How To Become A Vet In UK-10 Best Steps

In this article, we will show you how to become a vet in UK and the job description for veterinarians. Animal health is becoming very important as the move to preserve sustainable livestock production for food and income for animal farmers seems to be ever thriving.

Animals have more interaction with humans and their environment in areas where they provide transportation, fuel, clothing, etc

Animals should be always catered for not minding their use in the commercial market or as domestic pets. they are the closest to us and one disease to them is a disease for all.

Many major outbreaks of diseases were traced to poor experimental facilities or exposure to the worst kinds of care. 

Also, except for diseases, animals get sick from colds, malnutrition, and food poisoning and should have a healthcare officer to tend to them.

Veterinarians are doctors trained to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases in animals. They are very important as they are empathetic, highly skilled personnel with great interactive ability that helps them in the general health and welfare of animals. 

They identify early Stage diseases, provide preventive measures, and take in animals under poor welfare while making better welfare arrangements for them.

Job Description of Veterinarians

Before we see the steps on how to become a Vet in UK, let us consider the job description of veterinarians. The job description of vets revolves around animals, their care, and health management.

 Since veterinarians are highly trained because animals aren’t humans who are easily understood, they can be able to perform well in lots of roles and take on responsibilities in veterinary practices. These are important responsibilities of veterinarians:

  • keeping record tracks of treatments

  • Reaching out to pet insurers

  • Prescription and Administration of medication to animals 

  • Performing ultrasound and fecal matter tests

  • Help in birthing

  • Cooperate with the governmental association in special veterinary tests

  • Offers Advice sessions to clients on the care of their pets

  • Administering vaccinations and  immunizations

  • Conducting health checks and physical examinations

  • Provision of emergency care

  • Performing surgery 

  • Treatment of sick and injured animals

  • perform operations

  • carry out quarantining and testing procedures to control and exterminate the spread of diseases to humans or animals under established government regulations

  • Euthanize, spay, or neuter animals in necessary situations 

  • carry out blood analyses

  • Conduct X-rays and scans

  • Advice farm owners on how to stop the spread of diseases, animal farm hygiene, and animal behavior and control

  • supervision of veterinary and support staff

  • Educate the public on transmittable animal diseases

  • documentation and submission of treatment procedures

  • compliance with veterinary policies

Skills Required of Vets 

As we previously mentioned, the veterinary profession is a sensitive one so some very important skills are required and they are:

  • Organizational skills

  • Observational skills

  • Analytical skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Scientifically apt

  • Listening skills

  • Information orientation

  • IT skills 

  • Managerial skills

  • Communication skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Social skills

  • Critical thinking

  • motor skills

  • Analytical skill

  • Empathetic skills

  • Decision-making skills

How To Become A Vet In UK-The 10 Best Steps

The Practice of veterinary medicine by licensed veterinary surgeons otherwise known as “Vets” is regulated in the UK by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) under the Veterinary Surgeons Act of 1966.

All Practicing Vets in the UK are required to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and pass through some steps which involve mental and academic preparations and certifications.

In this article, we’ll be guiding you through all 10 steps of becoming a VET in the UK, so sit tight and carefully go through these steps.

1. Choose Vet as a Career Path  

Every life choice depends on a resolve, so it is with choosing a career path. Identifying your dream goes a long way in determining your success rate commitment. 

The first thing it does is help you make reasonable decisions and intentional steps to becoming what you envision. 

Secondly, you make realistic goals and strive to reach them. These goals might be things within your control like getting to develop a special skill like communicating with animals in an out-of-book way, completing animal health journals, helping homeless pets around your neighborhood, etc. 

And thirdly, a lot of young people are confused about what to become as they might have failed to identify with a particular career path early enough and end up walking in a maze for a long period while others are advanced.

Notice that these things help you become more versed in the knowledge of animal welfare in both formal and informal ways and give you a hint of a real-life Practice.

2. Earn a High School Diploma

This is your first academic step if you want to become a vet in the UK. For you to apply for a course in veterinary medicine at the University, you’ll need to take on some prerequisite science courses and school programs. 

While taking these courses, it is important to note that admission into a veterinary school will be highly competitive and the study, very tasking.

So it will be highly beneficial to maintain an impressive GPA and take on English, math, and science and its related courses, especially biology and chemistry.

Joining animal health school campaigns, engaging in the animal and pets club, and registering for all school voluntary works like this will help you gain experience and make you conversant with the field as you advance.

Also, meet with the guidance and counseling department of your school to help you filter your courses, indulge an adult as they are more experienced and will help you navigate through this career path, talk to practicing Vets and make yourself available at every opportunity to engage with animal health knowledge.

3. Conduct Your Research

The veterinary profession in the UK is waiting for you and you wouldn’t want to keep them waiting by stalling time because of delay in admission due to poor research.

Before admission into any veterinary medicine university in the UK, you should consider various factors like accreditation, special requirements, academic requirements, tuition, etc.

 Depending on the University, there would be varying requirements and procedures which will be available at the admission office. So make research about the outlined factors that will determine your choice and look forward to meeting their requirements. 

At this phase, you can also do research in the field, both as a field of study and expertise. Check out the recent developments in the veterinary profession, browse state policies and advanced Practice, attend conferences and network with people of like minds to share information and resources.

Also, while conducting your research on the school’s requirements, you should take special notice of interviews as they can devalue your college application if you fail to successfully defend it.

In all your research, produce a nice transcript, present and defend an impressive college application, and submit as many applications as you can.

4. Volunteer 

While at your research stage, you’ll find out that one step you can’t overlook is getting work experience.

During your admission process, you’ll be required to display evidence of foundational experience in the course and field as a whole.

The requirement for acceptance is usually based on academic records but special skills, experience, and general ability are highly looked upon.

You should be able to convince the admissions office that

  •  You have at least, a week of experience in a Veterinary Practice

  • You have the skills required as a veterinary surgeon

  •  you’re well informed, passionate, and enthusiastic about veterinary science, both as a course and a career path. 

  • You should have at least, 14 days of work experience with animals in farms, stables, rescue center 

All these and more, you’ll be getting from volunteering at veterinary Practices, farms, zoos, rescue centers, etc.

5. Earn An Undergraduate Degree

For you to become a veterinarian in the UK, one of the academic requirements is obtaining an undergraduate degree in one of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) approved courses in an accredited university in the UK.

Veterinary science as a course in the UK is studied by over 5000 students with 92.8 percent of graduates landing a job almost immediately in fields like; Professional, scientific, technical, Education, Health, social work, Arts, entertainment, and recreation.

The success rate of veterinary science students is high, thus influencing its admission process to be highly competitive. This makes the selection exercise very thorough with different requirements.

Most schools in the UK will require certain academic requirements like up to three A levels or its equivalent including chemistry and biology, and five GCSEs.

Undergraduate courses usually last for five years or four years if you already have a degree and will enroll in a graduate entry veterinary degree course.

The Universities Offering Veterinary Science In The UK:

  • University of Bristol

  • University of Cambridge

  • University of Edinburgh

  • University of Glasgow

  • University of Liverpool

  • University of Surrey

  • The Royal Veterinary College

  • University of Nottingham

6. Undertake The Extra Mural Studies Program

As part of your undergraduate program, you’ll need to enroll in Extra-mural studies which are aimed at enhancing a student’s academic study with hands-on work experiences.

The EMS is a program that usually starts around the later part of a degree program and is only part of the overall clinical education of a student.

This is vital to the degree program as it offers opportunities as students are allowed to gain experience and skills that they Practice during the duration of the program.

As much as they are nothing like Intra mural rotations in aspects like formal teaching and learning, they deliver unique hands-on training.

The EMS is at 

  • Developing students’ animal handling skills across every domestic specie

  • Making students who understand and appreciate the concept of animal health 

  • Building students who are apt in the Practice and economics of the animal industry and management

  • Letting students gain experience in the medical and surgical treatment of animals of diverse species

  • Building students who display fundamental veterinary science skills like communication skills,  Managerial skills, etc 

The Extra-mural studies (EMS) are made up of 12 weeks of the preclinical phase and 26 weeks of clinical extra-mural studies which translates into 38 weeks of study.

7. Completion Of The Professional Development Phase (PDP)

The professional development phase is designed to be a self-assessment system aimed at teaching fresh graduates the art of consciousness learning in the veterinary profession.

It offers a platform for recent domestic and international graduates to track their professional performance and confidence in all clinical areas.

There is a logical link provided in this program that seems to merge undergraduate and graduate development.

This is the first step in the graduate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and equips fresh graduates with fundamental day one Competency for a safe Practice.

During the period of this program, all recent graduates are expected to keep honest records of the clinical cases against clinical skills and procedures and their records must reflect their progress to meet up with the Professional Development Phase competencies.

8. Pass Enhanced Background Checks 

 The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a mandatory process for every job seeker in the UK. Before applying for a role in the UK, you’ll be asked to get a background check report for the duration of your stay, from the country you’ve lived in if you’ve lived abroad before.

And the employer will check your criminal report himself if you’re just an applicant who’s never lived abroad or upon your choice.

As much as the disclosure barring service check is conducted on prospective employees irrespective of the roles they applied for, there is a need for a more detailed report for some very sensitive areas of specialty in veterinary science.

Depending on your role, your Disclosure Barring Service Check will fall under basic, standard, enhanced, and enhanced checks with barred lists.

9. Start Practicing

Getting a job is quite easy as there are many job opportunities upon graduation in Veterinary services, Self-employed workers, Government, Social advocacy organizations, Educational services, etc 

Upon qualification, veterinary surgeons are employed as assistants before being offered the position of a partner or principal surgeon which will require top-notch service and an advanced skill set in play.

While seeking a job, you should present an almost spotless resume stating your past experiences, volunteers, performance, and evidence of performance.

While some vets are employed by animal welfare charities like the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), The Red Cross, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) some others pursue research and teaching careers in research institutes or Universities.

If you want to start your practice, you’ll have to go through some procedures and should be ready for all the financial engagements that accompany starting a practice of your own.

10. Obtain A Degree In A RCVS-Approved Postgraduate Course

As a practicing veterinary surgeon, you can decide to take on further educational qualifications and can also choose an area of specialty by taking RCVS-approved postgraduate courses which if after you obtain a specialist status, you’ll be able to offer consultation services in your chosen field of interest.

Enrolling in an advanced course broadens your knowledge base and exposes you to more detailed research in more specialized areas of study.

Post-graduation studies stretch the mind and help maximize the professional potential of Vets.  

During the period of this program, you’ll be undertaking higher levels of independent studies and spend the later parts of your study working on career-related final projects.

Postgraduate courses also make you stand out in the face of employment opportunities and expose you to networks of veterinary surgeons from different parts of the globe to run your mind, get resourceful together and make groundbreaking discoveries.

What Is A Vet Salary In The UK?

Veterinarians are one of the most paid professionals in the UK with an initial average pay of over £35,000 to £40,000 annually. 

This is just for newbies as the pay will most likely appreciate with experience and time and will also vary due to their specialty, organization where they work, and geographical location.

How To Become A Veterinary Nurse?

A Veterinary Nurse is an assistant to the veterinarian and they also Perform roles that are very similar to that of a veterinarian.

If you want to become a Veterinary Nurse, you need to first obtain a diploma, get hands-on experience with animals and their health, complete an undergraduate degree, complete all required certification exercises, get licensed, and then get employed in a Practice.

What Is A Veterinary Medicine Degree?

A degree in Veterinary medicine can be either an undergraduate or postgraduate program that involves obtaining skills and a vast knowledge base in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of animals of vast species.

This degree can differ depending on which of them you’ll be enrolling into. The maximum number of years for an undergraduate degree is six years while a postgraduate program is merely 12 months.


Vets take it upon themselves to protect animals, cooperate to charge people or organizations for the unlawful use of some animals for entertainment, protect some species from extinction, protect them from indiscriminate use for experiments, and so on.

Also, as animal health is to be protected, vets make sure to protect not only animals but also humankind from disease breakouts that might arise from some improper forms of interaction with some species.

So vets are very important for the continual lineage of both humans and animals alike and make sure that there is a balanced ecological setting between them. What are your thoughts about how to become a vet in UK, please leave your suggestions below.

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