Cambridge offers a world class opportunity to study the scientific basis of veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary science.
By taking the two-part course (pre-clinical and clinical) students gain maximum academic advantage from their time in Cambridge by being able to study individual scientific and other subjects in greater depth in addition to their main degree subject of Veterinary Medicine. Our course provides the fundamental building blocks on which to develop and excel in any veterinary field.
The first three years of the course (pre-clinical) lead to the Cambridge BA Degree in Veterinary Science. In the first two years students study the 'Preparing for the Veterinary Profession' course alongside the study of anatomy; physiology; biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics; pathology; and comparative vertebrate biology, as well as practical animal handling courses.
The third year is one of the most distinctive aspects of the Cambridge course, in which students chose advanced study of a subject from another tripos, with most choosing a biological subject from the Natural Sciences tripos. This gives Cambridge veterinary students an exciting opportunity to work with scientists at the cutting edge of their field, and they often also carry out an in-depth research project of their own. Alternatively, you may chose to study a related subject such as Anthropology, History and Philosophy of Science, or Management Studies.
Years four to six constitute the clinical part of the course and lead to the Vet MB degree and qualification as a veterinary surgeon. The final (sixth) year of the degree is lecture free, and involves instead undertaking 40 weeks of 'rotations', experiencing different disciplines and clinical practices within the veterinary hospital in depth and first-hand. Sixth year students also complete an ‘elective’ project on a subject of their choice – undertaking a total of eight weeks’ work, four of which will be undertaken after their written and ‘live’ Vet MB Part III exams in April/May.
At Magdalene we aim to make four offers in Veterinary Medicine each year.
The College, through the Director of Studies in Veterinary Medicine, arranges tutorial teaching in the subjects being taken at undergraduate level. This teaching (supervision) takes the form of an hourly session in each main subject each week during Term. These supervisions are given by experts in the particular area being studied, often by members of the College. The supervision system is unique to Oxford and Cambridge and is highly valued by both the teacher staff and students alike.
The College Library is open 24 hours a day. There are specific veterinary and medical sections which contain copies of all the recommended texts for the University courses. The College Librarian is always willing to consider purchasing any additional texts students think desirable (with the support of the Director of Studies).
A-level (or equivalent) in Chemistry is a requirement plus at least one of Biology, Mathematics, or Physics. Magdalene, in common with many other colleges, takes the view that since the Cambridge pre-clinical course has a high scientific content, Physics and Chemistry to A-Level are normally advised for a satisfactory understanding of first year work in Physiology and Biochemistry. The vast majority of successful applicants offer three maths or science subjects at A-level.
The typical offer condition is A*AA at A-Level. Other offers may also be based on Scottish Advanced Highers and other qualifications, such as the IB (usually 41-42 points with 7,7,6 at Higher Level). Here, Advanced Highers and Higher Level qualifications should be taken in sciences where possible.
Interviews and Written Assessment
All students applying to Cambridge to read Veterinary Medicine are required to sit the Natural Sciences pre-interview written admissions assessment, further details of which can be found by following the link and clicking on 'Entry Requirements'.
You will have to register to sit the assessment at an assessment centre near to you (for most applicants this will be your school or college). Registration for the pre-interview assessment is separate from your UCAS application and it is essential that you are registered by your centre before the deadline, which is 15 October 2018. The pre-interview assessments this year will take place on 2 November 2018. More information about registering for the assessment can be found here.
The admissions assessment for Natural Sciences will last for two hours and consist of two parts: a maths/science multiple choice component (80 minutes) and a component consisting of more in-depth science questions (40 minutes). More details about the assessment, including some sample questions, can be found here. Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside all the other elements of your application.
Most applicants will then be invited for two interviews, each lasting about 20-25 minutes. Both interviews will assess whether the applicant has a sufficient knowledge of scientific subjects to allow him or her to progress satisfactorily through the pre-clinical part of the course. In addition, the subject interview aims to determine whether the applicant is well motivated to work in veterinary medicine and as evidence for this, candidates are expected to have obtained experience in veterinary clinics and/or places where animals are managed, such as farms, zoos or pet sanctuaries. During the course of one of the interviews, some discussion of a more general nature should be expected with an interviewer who may be a non-specialist in the subject.