School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
   
   
  

Admissions Process

Achieving a Fair and Equal Opportunities Admission Process
Overview of the Admissions Process
Phase 1 - Further Information and Academic Review 
Phase 2 - Non Academic Personal Qualities Review
Phase 3 - Widening Participation and Work Experience Details Collection (via online Survey) 
Phase 4 - Motivation, ability, attitude and attribute assessment 
Phase 5 - Situational Judgement Test
Phase 6 - Assessment Centre
Phase 7 - Offers

Achieving a Fair and Equal Opportunities Admission Process

It is important that the process of student admission into the Veterinary School is free from unfair discrimination of any kind. We have a fair and equal opportunities admission policy. All applications are considered equally on merit; students are selected on the basis of academic excellence and personal qualities.

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Admissions Process has been developed with consideration of attributes and qualities required of a new veterinary surgeon as articulated in the RCVS “Day One Competencies” and “Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons”.

The Admissions Process is supervised by the Admissions Sub-Dean. The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science will adhere to the service levels as agreed under the University of Nottingham Admissions Service Level Agreement. 

An Admissions Committee has been established to provide an overview of the entire Admissions process. This Committee will be coordinated by the Admissions Officer, with overall Chair being the Admissions Sub-Dean. It will meet in entirety at the beginning of the admissions session for review of the statistical data of the preceding year’s Admissions and the Process for the forthcoming session will be discussed and agreed. Other meetings may be arranged as necessary.

Purpose

  • Acting on behalf of the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, the Admissions Committee has responsibility for the design, development, implementation and review of processes associated with admissions.
  • To advise the Dean of School on all strategic issues relating to admissions
  • To review the effectiveness and appropriateness of the admissions process in selecting a diverse body of students who have the potential to possess the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be a competent veterinary surgeon
  • To provide advisory input into the design and ongoing refinement of the Undergraduate Admissions Process

Main Activities

  • Review the operations of the preceding year’s Admissions
  • Approve the process for the forthcoming Admissions rounds
  • Consider views of the student body raised through appropriate channels e.g. LCF
  • Consider views, where received, from previous graduates and employers in respect of the appropriateness of the School's admissions process
  • Prepare a response for submission to, and approval by, the Dean of School, to relevant issues raised at both Faculty and University level with regard to admissions by action of the Chair
  • Prepare a response for submission to, and approval by, the Dean of School, to relevant issues raised by external bodies such as RCVS, EAVEE and HEFCE with regard to admissions by action of the Chair
  • Contribute to the School's submission for any relevant quality reviews by action of the Chair

The Committee will comprise a diagonal slice of University staff, external veterinary practitioners and key stakeholders as below:

  • School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Admissions Sub-Dean (Chair)
  • School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Admissions Officer (Secretary)
  • Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (ex-officio)
  • Head of Operations (ex-officio)
  • Sub-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • 10 representatives from academic staff (chosen to reflect a cross-section of specialities, ethnic backgrounds and balance of genders from the Vet and Medical Schools)
  • Director of Medical Education, Medical School
  • Admissions Officer, School of Medicine
  • Senior Admissions Tutor, School of Biosciences
  • UoN Widening Participation Manager
  • UoN Undergraduate Admissions Manager
  • UoN Deputy Director, International Office
  • Nine lay members (four teachers from local schools and five veterinary practitioners)

Methods of working

  • Voting is quorate when 30% of membership are present
  • Receives regular reports from: TLA Committee,  Postgraduate Committee,
  • At the discretion of the Chair receives reports from relevant Campus and University Committees
  • Makes recommendations to: Dean of School, School Management Team

Role of Chair

  • Chair of the Committee represents the School at relevant University and external meetings
  • Chair holds the casting vote when Committee ballots are tied
  • Chair will refer issues raised by the Committee with financial, staffing or infrastructure implications, or regarding overall School strategy, to the School Management Team for approval

Frequency of Meetings

The Committee meets once a year

Format

  • All items for the agenda and papers for circulation at meetings should be sent to the secretary no later than 7 days before the meeting is due to take place
  • Papers should be presented in 10 point verdana font
  • The Secretary will normally send minutes to all members of the TLA Committee within 7 days of a meeting taking place

Useful links

These guidelines are revised annually and issued to those involved in any aspect of student selection. New assessors and interviewers will undergo training and orientation, including equality and diversity issues. Staff involved at all stages of the Admissions Process are approved by the Admissions Committee and may be either members of the University or veterinary practitioners. At each stage at least one member of staff involved will be a member of the Committee.

Applicants are considered solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, ethnic or national origin, age (subject to the University regulations on minimum age), disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other irrelevant distinction. Decisions on offers will be made by comparison with the candidate pool, rather than by individual.  Records will be kept of all stages of the Assessment Process. In particular when candidates are rejected the reason will be documented.  The records will be kept so that they can be scrutinised later if necessary. It is not normal practice for the details of the assessment outcomes to be communicated to the candidates, parents or teachers.

The Admissions Team will produce statistical data annually to allow the proportions of students from racial minorities to be monitored. Data on the proportion of male and female students and disadvantaged applicants will also be collected.  In this way the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science will monitor the Admissions Process and ensure that there is no unfair discrimination.

All applicants are requested to not share any element of our admissions process with others (for example, the online questionnaire or interview questions/answers or activities).

Overview of the Admissions Process

The admissions policy for the veterinary courses aims to encourage a more diverse range of people to study Veterinary Medicine. The University particularly wants to encourage people with ability and commitment, but whose circumstances might make such study difficult, or who would be less likely to apply to Nottingham. Enrolling a diverse group of students enriches the learning environment for all students, and produces a veterinary profession that better reflects the communities it serves.

The Admissions process has been designed to measure a range of personal and practical skills including animal orientation, communication, enthusiasm and potential as well as academic ability for our courses. There are five phases to the Admissions Process:

Phase 1 – Further Information and Academic Review

All students must apply through UCAS.  All applications are initially reviewed to check that applications meet minimum academic standards.  The School does not consider predicted grades.

The aim is to look for and score academic attributes we consider to be necessary for a veterinary career:

  • Knowledge and scholastic ability
  • Intellectual ability and style
  • Basic numeracy
  • Literacy, verbal skills and good knowledge of the English language

For the D100 and D104 course, we accept one resit attempt per subject at GCSE and A Level.  Candidates with re-sits would not be disadvantaged throughout the admissions process however a B grade requirement is increased to an A grade after a resit. If resitting exams take you into a third year of A Levels, our offer increases to AAA. We do not accept any third attempts.

With regards to our reapplication policy, we will consider another application if you applied to us one year and were not interviewed.  We will consider a reapplication following failure to gain an offer after interview only once you have completed a subsequent undergraduate degree.  We will consider a reapplication if you gained an offer but failed to meet the grades.  We will not consider a third application.

The School assumes, unless evidence is provided to the contrary, that any compensation for adverse factors including ill-health, dyslexia or bereavement has already been applied for by the applicant's School and is reflected in the exam results.

Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have or be taking suitable English Language qualifications. The following qualifications will meet our minimum requirements:

  • IELTS - 7.5 with no less than 7.0 in each element  

The typical academic requirements are:

Entry Requirements for the BVM BVS with integrated BVMedSci (D100 5-Year programme):

GCSES:

  • Minimum of 5 grade As to include Chemistry and Biology (or Double Science).
  • One of Physics or Maths must be passed to grade A.
  • Minimum of grade B in Maths and English Language.
  • Core Science, Additional Science and Further Additional Science are required to grade A

A levels:

  • Minimum of grades AAB, in Chemistry, Biology (or Human Biology) and a third subject (excluding only General Studies and Critical Thinking) at A Level (A2).
  • Chemistry and Biology must be passed at grade A.
  • Taking a fourth A level will not increase your chances of being offered a place at this school.

Scottish:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade As at National level to include Chemistry and Biology (or Double Science).
  • One of Physics or Maths must be passed to Grade A.
  • Minimum of Grade B in Maths and English Language. 
  • Grade A at Higher level Physics/Biology/Chemistry/Maths/English can compensate for achieving Grade B at National 5.
  • Minimum of Grades AABBB at Higher level in any order, to include Biology and Chemistry.
  • Minimum of Grades AA in Advanced Higher in Biology and Chemistry.

International Baccalaureate:

  • Minimum total score of 34 overall with grade 6 in Higher Level Chemistry and Biology and grade 5 in a third subject at Higher Level, with supporting level 2 qualifications.

Cambridge Pre-U:

  • Offers will be made on the basis of D3 (Distinction) being achieved in Biology and Chemistry and a Merit pass (M1) in a third subject. If one of Biology or Chemistry is not taken as a principal subject then separate A Level to be taken and passed at Grade A. 

Irish:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade As in Junior Certificate to include Chemistry and Biology (or Double Science).
  • One of Physics or Maths must be passed to Grade A.
  • Minimum of Grade B in Maths and English Language.
  • Grade A in Leaving Certificate in Physics/Biology/Chemistry/Maths/English can compensate for achieving Grade B in Junior Certificate.
  • Minimum of Grades AAABB at Higher level to include grade As in Biology and Chemistry.

Degree:

  • At least 2:1 in a science-related subject (any BSc) together with a Grade B in A level Chemistry and Biology, with supporting GCSE Grade B in Maths and English. 
  • OR a 2:2 Hons degree in a science-related subject and 3 A levels (A in Biology, A in Chemistry and a B in a third subject), and GCSE Maths and English Language at Grade B.

International Qualifications:

  • The School will consider on an individual basis qualifications taken by international students.  These qualifications will need to be equivalent to our A level and GCSE requirements.

Entry Requirements for the BVM BVS with integrated BVMedSci including a Preliminary Year (D104 6-Year programme):

GCSEs:

  • Minimum of five grade As.
  • Chemistry, (or the science double award or applied science), Maths and English Language must be passed at Grade B.

A Levels:

  • Minimum of Grades AAB at A level (A2) in any subjects (to include at most one of Biology and Chemistry). Only one of Maths and Further Maths considered. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
  • Taking a fourth A level will not increase your chances of being offered a place at this School.
  • Biology and Chemistry cannot both be taken at AS Level.

Scottish:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade 1s at National 5. Minimum of Grade B in Chemistry, Maths and English Language.
  • Minimum of Grades AABBB at Higher level. Biology and Chemistry cannot both be taken at Higher level. 
  • Minimum of Grades AA in Advanced Highers, to include at most one of Chemistry and Biology.

International Baccalaureate:

  • Minimum total score of 34 overall with grades 6, 6, 5 in three subjects at Higher Level (to include at most one of Biology and Chemistry) with supporting level 2 qualifications.

Irish:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade As in Junior Certificate.  Minimum of Grade B in Chemistry, Maths and English.
  • Minimum of Grades AAABB at Higher level in Irish Leaving Certificate, to include at most one of Biology and Chemistry. 

Degree:

  • Degree: At least 2:1 in a non Animal-, Biology- or Chemistry-related subject with supporting Level 2 and 3 Qualifications (as detailed above and/or below).

Vocational Qualifications:

  • DDD at BTEC National Diploma (subjects considered on an individual basis), with supporting GCSE qualifications as detailed above.

Access courses:

  • We will consider applicants who have undertaken access courses on an individual basis. 60 credits overall with 45 at level 3, of which 30 credits must be distinction. Minimum of grades B maths and English Language GCSE. 

International Qualifications:

  • The school will consider on an individual basis qualifications taken by international students. These qualifications will need to be equivalent to our A level and GCSE requirements.

Other qualifications and experience:

  • The University will consider on an individual basis applicants who have undertaken other qualifications or have relevant experience.
  • Registered Veterinary Nurses can apply with RVN qualification and a minimum of Grade B in English Language and Maths GCSE.

Entry requirements for the BVM BVS with integrated BVMedSci including a Gateway Year (D190 6-Year Programme): 

GCSEs:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade Bs to include Chemistry, Biology, Physics (or Dual Science), Maths and English.

A levels:

  • Minimum of Grades BBC at A Level (A2), Grade B in Chemistry and Biology, Grade C in a third subject (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking).

 Scottish:

  • Minimum of 5 Grade 2s at Standard Level.  Grade 2 in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths and English.
  • Minimum of Grades BBBCC at Higher level, to include Biology and Chemistry. 
  • Minimum of Grades BB in Advanced Highers, to include Biology and Chemistry.

International Baccalaureate:

  • Minimum total score of 28 overall with grade 5 in Chemistry and Biology and grade 4 in a further subject, all at Higher Level.

Vocational Qualifications: 

  • DMM at BTEC National Diploma (subjects considered on an individual basis).

Access Courses: 

  • We will consider applicants who have undertaken access courses on an individual basis. 60 credits overall with 45 at level 3, of which 15 credits must be distinction. The diploma must include Biology and Chemistry to level 3.  Minimum of grades B maths and English Language GCSE. 

Other Information:

Students must fulfil at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • Being a first generation entrant to Higher Education  
  • Family, cultural or financial reasons for needing to study in the East Midlands
  • Attending a school or college without a strong tradition of progression to Higher Education
  • Attending a school or college with a low average A level score
  • Living in a deprived home location
  • Being (or having been) a refugee
  • Being (or having been) in local authority care (looked after)
  • Other disadvantaging circumstances (reviewed on an individual basis)  

Phase 2 - Non Academic Personal Qualities Review

Personal and Referees Statements on the UCAS form are assessed.

Applicants for the 6-Year course (D104) are requested to provide a separate veterinary-specific Personal Statement (in less than 4,000 characters, including spaces), to be sent directly to the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

Phase 3 – Widening Participation and Work Experience Detail Collection (via online survey)

Applicants are requested to complete an on-line further information paper in order to supply further information for Widening Participation criteria and work experience. The request for the online survey to be completed will be sent within one week of the UCAS form being submitted to the University.

At this stage, the application is reviewed to ensure that the applicant has gained at least four weeks' experience of working with animals.The School does not wish to receive portfolios associated with work experience.

An applicant has 1 week to complete the further information online survey; one prompt is made at the end of that week and a further 1 week given; after this time if the further information paper has not been completed the applicant is rejected. Information is requested to provide identification of any potential disadvantaging circumstances that may make progression to the veterinary medicine and surgery course difficult. This is also reviewed in the light of data provided by UCAS.

Phase 4 - Motivation, ability, attitude and attribute assessment

The on-line questionnaire provides an opportunity to provide further evidence that the applicant has the motivation, ability, attitudes and attributes for a career in the veterinary profession; this includes considering an individual’s other experiences or achievements (e.g. sporting achievements, expeditions, music etc). The questionnaire is marked by veterinary qualified staff and is derived from RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct. (http://www.rcvs.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/)

Phase 5 - Situational Judgement Test

The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is designed to assess individuals’ judgement regarding situations encountered in a target role.  It assesses key attributes that have been identified as important for veterinary students; they are concerned with testing interpersonal oriented skills and ethical values rather than knowledge or clinical skills. The SJT is only accessible through the online questionnaire for which applicants are sent via email and will go live after the 15th October application deadline date. Applicants have a maximum of 30 minutes to complete the SJT and it can only be completed in one sitting. Applicants are presented with a set of hypothetical but relevant scenarios associated with the veterinary profession and asked to make judgements about possible responses. Applicants’ responses are evaluated to provide a picture of their situational judgement in that context. The competency framework consists of four attributes:

  • Empathy and Building Client Relationships
  • Professional Integrity and Trust
  • Resilience
  • Team Work

A rating response format is used on a scale of 1 to 4 where applicants will be asked to either rate the appropriateness of a series of options in response to the scenario or rate the importance of a series of options. The responses are evaluated against a pre-determined automated scoring key.The SJT must be completed to screen applicants for further review and shortlisting for interview.

Selection for interview will be on the basis of those candidates with the overall best profile of attributes from:

  • Academic ability
  • UCAS statements and further information
  • Motivation, ability, attitude and attribute assessment
  • Situational Judgement Test

Phase 6 - Assessment Centre

Candidates are ranked on their overall scores and the top applicants are invited to attend our Assessment Centre.The aim of the interview/assessment is to identify the applicants who are suitable for admission to The University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. No student is admitted without interview/assessment. The aim of this final phase of the selection process is to select candidates who are academically able enough to cope with the course, who are motivated towards a career in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, who have insight into the implications of this career choice and who have or appear to have the potential to acquire the personal skills expected of veterinary practitioners.The interview will normally be conducted by two staff, one of whom will be a vet who will act as lead interviewer. This staff member will introduce the interviewers to the candidate and try to put the candidate at ease. The interview which will last approximately twenty minutes, will involve:

  • Questions about the depth of: motivation, insight into a veterinary career and interest in veterinary topics
  • Focus on areas highlighted in the assessment process: academic ability, communication skills, animal orientation personal attitudes and attributes, fitness to practice as a veterinary surgeon

The Practical Aptitude assessment will also last twenty minutes and is undertaken by all applicants. During the assessment, applicants should expect to deal with animal material and clinical information. It is not designed to test knowledge; rather we look for enthusiasm and aptitude including observational and analytical skills and animal-orientation.  The Team Working assessment is conducted in a group situation and will assess the individuals' ability to work with a peer group.  After the candidate has left the room the interviewers/assessors will score the applicant and complete the report form.  The interviewers/assessors may decide on the basis of information gained by asking questions as above to exceptionally recommend that the candidate is worthy of an offer or should be rejected.All relevant comments should be recorded on the form. Where there is an exceptional recommendation for an offer or rejection then the reasons should be fully documented. No weighting will be given by the interviewers in an attempt to maintain or achieve a particular balance between the sexes, or ethnic minority groups, or any religious or social grouping.

For international students, the applicant may be telephone interviewed, and some leniency may be given regarding the full 4 weeks work experience, dependent on local conditions.

Phase 7 - Offers

All Assessment Centre data is compiled and standardised to reduce any differences in marking between assessors, students are then ranked. The information is reviewed by the Admissions Team and Admissions Sub-Deans. The standard offer is AAB; other offers may be made to applicants with strong potential, ability and motivation or who may have had or are experiencing disadvantaging circumstances.

Applicants are considered solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, ethnic or national origin, age (subject to the University regulations on minimum age), disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other irrelevant distinction. Decisions on offers are made by comparison with the candidate pool, rather than by individual. Applicants are then telephoned by one of their interviewers and made a conditional or unconditional offer, or are rejected by letter. 

Applicants will be advised of our decision via UCAS up to 12 weeks after the final interview has taken place. All decisions will be made by the end of April. The courses are extremely popular and competition for places is high; as such we will not be able to interview or make offers to many strong candidates.

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science does not proactively contact candidates who hold offers on other courses. For applicants this means that if you accept an offer for an alternate course at this or another University, the School will not contact you should a place become available.

Any offer is made subject to an Occupational Health assessment. All students offered a place on the course are required to accept the Veterinary School Code of Practice by signing a Student Entry Agreement; this ensures that the student is aware of the specific objectives and standards for professional attitudes and behaviour required by the School and the profession.

Applicants can appeal through a complaints process about  misleading or incorrect information by the University and concerns about the application or interview process (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/academicservices/qualitymanual/admissions/applicant-complaint-procedure.aspx). However they cannot challenge the academic judgement of a member of staff and/or School, including the outcome of an admissions decision nor disagreement with the admissions policy rather than its application. 

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415
email: veterinary-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk