Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

I enjoy the fact that the individual lectures are taught by specialists in the particular subject, meaning that you can have every confidence in your learning and benefit from the experience and enthusiasm of those teaching you.

What you'll study

On our Veterinary Biosciences degree programme, you will explore the science behind animal health and disease, including the interface with human health – issues which make headline news and have worldwide social and economic impact.

Programme overview

Our Veterinary Biosciences degree is unique in being run in collaboration with leading experts from two world-class veterinary institutes – the government Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute, both based within 20 minutes of the University – and our own School of Veterinary Medicine.

The programme offers specialist training in veterinary science and its associated disciplines, equipping you for a diverse range of careers in the veterinary arena, including bioscience research, veterinary public health, veterinary research and veterinary infectious diseases and diagnostics.

It also provides career opportunities in organisations such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

The programme provides a strong understanding of the key elements that underpin all modern biological sciences. Specialist modules enable a more detailed study of the specific aspects of veterinary sciences and the interplay with human health.

The recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, Schmallenberg virus and Bluetongue have had major animal health and economic impacts. The risk of human infection from avian and swine influenza, salmonella and E. coli highlights the importance of knowing the links between animal and human health.

In the first year of our modular programme you will study a unique blend of bioscience topics ranging from molecular biology to veterinary anatomy, ensuring a solid foundation on which to build for your specialisation in the subsequent years.

Your second year combines further studies in a range of bioscience subjects with specialised animal science modules.

Following our optional Professional Training placement, your final year consists of core modules in specialised aspects of animal science and a range of optional modules, together with a research project conducted in one of our own research laboratories or, subject to arrangement, neighbouring veterinary research institutes.

This programme does not provide recognised training for those wishing to practise as a veterinary surgeon, but it may be suitable as an entry point for a veterinary medicine degree programme, such as the Veterinary Medicine and Science degree at Surrey.

Read about the experience of final-year Veterinary Biosciences student Jade Passey.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, you will acquire a strong knowledge and skills base from a unique blend of bioscience topics and specialist veterinary modules, including Veterinary Anatomy and Animal Handling. You will also spend one week on rotation on a pig, sheep, cattle and poultry farm.

This period will provide you with hands-on training in animal handling, biosecurity and disease control. The programme has the flexibility to accommodate students with and without A-level Chemistry, to bring every student’s knowledge to the standard necessary for Year 2.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

During Year 2, the broad base of the programme is expanded to include animal virology and immunology, as well as mammalian physiology, animal nutrition, pharmacology and toxicology.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

Surrey’s Professional Training placement is of immense benefit to students, both in your final year of study and in helping you get appropriate jobs after graduating.

Our experienced Professional Training tutors will help you choose between, and apply to, a strictly vetted selection of excellent placements in industry, veterinary surgeries, research laboratories and academia.

As a student on our Veterinary Biosciences programme, you will have the opportunity to undertake Professional Training placements at the nearby APHA and the Pirbright Institute, providing you with a special insight into working in a world-class veterinary research institute.

This unique training will complement your academic knowledge and enhance your employment prospects upon completion of your degree

Watch videos of Veterinary Biosciences students on placement at London Zoo and on placement in North Carolina, USA.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you will study modules focusing on the scientific basis of health and disease in animals, veterinary public health, veterinary immunology and pathology, plus a range of core biosciences topics.

These are combined with a research project, carried out within one of our research groups or at a neighbouring veterinary research institute, under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

This will give you the opportunity to explore a research area that you are especially interested in and to develop specialised lab-based skills and experience.

Compsory modules:

Optional modules:

Global opportunities

Our international exchange programme offers you the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either one semester or a full academic year as part of your degree. As a Veterinary Biosciences student, it might be possible for you to spend your full second year at one of our partner institutions in the USA.

The exchange programme enables you to study and live in another country and earn credits that contribute towards your Surrey degree without paying additional tuition fees.

In doing so you will broaden your horizons, meet other exchange students from around the world and experience student life in some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Studying abroad also enables you to become more independent, teaching you how to adapt and adjust to the culture and climate of another country.

In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have travelled to the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil and many European countries, and typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.

If you work in another part of Europe, you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant. This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.

Learn more about the Erasmus programme.


We offer a modular degree based on a structured programme of advanced study, which allows you to pursue the subjects essential to your particular degree, but at the same time offers you the flexibility to study other subjects of interest.

During your first year, almost half of your time is spent in laboratory practicals. In your second year, this decreases to around a quarter of your time. In your final year, you will conduct your own scientific research project, usually in one of our state-of-the-art research laboratories.


Each module is assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment is by a combination of examination and/or coursework. Credits are then accumulated towards the award of Bachelor of Science (BSc) with honours.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 1 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 2 per cent medium group teaching
  • 19 per cent large group teaching
  • 78 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Academic support

You will be allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on module option and career choices, helping you get the most from your studies with us. You will also be paired with a Veterinary Biosciences student from the year of study above you, so that you can benefit from their recent experience on the programme.


The laboratories in which you will undertake practical work have recently been fully refurbished and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and audiovisual equipment.

Our commitment to the development of your practical skills means that you will spend a great deal of time utilising these facilities. For your research project in Year 3, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active researchers.

You will also benefit from the facilities at the University’s new School of Veterinary Medicine which opened in October 2015. The new School includes a clinical skills centre, an academic building and a veterinary pathology facility. See photos of the new School buildings.

Research internships and additional placements

At the end of Year 1, the top four students will have the opportunity to undertake overseas summer research internships at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.

Read about the experiences of students Anna Dent and Jess Powell, who travelled to America to spend ten weeks at North Carolina State University.

Additional placements in state-of-the-art veterinary surgeries and other academic research institutes within the UK are also available to all students, giving you the opportunity to work alongside veterinary scientists and veterinary surgeons in a number of disciplines, such as:

  • Pathology
  • Bacteriology
  • Virology
  • Epidemiology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Risk analysis and parasitology

Career opportunities

The Veterinary Biosciences programme provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers in biological sciences, veterinary research, animal health and disease, public health, animal nutrition and the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The programme may also provide a suitable platform for undertaking a further undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine or a postgraduate degree (MSc or PhD).

Each year, two Veterinary Biosciences graduates from Surrey may be offered a place on the veterinary medicine programme at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (subject to meeting the NCSU entrance requirements).

Graduate prospects

Our recent Veterinary Biosciences graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • Animal Health Trust, Research Scientist
  • Pirbright Institute, PhD studentship
  • University of Surrey and University of Bristol, Veterinary Medicine degree
  • University of Surrey, PhD studentship
  • Royal Veterinary College, Research Scientist

Biological Sciences graduates from the University of Surrey have typically gone on to become, for example, postgraduate researchers, or laboratory scientists within Public Health England, the NHS, the Animal and Plant Health Agency or the Pirbright Institute.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Applicants taking either Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Psychology, a pass in the Science Practical Certificate is desirable.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above.

Two science A-levels, one of which should be Biology.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates may be invited for an interview. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall (or equivalent)

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill (or equivalent)

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years D300 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years D301 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training Placement

Jade Passey, BSc Veterinary Biosciences, Professional Training Placement

Professional Training Placement at North Carolina State University

Jade Passey, BSc Veterinary Biosciences, talks about her Professional Training Placement year at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.

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