Postgraduate study

Advanced Clinical Practice (Online Learning) PgProfDev

Awards: PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

Veterinary medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline, comprising a wide range of specialist areas. Research in veterinary medicine is directly relevant to the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species and the protection of public health.

The R(D)SVS has an international reputation, and its clinical services - Hospital for Small Animals (dog and cat and exotics, zoo and wildlife) and Large Animal Hospital (equine and livestock) - are among the most influential centres for clinical care in the UK and Europe. It is best placed to advance the skills of the sector due to the skills in primary, secondary and tertiary care medicine and surgery, and its extensive research activities in all aspects of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary practitioners are under pressure to maintain high standards of practice while also keeping abreast of the latest developments. In response to the increasing requirement for support in developing advanced clinical skills, this new distance learning programme is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at veterinarians in practice.

The modular, portfolio approach allows the greatest flexibility to meet the needs of the modern practitioner. The goal is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge required to be highly effective practitioners and to enable them to act as leaders and mentors within the veterinary community.

Online learning is aimed at people who want to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside ongoing work or other commitments. You can study at times most convenient to you. Most of our students continue in their employment while they study.

The courses are taught and completed entirely online. The teaching is quite varied, including: online lectures, tutorials, specialist external lectures, scientific group discussions, case studies, problem-based learning scenarios, literature based research, computer-assisted learning and quizzes.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The programme is delivered part-time by online learning over a minimum period of three years and a maximum period of six years. You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of two years for the Postgraduate Certificate, four years for the Postgraduate Diploma and six years for the MVetSci.

In summary, the completion times are as follows:

  • PgCert: 12-24 months
  • PgDip: 24-48 months
  • MVetSci: 36-72 months

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. You can choose to take a particular species track in the elective course, i.e. courses focussed on companion animals, exotic zoo and wildlife, equine or production animals. Equally, you can choose to take a mixed-practice approach by selecting courses that meet your individual professional needs.

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms structured into two blocks of five weeks of study with a week in between for independent study and reflection. One block of five weeks will equate to 10 credits of course material. This framework is designed to fit in with the part-time nature of the programme, giving you time to reflect on your learning and lessening the impact of the additional requirements that studying will place on your working life.

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgProfDevAdvanced Clinical PracticeUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20

This programme provides graduates with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out the work of advanced veterinary practitioners.

On completion of the programme, students will:

  • Have acquired knowledge about advanced veterinary clinical research and developments.
  • Have acquired specific veterinary skills applicable to an advanced practitioner.
  • Understand how an evidence-based medical approach can be applied in a range of practical situations.
  • Be able to interpret and communicate scientific results and information in research and other forms of social debate, across other related scientific disciplines and to other stakeholders.
  • Enhanced promotion within the veterinary clinical practice sector.
  • Entry point for academic clinical positions coming from the private practice sector.
  • Veterinary-based industries particularly feed and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

This programme is intended for students with a veterinary degree or its international equivalent. If you hold an RCVS Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) you can directly enter the diploma year of the MVetSci programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgProfDevAdvanced Clinical PracticeUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG