Cambridge Vet School
Overview of Cambridge Vet School
Cambridge has a reputation that speaks for itself, as one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. The University is a confederation of Schools, Faculties, Departments and 31 Colleges. Each College is governed by their own unique statutes and regulations.
As well as being a member of the University and of an academic Faculty/Department, students also belong to a College community, an arrangement that offers pastoral and academic support for each individual. Your choice of college does not affect your chances of getting a place on the Cambridge vet course. The colleges each have a nominal ‘quota’ of applicants, but they often take more.
Also, colleges with larger quotas tend to get correspondingly more applicants, so you should not worry about quota sizes when picking your college. The year group size for the University of Cambridge Veterinary Medicine cohort is about 70 students. These students will all carry out work at Cambridge Vet School Hospital.
At Cambridge, you study the basic veterinary sciences first before learning to apply that knowledge to veterinary practice as a clinical student.
During your pre-clinical studies (Years 1-3), you are taught through lectures and practical classes (including 120 hours of dissection across the three years) in the central science departments, and College supervisions – you can typically expect 20-25 timetabled teaching hours each week.
The clinical studies teaching is a mixture of lectures (in Years 4 and 5), practicals, tutorials, supervisions and clinical classes, with a lecture-free final year. Students will spend time at the cambridge vet school hospital. In addition, you must complete a minimum of 12 weeks’ work experience (pre-clinical extramural study) during the University vacations in Years 1 and 2 to gain knowledge of animal husbandry.
During your clinical studies of the cambridge university veterinary medicine course, you must complete at least 26 weeks of clinical extramural study, some of which may be undertaken abroad. You are supported in the activities by your Vet School Clinical Supervisor. Your progress is continually reviewed by your supervisors and your Director of Studies.
Formal assessment, which determines your progression through the course, takes a variety of forms including written essays, short answer questions and practical examinations.
What Makes Cambridge Vet School Unique?
The Department of Veterinary Medicine has an international reputation as a centre of excellence, and is performing world class veterinary research. The Cambridge collegiate system really does make the experience quite unique as a student - the college often becomes your main social hub, and you will find that you spend time with students from a large variety of courses as a result.
At Cambridge you are very much treated as an individual, with year group sizes of approximately 70 students (the smallest of all the Veterinary Schools). You receive continual individualised support and advice, including Cambridge’s unique provision of weekly small-group (two–four students) teaching. This is an involving and rewarding opportunity to pursue your interests, and is also beneficial when it comes to clinical rotations as the small rotation group sizes ensure more experience and confidence by the time you qualify. This is especially true when spending time at the cambridge vet school hospital.
Cambridge Vet School Entry Requirements
GCSEs (or their equivalent) are not as important to Cambridge as A-levels (or their equivalent), but it is encouraging if you have at least a few A*/8/9’s at GCSE, especially in science/maths subjects. As data are analysed for the newer, more finely-subdivided '7/8/9' grading system, it is possible that Cambridge will use GCSE grades more than previously.
The typical offer is a total of 40-42 and 776 in higher-level or science/maths subjects; applicants are encouraged to take Chemistry and two other science/maths subjects, with at least two at higher level.
The typical offer is currently AAA; similar subject choices recommended as for A-level applicants.
Cambridge Vet School Admissions & Examinations
Veterinary Medicine applicants are asked to take the University’s pre-interview ‘Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment’ - this replaced the BMAT in 2017.
Applicants will also be asked to complete the university’s online Supplementary Application Questionnaire, although this asks for fairly generic (not veterinary-specific) information, such as more details about the courses you are studying at school, and whether you were able to take all the options you wished. Some parts of this SAQ are optional - however we recommend that you fill it in as best as you can.
Cambridge Vet School Work Experience Requirements
No absolute requirement
How Does Cambridge Vet School Use The Personal Statement?
Although you may be asked about things you have written in your UCAS personal statement, your vet school statement will not usually be assessed, graded, ranked or used to decide whether you are interviewed or offered a place. This is because Cambridge is aware of the variation in the amount and quality of advice applicants receive in the preparation of their personal statements.
Does This Medical School Have A Gateway or Foundation Year?
Cambridge Vet School Gateway Course
Cambridge Vet School Interview Questions
Interviews are an important part of the applications process, so Cambridge call more than 70% of their applicants for interview (this is significantly higher than some of the other veterinary schools). Cambridge look for candidates with:
Commitment to a veterinary or veterinary-related career
Good problem solving skills
An aptitude for discussing scientific and mathematical concepts
Enthusiasm for discussing veterinary cases they have seen (see below)
Keenness to discuss veterinary/scientific issues, especially those encountered from wider reading or research
Evidence of an ability to balance work and leisure activities.
Although you may be asked some difficult questions, do not worry – this is how Cambridge ascertain how far you can take new ideas and concepts. The Cambridge Veterinary Medicine Interviews are notoriously difficult and assess the way that you think. They will be welcoming and do our best to help you perform to the best of your ability.
Because applicants are often understandably nervous, cambridge university veterinary medicine try to make the interviews as informal as possible. So do not feel you have to dress smartly! Many applicants find their interviews enjoyable (yes - really!) and some of our students even tell us that their interview was what made them realise Cambridge was the best vet school for them.
Applicants for all subjects at Cambridge are encouraged to undertake some preparatory supercurricular activities: going beyond their school curriculum, usually by reading about scientific/clinical topics which interest them.
It is important to emphasise that
This can be in any biological science, physical science, mathematical or clinical topics
Cambridge do not recommend what to study, but prefer applicants to be guided entirely by what interests them
It can take any form, including printed books and magazines, online resources and courses, and the University's own veterinary and non-veterinary HE+ pages
Your supercurricular studies may or may not be discussed at interview
Contact one of our qualified admissions team today for free advice on your application