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BVM&S Veterinary Medicine (5-year programme)

UCAS code: D100

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine


Introducing BVM&S Veterinary Medicine (5-year programme)

The five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) programme will provide you with an exceptional learning experience and qualify you to practise veterinary medicine around the world.

This programme is consistently ranked among the top vet schools in the UK and overseas and is located on a campus with some of the highest concentration of animal science expertise in Europe.

Graduates of this degree may practise in the UK and Ireland following registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI). Graduates may also practise in North America and Europe depending on local requirements such as sitting and passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

As a student at a world-leading research-focussed university, you can interrupt your veterinary studies at the end of 2nd, 3rd or 4th year to intercalate in another degree programme. After intercalation, you would then return to the BVM&S.

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This programme is accredited by:

  • the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
  • the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE)
  • the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC)
  • the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)

Subject to local registration requirements, our graduates can practise veterinary medicine in:

  • the UK
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Australasia
  • South Africa

The BVM&S is the equivalent of the North American Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), with the same standing worldwide.

You can find more detailed programme information on the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) website.

BVM&S 5-year programme information

Year 1

  • The Animal Body 1 & 2
  • Professional & Clinical Skills
  • Animal Life & Food Safety 1

Year 2

  • The Animal Body 3 & 4
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 2
  • Animal Life & Food Safety 2
  • Student research component (foundation skills)

Year 3

  • Professional & Clinical Skills 3
  • Clinical Foundation Course
  • Veterinary Pathology
  • Integrated Clinical Course: Cat and Dog

Year 4

  • Integrated Clinical Courses in Farm Animal, Equine, and Exotics
  • Veterinary Public Health
  • Professional & Clinical Skills 4

Year 5

  • Final year rotations (selected and core)
  • Student research component

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2024/25)

Our facilities

The Easter Bush Campus is a purpose-built home for veterinary teaching, research and practice. Set against the idyllic backdrop of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, the Campus lies seven miles south of the city centre. It is easily accessible by bus and has free car parking as well as secure storage for bikes and shower facilities.

The Easter Bush Campus is home to:

  • state-of-the-art veterinary teaching facilities
  • Hospital for Small Animals, referral services and first opinion practice
  • equine hospital, referral services and ambulatory practice
  • farm animal hospital, referral services and ambulatory practice
  • Exotic Animals and Wildlife Service
  • sheep farm
  • The Roslin Institute
  • Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Jeanne Marchig International Centre of Animal Welfare Education

Nearby is Langhill, our school's 250-hectare livestock farm. This is where you will learn animal handling and farm animal medicine and the campus is within easy reach of a pig unit.

We also have links with Edinburgh Zoo and African wildlife projects.

Take a tour of the facilities at Easter Bush


Final-year students complete a series of core and selected clinical rotations.

The School has a range of partners who offer clinical rotations to students that can be applied to as electives. These are available from within the Edinburgh area, across the UK and internationally and are taken during semester 2 of your final year. Each rotation is a set timescale of either two, three or four weeks and some have funding support available.

Close to campus, specific clinical rotations are available at St David Poultry Team in poultry health and the University of Edinburgh’s Bioresearch and Veterinary Services exploring the health, welfare and treatment of animals within a research organisation. There are also opportunities available at Edinburgh Zoo.

Students can travel a little further afield with a clinical rotation in Wiltshire exploring pig health, welfare and management or a three-week rotation in Scotland with the Highlands and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme.

Internationally, there are clinical rotations available at Colorado State University and the American Fondouk Working Equid Clinic in Fes, Morocco.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • small-group teaching tutorials
  • practical work
  • case-based learning

Our virtual learning environments will support your studies. These include:

  • a virtual farm
  • a virtual post-mortem room
  • a virtual hospital
  • a virtual pharmacy

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by:

  • exams
  • coursework
  • practical and clinical work


This programme will train and prepare you for a career as a veterinary practitioner, either in general practice or a specialised field of practice, such as:

  • small animal practice
  • mixed practice
  • equine practice
  • farm/production animal practice
  • exotic animal practice
  • wildlife disease prevention
  • wildlife conservation
  • endangered species conservation
  • military support
  • livestock husbandry education in the developing world
  • industry
  • research
  • government service
  • academia


You can pursue a research career.

Our school incorporates the Roslin Institute. This, along with the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland's Rural College, makes up the Easter Bush Research Consortium - one of the world's highest concentrations of animal scientists in one place.

While many of our graduates enter the veterinary profession for life, many others find that their training at Edinburgh enables them to pursue a career in:

  • research
  • government
  • private enterprise
  • academia

You can find more information on career prospects at the BVM&S website.

BVM&S career prospects

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAB by end of S5 and BB at Advanced Higher.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 38 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

    We have a minimum academic requirement for applications to Veterinary Medicine, you can find information on the BVM&S website.

    BVM&S Minimum Requirements

    Required subjects

    The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

    • SQA: Advanced Highers: Chemistry and another science subject at B. Highers: Chemistry and Biology at A and either Mathematics, Applications of Mathematics, or Physics at B. For some applicants this subject combination is not possible by end of S5. Students with five Highers at the required grades by end of S5 but who are missing one or more sciences may take the missing subjects in S6. National 5s: English at C.
    • A Levels: Chemistry and Biology at A. Critical Thinking is not accepted for this degree. GCSE: English at C or 4.
    • IB: HL: Chemistry and Biology at 6. SL: English at 5 or GCSE English at C or 4.

    Additional requirements


    All examination grades must be obtained at the first attempt of each subject. Those applying with resit qualifications will not be entered into the selection system unless under very exceptional circumstances (for which verified evidence has been provided prior to UCAS application).

    Deferred Entry

    Deferred entry is not considered.

    Mature applicants

    No special concessions are made for mature, non-graduate applicants. In view of the competition for places, all applications must have achieved the same academic requirements as school-leaving applicants within the three-year period prior to the date of application.


    A UK 2:1 honours degree in an appropriate science subject. Graduates with a degree in a non-science subject can still apply for the five-year programme but must have gained high grades in school-level science qualifications in Chemistry and Biology. Graduates with a science degree but with not enough key core science subjects covered and achieved at a high enough standard for the 4-year Graduate Entry Programme, will be considered for the 5-year programme only. Graduate applicants accepted on to the course will have to pay fees on a full-cost basis.

    Undergraduate tuition fees

    Academic transcripts

    All candidates applying with a first degree or international qualifications must submit a copy of their transcript showing subjects and grades achieved to date. The transcript should be submitted by 22 October.

    Practical experience

    Applicants should provide detailed information on their practical experience (number of days/weeks spent and species worked with) in the appropriate section of their UCAS form. Candidates should be aware that the selectors can only take into account work already undertaken and not work planned. Applicants may receive an offer conditional on gaining further specified work experience.

    All UCAS candidates are required to complete and return a Work Experience Summary form (WES) to the Admissions Office prior to the deadline of 22 October. Please note that applications submitted without a WES will be considered incomplete.

    See the BVM&S website to download the form and for further guidance on work experience.

    BVM&S guidance for prospective undergraduates

    English Language Tests

    We require all applicants to demonstrate the level of English language competency required to succeed in their studies. If you are using an English language test that is not part of your school studies to meet our English language requirements, you must provide these results by 30 June 2024, for the 4-year Graduate Entry BVM&S Programme (August start), and 31 July 2024 for the 5-year BVM&S programme (September start).

    Fitness to practise

    The University has a responsibility to ensure that students studying on a degree that involves practical training in a clinical environment, and that leads to a professional registerable qualification, are fit to practise.

    This is assessed according to the requirements and standards of the profession the student wishes to enter. Students will be provided with further information on admission.


    Veterinary medicine is a practical subject and students must be able to handle and examine all animals safely and humanely. Applicants with a disability, health problem or allergy that may impact upon their ability to carry out practical procedures are invited to discuss this in confidence before making a formal application.

    Health questionnaire

    All holders of Unconditional Firm offers are required to complete a Health Questionnaire prior to entry to the programme, regardless of whether a disability or health condition was declared on application or not.

    Health questionnaire

    Find out more about entry requirements

    International applicants

    We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

    Entry requirements by country

    Mature applicants

    We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

    Mature applicant qualifications

    Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

    SQA, GCSE and IB

    For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

    • SQA National 5 at C
    • GCSE at C or 4
    • Level 2 Certificate at C
    • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

    English language tests

    We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

    • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
    • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
    • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 185 in each component.
    • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
    • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 70 in each component.

    We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

    Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

    English language requirements


    There are usually 72 places for UK applicants and 35 for international and graduate applicants each year. Competition for places is therefore extremely intense. The majority of applications are from candidates of high academic calibre. Unfortunately, meeting the academic entry requirements does not guarantee an offer.

    Each application is considered individually. Academic qualifications play an important part in the selection process but close attention is also given to non-academic factors, including work experience, motivation, interests and attainments. An interview forms part of the selection procedure for all offered places.

    We interview around 600 applicants for the 5-year programme each year. To be shortlisted for interview, applicants must normally score highly in all of these aspects of their applicants. Interviews normally take place between December and early March each year, exploring the information in the UCAS application and WES form, covering suitability for, and interest in, veterinary medicine and career exploration to date.

    Interviews for BVM&S applicants

    North American applicants

    The School has a substantial number of North American candidates applying for both the four and five-year BVM&S degrees.

    All North American graduate applications should be made through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) on the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges website.

    Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

    All North American high school graduate applicants should apply via UCAS.


    Application guide

    You can find out more about the application process and requirements for veterinary medicine in the BVM&S application guide booklet.

    Application guide for Veterinary Medicine

    This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

    It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

    Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees for BVM&S Veterinary Medicine (5-year programme)

    Additional costs

    Additional costs include:

    • compulsory specialised equipment and protective clothing (approximately £150)
    • locker deposits (£15)
    • travel costs for getting to the Easter Bush Campus (around £560 a year on public transport from the city centre. We subsidise this proportionally, in line with your year of study. In addition, anyone aged under 22 and residing in Scotland will be eligible for free bus travel.)

    Extramural study (externships) of 38 weeks will also incur additional accommodation and travel costs. You may be able to access the limited grant funding available from the University, but this is unlikely to cover the full costs of extramural study.

    International students may have to pay a healthcare surcharge of around £470 a year as part of their immigration application.

    Tuition fees

    Undergraduate tuition fees


    For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

    Fees and funding