Veterinary Medicine and Science PhD

Key information

Full-time - 4 years

Start dates

January 2023
April 2023
July 2023
Part-time - 8 years

Start dates

January 2023
April 2023
July 2023

Why choose this programme

At Surrey, we’re focused on collaborative veterinary research, working with leading research institutions, veterinary practices and the wider veterinary industry, to ensure everything we do is relevant to the sector.

We embrace multidisciplinary research, in line with our ‘One Health, One Medicine’ perspective, and recognise the interdependence of human, animal and environmental health.

We’re home to the Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive), a research centre, start-up and incubator supported by a co-investment of £8.5 million in resources, dedicated to the development and adoption of new digital technologies in animal health.

As a PhD student at Surrey, you’ll benefit from our multi-million-pound facilities including our Veterinary Pathology Centre and Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory. You’ll also work alongside academic staff with different areas of interest and expertise, such as applied clinical research, fundamental science, epidemiology and pathology

Postgraduate Research at Surrey

Frequently asked questions about doing a PhD

What you will study

Our PhD 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.

Examples of active PhD-student projects are:

  • Disentangling the role of Ascaris β-tubulin isotypes in the emergence of anthelmintic resistance
  • Rabies epidemiology and control
  • The role of the microbiome and circulating endothelial cells in the pathobiology of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV).

Depending on the nature of your research project, you might do computational analysis work at a desk, experimental work in a laboratory, a clinic, in the field, or a combination of these. You can work on your project onsite at the School of Veterinary Medicine or at a collaborating institution. If you do work from a collaborating institution, you’ll need to come to the University of Surrey periodically to attend training sessions, examinations and meet your supervisors.


Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.

You’ll have a confirmation assessment to formally review your project. If you're a full-time student, this will take place around 12-15 months into your studies or 24-30 months if you’re studying part-time. You’ll be required to submit a written report and successfully complete an oral examination.

Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners.

Progress reviews 

In addition to the confirmation process you’ll have six-monthly progress reviews with your supervisors. These meetings are an opportunity to reflect on your progress, discuss successes and challenges and set targets for the next six months. These reviews will be monitored by postgraduate research directors and recorded on your student record.

You’ll also have one formal meeting with your supervisors every month and can expect to have more frequent meetings between these. The regularity of these will depend on the nature and stage of your project.


Reflecting the variety of roles that veterinarians play in society, we are proud to collaborate with a range of partners, including:

  • The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
  • Fitzpatrick Referrals
  • Liphook Equine Hospital
  • Marwell Wildlife
  • The Pirbright Institute
  • Surrey Wildlife Trust
  • The Westpoint Veterinary Group
  • UK Health Security Agency.

Research support

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 themes

Our research investigates: 

  • Clinical sciences, including biomarkers of neoplasia, biomechanics, orthopaedics, neurology, nutrition and youngstock health and production. 
  • Education, including clinical skills, communications and professionalism and technology enhanced learning. 
  • Epidemiology and public health, including animal health surveillance, food chain health and interactions with animals and people.  
  • Pathology and infectious diseases, including antimicrobial resistance, comparative pathobiology, disease intervention, emerging pathogens, food-borne pathogens, host-pathogen interactions and neuropathobiology. 
  • Preclinical sciences, including cardiology, design-based stereology, musculoskeletal biology and physiology and neuroscience.

Our academic staff

Throughout your studies you’ll have at least two supervisors from the School of Veterinary Medicine and other relevant schools within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Your supervisors will give you academic guidance and tuition, help you develop your research ideas and plans, consider your theory and methods and analyse your work. They’ll read and comment on your draft work, giving you honest and constructive feedback. They’ll also provide you with pastoral support and advice, referring you to more specialist services where necessary.

Research facilities

You’ll benefit from our multi-million pound facilities, which include our Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre, fitted with latest industry equipment like electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors and simulators and our Veterinary Pathology Centre, home to our microscopy suites, pathology laboratories, post-mortem examination room and viewing gallery. We also have a Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory, equipped with motion capture cameras and accelerometer-based systems. 

Depending on the nature of your research project, you may also have access to external facilities and equipment if your project is in collaboration with one of our partners.

Entry requirements

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.

International 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 process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.


Start date: January 2023





Start date: April 2023





Start date: July 2023





For fees payable in 2022/23, 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 2022 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

How to apply

If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, you should enter the details of the specific project that you wish to apply for rather than your own research proposal.

More information on the application process.

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) for the 2022/2023 academic year 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 our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Manor Park

Manor Park is home to the School of Veterinary Medicine, plus Surrey Sports Park and Manor Park halls of residence.

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH