A Preliminary Year Course in Veterinary Science: Course Overview and Student Progression
The Preliminary Year course in Veterinary Science was originally designed for high achieving students from non-science backgrounds and those with relevant vocational qualifications. Subsequently, students who have completed the required science qualifications, but due to lack of opportunity are unable to gain direct entry to veterinary medicine, have been accepted onto the course. The year-long course comprises seven compulsory modules, five of which are closely aligned to A-level Biology and Chemistry specifications. An animal care and behaviour module allows students to experience working with different species and gain insight into all aspects of the profession. A maths module provides support in topics which some students find challenging. Since its inception in 2007, 241 students have registered on the course, of whom 191 (79.3%) have progressed successfully to the five year course. There was no significant difference in performance between Preliminary Year students and the remainder of the cohort on the five year course and to date only five (2.6%) students who progressed have left the five year course with no further qualification. The Preliminary Year course has been successful in widening access to higher education and the veterinary profession for students without the traditional entry requirements for a degree in veterinary medicine.