UCLan to launch vet school

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is to launch a veterinary school, set to be the eleventh of its kind in the UK and the first in Lancashire.

The school will be based at the university's Preston campus and reside within the Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, operating in parallel with Schools of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Optometry and Dentistry.

Foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be delivered in areas such as veterinary medicine, bioveterinary science, veterinary clinical practice, veterinary physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and clinical animal behaviour and training. UCLan is collaborating with Myerscough College and local veterinary partners to deliver certain programmes of study. 

The first intake of UK and international students to veterinary sciences BSc and foundation courses is scheduled for September 2022 while the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery course will begin in 2023. 

The process of official recognition for a new veterinary degree takes a number of years. The RCVS quality assures UK veterinary degrees to ensure new graduates are fit to practise. Veterinary degrees must have a recognition order from the Privy Council before graduates can automatically be eligible for registration with the RCVS.

Privy Council approval cannot be considered until after the RCVS undertakes a formal inspection of a full course and its standards, once the first cohort of students have completed their degrees. UCLan is working closely with the RCVS as it develops its programme and the final inspection would take place in in 2027; all being well, the Privy Council would at that stage grant a recognition order.

Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan vice-chancellor, said: "UK veterinary schools are highly prestigious, so we are thrilled to be launching only the second school in the north of England and one of only 11 in the UK.

"We have taken massive strides in developing all areas of human health provision in recent years, and animal health will now join our ever-expanding portfolio of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical sciences and optometry."

Professor Cathy Jackson, executive dean of the Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, commented: “Our new Veterinary School will be focussed on producing much needed industry ready graduates for our region, particularly as recent figures have highlighted a national shortage of vets and a sector heavily reliant on vets educated in the European Union.

“As with our Medical and Dental Schools, we have demonstrated we want to break down barriers and make education accessible to all. It’s no different with our Veterinary School and we want to open the doors and offer a pathway for any student, no matter of their background, into this rewarding profession, while maintaining the very highest of education and professional standards.”