Wales’ first School of Veterinary Science opens its doors to students for the first time today at Aberystwyth University. 

Students will study for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree, delivered jointly by Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

The five-year degree sees students spend two years at Aberystwyth University followed by three years’ study at the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire.

The programme covers the full range of animals, from domestic pets to farm animals, in common with all other veterinary programmes.

The students will benefit from a £1 million investment in newly completed teaching facilities on the University’s Penglais campus, which includes brand new anatomy and study facilities.

Professor Darrell Abernethy, head of Aberystwyth University’s School of Veterinary Science said: “Today is an important and exciting new chapter in the history of Aberystwyth University and Wales.

"I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in this success – the efforts and support of very many people and organisations have led us to this significant day.

“After so much hard work by staff at both Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College in preparing for the start of the course, it’s a great feeling for us all to see our first students arrive. 

"They will benefit enormously from the skills of the new staff team and the significant investment in these new facilities.”

The course also provides opportunities for students to study specific areas of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh.

Professor Stuart Reid, principal of the Royal Veterinary College said: “We are delighted to see this exciting initiative come to fruition and join with our colleagues in welcoming the new students to Aberystwyth.

"We look forward to offering them an equally warm welcome when they arrive at the RVC in two years’ time for the second part of our new joint veterinary degree.”

The new school builds on over 100 years of animal health teaching and research at the university, including the successful introduction of a BSc Veterinary Biosciences degree in September 2015.

As well as the new veterinary school facilities on the University’s Penglais campus, the students will also study in the excellent existing laboratory facilities enjoyed by IBERS students and gain valuable experience on the University’s dairy and sheep farms, and at the Lluest Equine Centre.

Chief veterinary officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop said: “This is a great day for the University of Aberystwyth, for the veterinary profession, and for animal health and welfare in Wales. 

“This hub of veterinary education, research and excellence presents a great opportunity for students from Wales and beyond to study in facilities designed to help them reach their full potential and excel.”

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