The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary


Answers to frequently asked questions about the programme.

 The RCVS have a comprehensive FAQ section which may provide the answers you seek.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons frequently asked questions

Answers specific to Edinburgh-related questions are provided below.

Q. Do I need to take a course to get a module?

A. No. We offer some courses covering the module content, but all modules are available via an assessment-only route for those who wish to study in their own time. You may find it helpful to take continuing professional development courses to enhance your knowledge of specific areas of your clinical practice.

If you wish to take taught courses to achieve your Certificate, please contact us about the Masters in Veterinary Science in Advanced Clinical Practice.

Q. How are the modules assessed?

A. Modules are assessed using a variety of methods, which develop critical thinking and encouragement of ideas, including: case report writing, critical review of literature, essays, quizzes case logs, and written examinations.

Q. Will I need to come to Edinburgh to be assessed?

A. Many of the modules do not have an exam component, so you will not need to come to Edinburgh to be assessed. The modules assessed partly by examination where attendance at Edinburgh would be essential are: Cattle, Sheep, Cardiology and Zoo Medicine C modules.

Q. What time commitment do I need to make?

A. It is envisaged that students will need to spend approximately 10 hours per week actively engaged in studying and reading around the subject area depending on their prior knowledge and experience. Students who are taking the self-study route are strongly advised to create a timetable to ensure they have allocated time to their studies.

Q. Do I need a mentor?

A. While a mentor is not compulsory, the RCVS and Edinburgh strongly recommend you have that support to help you with your studies. Your mentor will be able to guide you in your research, highlight areas of strength, and support you in demonstrating your skills at an advanced level. A mentor can be a senior colleague, a Diploma or Cert holder. If you have any difficulty finding a mentor, please speak to the programme team.

Q. What is a 'designated certificate'?

A. A designated certificate is a specific modular route leading to a named qualification, for example CertAVP (Zoological Medicine) or CertAVP (Small Animal Practice). To obtain a designated certificate, you will need to choose your modules carefully from a limited list. Most designated certificates will also require a separate final assessment (synoptic assessment) once all the modules have been passed.

Q. How do I apply for my synoptic assessment?

A. At present, Edinburgh is offering synoptic assessments for Cardiology, Zoological Medicine and Production Animal Practice (Cattle and Sheep). Details on applying for other synoptic assessments are provided on the RCVS website. You can apply once you have successfully passed all the modules for your designated certificate.

Please note that the current cost for the synoptic assessment is £750.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons synoptic assessment information

Q. What is online distance learning?

A. 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, and many have families.

Q. What are the computer requirements?

A. This is an online programme so you will be accessing support materials, discussion boards and a range of tools via the internet. While the programme team and the University’s Information Services (IS) department provide distance learning support, please remember that you are still responsible for your own technical set-up.

You are also responsible for checking emails and announcements associated with the programme.

You are not expected to be a technical whizz, and we provide guidance and training for the tools we use. However, we expect that you will take responsibility for your access to the programme, make back-ups of your work and organise alternative access if required.

Q. What software programmes are used?

A. We currently use Blackboard Learn, Collaborate and Turnitin for our online distance learning programmes.