6 Reasons to study at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School | Harper & Keele Veterinary School
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6 Reasons to study at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School

Number 1
A vet school for the times

Vets today need broad skill sets. In each year, 90 of the credits in the new course focus on the core clinical skills, but the remaining 30 credits focus on broadening competences in veterinary public health, professional skills, communication, ethics, well-being and business practice.

The curriculum at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School has been designed to enhance the confidence, capability and resilience of the veterinary graduate.

A team teaching approach means that a core of permanent Harper and Keele Veterinary School staff are supplemented by practising vets from industry - ensuring that graduates are “job-ready” for a first opinion practice. This engagement with current industry through the course is enabled by the existing network of relationships with veterinary practices that has been developed to support Harper’s Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Physiotherapy courses.

Practising vets are looking for graduates with the experience that comes from having been prepared in an industry-focused environment. As Jess Hulme, of Shires Vets, said; “Veterinary students need to be exposed to current practitioners in their training. They also need to be able to access a wide variety of placements that are relevant to their studies and interests – whether that be in large, small or equine practices.”

All of the modules taught in the new school have been designed specifically with the modern vet in mind and are bespoke to the course. However, in order to foster and model team working, there will be opportunities for Vet School students to practise alongside Veterinary Nursing students where relevant.

“At the end of the day, vets need empathy for both their patients and their clients - but you can't do this job today if you can't communicate with owners”

Bill May, partner at LLM Farm Vets

Number 2
A diverse profession for a diverse world

The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is committed to encouraging a more diverse cohort of young people to take up veterinary degrees

Extended degree routes are being developed to act as a gateway to the BVetMS programme for students facing challenges in achieving the full entry requirements, to enable us to attract a wider range of students and train more diverse future veterinary surgeons to match the diverse world we live in. Register interest in learning more about these routes by completing the form.

Register your interest


Number 3
Combined resources

The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is unique in that it provides students with access to resources from two universities.


Harper Adams University

A 650 hectare farm
All students at the Vet School have access to Harper’s working farm, which includes key livestock – beef, dairy, poultry, pigs and sheep – allowing students easy access to many commercial livestock facilities, which offer extensive support for learning, teaching and research.

Centre for Animal Wellbeing
The new Centre for Animal Wellbeing, due to be completed in summer 2020, brings together existing and new resources at Harper Adams to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to animal wellbeing. Whilst focusing on veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and veterinary physiotherapy, the Centre will also cater for veterinary pharmacists, animal scientists, animal nutritionists, precision livestock specialists, big data analysts and social scientists.

The Centre will be a key resource in the UK's commitment to place animal wellbeing at the heart of the effort to tackle the challenge of animal welfare and global food security. As well as featuring two new lecture theatres and various clinical skills teaching spaces, the new building also features a social and learning hub for Vet students.

The Veterinary Services Centre
The Veterinary Services Centre is a purpose-built facility available for teaching and research purposes. The facility comprises a reception area and offices, eight consulting rooms, and the hydrotherapy suite. The hydrotherapy suite is a state-of-the-art room with the benefit of both a pool and a canine underwater treadmill.

The Companion Animal House
This has a wide range of small companion mammals and exotic species. This facility is due to be expanded with an extension to the current building underway prior to the first cohort of Vet School students arriving in 2020. The new Companion Animal House will include a nocturnal species room, an isolated hospital room, and modern indoor/outdoor rabbit housing. Multiple animals of each species allow demonstration and hands-on practice of a range of management systems and husbandry techniques.

The Agri-Epi Dairy Research Facility
In addition to Harper’s main dairy unit, the University also operates a robotic dairy unit on behalf of Agri-Epi (one of the UK's agri-tech innovation centres). This has a herd of 60 Holstein/Friesian dairy cows milked through a single DeLaval robotic milking unit involved in ongoing research into animal welfare and productivity.

Research environment
Harper Adams has created an environment where students, staff and industry work together on research with real-world impact, improving animal welfare, tackling food security, and developing new farming technologies.

Keele University


Central Science Laboratory (CSL)
This £34m state-of-the-art building provides a student-focused learning environment designed to offer new ways to learn and collaborate. Opened by Sir David Attenborough in 2019, contains ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ labs as well as IT resources. To maximise students’ learning experience, the new facilities enable students to undertake pre-laboratory preparation so they are familiar with theoretical concepts and practical techniques prior to completing experiments in the laboratory.

School of Medicine
Students of the Vet School will gain access to facilities within the highly regarded School of Medicine. This includes state-of-the-art anatomy facilities, lecture theatre and seminar rooms, an enhanced IT suite, resource room and multi-user laboratories. They will also interact with medical and other health sciences students in the communal recreational areas.

Research at Keele

Keele is helping to change the world for the better by engaging in cutting-edge research and tackling some of society’s most urgent problems, including ageing, global health and renewable energy. Vet students will benefit from teaching by scientists working in these areas.

Number 4
Combined excellence

Between them, Harper Adams and Keele have 186 years of experience in delivering education in animal and human health and well-being.

Harper’s existing expertise in agriculture, animal sciences, veterinary nursing, veterinary physiotherapy and postgraduate veterinary sciences programmes will be complemented by Keele’s experience of establishing a leading UK medical school and extensive life sciences expertise.

Veterinary School students will have the opportunity to work alongside veterinary nursing and veterinary physiotherapy students, as well as students from the human health sciences – medics, nurses and pharmacists. Additionally they will benefit from interaction with other students and professionals working in the wider animal heath, food production and environmental sectors.

This is something that is incredibly important in the light of One Health and the growing global collaboration between both veterinary and human health professionals, as well as environmental organisations, in tackling some of the world's biggest challenges.


Harper Adams University


Best Modern University
2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide



for Student Support, Courses and Lecturers, and Job Prospects
2018 WhatUni Student Choice Awards


TEF Gold

Queen's Anniversary Prize 2018 for innovations in the pursuit of UK and global food security

97.2% Graduate employability
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17

100% of research considered of international quality, and more than half world leading or internationally excellent
REF, 2014

Joint 7th of all UK universities for Student Satisfaction
2018 National Student Survey

Keele University


in England for Student Satisfaction with Course
Guardian University League Table 2019



in England for overall student satisfaction
2018 National Student Survey (NSS) of broad-based public universities


TEF Gold

1st for affordability
Marbles.com, 2016

96% Graduate employability
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17

97% of research world leading, or of international importance
REF, 2014

Rated in the top 100 in Europe
Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2018

Number 5
Located in the heart of England

A major advantage of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School’s twin location is easy access to the wide variety of veterinary practices in the region.

Whether your ambition is to work in a mixed rural or farm practice, or in an urban setting, the Vet School is well positioned. This is a key benefit for those wishing to complete their EMS and clinical rotations largely within comfortable travelling time of their base, thus keeping student costs down.

The new school is not developing this network of practices from scratch - Harper Adams already has an extensive industry network across the region to support the vocational training within the Veterinary Nurse and Veterinary Physiotherapy courses it currently runs.

There are no other vet schools in the region and there is a high demand for vets across the Midlands, meaning that students looking for careers locally are also well-placed by studying with us.

Number 6
Live at one university but enjoy the social life of two


Both institutions have a wide range of accommodation types. Costs will be comparable across each with similar access to the extended accommodation offer necessary for vet students to complete their studies.

Students' Union membership

Students' Unions play a key role in helping students get the advice, support and representation they need to get the most out of university life. Harper and Keele Vet Students will be able to access both Student Unions and their social functions.

Clubs and Societies

Both universities have thriving sports clubs and societies and there are extensive opportunities to get involved with other social activities. Students with well-being and learning needs will be supported by specialist teams at both sites and by dedicated personal tutors. Both universities are highly regarded for the quality of support services on offer to students.

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