years of the programme will also vary. It is estimated that this travel cost will be between £80 and £120 for a two-week placement.
In the third-year students need to complete 21 weeks of rotations at The Small Animal Hospital at Langford Vets. It is recommended that students secure accommodation with this in mind (whilst also noting that the other 21 weeks of placement in the same academic year could be located within a 50-mile radius of the Langford campus.)
To reduce travel costs, we suggest that accommodation is secured near to a popular public transport route: Bus travel | Transport Plan | University of Bristol.
A contribution towards travel costs associated with third year placements/rotations is currently available from Bristol Veterinary School.
In the fourth-year veterinary nursing students are expected to undertake a Research Methods and Dissertation Unit. Depending on the project selected, additional costs may be incurred e.g., travelling to research locations. Students can claim up to £100 from Bristol Veterinary School towards the cost of their project.
Additional programme costs
Veterinary Nursing students will be supplied with a branded uniform and name badge to be worn throughout their placement/rotations. A replacement badge will cost approximately £10-15, and a replacement uniform can cost up to £50. Additional items, such as dressing scissors, note pads and pens may be advantageous to purchase before beginning any practice experience, scissors can be purchased through the University online shop.
Day one competences and Fitness to Practise
Bristol Veterinary School must ensure that all students accepted on to the veterinary nursing courses are capable of completing the training required to ensure they can fulfil day-one competences required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) https://www.rcvs.org.uk/document-library/day-one-competences-for-veterinary-nurses/
Applicants must be aware of the nature of the training to be undertaken and the role of the veterinary nurse. To fulfil the requirements of the RCVS, students need to fully participate in a range of practical classes and assessments including :
- Handling and restraint of animal patients
- Performance of a clinical exam
- Administration of emergency first aid
- Dissection (human and animal)
- Surgical nursing skills
The above could involve any species including (but not limited to) small animals, farm animals, exotics and equine. Students are also required to actively engage in practical classes and assessments around communication skills, where students are required to participate in role-play sessions.
For more information on Fitness to Practise and what is expected from applicants by the University, and the RCVS, please visit the RCVS web site: Fitness to Practise: A Guide for UK Providers of Veterinary Nursing Education and Student Veterinary Nurses - Professionals (rcvs.org.uk)