Undergradute students studying in the George Green library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Veterinary Medicine and Surgery including a Preliminary Year BVM BVS with BVMedSci

Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, UK

Course overview

Our preliminary year is for able students who do not have the required science qualifications for our five-year course but have high academic achievement in non-science and vocational subjects, or extensive experience.

You'll study integrated modules that show how basic science subjects interlink, including:

  • animal biology
  • animal care and behaviour
  • chemistry

After successfully completing the preliminary year you'll automatically progress to our five-year Veterinary Medicine and Surgery course.

Indicative modules


Year 1

Chemistry: Compounds and Reactions


Year 1

Introductory Maths (for preliminary veterinary students)


Year 1

Veterinary Animal Care and Behaviour


Year 1

Biology: Cell Structure and Biochemistry


Year 1

Biology: An Introduction to Body Systems


Year 1

Biology: Health and Disease


Year 1

Chemistry: Atomic Structure and Bonding

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Friday 1 March 2024.

We use a variety of teaching methods to help consolidate the theory and practical elements of the course. Teaching is delivered using four main methods:

  • Lectures on key topics which will be further developed in self-study or practical sessions
  • Practical classes, with clinical skills, live animal experience and lab work
  • Structured self-study time, which includes specific learning objectives, learning resources and time limits. These are reviewed in clinical relevance or plenary sessions
  • Clinical relevance sessions which are problem-oriented, use clinical material or scenarios, and involve small-group, facilitator-led discussion. These sessions are timetabled at key points throughout the week. They will develop your understanding of significance, check knowledge learnt during self-study time and identify and resolve learning problems

Teaching methods

  • Anatomy sessions
  • Clinical skills sessions
  • Full-body dissection
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Group study
  • Case-based learning
  • Placements
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Prosection
  • Self-study
  • Seminars
  • Small group learning
  • Clinical relevance sessions
  • eLearning
  • Field courses
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials

You will need to achieve a variety of skill and knowledge-based learning outcomes, through different types of assessment.

Your knowledge will be assessed towards the end of your academic year. In addition, informal assessment opportunities allow you to evaluate and reflect on the development of your skills and knowledge as you progress through the course.

Feedback is provided for all assessments and you can discuss your progress with your personal tutor. 

Find out more about preparing for assessment on the University's webpage.

Assessment methods
  • Clinical exams
  • Examinations
  • Objective structured clinical exams
  • Practical exams
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Formative assessments
  • Literature review
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Verbal exam
  • Workplace-based assessment

The majority of our teaching staff hold veterinary qualifications suitable for clinical practice in the UK.

Each year we welcome 300 undergraduate students to the school - 150 in September and 150 in April.

During your time on the course you will experience approximately:

  • Lectures: 823 hours 
  • Lab and supervised practical's: 316 hours 
  • Clinical experience: 1151 hours 
  • Tutorials, seminars, problem-based learning and self-directed study: 646 hours 
  • Online and other work: 422 hours 
  • Extra-Mural Studies (EMS): 1330 hours

View an example first-year timetable

You'll also spend some time with our support teams, including:

  • Personal tutor during your entire studies
  • Dedicated student welfare team 
  • Academic support from tutors 
  • EMS co-ordinator

These teams monitor your academic progress and check on your wellbeing, help you reflect on feedback and act as a first point of contact for any guidance on academic or personal matters you may have.

Studying our veterinary course gives you all the knowledge and practical skills you'll need to become a registered veterinary professional. You will be prepared in all aspects of basic, applied and clinical veterinary science, with an ability for deductive thought, problem-solving and research.

Some of our graduates have gone to work for:

  • PDSA
  • Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at University of Nottingham
  • Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine
  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC)
  • Paragon Veterinary Group
  • Rainbow Equine Hospital
  • Highcroft Vet Referrals
  • Rood & Riddle
  • Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic
  • Pawsquad
  • Anvivets
  • Vets4Pets
  • YourVets

Average starting salary and career progression

97% of undergraduates from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £31,816.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017- 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Course data

Open Day June 2022