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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)

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This five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) programme will prepare you for many aspects of the veterinary profession.

Graduating from this programme will make you eligible for registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), as well as international accrediting bodies. You will then be able to practice veterinary medicine in the UK and overseas.

At the end of your 2nd, 3rd or 4th year, you can look into interrupting your undergraduate studies for a year to take an Intercalated BSc (Hons) Vet Sci degree.

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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)

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 (2023/24)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place at the Easter Bush campus, home to:

  • three animal hospitals
  • state-of-the-art teaching facilities
  • the world-renowned Roslin Institute

Nearby is Langhill, our school's 250-hectare livestock farm, where you will learn animal handling and farm animal medicine.

Our 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.

Take a tour of the facilities at Easter Bush


The Roslin Institute and the Moredun Institute offer placements.

You will also have opportunities to complete short laboratory-based research placements, usually over the summer after Year 3.

You may also get the chance to do an overseas placement. 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
  • 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
  • farm animal
  • equine
  • exotic animal

It also prepares 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
  • livestock husbandry education in the developing world


Alternatively, 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. Together, we have one of the world's highest concentrations of animal scientists.

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. (Revised 6 April 2023 to remove Physics requirement at National 5. Revised 9 May 2023 to correct previous amendment and reinstate option of Physics at Higher.)
  • A Levels: Chemistry and Biology at A. Critical Thinking is not accepted for this degree. GCSE: English at C or 4. (Revised 6 April 2023 to remove Physics requirement at GCSE.)
  • IB: HL: Chemistry and Biology at 6. SL: English at 5 or GCSE English at C or 4. (Revised 6 April 2023 to remove Physics requirement at GCSE.)

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. (Revised 26 April 2023 to clarify entry requirements. No material changes.)

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.


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.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in eachcomponent. 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.

(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)

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, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

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. This fee is correct at August 2023 but may be subject to change.*

(*Revised 31 August 2023 to clarify accuracy of healthcare surcharge fee.)

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