Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

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 prepare you for many aspects of the veterinary profession.


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) and the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC).

Our graduates can practise veterinary medicine throughout the UK, Europe, North America, Australasia and 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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place at the Easter Bush campus, home to three animal hospitals, state-of-the-art teaching facilities and the world-renowned Roslin Institute.

Nearby is Langhill, the School's 250-hectare livestock farm, where you will learn animal handling and farm animal medicine. Our unique Exotic Animals and Wildlife Service provides you with first-hand experience of dealing with pets such as rabbits and tortoises, as well as wildlife native to the UK.

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


You will have an opportunity for short laboratory based research placements, usually over the summer months after completion of Year 3.

Placements are offered within the Roslin Institute and the Moredun Institute. There are also opportunities for overseas placements, for example, at the Colorado State University and on the Cornell Leadership programme.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching tutorials, practical work and case-based learning.

Your studies will be supported through our virtual learning environments. These include a virtual farm, a virtual post-mortem room, a virtual hospital and a virtual pharmacy.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams, coursework, and practical and clinical work.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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 details (2020/21)

Our programmes are designed to train and prepare you for a career as a veterinary practitioner in general practice or in a specialised field such as small animal, farm animal, equine or exotic animal practice. They also prepare you for further training in a specialised clinical field.

Opportunities exist for you to get involved in wildlife disease prevention, endangered species conservation, government service or livestock husbandry education in the developing world.

You can also pursue a research career. The School incorporates the Roslin Institute, which, with the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland's Rural College, is a member of the Easter Bush Research Consortium - representing one of the world's highest concentrations of animal scientists.

While many of our graduates enter and remain within the veterinary profession for life many others find that their training at Edinburgh enables them to succeed in a wide range of careers in research, government, private enterprise and academia.

Find more information on career prospects on 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 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: Physics at C (if not at Higher) and English at C.
  • A Levels: Chemistry and Biology at A. Critical Thinking is not accepted for this degree. GCSE: Physics and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Chemistry and Biology at 6. SL: Physics and English at 5.

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 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

Other entry qualifications

All International and EU applicants, whose first language is not English, must sit an English proficiency test prior to application.

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

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.


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
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE C or 4
  • IB Standard Level 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 module overall 7.0 with 7.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 100 (including Special Home Edition) or above with 23 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 185 with 185 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

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

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

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)


There are usually 72 places for UK/EU 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.


Late applications

We will consider late applications from graduate and international applicants for both the five-year and four-year degree normally up until 15 November each year. However, before making a formal application, you should contact the Admissions Team.

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), and locker deposits (£15), and you will incur travel costs getting to Easter Bush campus. Using public transport from the city centre will cost around £560 a year, which the School will subsidise proportionally in line with your year of study.

In addition, extramural study (externships) of 38 weeks will incur additional accommodation and travel costs. Limited grant funding may be available from the University, but is unlikely to cover the full costs of extramural study.

For international students, your immigration application may include a healthcare surcharge of around £300 a year.


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