Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons) - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

BVMSci (Hons) Veterinary Medicine and Science

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
BSc (Hons) Veterinary Science
Ord Veterinary Science
DipHE Veterinary Science
CertHE Veterinary Science

Professional recognition

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
Accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for the purpose of eligibility for registration as a veterinary surgeon with that body.

Australian Veterinary Boards Council Inc. (AVBC)
On successful completion of this course, you’re recognised for automatic registration by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC)

South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)
On successful completion of this course, you’re recognised for automatic registration by the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)

Singaporean Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS)
On successful completion of this course, you¿re recognised for automatic registration by the Singaporean Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS)

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time UCE30001 600 credits and 300 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Veterinary science (Bachelor)

Other internal and / or external reference points

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes to EMS requirements both at a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) level and at an individual school level. Each current veterinary cohort now have their own requirements and these can be found on the Vet Placement page on Surrey Learn as they are individual to each year group. For incoming students, the EMS requirements posted above are subject to change in light of feedback received from students, the profession and new requirements imposed by the RCVS, our governing body. It should be noted that there is no longer a requirement to do a set amount of weeks in the UK. There is no limit on overseas EMS placements as long as these placements meet the conditions of the insurance and placement team.

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - School of Veterinary Medicine

Programme Leader

SUBASINGHE Dynatra (Vet Med)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To prepare students to graduate with the skills, knowledge and attributes required for Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons i.e. to achieve accreditation of the programme by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to learn the breadth of the subject with emphasis on clinical science, veterinary pathology and research.
  • To provide a programme that is focused on the FAIR principles of education providing: Feedback, Active participation in learning, Individualisation and Relevance in a global cultural context.
  • To provide students with a fully-integrated programme with hands-on practical experience early in the programme.
  • Specific educational goals are to develop students into competent, confident, resourceful and resilient veterinarians with more than Day One competencies. Students will develop a competent understanding of evidence-based practice and the scientific process along with professional communication skills, technical competencies, and digital capabilities with a global perspective in sustainable veterinary practice.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to gain experience, knowledge and research skills with a global perspective from our partner institutes, including the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, the Pirbright Institute and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
  • To embed students in the appropriate environment to encourage the development of students' interests, resourcefulness, and resilience in veterinary medicine and science, and to help them acquire appropriate intellectual, scientific, digital, technical, and key transferable skills to promote self-directed, sustainable, and life-long learning.
  • To provide students with opportunities for international placements with our global partners.
  • To prepare students to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to learning that encompasses veterinary clinical sciences, clinical training, and comprehensive professional and business skills to contribute meaningfully to sustainable veterinary businesses throughout their careers as veterinarians.
  • To provide students with state of the art research training and digital capability within world-leading veterinary research institutes and veterinary practices.
  • To further students' knowledge of the fundamental principles of veterinary medicine and to develop a deeper knowledge of the close relationship between human and animal health.
  • To provide students with a clinical education through a distributed model of teaching that provides training by specialist and general veterinary practitioners.
  • To develop students' scientific resourcefulness and resilience with training in critical analytical skills in relation to identifying problems, formulating hypotheses, designing experiments, interpreting data, and drawing conclusions.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Act professionally, as informed by the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Act in a way that shows understanding of ethical and legal responsibilities, appropriately balancing competing interests KCPT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Demonstrate the ability to critically review and evaluate evidence, in support of practising evidence based veterinary medicine KCPT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Apply principles of clinical governance KCT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Contribute as appropriate to the advancement of veterinary knowledge, in order to improve the quality of animal care and public health KCPT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Apply the RCVS Ten Principles of Certification. KC Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Prescribe and dispense medicines correctly and responsibly in accordance with legislation and latest guidance including published sheets KCPT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Report suspected adverse reactions effectively KCPT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Demonstrate situational awareness through navigating and responding to the economic and emotional context in which the veterinary surgeon operates KCT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Self-awareness + Self-Reflection
Demonstrate self-awareness of personal and professional limits, and know when to seek professional advice, assistance and support KCPT BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Self-awareness + Self-Reflection
Demonstrate a commitment to learning and professional development, including recording and reflecting on professional experience and other learning aimed at improving performance and competence KCPT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Self-awareness + Self-Reflection
Engage with self-audit and peer-group review processes in order to improve performance KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Self-awareness + Self-Reflection
Demonstrate ability to manage in situations where information is incomplete, deal with contingencies, and adapt to change KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Adaptability
Adapt knowledge and skills to varied scenarios and contexts KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Adaptability
Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the organisation, management and legislation related to a veterinary business KCT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Professional Commitment - Business/Finance
Promote health and safety of patients, clients and colleagues in the veterinary setting, including applying the principles of risk management to practice KCPT BVMSci (Hons) Professional Commitment - Leadership/Management
Communicate effectively with clients, the public, professional colleagues and responsible authorities, using language appropriate to the audience concerned KCT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Reflective Relationships - Collaboration + Communication
Global and cultural capabilities - Veterinary students will develop intercultural awareness and informed views on global, social and ethical issues related to their discipline. Veterinary students will develop competencies to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds in ways that respects the interests of cultural groups and individual rights. They will develop appreciation of a diversity of cultural experience and ways of relating to others without stereotyping during their professional activities. KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Vet Capability - One Health/Public Health
Employability - Each veterinary student will develop a set of individual, interpersonal, and professional skills, which are relevant to their veterinary profession, veterinary career ambitions, and employability. KPT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Personal Leadership - Professionalism
Sustainability - Veterinary students will develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes needed to work, live and lead in a way that meets current needs of the profession without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs through an understanding of veterinary practice related sustainability principles. KPT Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Vet Capability - One Health/Public Health
Resourcefulness and resilience - Students will develop independence, agility, reflectiveness, self-awareness, proactivity and self-regulation appropriate for their veterinary professional life. KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons), BVMSci (Hons) Reflective Relationships - Collaboration + Communication

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor of Veterinary and Medicine and Science Degree programme is studied full-time over five years, consisting of 600 credits studied at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and 7. All Modules are worth 15, 30, 45, 60 or 120 credits.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Honours) (360 credits)
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)
Parts of this programme may be studied outside of the standard University structure and may be subject to professional body requirements.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 5 - FHEQ Level 7

Module code Module title Status Credits Semester

Module Selection for Year 5 - FHEQ Level 7


Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics N
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y Students within the BVMSci may apply to undertake an undergraduate intercalated degree programme following the successful completion of the second year (Level 5) and before the start of the third year (Level 6).
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Programme Philosophy
Our mission is to inspire and educate veterinary professionals who will advance veterinary medicine to meet the needs of a changing world.

Our vision is to educate confident and compassionate veterinarians committed to animal welfare, who through clinical and scientific excellence, contribute significantly to society with professionalism and integrity. We will deliver world- leading, multi-disciplinary, translational research and innovative education through local and global partnerships to benefit veterinary and human medicine.

Our core values: Inclusion, Inspiration, Innovation, Integrity.

Educational Philosophy
Our educational philosophy is based on a collaborative approach to learning that enables our learners to graduate with the confidence and competence to be effective veterinarians, who continue to develop and learn. Based upon authentic approaches to learning, our aim is to develop learners who use evidence-based practice underpinned by sound scientific approaches who can communicate to a broad range of people with different specialisms and experience. With increasing skill and confidence, we aim to stimulate inquisitive minds who use sound principles to investigate, inquire, and innovate thus helping the profession to evolve in an increasingly complex world. Through an engaged and critical approach to learning, our students will be encouraged to develop appropriate questions to further their work and understanding of animal health and welfare as well as links to broader aspects of a One Health approach.

Our philosophy is underpinned the following key principles:
Transparency. The goals, structures and methods of our teaching are made explicit to staff and to students. We will explain why we do what we do.
Alignment. What we teach, the way we teach it, and the way we assess students' learning all point towards the same goal. We will do everything for a reason.

Reflection. Students are encouraged to record their experiences and to reflect upon these experiences in order to build a conscious awareness of the self and of the learning process. Our students will be active participants in the learning process.

Integration and connectivity. A curriculum that is framed around education principles which encourage learners to integrate their knowledge and understanding across boundaries so that they can apply this in practice. Students will analyse learning outcomes and synthesise knowledge from a range of evidence to draw conclusions and develop further questions.

Authenticity. A curriculum that provides authentic experience by using partners, clinical specialists, practicing veterinarians, and researchers to provide breadth and depth of understanding applicable to an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The range of authentic experiences informs our students¿ understanding of the diverse career options open to veterinary graduates. The final year clinical training phase will occur in a workplace-based environment in a network of veterinary practices.

Engagement. A curriculum that encourages dialogue where learners are involved in practical experience throughout the programme of study. As engaged learners students will be actively involved in their own learning and understand how to identify where and how they can develop themselves and others.

Knowledge. A curriculum based on the knowledge required to be confident and competent primary care veterinarians who understand the fundamental principles of veterinary medicine. This knowledge will be delivered through a vertical application that encourages learners to construct integrated knowledge and understanding that can be applied to the different situations encountered.

Communication. A curriculum based on effective communication so that learners are both informed and contributors to their own professional development. Our students will be able to adapt their communication style to suit different audiences such as partner agencies, researchers, teaching staff, clinicians, owners and peers.

Criticality. A curriculum that facilitates a research and practice-based teaching approach that develops critical thinkers who can identify problems and formulate hypotheses.

Inclusive. A curriculum based on inclusivity with regards to content, delivery, and assessments to ensure that all students are provided with an equitable and supportive learning experience that offers them the opportunity to succeed, whatever their background.

Cocreated. Students will be involved in strategic changes to the curriculum enabling unexpected consequences and impact on students to be identified and alternative approaches suggested by students to be considered.
Research informed and evidence-based. The curriculum pedagogy and content will be research informed and evidence-based providing students with exposure to the latest research and empowering them to actively participate in inquiry-led learning processes.

The Surrey Advantage as it applies to becoming a Day One Competent Veterinarian.
Global and cultural capabilities. Living and studying in our diverse community, students will develop intercultural awareness and informed views on global, social, and ethical issues. Students will develop their competence to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds in ways that respect the interests of cultural groups and individual rights. Students will develop appreciation of a diversity of cultural experience and ways of relating to others without stereotyping.

RCVS Day One Competencies define professional attributes a day one competent veterinarian should demonstrate including global and cultural capabilities as defined by competencies 18 and 19. In Competency 18 as defined by the RCVS, requires graduates to demonstrate inclusivity and cultural competence, and to encourage diverse contributions within the workplace. Competency 19 as defined by the RCVS, requires graduates to Work effectively as a member of a professional/inter-professional team, fully recognising the contribution of each professional, and demonstrate an understanding of cognitive diversity. The curriculum is designed to align with these competencies in modules across all levels of the programme.

Modules contain authentic teaching with exposure to diverse socio-economic client groups in different environments including charity practice. Students are exposed to discussions with and considerations about the diverse clientele and their differing needs when discussing different case management options. Students engage with a multitude of viewpoints and develop arguments which nurture their appreciation for the world around them taking into consideration diversity in society beyond their immediate context. Students are assessed with modalities such as individual presentations and self-reflections that provide the opportunity to share autobiographical and culturally diverse experiences. Students are given ample opportunity to explore what it means to be a global citizen with cultural capabilities including exposure to equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts and tools for students to be able to engage as veterinary surgeons with a range of stakeholders from different faiths and ethnicities. There will also be opportunity for students to engage with material about international organisations like the World Health Organisation and consider managing animal health within an international One Health context. Students can carry out EMS all over the world. There is no limit to the number of weeks spent abroad doing EMS. Enhancing their global and cultural competencies.

Digital capabilities. Surrey students will encounter a range of increasingly sophisticated tasks which enable them to develop and demonstrate the digital capabilities most relevant to the veterinary profession. They will develop as digital citizens, fully able to take advantage of and participate in society and professional life, within a digital, connected world.

Digital capabilities are embedded throughout the BVMSci Programme at all academic levels. Students are expected to master basic key skills such as word processing, use of spreadsheets and PowerPoint which are essential not only for students¿ time at University, but as future veterinary professionals. Throughout the programme, students will be encouraged to engage with learning through the online virtual learning environment (SurreyLearn), which contains digitised documents in the form of lecture notes, learning logs, slide-decks, and informational documents such as assessment briefs and module handbooks. The programme uses a software called Panopto to capture lectures that students may use for both preparation for learning sessions, and as revision to review covered learning objectives. The programme also uses digital technology in the assessment strategy with students producing presentations, preparing video recordings, and producing detailed word-processed documents with scholarly referencing using reference managing software such as Mendeley, which will help with employability and research in veterinary clinical practice. Furthermore, students are taught in the use of specific scientific analytical software appropriate to research methods in line with their third-year research projects.

Students arriving to study on the programme in Year 1 will have a wide level of experience and comfort with various digital programmes, which may enhance their learning experience, or could be detrimental if their comfort is low. As such, in their first year of study the module VMS1002: The Veterinary Professional, will be embedded a portfolio task designed to help students assess their current skill level with the most used Microsoft Office programmes that the programme requires proficiency with. For each skill, students are asked to review the category and associated tasks. If there are any gaps in those skills, students are asked to add them to a development plan to work on using signposted resources.

Employability. Each Surrey student will be supported to develop a unique set of individual, interpersonal, and professional skills, which are relevant to their discipline and career ambitions. These skills will equip students with all the tools needed to progress, complete their studies and be employment ready.

As an accredited programme with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the BVMSci Programme is designed to prepare students for employment as Day One competent veterinary surgeons. Over the course of the five-year programme, veterinary students will undertake extra-mural studies (EMS) in a range of self-selected placements focusing on animal husbandry in the first two years, and different clinical veterinary practice in the final three years outside of semester time. This provides a student-centred learning opportunity to gain valuable experience of employment in a workplace-based context. Students also receive training in other aspects of employability such as CV writing, reviewing and negotiating employment contracts, and appropriate interview techniques. They are also exposed to the range of employment opportunities within the profession and attend a careers fair in the final year.
The final year of the course is workplace-based with 28 weeks spent in different veterinary practices across different disciplines important to achieving the Day One competencies that govern the programme. Students will spend the year working in primary care of different core species, experience working in veterinary pathology and public health, experience emergency and critical care, and also have the opportunity to spend some elective time in primary and referral care in either small animal, equine, or production animals. The final year is a unique opportunity to experience a wide variety of different working environments and to integrate into different teams. Students receive feedback on a weekly basis from specially trained mentors who work alongside students in their day-to-day practice. Progress is tracked throughout the year and this feedback forms part of the final grade. Students are assessed and graded on knowledge, clinical reasoning, technical skills, communication skills, patient care and professional skills and behaviours.

Resourcefulness and resilience. Each Surrey student is encouraged to embrace academic opportunities and challenges to develop their independence, learning agility, reflectiveness, self-awareness, proactivity, and self-regulation. These capabilities are developed throughout the programme and are important attributes for practicing veterinarians. The module The Veterinary Professional in Year 1 is designed to increase student awareness of resourcefulness and resilience as concepts in both their learning, and in their future careers as veterinarians, and provide them with coping strategies to thrive in a challenging but fulfilling career. These concepts are further developed in the clinical and professional skills teaching in Years 3 and 4. Immersive simulations and group activities provide challenging experiences where resourcefulness and the need for resilience is encountered. Authentic experiential learning on EMS and during final year rotations, sometimes in remote locations, further increases these capabilities.

Sustainability. Surrey students will develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, and attributes needed to work and live in a way that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Students will be nurtured as future leaders in sustainability thinking and empowered to make informed decisions and take responsible actions that promote the wellbeing of present and future generations.

Sustainability concepts are woven throughout the curriculum in each year. For example, the re-use of donated anatomical specimens and use of models to exemplify sustainable practical teaching in each year. Students are taught about sustainability in the context of the individual as veterinary professionals, with discussions and simulations relating to good health practices such as stress-management and maintenance of a positive working environment. Students will also learn about sustainability in the context of agricultural practices and environmental considerations with discussions relating to intensive pig production, global food demands, and the environmental impact of large-scale poultry production. This includes a sustainability audit of an EMS placement.

In Year 4, students will cover specific sustainability themes and concepts applicable to sustainable practice and the role it plays in the context of One Health. Students receive lectures and seminar content about sustainable veterinary clinical practice, the environmental impact of medication and anaesthetics, the environmental impact of intensive livestock production, antimicrobial resistance, and alternatives to antibiotics. This module will also highlight transdisciplinary collaboration by including joint seminars with environmental organisations and the medical school. Importantly, it will also provide lectures and seminars on equity, diversity, and inclusion, connecting sustainability to greater global equity and the UN sustainable development goals. An element of assessment will involve auditing a veterinary practice for sustainability and inclusivity. In the final year, students will have the opportunity to apply their learning and explore sustainability on their work placements and reflect upon that sustainability as part of their assessments and must also mention this as part of their clinical audit assessment.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.