Why choose this course
The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey is home to 40 academics with a huge diversity of expertise, ranging from fundamental science to applied clinical research.
Our active research community benefits from links with leading research institutions, veterinary practices and the wider veterinary industry. Some of our important strategic partners include The Pirbright Institute, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Marwell Wildlife and the Surrey Wildlife Trust. We have also established partnerships with leading veterinary practices, including Fitzpatrick Referrals, Liphook Equine Hospital and the Westpoint Veterinary Group. These partnerships offer opportunities for collaborative PhDs, as well as access to unique facilities and resources.
We have a number of specific research strengths, including infectious disease and pathology research and research into inherited animal diseases. Our recently established vHIVE (Veterinary Health Innovation Engine) research centre offers unrivalled opportunities to develop innovative digital and data analytics tools to improve animal health and well-being, and connects with our cutting-edge biomechanics research.
What you will study
The programme is research-based, so you’ll spend most of your time developing a research question, conducting original research, analysing your results and writing up your research findings, all under the guidance of your project supervisors.
You’ll meet your supervisors on at least a monthly basis to discuss your progress. Your supervisor will guide you through your research, and provide you with training in the techniques and methods you will need for your research project. Your supervisor will also read and comment on drafts of your confirmation report and thesis.
As a doctoral researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine, you’ll be able to attend training sessions run by our Researcher Development Programme. These cover topics such as writing skills, data analysis, career development, project management and preparing for your viva.
Depending on the nature of your research project, you might be mostly based at a desk, a laboratory, a clinic, in the field, or a combination of two or more of these. You can work on your project on-site at the School of Veterinary Medicine or at a collaborating institution. If you do work from a collaborating institution, you will need to come to the University of Surrey periodically to attend training sessions and meet your supervisors.
You’ll take a confirmation examination at 12-15 months after you start on a full-time programme, or 24-30 months on a part-time programme. For your confirmation you’ll need to submit a report of your work so far, and a viva examination with two examiners. Your final assessment for your PhD will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which you will again discuss in a viva examination with at least two examiners.
The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate Careers and Employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.
Research areas include but are not limited to the following:
- Infectious diseases and zoonoses
- Food safety and food security
- Veterinary public health
- Digital innovation in animal health
- Metabolic disease
- Animal behaviour
- Welfare and ethics
- Veterinary education.
Our academic staff
See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Veterinary Medicine.
We’re home to world-class facilities. Our new School of Veterinary Medicine building opened in 2015, and includes outstanding research and teaching laboratories, veterinary clinical skills centres and a Veterinary Pathology centre with high containment laboratories.
Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree (upper second) in an appropriate discipline, but prior experience in research or industry may be acceptable.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.
For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).
Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.
We will be offering over 150 Doctoral College studentships for outstanding prospective postgraduate researchers starting in October 2020.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.
Vice-Chancellor’s studentship award 2020
This competition funded studentship covers international fees and a stipend at UKRI Rate (currently £15,009), alongside a research training support grant of £1,000 per annum.
Find out more
International fee reduction studentship 2020
This competition funded studentship provides a reduction of the fee to the UK/EU rate for successful international candidates. This is not available to UK/EU students.
Find out more
Code of practice for research degrees
Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.
Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Campus locationManor Park
Manor Park is home to the School of Veterinary Medicine, plus Surrey Sports Park and Manor Park halls of residence.