Postgraduate study
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RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Online Learning) PgProfDev

Awards: PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

The University of Edinburgh has offered me many different postgraduate options. I am currently enrolled in the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) Zoological Medicine. Sometimes I feel I want to do it all at once: CertAVP, postgraduate certificate, and perhaps a diploma one day.

I've had great support, helping me to decide what to enrol for and when, taking into consideration my working times and my finances. I am really happy to be part of this programme and I fully recommend it.

Teresa Vicens Prohens

The RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) is a flexible, modular approach to achieving veterinary postgraduate qualifications.

Credits are awarded by RCVS and not the University of Edinburgh, which means the programme is not eligible for a University of Edinburgh award.

Design your own postgraduate certificate

You can design your own postgraduate certificate by choosing a combination of 10 credit elements that reflects your area of interest and are directly relevant to your work.

As part of this consistent, flexible framework, you can choose modules from a number of accredited institutions in the UK.


Note that all Edinburgh CertAVP modules are self-study (assessment only) which includes guidance from the team and access to an online support environment. No teaching materials are included.

If you wish to undertake taught courses for your certificate, please contact us about the Masters in Veterinary Science in Advanced Clinical Practice.

You are encouraged to support your study by undertaking appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) and working closely with a mentor or senior colleague with experience in the subject area and/or personal experience of undertaking veterinary postgraduate qualifications.

Assessment submission links and support materials are provided online via Blackboard Learn.

Online support materials include:

  • reading lists
  • online discussion forums
  • sample case notes/essay topics
  • guidance notes on assessment criteria
  • study skills support

Studying online at Edinburgh

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

The programme is structured to allow sequential progression through the A module (foundation skills), B module (core skills) and C modules (advanced skills).

While it is recommended that the Certificate is taken in this way, it is also possible to take the modules in any order.

The Certificate can be taken over 10 years, with each module taking between 1-2 years. It is possible to complete the full programme (60 credit equivalent) in one year, though this will depend on the assessment timetable for each module.

For most candidates the usual route of study is:

  • A-FAVP, 10 credits = one year of study
  • B module, 10 credits = one year of study
  • C module (x4), 10 credits each = two years of study per module allowing time to gather cases and so on
  • Synoptic assessment to achieve a designated certificate as required


Attendance at Edinburgh is required for any module which has an examination element, for example:

  • Production Animal Practice
  • Veterinary Cardiology

All other written submissions are online, for example, case logs, case books, essays.

Where assessment involves both a written submission and an examination component at Edinburgh, this must be taken in the same examination diet.

It is not possible to take one aspect of an assessment in one year, and the remaining in a following year, with the exception of a resit requirement.

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
PgProfDevRoyal College of Veterinary SurgeonsUp to 10 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2024/25

Candidates will demonstrate:

  • a thorough understanding of the knowledge base, and a critical awareness of developments, at the forefront of their area of professional practice
  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own area of practice
  • originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and clinical enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their professional area
  • conceptual understanding that enables them to evaluate critically current literature and research in their professional area and evaluate clinical methodologies and techniques, and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate to propose new approaches to professional practice

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • deal with complex issues in an organised and creative manner, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to veterinary colleagues and to non-veterinary audiences, including clients
  • demonstrate self direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks in their professional area of work
  • continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level

Holders of the Certificate will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for professional veterinary work.

Candidates may elect to progress to a European Diploma following completion of the certificate.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

You must:

  • be a member of RCVS, or hold a registrable degree

  • have at least 1 year of postgraduate experience working as a veterinary surgeon

  • be enrolled with RCVS if intending to take the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (enrolment will be valid for 10 years)

You can check the list of recognised international qualifications on the RCVS website:

If you graduated after 2007 we recommend that you complete the Professional Development Phase (PDP) before enrolling for any modules.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Candidates who are European graduates do not have to take an IELTS test to become a member of the RCVS.

For those graduating outside Europe, the RCVS expects language skills to an overall IELTS score of 7 before the candidate can sit the membership exam.

The CertAVP is an RCVS qualification. The University of Edinburgh provides and assesses modules for candidates to complete towards the Certificate, on behalf of the RCVS but does not accredit these modules towards a final degree award. Consequently, the University of Edinburgh does not set a minimum language requirement for entry. Although it is not essential that you have evidence of your level of English when applying, we would strongly recommend that you are confident in your level of written and spoken English to ensure that you gain the greatest benefit from taking part in the certificate.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Application fee




Additional programme costs

You will be required to pay an additional examination registration fee for the oral synoptic examination. The fee listed is for one examination only. The resit fee is the same, there is no reduced resit fee. Module and synoptic exam fees are subject to annual revision and may increase each year.

  • £800

(Revised 10 July 2024 to update additional examination registration fee)

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgProfDevRoyal College of Veterinary SurgeonsUp to 10 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Roslin
  • EH25 9RG
Programme start dates Application deadlines
9 September 2024 1 July 2025
1 October 2024 1 June 2025
1 November 2024 1 December 2024
1 December 2024 1 November 2024
6 January 2025 1 September 2024
1 February 2025 6 January 2025
1 March 2025 1 March 2025
1 April 2025 1 April 2025
1 May 2025 1 February 2025
1 June 2025 1 October 2024
1 July 2025 23 August 2024

Please note that we accept applications for this programme throughout the year.

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.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Please provide your RCVS registration number on your application form. You are only required to complete and submit an application form, you are not required to upload any documents with your application.

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

Further information

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Roslin
  • EH25 9RG