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

Programme Information

We offer an accelerated programme for graduates with a relevant degree in biological or animal science.

The Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) is a four-year programme which allows graduates with a relevant first degree in a biological or animal science subject to attain a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) degree and register as a veterinary surgeon.

Following successful completion of the first year of the programme, which has been specifically designed around the needs of graduate entrants, GEP students then join the third year of the five-year BVM&S course.

The GEP year is tailored to cover key areas of integrated anatomy and physiology in a case-based format with additional courses on introductory pathology, infectious disease, animal husbandry and population medicine.

Studying Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh will give you transferable skills such as effective communication, teambuilding and an understanding of business management.

Veterinary training also provides an outstanding background for those who wish to pursue a career in biomedical research, including both veterinary and human medicine.

Our long-standing combination of tradition and cutting-edge veterinary teaching benefits from a close-knit collegial community of students.


Our degrees are accredited/approved by:

  • The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
  • The European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE)

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies has Full Accreditation from AVMA.

The degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) is the equivalent to the North American Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and has the same standing worldwide.

Students can sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) in the UK or in North America before graduating.

The NAVLE is administered by the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA). Please consult ICVA materials for information on test locations, costs, etc., bearing in mind that these may change during the course of your veterinary studies.

Teaching and Learning

The four-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) degree combines academic courses, extramural studies and ongoing professional development.

Applicants should be aware that the BVM&S is a demanding course, which means students need to be motivated and committed to learning additional material.

Veterinary Medicine is a professional degree and many veterinarians continue to develop their skills well into their careers through continuous professional development courses.

Academic curriculum

The programme involves taking a number of courses each year. The curriculum is constantly reviewed and improved, but currently involves:

First Year

  • The Animal Body (GEP)
  • Animal Life & Food Safety (GEP)
  • Professional and Clinical Skills

Second year

  • Veterinary Pathology
  • Integrated Clinical Course - Dog and Cat
  • Professional & Clinical Skills
  • Clinical Foundation Course (Yr 3)

Third year

  • Integrated Clinical Course: Farm Animal
  • Integrated Clinical Course: Equine
  • Integrated Clinical Course: Exotics
  • Professional and Clinical Skills 3
  • Veterinary Public Health

Fourth year

  • Final Year Rotations
  • Student Research Component

4-year programme structure 

Example timetable

Extra Mural studies

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) requires that all students also complete 12 weeks of mainly agricultural Extramural Studies (EMS) before starting the third year of the programme.

Your Extramural Studies offer you the chance to gain more knowledge and experience in particular areas of interest.

This is followed by a period of 26 weeks’ clinical EMS, where you will participate in a wide range of veterinary-related activities at home and abroad during the vacation periods. You can tailor some of your Extramural experience to your own particular interests.

Extra Mural Studies (EMS)