Highlights of the preliminary year at Nottingham
- Develop your animal handling and husbandry skills through placements
- Be part of the highest rated UK veterinary school for student satisfaction, based on the National Student Survey
- Study in a purpose-built veterinary school on a beautiful campus
- Join the only veterinary school in the world to win an ASPIRE award in recognition of our student engagement
- Progress automatically to the five-year BVM BVS with integrated BVMedSci course on successful completion of the preliminary year
This course is open to UK, EU and international students. It has been designed for students who do not have the required science qualifications (but have high academic achievement in non-science or vocational subjects or extensive experience) for direct entry into year one of the five-year veterinary programme.
Alongside gateway year students, you will study the basic science subjects of:
- animal biology
- animal care and behaviour
These are taught in integrated modules that illustrate how these key areas interlink. You will learn key chemical concepts, and the knowledge required of animal biology.
In addition, you will:
- expand your animal handling skills
- broaden your understanding of relevant industries
- develop an appreciation of the role of animals in society
On successful completion of the year, you will join year one of the five-year BVM BVS with integrated BVMedSci course.
Visit the five-year course page for more details
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching will be delivered using four main teaching methods:
- Signposting lectures cover key topics which will be further developed in self-study or practical sessions.
- Practical classes incorporating clinical skills (including live animal examination techniques and palpation, dissection, histology, diagnostic techniques, lab analysis).
- Structured self-study times to develop concepts further. These will include specific learning objectives, learning resources and time limits and are reviewed in clinical relevance or plenary sessions.
- Clinical relevance sessions are problem oriented, using clinical material or scenarios and they involve small group, facilitator-led discussion. Clinical relevance sessions are timetabled at key points throughout the week. They develop students' understanding of significance, check knowledge learnt during self-study times and identify and resolve learning problems.
Our assessment strategy is designed to assess achievement of the wide variety of skill and knowledge-based learning outcomes through different types of assessment. Skills and behaviours are assessed within in-course module examinations through methods including:
- practical tests
- vivas (oral exam)
- Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPEs)
- exam condition essays
- short projects
Knowledge is principally assessed in the June examinations, which are held online. In addition, we provide informal assessment opportunities which allow you to evaluate and reflect on the development of your skills and knowledge as you progress through the course.
Visit our teaching webpage for more information on how you will learn and be assessed, including an example first-year timetable
The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is based at the Sutton Bonington Campus, shared with biosciences students. The campus is 10 miles south of the main campus, University Park. There are free regular daily and evening bus services to University Park Campus in Nottingham and Nottingham city centre, allowing you to take full advantage of the social and sporting activities available there. On average, the journey takes 20-30 minutes.
Campus is equipped with:
- the James Cameron-Gifford Library
- student residences ─ over 700 on campus student bedrooms
- a modern sports centre
- retail and catering outlets
Built in 2006, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science building has modern teaching and research facilities. These include:
- a large lecture theatre
- seminar rooms
- small-group teaching rooms
- dissection and teaching laboratories
- a surgery suite
- a clinical skills laboratory
The school also provides:
- stables for students’ horses (limited number available)
- a large indoor arena
- dedicated large animal smallholding
- an exotic and pet unit
- an aviary
- an apiary
There are also teaching and research facilities for cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep associated with the University’s commercial farm, which includes a dairy centre.
On the first Wednesday of the month (in term time) there is a student-run Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market on campus. Watch Paul’s vlog to see what is on offer.
Professional recognition and awards
RCVS and EAEVE
This course is recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE).
We are one of only two UK veterinary schools fully accredited by the EAEVE.
In 2016 we were awarded an ASPIRE award. This recognises excellence in student engagement. We are the only veterinary school to hold this award worldwide, and it was given to us because of the way we work with our students and engage them fully in the academic community. It also recognises the huge amount of engagement our students have with extracurricular and community work.
National Teaching Fellowship
Associate Professor of Veterinary Education Liz Mossop was awarded a highly coveted National Teaching Fellowship in 2016. The award celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning.
All students have a personal tutor. Personal tutors are members of academic staff in the school and they will:
- monitor your academic progress and check on your wellbeing
- provide exam marks and help you reflect on feedback
- act as a first point of contact for any guidance on academic or personal matters
We have an extensive support network for students. This includes:
- a Disability Liaison Officer
- a Student Welfare Officer
- year administrators
- student progress committee
- Big Vet Little Vet peer mentoring scheme
Additionally, there are central University services such as free counselling and the Students’ Union.
VetSoc is a student-run society for all veterinary students. Their aim is to promote community spirit amongst their members. They run various events throughout the year, catering to all tastes. As well as socials, they organise talks from specialists in different areas of the veterinary professions. There are also sub-committees for people who have a specific interest in a type of veterinary practice eg small animal, farm animal, equine.
The society invests a lot in student welfare and every year runs the popular Big Vet Little Vet peer mentoring scheme. New students are matched with a senior student who offer help and advice.
There are often events held on campus for vet and biosciences students to get together. In the summer there is SB Fest. Attractions usually include live music, art, fairground rides, a farmers’ market and a beer festival.
We encourage applications from mature applicants. You should apply in the normal way through UCAS. There is various support available to you including peer mentoring and the Mature Students’ Network which organises social events throughout the year. Find out more on our mature students website.
We welcome applications from international applicants.
The University’s International Office can provide advice and support throughout your application and preparation for coming to the UK. Please see the entry requirements tab for English language requirements.
If you would like to visit the University and are unable to attend an open day, the International Office will be happy to arrange a tailor-made visit for you.
Watch our videos to find out more about our campus, student life and what to expect at an open day