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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge



The Cambridge veterinary medicine course is split into three parts:

Preclinical years (1-2)

Third year*

Clinical years (4-6)

Throughout the six years of the course, students will be aiming to develop several broad areas.  These are, amongst others:

  • Build on and develop knowledge of veterinary science
  • Transferable skills such as the ability to write clearly and concisely on scientific veterinary subjects, to communicate to colleagues and lay people
  • Professional skills (such as the ability to control a fractious animal, give an intravenous injection and ausculate a chest)                                                                                                         
  • A professional attitude and behaviour in everything that they do and say.

The curriculum includes vertically-integrated themes spanning both preclinical and clinical years, for example, animal management, reproduction, breeding and infertility, professionalism, communication and consultation skills.

Throughout the course, students are supported by staff within their college, at the Vet School and at the departments providing preclinical teaching, such as Pathology, Physiology and Anatomy.  The material taught in the course is delivered in many different formats; in lectures, practical sessions, such as animal handling classes, and by sessions held in the Pauline Brown Clinical Skills Centre, which is open for students from any year group to practice their skills in suturing and rectalling, for example.

*Affiliated students, i.e. those with a first degree, will progress directly to the 4th year.

During their veterinary medicine course, students will undertake a total of 38 weeks of Extra Mural Studies (EMS), as required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).  This is split into 12 weeks to be completed in the preclinical years, and 26 weeks in the clinical years.

Completion of this EMS is a requirement of the RCVS, for the award of the VetMB degree, which entitles them to be admitted to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and to practice as a veterinary surgeon in the UK and EU.