Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Working abroad

Elephant and baby elephant

As a vet you can work in a range of environments and for a number of Nottingham graduates, choosing to spend time working overseas is a big draw. This may be for short period of time or they may relocate on a permanent basis. 

We'll guide you through working in different countries and the things you'll need to consider when exploring your options including visa requirements.


Where can I work as a BVM BVS graduate from Nottingham?

With a BVM BVS degree from Nottingham, you'll be qualified to practice in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. This is because your degree is recognised by and accredited by the :

The University is currently in process of obtaining accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Until accreditation is completed, there is a four-stage process that Nottingham graduates will need to follow - see below.

Working in Europe

If you are a Nottingham graduate registered with the RCVS as a veterinary surgeon and you are an EU citizen, you will need to request a Provision of Services Certificate from the RCVS in order to practice within the EU.

If you are not an EU citizen, additional requirements may apply, please check with the authorities in the country of your choice.

NB. This page has been written prior to exiting the EU and the impact on working in the EU is not yet fully known.

RCVS - process, fees and forms


Working in the USA

The University is currently in the process of obtaining American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accreditation.

Until this is finalised Nottingham graduates wishing to work in the USA will need to complete an educational equivalency certification program such as that administered by the AVMA:

Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG)

This is a four stage process, which includes:

  • providing proof of your graduation from Nottingham
  • proving your English language capabilities
  • assessing your basic and clinical veterinary science knowledge
  • assessing your hands-on clinical veterinary medical skills

Find out more about the stages 


Working in Canada

To apply for a licence to practise in Canada you must hold a Certificate of Qualification from the National Examining Board (NEB) before you can apply for registration by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

CVMA - find out more


Working in Australia and New Zealand plus two UoN case studies

As the University is accredited by the Australasian Veterinary Boards’ Council (AVBC), you are eligible to work as a vet in Australia and New Zealand without needing to complete any further examinations.

You will need to register with the individual Australian state’s veterinary board, or the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, depending on where you want to work.

You may also need to apply for additional licenses such as a state radiation licence and a microchip implanter license. To work in New Zealand you will also need to hold a current practicing certificate.

AVBC - Veterinary Boards for Australian states 


Working in South Africa plus UoN case study

To practise in South Africa vets must be registered with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC).

In order to gain registration you will be required to pass a council registration examination.

This examination consists of a computer-based examination and a practical examination. The examination is held yearly in October, but you need to enrol by the end of April. 

Explore more

SAVC - exam information and more 

Dr Gemma Campling, alumna 2014

Gemma Campling

Read Gemma's story about working in South Africa


Preparing to work abroad 

You will need to explore the various visa requirements and options depending on your personal situation to enable you to have the right to visit, live and work in your country of interest.

Wherever you decide to work, even if it’s an English speaking country, there are bound to be cultural differences. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself for these in advance to help you settle in to life in a new country quicker. Passport Career, an online international careers information resource has information on working in over 80 countries.

Explore more

Passport Career 

It will also be valuable to you to read relevant veterinary/scientific journals which concentrate on particular diseases, species or other unique areas of work to the country you are wishing to work in. You might find this research important should you need to complete an examination to work in a particular country.

When is best?

Depending on who you ask you will get a multitude of different answers to this question. Vets who have gone to work abroad will often say that having worked in the UK for a year or two before you go abroad will allow you to build on your day one competencies and become more confident as a vet in a country and culture with which you are familiar. After a few years in practice you may be more confident to work in another country knowing you have consolidated and further developed your skills and knowledge through a few years of practice in the UK.

The alternative argument is that if you want to work abroad, especially if you are planning to emigrate permanently, then you might want to relocate before you take on responsibilities such as mortgages and family commitments.

If you would like to discuss your options with an impartial careers adviser then book an appointment with us.

Find out more...


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679