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Is vet school for you?
  1. Ed Hall


Each year, Bristol vet school holds a one-day workshop for year 11 and 12 students who are considering a career in veterinary medicine. Ed Hall explains what is involved

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THE ‘Vetquest’ workshop aims to introduce students to what is involved in a veterinary degree course, to what life as a practitioner is like and to demonstrate the range of opportunities that are open to those who are interested in a career in veterinary science. This popular, annual course has run for many years, and is aimed specifically at students considering an application to veterinary school. This year, workshops will be held on March 16 and 17. The intention is, first, to help students make the right choice and decide whether veterinary science is truly the course and ultimate career for them, and then, secondly, to provide advice on how best to make their application through UCAS and improve their chance of success.

During the workshop, the many skills needed to be a successful veterinary student and practitioner – communication, dexterity, inquiry, professionalism, intelligence and reflection – are explored. Students also learn about other avenues to consider if things don't work out as planned, or they decide that being a vet is not for them but they still want an animal-related career. Bristol Veterinary School, for example, offers programmes in veterinary nursing, and in animal behaviour and welfare science.

Speakers from the school's admissions team will help prospective students appreciate how their applications will be processed and how best to maximise their chances of selection not just specifically for Bristol but for vet schools in general. Entry requirements, including work experience requirements, will be discussed, and relevant information on the school's website will be signposted.

A current veterinary student will explain how they approached the admissions procedure and their experiences as a student, and groups of veterinary students will be on hand to show participants round the school.

Veterinary practitioners will talk about what it's really like to be a vet working in small animal, farm animal and equine practice, and there will also be an insight into the importance of veterinary research as a career and other career opportunities in industry. In all sessions there is an opportunity for students to ask questions and, during the site tour, the veterinary student guides are available to answer any questions in an informal setting.

Students hear about the veterinary course – what's involved and how students are supported at Bristol. As well as an outline of the curriculum, the logistical, emotional and financial challenges of leaving home and being a veterinary student are discussed. The day ends with several veterinary students talking about their personal decision to apply to vet school and discussing candidly the realities of coping with the five-year veterinary degree course.


The workshop fee is £35 per person, which includes refreshments and lunch. Places are limited, so early application is advised. Further information and online booking is available at Other inquiries may be directed to the head of school's office, telephone 0117 928 9638, e-mail:

Prospective veterinary students being shown round the vet school during last year’s workshop

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