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Cambridge University Students' Union
Old Examination Hall
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Cambridge CB2 3RF
As one of only seven UK universities offering Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge has to be a serious consideration for any would-be vets. Even though the course is longer than the standard five years, the University and its unique setting mean that your time here will fly by.
5th Year (clinical)
“ Most contact time is lecture based, but there is plenty of hands-on learning ”
The Cambridge course is split into two parts – the 1st and 2nd years termed ‘pre-clinical’ and years 4, 5 and 6 ‘clinical’. This has led to misconceptions that pure scientific theory dominates the first two years, with no animal contact until the second half of the course. Whilst the majority of contact time is lecture based, there is plenty of ‘hands on’ learning. Two practicals are spent in the labs, and another three in the dissection room each week. This is complimented by fortnightly visits to a local farm, where basic handling skills and stock control are taught.
Work experience is important in preparing for later years, but not an essential part of the application process. In the first three years, you will do 12 weeks of work experience, covering the main domestic species (horses, cows, pigs, and sheep), which can be both fun and lucrative with the right placements.
Best thing? There are lots of girls
In the third year of the course, we can study absolutely anything. This is an exciting aspect of the Cambridge course, which adds diversity to your education (and CV!) as well as earning you a B.A.. People with no imagination will go for Zoology or Pathology, but in the past students have cast aside their latex gloves and taken up alternatives such as Maths, Geography or a Language.
Obtaining this B.A. allows progression to the vet school and the beginning of clinical training. Here, lectures gradually decrease in number and the stresses of exam term are relieved by shorter modular tests spread evenly throughout the year. The direct relevance of course content to clinical situations means you’ll be too engaged to notice the increasing workload.
Worst thing? There are not many boys
Although Vets will inevitably be faced with a packed timetable, it is possible to work hard and play hard. As well as College and social events, there are several dates for the Vet calendar, including a Vet Ball, Panto, and a whole “sports” weekend spent with vets from elsewhere in the UK. These events, combined with a small year size, ensure you’ll make great friends with vets of all year groups as well as friends within your College.
If you are looking for one of the most challenging, but ultimately rewarding courses available, and would never stoop to medicine, then look no further.