Despite a drop in applications, UK veterinary schools remain ‘oversubscribed’

The Veterinary Schools Council (VSC) have said UK veterinary schools remain ‘oversubscribed’ despite a drop in applications.


While admission figures suggest people are losing interest in the veterinary field, the VCA argues the data available portrays a skewed version of reality.


The organisational body is also working to improve its ‘unhelpful’ communication around admissions to encourage more students to apply for veterinary school when they leave college.


According to UCAS data released six days after GCSE results, 2,180 students were accepted onto veterinary science courses.


This marks a 6.3% year-on-year increase compared to the 2,050 applications received in 2023.


However, overall applications in this category, which includes various subjects alongside veterinary medicine, decreased by about 6.6% this year, totalling 15,880 applications by June 30th.


Stuart Reid, president for VSC, commented: “The number of students accepted onto programmes of study leading to a veterinary degree reflects the number of places available, as well as the expected annual variation in what is the inexact science of applications, offers and acceptances.


“The number of applications quoted is somewhat misleading as prospective students can apply to up to four universities for programmes of study leading to a veterinary degree.


“Therefore, the figure does not accurately reflect the number of unique applicants, which typically is between three and four thousand.


“Final numbers for any given year are not confirmed until after enrolment, usually in October.”


Although application numbers have increased post-pandemic, the VSC and UCAS have agreed changes need to be implemented to improve these figures and ensure that the wider veterinary sector is not put at risk.


The VCS’s latest guide to admission processes and entry requirements states:


“Gaining a place on a UK veterinary course is competitive, but you should not assume this means you will be unsuccessful.


“We worry that many good candidates do not apply because they overestimate the challenges involved or, more likely, underestimate their own abilities.”

If you’re interested in a career in veterinary care then you’ve come to the right place! Get in touch with Choice Vets team today via email at [email protected] or register as a candidate to start applying for roles.