Aberystwyth University launches new School of Veterinary Science

Left to right: Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College; Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales; Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice- Chancellor and Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University marking the launch of the Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science.

Left to right: Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College; Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales; Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice- Chancellor and Professor Tim Woods, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University marking the launch of the Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science.

28 February 2020

Wales’s first School of Veterinary Science has been launched on Friday 28 February 2020.

The new Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University will welcome its first students in September 2021.

The announcement marks the formal launch of a new Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree offered jointly by Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

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

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

The development will also provide opportunities for students to study specific areas of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh while at Aberystwyth.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “Today marks an important and exciting new chapter in the history of Aberystwyth University and Wales. Agriculture and its related industries play such an important part in the Welsh economy and it is incumbent on us as universities to provide the people and the skills that will contribute to ensuring they thrive for years to come. The new School of Veterinary Science adds a vitally important new piece to the jigsaw, one that will build resilience in the rural economy through education and research at a time of great potential change and challenges.”

“Our students will enjoy the best of two worlds at universities that offer academic excellence and an enviable reputation for student experience, and I thank everyone who has contributed to finally realising the vision of a school of veterinary science for Wales.”

The development has been welcomed by Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths: “This is great news for veterinary science in Wales. The new School at Aberystwyth University will provide the perfect springboard for the next generation of students to work in this important sector. Their learning will benefit the wider rural economy and agricultural industry.”

The launch was attended by Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales and Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College.

Professor Christianne Glossop said: “This exciting new development builds on the firm foundation of a well-respected, successful and much loved academic institution.  Our first School of Veterinary Science will provide a hub of excellence in veterinary education, research and continuous professional development for Wales and beyond”. 

Professor Stuart Reid said: “We are delighted to be partnering with our colleagues at Aberystwyth in providing an offering that will benefit students at both institutions. The RVC’s commitment to the profession in all its manifestations and particularly the rural environment will be bolstered by this important collaboration.”

The Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science froms part of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences and will benefit from the new Veterinary Education Centre which is being developed on the Penglais campus.

The new Centre represents an investment of £1m, funded partly by alumni donations and will be ready in time to welcome the first students in September 2021.

The new School builds on over 100 years of animal health teaching and research at Aberystwyth University, and more recently, the successful introduction of a BSc Veterinary Biosciences degree in September 2015.

As well as the new Veterinary Education Centre, 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.

Named Welsh University of the Year for 2020 by The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide, Aberystwyth University is also, uniquely, a two time winner of the Guide’s University of the Year for Teaching Quality award (2018 and 2019).

Aberystwyth University holds Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) and was rated the best university in England and Wales, and second in the UK, for overall student satisfaction in the 2019 National Student Survey.