As requested by a number of teachers and careers advisors, I am so happy to confirm this follow up blog for BTEC students.  Back in July 2020, I published a blog to support BTEC students find access to Medicine and Dentistry courses at University.    I am so happy to report, I have now completed the necessary research for entry into Vetmed for these students!

There are currently 8 Vet schools in the UK, making Veterinary medicine an extremely competitive course to get on, and yes, the majority of applicants will of course be A Level students.  However, there are options for talented BTEC students which I have outlined below.

Bristol Vet School

Bristol run a widening access programme – BVSC Gateway to Veterinary Science.  BTEC students with DDM for either Applied Science, Medical Sciences or Health and Social Care (Science Pathway) can apply.  This is a widening access course, which is a course designed for students who do not have the traditional grades to apply for the five year Vetmed course.  As a widening access programme, there are other criteria for you to achieve as this is a course designed to support students from low income/low aspiring schools and areas.  To check the schools, please review the following; Aspiring State Schools and Colleges for 2021 cycle.xlsx (bristol.ac.uk)  The gateway course will be a six year course, and on successful completion of the gateway year, students are transferred onto year one of the five year BVSC Veterinary Science course.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

The RCVS welcomes BTEC students, and has a Gateway to Veterinary studies pathway, which invites BTEC students to apply for.  There are different BTEC requirements, which are detailed below;

  • BTEC Level 3Extended Diploma – Grades – DDM and will consider Applied Science,  or Applied Science (Biomedical Science pathway) For these pathways there are certain modules which require distinctions and merits in;
  1. Principles and Applications of science I and II (Distinction)
  2. Science Investigation skills or Contemporary Issues in Science (Distinction)
  3. Applications of Organic Chemistry (1 of 2 Merits from 3, 4 and 5)
  4. Application of Inorganic Chemistry (1 of 2 Merits from 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Practical Chemical Analysis (1 of 2 Merits from 3, 4 and 5)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended DiplomaAnimal Management – Grades – DDM.  Specific grades in the following units will also need to be satisfied
  1. Animal Biology
  2. Practical Skills in Animal Science
  3. Animal Metabolism
  4. Animal Breeding and Metabolism OR Animal Welfare and Ethics

As this is a Widening Participation course, students will also be required to fulfil certain WP criteria, which would be for BTEC students to be a UK citizen and have never attended university previously.  WP access potential is also increased by attendance at the WP summer school for RCVS.

Liverpool Vet School

Students can apply to the 5 year BVSc with a BTEC for 2020 entry with a Level 3 Extended Diploma Animal Science, with a DDD overall, supported further with a B in AS Chemistry.  Please note, the website does state this is for 2020 entry only.  However, 2021 has not been confirmed as yet, so as always I would encourage students to contact the admissions team directly to confirm this prior to application, especially with recent changes to exams for GCSE and A Level students.

Nottingham Vet School

BTEC applicants can apply to the Vetmed with a preliminary year.  The entrance requirements are an Extended BTEC Level 3 at DDD and subjects are considered on individual basis.  Nottingham also accepts applications from BTEC students onto the Gateway to Veterinary course, with slightly lower grade requirements on the BTEC Extended diploma Level 3 at DMM. Again, the subject of the BTEC is considered on individual application basis.

Surrey Vet School

Interestingly, for 2022 entry, Surrey are welcoming applicants for the direct 5 year programme BVMSci (Hons).  For BTEC (QCF LEVEL 3) Extended Diploma, the minimum requirements for consideration are DDD in either a science or animal related subject, further support with an A at A Level Chemistry.

Graduate Entry 

There are of course additional options for students should they chose to enter into Veterinary Medicine studies at a post graduate level.  The following Vet schools offer graduate routes;

  • Bristol Vet School
  • Cambridge Vet School
  • Edinburgh Vet School
  • Glasgow Vet School
  • Liverpool Vet School
  • Nottingham Vet School
  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

These routes are still competitive of course, and for the fifth UCAS option, students could consider Biology/Zoology, Biochemistry, Organic & Inorganic Chemistry, Genetics , Microbiology and Cellular Biology undergraduate degrees.  Students obtaining a 2:1 or above will then be in a strong position at application stage, especially if work experience is maintained throughout their undergraduate degree.

Summary

Currently Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cambridge Vet schools are not considering BTEC students, however, it is worth reviewing the websites of these schools in future application cycles.

Whilst studying BTEC can reduce the options of entering into Veterinary Medicine, it is not impossible for these students.  Students studying BTEC vocational programmes are still able to demonstrate academic ability, especially with your talented DDD students, but these students can also demonstrate practical application to their academic abilities, which should be encouraged when writing their personal statements, with a great emphasis on reflecting on practical abilities linked to relevant work experience.