UK Veterinary Schools: Complete Guide Interview Questions

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Choosing the right veterinary school is a pivotal decision for aspiring veterinarians. The UK boasts a total of 11 veterinary schools, each with its unique interview format and admissions process. Some are old, whilst some are almost brand new. Their processes vary considerably, and understanding these formats is crucial for applicants to prepare effectively. This guide provides an overview of the interview formats at various UK veterinary schools.

Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

The Royal Veterinary College conducts a thorough interview process to evaluate candidates on several key competencies, including their understanding of the veterinary profession, motivation, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. These interviews are structured as Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI), which involve a series of short interview stations. Each station focuses on a different aspect of the applicant’s skills and personal qualities, simulating the interactions and challenges they will encounter in their veterinary careers. The MMI format at RVC is designed to provide a holistic assessment, ensuring that candidates are not only academically capable but also possess the practical insights and personal attributes essential for success in the veterinary field.

University of Liverpool

Liverpool Veterinary School’s interview process emphasises evaluating candidates’ non-academic attributes. Structured as online panel interviews, they focus on qualities crucial for success in veterinary medicine, including empathy, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and commitment to the field. The highest-scoring candidates in these interviews are offered places, and those with borderline scores are reviewed, incorporating contextual data. This approach reflects Liverpool’s commitment to a holistic evaluation process, ensuring that candidates are selected based on a combination of their personal qualities and academic potential, rather than solely on academic performance.

University of Edinburgh (Royal Dick School)

The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh employs a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format for its admissions interviews. This process involves seven stations, each lasting 10 minutes, designed to evaluate various aspects of a candidate’s suitability for a veterinary career. Five staffed stations assess work experience, career exploration, animal welfare, data interpretation, and moral/ethical dilemmas. The two unstaffed stations include practical and numeracy tasks. This comprehensive interview approach ensures that candidates possess not only the practical insights but also the personal attributes vital for veterinary practice, such as empathy, analytical thinking, and ethical judgement.

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University of Glasgow

Glasgow Veterinary School’s interview process involves two 15-minute segments, assessing applicants’ motivation for veterinary medicine, understanding of the profession, resilience, and work-life balance. The second part focuses on learnings from work experience, including animal welfare and communication skills. The school values practical exposure and realistic understanding of the veterinary profession, with the interview playing a crucial role in the selection process.

University of Bristol

Bristol Veterinary School does not hold interviews for its standard 5-year program; instead, it bases selection solely on personal and professional attributes. For Gateway applicants, interviews consist of MMIs. The process emphasises the candidate’s understanding of the veterinary field, communication skills, and personal attributes. Bristol’s approach underscores the importance of evaluating candidates beyond academic capabilities, focusing on their potential and personal skills essential for veterinary success.

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham Veterinary School conducts interviews as a critical component of its admissions process. Approximately 1000 candidates are invited to participate in these interviews annually. The interviews, conducted online via MS Teams, last about 30 minutes and focus on evaluating candidates’ motivation, insight into a veterinary career, and interest in veterinary topics. The process includes an observational task where candidates watch short videos and comment on them, assessing their enthusiasm, observational and analytical skills, and animal orientation. Offers are based 100% on performance during the assessment day, with candidates ranked based on their scores and the top-performing candidates receiving offers.

University of Surrey

Surrey Veterinary School’s admissions include a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, assessing key attributes outlined by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Day One Competencies. The MMI involves short independent assessments across different stations, focusing on various competencies such as communication skills, problem-solving, and understanding of the veterinary profession. Applicants are ranked based on their MMI scores, and offers are extended to the highest-scoring candidates until all available spots are filled. The process also includes an occupational health screening to meet veterinary practice standards.

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Harper & Keele Veterinary School

Harper & Keele Veterinary School employs a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, consisting of eight stations, each assessing different attributes. The MMI is designed to ensure veterinary education accessibility and includes discussions, practical tasks, and short online tests. The structure allows candidates to be interviewed by a variety of assessors, providing comprehensive insights into their suitability. Candidates are assessed for communication skills, problem-solving, insights into the profession, and the ability to navigate challenging situations. The MMI format offers a relaxed and friendly environment, allowing candidates to engage in a variety of ways.

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University’s School of Veterinary Science conducts interviews as an integral part of its admissions process, with no offers made without interview attendance. These interviews assess candidates based on their commitment to veterinary medicine, communication skills, and understanding of the veterinary surgeon role. The interviews also evaluate vocational experience and work-life balance. Candidates must bring documentation to verify their work experience and academic qualifications. The interview process focuses on various competencies, including resilience, adaptability, and teamwork, with an emphasis on candidates’ overall suitability for the veterinary profession.

UCLAN Veterinary School

UCLAN Veterinary School’s Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format assesses applicants across various competencies, including commitment to veterinary medicine, communication skills, and resilience. The MMI involves short independent assessments in different stations, usually between six to ten, offering a comprehensive evaluation of each candidate. The selection process aims to make veterinary education accessible for everyone, with interviews playing a crucial role in the assessment. The areas evaluated include intellectual potential, teamwork, mitigating circumstances, understanding of the veterinary surgeon role, vocational experience, and work-life balance.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge Veterinary School conducts interviews as a critical part of the selection process. Most applicants are called for an interview, usually in early December, with a common format of two thirty-minute interviews conducted on the same day. The interviews assess commitment to a veterinary career, problem-solving skills, aptitude for discussing scientific and mathematical concepts, and enthusiasm for discussing veterinary cases and issues. Candidates are also evaluated on their ability to balance work and leisure activities. The selection process at Cambridge focuses on identifying candidates with high levels of academic achievement and a strong interest in science, with the interviews offering an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their passion and scientific abilities.

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