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6 Reasons to study at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School

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 vet competencies 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 being trained in an industry-focused environment. As Jess Hulme, of Shires Vets, said; “Veterinary students need to be exposed to current practitioners in their training. And they also need to be able to access a wide variety of EMS 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 team working skills, 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

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

The Harper Adams Veterinary Sciences (Extended) programme will be tailored to those students who are academically suitable for the Vet School, but are lacking the practical work experience required for direct Vet School entry. This experience can be effectively gained from the extended programme at Harper and access to the institution’s large and small animal facilities and through an established network of veterinary practices.

The Keele University Foundation Year will be tailored to those students who have the required practical work experience but who might need more academic support to reach the required entry level. Transfer to the Vet School will be dependent on a certain level of achievement in the Foundation/Extended year.

The cost of studying a 5 year programme can be a challenge for many aspiring vets. In recognition of this a flexible package of support will also be available for all students to apply for.


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 all key livestock – beef, dairy, poultry, pigs and sheep – allowing students easy access to the commercial livestock facilities, which offer extensive support for learning, teaching and research.

Centre for Animal Well-being
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 well-being. Whilst focusing on veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and veterinary physiotherapy, the Centre will also cater for 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 well-being 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 teaching spaces, the new building also features a social and learning hub for Vet Med 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 going up in 2019 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 Anatomy Laboratory
This is a ‘wet lab’ for animal anatomy and physiology dissection classes. It is fully functional for formalin dissection and is positioned such that comparison with the live animal in one practical class is possible.

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 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 scarcity, and developing new farming technologies.

Keele University

Veterinary School Hub
Vet students will have access to the CVS Group’s new veterinary facilities on the Keele site, opening in autumn 2020. This includes a veterinary hospital, a clinical skills centre and Vet School hub facilities. The clinical skills centre will be used by veterinary staff and students. The new veterinary hospital will also be one of the placement providers for veterinary students, who undertake clinical placements as part of their training.

Central Science Laboratory (CSL)
This state-of-the-art building provides a student focused learning environment designed to offer new ways to learn and collaborate. This £34m investment, opening in 2019, will contain ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ labs as well as IT labs. The new facilities enable students to undertake pre-laboratory preparation so they are familiar with the theoretical concepts and practical techniques before completing experiments in the laboratory so they can maximise their learning capacity.

Keele 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.

Research at Keele
Keele is helping to change the world for the better by engaging in cuttingedge research.

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 delivering agriculture, animal sciences, veterinary nursing, veterinary physiotherapy and post graduate 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 alongside 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, 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 for either. This is a key benefit for those wishing to complete the 38 weeks of extramural studies within comfortable travelling time of their base. And important also in keeping your costs down.

The new school is not building this network of practices from scratch either - 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. This also includes relations with key equine practices for which North Shropshire in particular is well known.

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 within the region are also well-placed by studying at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School.

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 institution 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. Student well-being and learner support Students of the Harper and Keele Vet School will be supported by dedicated personal tutors and also be able to access the student and learner support services at their home institution, for which each university is highly regarded.

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