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Studying Veterinary Science at University

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Just wondering if anyone or their offspring on the forum is studying to be a Vet and if so just how hard is it to get into?

 

ES wants to be a Vet, having looked at entry requirements re GSCEs (son is going into Year 11 and we'll worry about A levels later) Unis seem to say minimum 6 A*/A grades but is the REALITY more like 10/11 A*s required?

 

Thanks to anyone who can help.

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Less and less males apply every year so if he thinks that he can get the required number of A* and As and GCSE and As at A level go for it. Work experience requirements are pretty tough, he would need to get cracking with that ASAP. Liverpool for example requires a minimum of 10 weeks. DD is hoping to apply this year but competition is tough. She is from a veterinary family and so knows what she is letting herself in for. Many don't and increasing numbers quit after a year or so. Make sure he knows what he is letting himself in for. It is not a highly paid job, the hours stink and it is as much (if not more) about the people than the animals. :)

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Thanks for the reply Chucky Mama - we've started the ball rolling with the work experience, he's done 2+ weeks this summer with other work lined up and we looked into the pay the other day - as you say it's not great for all the time, effort and commitment. Realistically he's probably capable of getting As at GCSEs and may be a couple of A*s but if in reality Unis just interview straight 11 A* students then he may have to rethink. Just wondered what the reality is re GCSEs and getting an interview. Good luck to your daughter.

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I think if he has a mix of A*s and As he stands a chance. He would need to do well in Biology & Chemistry ideally. Make sure his work experience is mixed, he needs to do a good mix of large animal which can be tricky to get. We are hoping that they are looking more at the person and less at the A*s at the moment given the rate of people leaving the profession. It is dominated by females now and so your son may have a stronger chance of interview because of this perhaps. Do make him thing long and hard though, it is not what many think it is. Virtually all vets that I have spoken to recently have regrets about their choice. It is a long haul to find that it is not for you.

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Thanks again Chucky Mama that's helpful. We want him to end up doing something he really enjoys (as does he). I spent 20 years as a lawyer and in the end couldn't wait to get "parole"! His dad is an accountant - less said the better on the job satisfaction front!

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Will do thanks - is your daughter going into the upper sixth year or whatever it's called these days? Wishing her the best of luck ( I have to confess it was always my dream to be a Vet but I was no good at science!)

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Our careers advisors say it's harder to get into veterinary medicine than it is to (human) medicine!

Probably because of the smaller number of places.

Most Unis aren't very worried about GCSEs (we don't even look at them). The exception, for this course, would be in maths and any science subject not done at A level where top marks would be expected. A top grade in one or both English exams would also be useful.

 

The work experience thing is vital at all Unis, and most pay a lot of attention to the personal statement and reject any with spelling/punctuation errors etc.

 

The other thing admissions tutors want to see for these courses is evidence of being able to work really hard. That means having/holding down a paid part-time job for a sustained period of time (also evidences ability to deal with 'real' people) and achievements such as music exams, DoE awards, sporting achievement, organising charity events.

 

Always go to any/all open days and taster events on offer - not going is seen as not being very interested, plus information given at these events is a massive help in getting through interviews/writing that personal statement

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Most Unis aren't very worried about GCSEs (we don't even look at them). The exception, for this course, would be in maths and any science subject not done at A level where top marks would be expected. A top grade in one or both English exams would also be useful.

 

They don't for many courses but the do look back at GCSEs for medicine and veterinary medicine. They are really important :)

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Thanks again to you both for your input. We'd heard it is harder to get into than medicine. He does extra-curricular activities after school and he'll up the work experience this year.

 

Chucky Mama - when does the application process start these days ?

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Just to say i think there may also be other ways to get there, but you would need to be dedicated! One of my friend's daughters, although an excellent student, didn't get quite the grades to get into Vet Med , but started doing a different Veterinary based degree course , and because she got a first in her first and second years was able to convert to Vet Med for the rest of her degree..(sorry details a bit vague but it was a few years ago). Another friend has a son who has been for interview at Bristol after an animal husbandry course, plus a levels (his GCSE's weren't up to the mark) and has been given a provisional offer based on the A level results. Good luck to all...I have to say I would have loved to be a vet!

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One of my ED's friends is doing an animal science degree at Nottingham with a view to then doing vetinary science. She got better A levels than she thought she would and tried through clearing for a vetinary science course, but couldn't get one. She was let down by lower AS levels than hoped. She is still determined to become a vet, she has had the same goal for most of her life.

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At this stage I would say "BE POSITIVE" to your son. We should not dishearten our young men and women so easily. It is important to dream and have ambition and a determination to succeed. He will need good grades in Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and A level. Note that the A level courses have changed away from modular courses back to a two year course (more like when we were all at school). Look at UCAS online be all means to see what the expectations are, but for now I would say gaining work experience, whenever and wherever possible together with essential hard work for his exams, are the most important jobs for Year 11. I am not a University admissions officer, but I do teach Chemistry in an independent grammar school. If you would like more help or info please do feel free to PM me.

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I'd love to be at Vet school!

 

I did ok in my GCSE's and not so well in my A-Levels and so went down an alternative route of getting in, as already mentioned, doing an Animal Science degree first :)

 

I finished my degree this year and am hoping to work for a year or two to get more money + work experience, and then apply for vet school; I'm looking at Kosice in Slovakia and Budapest, mainly because they are cheaper but also taught in English and fully accredited.

I know employers would probably rather a UK taught graduate but have spoken to a few vets who said the Europe uni's are getting better reputations.

 

For me I think the most important thing is to get lots of work experience - there are people who did my Animal Science scheme wanting to be vets who I really think would struggle. I started working on a local farm and doing Lambing when I was 15 so have quite a range of experience compared to others who do the minimum 10 weeks just to apply.

I think I'd be good with the practical side of the job but would struggle with the exams and science side of the course.

 

I have been looking at other career choices and trying to find jobs but it always comes back to wanting to be a Vet!

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Thanks everyone for your comments. We are ploughing on with trying to get more work experience. Long shot I know, but if anyone knows of any diary farms/ livestock farms that take 15/soon to be 16 year olds for work experience in North Hampshire or thereabouts e.g Newbury/ Reading area - Berks/ Guildford area - Surrey please can they pm me details. Many thanks.

 

Lewis - I hope things work out for you. Not sure if this helps but re A Levels we were told recently that although Unis generally ask for AAA/AAB students with C grades could cope with the material for Vet Science.

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I don't know any farms in that area but will see if anyone on my course is local and give you a shout :)

 

Another thing I'd definitely say is to keep a blog of all the work experience he does, with photos and information - is really useful for looking back at what you'd done over the last few years. I should update it more than I do but is still quite a good record.

Think I've posted a link to it before but my work experience blog is: http://lwescottwe.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Bit worried with how I'd cope at vet school - at Uni I got firsts in the practical and coursework modules but did worst in the 100% exam and really sciencey modules!

 

I spoke to the head vet at Twycross Zoo who I think got CCC at A-level!

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Despite our vetty background we tried to get DD to make her own arrangements. She made all of her farm contacts through the local pub where she is a waitress :D One contact lead to another as they all know each other. We have only called on one friend for work experience and that was because a lot of large animal vets wont take student under 18 as they have to be alone with them in the car.

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Thanks again both.

 

Unfortunately we are not in a rural location so farm work will be hard to find I think.

 

Lewis - if anyone on your course has any farming contacts in this area (North Hampshire or slightly further afield) that would be great if you could let me know. Thanks for the top tip and link re your blog. Our son has made notes to date but your blog looks a great way to record it all. Again wishing you lots of luck.

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