Year 12 Student Attends Prestigious Cambridge Veterinary Medicine Course

A Bishop Vaughan sixth former has attended a prestigious Veterinary Medicine course at Cambridge University.

Jennifer, currently in Year 12, secured a place on the three day Veterinary Medicine course which took place recently. The experience was incredibly valuable, particularly as Veterinary Medicine is such a competitive field. Jennifer described her experience:

“Recently, I attended a three-day course at Cambridge University for veterinary medicine. People from all across the UK, China, Europe and even America attended this course. The course was to help us understand what it would be like to study veterinary at Cambridge and what it would also be like as a vet student.

We had an opportunity to arrive early on the Sunday. This gave us the chance to explore the small but beautiful city of Cambridge and settle into life here. We also got the chance to experience the sites and see the many colleges around the centre of Cambridge. I stayed at Queens College, one of 31 colleges at Cambridge and one of 19 that take veterinary students. The Sunday also gave us an opportunity to meet other attendees of the course. It was very awkward and daunting at first meeting new people but by the end of course we became good friends.

The Monday was the day where everyone came together. The first full day at the university and we were given lectures on what happens in the first years of being at Cambridge. We were given talks from senior lecturers, the dean of veterinary medicine at Cambridge and a 4th year student about veterinary and student life. We were also told that in your 3rd year, students do an intercalated degree. Most universities offer this but Cambridge is the only university where the intercalated degree is compulsory. This means instead of 5 years and one degree, you come out after 6 years with 2 degrees. We were then separated into 5 different groups where we were shown different experiments, demonstrations and took part in small lectures. This day showed me that being a vet is more than just being in a surgery and making animals feel better but why they feel this way and the different career options that were available for vets after graduation. As well as learning about veterinary medicine we learnt about the course at Cambridge and Cambridge itself. We learnt that Cambridge is the smallest vet school in the UK with class sizes of 70 students in each year. I also found out that the teaching experience at this vet school is different to any other in the UK.  Also from this day, I learnt that there are many parts and careers leading from veterinary medicine once you have graduated. It was very exciting to think that you could be something other than just a small vet but a specialist small animal vet! I would definitely do something like this as it would be so interesting!

The second whole day was mainly experiencing what it would be like as a vet student in your final 3 years of being at the university. The final 3 years is based at the main veterinary campus located 10 minutes away from the college that I was staying at (Queen’s college) by bike. The 3 years are based on clinical teaching with clinical rotations. The main vet school has many state of the art facilities including equine facilities, farm animal unit, small animal unit and a small animal surgical facilities including an MRI and CT scan.  It was so interesting to see how we would learn to become a vet and see some of the top equipment! It definitely gave me an exciting insight to what a potential future as a vet would look like!

Overall the experience was very helpful for applying to university next year, it was also a very exciting and interesting experience to experience the life of a vet student and what opportunities would be available during and after university. Even though I didn’t know what to expect at first and found it daunting, it gave me a very good and helpful insight for understanding the application process. I am so excited to see what the future holds and what I can achieve with lots of work between now and then.”