Veterinary Medicine and Science PhD

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.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 48 months April
PhD Full-time 48 months October
PhD Full-time 48 months April
PhD Full-time 48 months October
PhD Full-time 48 months April
PhD Full-time 48 months October
PhD Part-time 96 months April
PhD Part-time 96 months October
PhD Part-time 96 months April
PhD Part-time 96 months October
PhD Part-time 96 months April
PhD Part-time 96 months October
Stag Hill

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. 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).

Our students

  • Onyi Diribe, PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science

    "I wanted to attend a university in a busy city which would offer me different social experiences, but would also develop and push me academically."

    Read more

  • Emma Theobald, PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science

    "I really enjoy research and the challenge it brings."

    Read more

  • Laura Tugwell, PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science

    "Having already studied at Surrey for my undergraduate degree, I knew that Surrey offered great teaching, amazing facilities and most importantly, highly reputable research."

    Read more


  • Find out how our Doctoral College can support your research career

    Read more

  • Stay up to date with our latest research news

    Read more

  • Explore how our research is making a difference to the world

    Read more

Research themes

Research areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Infectious diseases and zoonoses
  • Pathology
  • Food safety and food security
  • Epidemiology
  • Veterinary public health
  • Digital innovation in animal health
  • Nutrition
  • Metabolic disease
  • Genetics
  • Vaccinology
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Biomechanics
  • Bio-imaging
  • 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.

Research facilities

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.

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.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional 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.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time April £2,100* £10,000
Full-time October To be confirmed £20,800
Full-time April £2,100 £10,000
Full-time October To be confirmed £20,800
Full-time April £2,100 £10,000
Full-time October To be confirmed £20,800
Part-time April £1,050* £5,000
Part-time October To be confirmed £10,400
Part-time April £1,050 £5,000
Part-time October To be confirmed £10,400
Part-time April £1,050 £5,000
Part-time October To be confirmed £10,400

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.

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

Contact us

Admissions enquiries

+44 (0)1483 682 222

  • Register for a Postgraduate Research Webinar