The world of veterinary medicine has always attracted some of the brightest and most able students - brought together by a desire to work with animals and a concern for animal welfare.
Veterinary careers are varied across the clinical and non-clinical sectors. Practising vets can focus on companion, equine, exotics or farm animal clinical work and their related specialisms where advances in animal science and technology are transforming both disease prevention and treatment. But career options in the non-clinical veterinary sector are also growing – with exciting avenues opening up in industry, education, research, business and innovation and working collaboratively across animal and human health.
A changing industry demands that the vets of tomorrow graduate with not only first-rate clinical skills but a broader set of capabilities. They need to be good communicators with a sound understanding of business and the growing importance of data science and technology in their roles. They also need to be confident and resilient first opinion practitioners – who have benefited during their studies from access to a wide variety of placements in clinical practice and related veterinary industries. Finally, vets must recognise the varied roles they must play, sometimes as leaders of clinical teams, others as business advisors on animal health, welfare, and productivity. Vets must also be cognisant of the wide social connections they have either in supporting pet owners with difficult financial and ethical decisions but also farmers with wider sustainability considerations in relation to livestock production.
These factors have combined to lead to the creation of a unique and agile model for a vet school that meets the challenges of today’s veterinary industry. Harper Adams has a strong pedigree in animal sciences, veterinary nursing, veterinary physiotherapy and agricultural sustainability, whilst Keele has a long history in the life sciences and human medicine. Between them, they have 186 years of heritage in the combined animal, human and environmental health (one health) education sector.
Both institutions are well recognised for their strength in employability, student satisfaction and first-class teaching. Both are now focused on expertise in critical areas for the veterinary profession – sustainability, data science and innovation. The unique two-centre School provides students with the opportunity to take advantage of two institutions with not only a common commitment to excellence but also complementary skill sets and resources.
The Vet School is predicated on a community model of clinical education, whereby university-based teaching from research-active and teaching specialist staff is complemented by a range of vet practice and related vet industry partners. The latter affords vet students opportunities to spend prolonged periods of time in authentic veterinary workplace settings, better preparing them for a smooth transition to their early careers. This also offers students multiple opportunities to spend time with very many mentors working in the widest range of professional settings. The partnership network underpinning this model is critical to our vet school and is highly integrated in ensuring the best contemporary veterinary education.
In addition, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), has highlighted the importance of opening up the veterinary profession to a more representative, diverse body of vets. The Harper and Keele Veterinary School recognises that some potentially strong, academically able future vets have been being discouraged from aspiring to the profession by lack of access to work experience opportunities and/or the fierce competition for vet school places. Mindful of this, both institutions are developing alternative routes to enter the new School in the form of Year 0 and Foundation options.
Pooling both university's ambitions, skills and resources in a joint venture, the Harper and Keele Veterinary School is a significant step forward in the provision of veterinary medicine in the UK.
The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is unique in that it provides students with access to resources from two universities.
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.
Veterinary Education Centre
The Veterinary Education Centre 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 has recently been expanded and now includes 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.
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.
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.
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 are complemented by Keele’s experience of establishing a leading UK medical school and extensive life sciences expertise.
Veterinary School students 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 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.
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
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
Joint 7th of all UK universities for Student Satisfaction
2018 National Student Survey
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
1st for affordability
96% Graduate employability
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17
97% of research world leading, or of international importance
Rated in the top 100 in Europe
Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2018
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' 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.
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.
We encourage you to visit both campuses to explore the excellent combined facilities you will have access to. Bear in mind that either could be your host base. See more on the events page.
You will be asked for your preference when you receive the offer of a place. Host site will be confirmed following the release of results in August, while we will aim to ensure as many applicants as possible get their preferred site, this cannot be guaranteed.
Yes, a wide-range of teaching sessions will be delivered at both campuses. Lectures will typically be delivered at one or other site and live streamed to the other. Practicals, tutorials and other learning sessions will be delivered in a variety of formats. Travel between sites has been minimised to be in line with that expected at other vet schools.
Your degree will be awarded by both Harper Adams University and Keele University.
There will be a single, jointly awarded degree, conferred within a bespoke set of assessment regulations approved by the two universities