Student using a microscope in a Hartpury animal science lab
BSc (Hons)

Bioveterinary Science (with Foundation Year)

UCAS Code: DF90

Typical offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points

Duration: 4 or 5 years full-time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

Develop your specialist scientific knowledge with this Bioveterinary degree. Prepare for an exciting career in the veterinary industry or animal science.

The foundation year entry provides an alternative route into degree-level study. It’s ideal for those who need to gain subject-specific knowledge and skills in order to progress with the full BSc qualification.

This degree is for you, if you want to pursue a range of scientific areas that focus on the processes underpinning disease. You’ll develop your expertise in disease diagnosis, microbiology, physical therapies and rehabilitation.

Study bioveterinary science in professional-standard laboratories and work with a range of animals in our 70-species Animal Collection, commercial farm and large equine centre to develop your experience working with animals.

Apply theory to practice as you get hands on in our dissection and microbiology laboratories, learning more about a range of species. Investigate notifiable and zoonotic diseases, study farm animals, equine and companion species.

You’ll have the opportunity to complete biochemistry and genetics modules, as well as livestock production with practical sessions on our campus farm. You could experience rehabilitation first-hand in our commercial equine and canine therapy centres with our animal therapy modules, and evaluate cutting-edge hydrotherapy research.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

What you'll study

Your degree will focus on the cause, transmission and diagnosis of animal diseases.

This course is comprised of both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suit your interests and career goals.

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Level three foundation year (year one)

You'll develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in the remaining three years of the degree. You'll focus on key subjects including animal studies, academic skills and biological science, and work with animal students from across the department.

Compulsory modules

Learn about the scientific method and enquiry, team working, research skills and effective time management.

Undertake an internship role at Hartpury, linked to the degree, to develop reflective, practical and transferable skills in preparation for level four study.

Develop understanding and knowledge of literature reviews. Learn how to construct a rationale, summarise, and present relevant information to suit a purpose, subject and audience.

Study the fundamentals of animal care, husbandry and management for maximising animal health and welfare.

Through the study of fundamental biological aspects, gain an understanding of how organisms come about and how they function and operate for survival and performance.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level four (year two)

Your first year will focus on key underpinning subjects, such as anatomy and physiology, genetics and biochemistry, to help you to gain the fundamental skills required for your course. First year modules will equip you to study at higher levels by providing essential practical and transferable skills alongside essential knowledge of a wide range of key topics integral to your degree.

Compulsory modules

Introduction to basic veterinary anatomy and physiology, including the different bodily systems and the interactions between them.

Explore the fundamental concepts of genetics and hereditary conditions in animals.

Learn about the factors that affect disease transmission and signs of health in common companion species.

Study key nutritional principles and learn how these relate to health and disease in animals.

Examine the molecular and chemical processes that underpin normal physiology.

Gain an understanding of key concepts in the fields of animal behaviour and animal welfare.

Develop key academic and professional skills and the personal attributes needed to be successful in a career in the animal industry.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for modules choices in your subsequent years.

Level five (year three)

You’ll cover a range of concepts, including pathology and the implications of management practices for animal disease. Optional modules will allow you to explore subjects such as microbiology, animal therapy, animal biomechanics and animal production, to develop your interests at a higher level.

Compulsory modules

Gain knowledge of advanced disease diagnosis, treatment and key pathogenic causes of disease in both companion and production animals.

This module introduces students to the process of academic research, methods of research and analysis,
helping to prepare them for reading research literature and conducting research projects in the future.

The pathophysiological processes associated with acute and chronic inflammation and how these can be observed on both a gross and histopathological level.

Optional modules

This module will also provide students with the opportunity to develop clinical awareness of animal behaviour and develop skills to interpret behavioural expression during patient interactions.

This module gives students a first look at animal production systems within the UK and abroad. The most common methods of producing cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry are discussed and these systems are evaluated with respect to the producer, the market, the environment, animal health and welfare as well as their impacts on the consumer. Upon completion of the module, students will possess a suitable grounding to progress onto further animal production and/or livestock based animal and agriculture modules.

This module provides students with a basis of biomechanics and animal locomotion.

The first of two animal therapy specific modules that introduce a wide range of animal therapies.

Develop an ability to evaluate animal welfare legislation and justify industry-relevant improvements to the keeping of captive animals. Knowledge will also be developed regarding how to appropriately handle and sex a range of non-human animal species.

Reflect on and evaluate a period of industry experience within the animal sector.

Integrated placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between your third and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience.

Level six (final year)

Your final year allows you to focus on the areas you’re particularly interested in and gain skills that will support you in your future career. You’ll undertake a dissertation module, a substantial research project that enables you to experience being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a specialist topic. In addition, you’ll be exposed to contemporary challenges in the subject area and more advanced theory and practice, including gaining an insight into current research in the field of bioveterinary science.

Compulsory modules

This module involves independent research and analysis in an animal or agriculture‐related field with one
to‐one support from an academic.

Address the immunological basis of disease, disease transmission and how animal disease can impact on public health.

Pharmacology covers the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of common drug classes used in veterinary species. The module also examines topics such as resistance and residues, as well as controlled drug prescription, storage and disposal requirements.

Optional modules

Advanced Animal Microbiology builds on the knowledge and understanding obtained from the Animal Microbiology module at level 5. This module analyses a range of biotechnologies and diagnostics used in the study of animal microbiology, providing students with an in-depth understanding of the underlying principles behind these advanced techniques. Students will evaluate current developments in microbial molecular genetics and how this research is applied to advance treatment and control strategies in veterinary science.

This is the second module specifically exploring the details of types of therapies used within the animal industry.

The module will investigate a broad range of topics that will allow the student to gain further knowledge and understanding of the key developments in sustainable livestock production and management and be able to critically analyse and evaluate development impact on all stake holders in the industry (producers, consumers and animals).

You will study how diseases are transmitted and spread through populations and understand how the dynamics of this spread can be studied and monitored. You will use this knowledge to analyse appropriate methods to help avoid, track and control disease epidemics.

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

Your unique potential

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential, which is why you'll receive a minimum of 15 hours of scheduled teaching time per week in your foundation and first years - this is 25% above the UK average.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career.

Further details

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second and final years may contribute towards your final degree classification.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. The foundation year also includes an internship using Hartpury’s on-site facilities and industry links. You’re expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level three foundation year (year one)30%0%70%
Level four (year two)30%0%70%
Level five (year three)24%0%76%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%
Level six (final year)16%0%84%

You’ll receive a minimum of 15 hours scheduled contact time per week in your foundation and first years. In subsequent years, scheduled contact will vary depending on the modules you select but is typically around 12 hours per week.

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given in a variety of ways including during sessions, on assessment submissions and in tutorials.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level three foundation year (year one)28%44%28%
Level four (year two)55%16%29%
Level five (year three)59%12%29%
Placement year (optional)0%0%100%
Level six (final year)41%10%49%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8.30am to 8.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week


Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse, to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students get their graduate roles with their work placement employers

Work placements and experience

These form part of optional modules, alongside an optional integrated placement year. We’ll support you to secure a placement with a UK-based or international employer, to match your interests and career goals – you’ll complete coursework. Placements can be paid or unpaid, depending on position. Students have worked with organisations such as the Blue Cross, Cotswold Dog Spa, Wood Veterinary Group and BSAVA.

Our commercial canine and equine therapy centres also offer opportunities for students to gain industry experience ready for their careers – either on work placements or as part of voluntary roles. Alongside this, we’ll encourage you to find a voluntary role with a local organisation such as an animal rescue shelter, veterinary laboratory, wildlife rehabilitation centre or a zoo.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Field trips and industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers and best practices.

Recent trips have included places such as Three Counties Equine Hospital, Crufts and The Royal Veterinary College. Extra fees are required – please see the fees tab.

Recent guest lecturers have included veterinarians from NOAH and the RVC and a member of the StreetVet team in addition to academic researchers from a range of subject areas.

Graduate destinations

As a Bioveterinary graduate, you may go on to a career in research or clinical laboratories, pharmaceuticals, animal health professions, science communication or lecturing. You’ll also have the transferable skills you need for other graduate careers. Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Veterinary medicine
  • Canine Hydrotherapist
  • Journal Editor, Wiley
  • Research Assistant, Animal Health Trust
  • Masters and PhD programmes
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Research Assistant, Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Scientific Editor, BSAVA


World-class facilities

You’ll have access to a diverse range of facilities while you’re here, many of which are newly built and world class. Alongside lectures halls and workshop spaces, you'll have access to these facilities:

Canine and equine therapy centres

Our on-site commercial equine and canine therapy centres feature both equine and canine water treadmills alongside a hydrotherapy pool for dogs. These facilities are used as part of the animal therapy modules and for dissertation research projects. You can also volunteer to help in the therapy centres to gain experience in the field.

Home Farm

Our on-site commercial farm is used as part of teaching for the animal production modules and can also be accessed for dissertation research projects.


Our laboratories are modern and well­ equipped, providing the ideal spaces for scientific activities and research. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, while others are used  for dissections and microscopy.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has books, journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces. In addition, we have a Study Lounge – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 96-112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include English Language and Mathematics.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is EE-DD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a PPP in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • IB | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of one Highers at H3 or above.
    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher.

  • Irish leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of one Highers. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a PPP in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level | Typical offer is Pass in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

  • Other | Some evidence of practical experience in agriculture or similar land based studies is desirable.

  • We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

  • Please contact us for further information:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Below, you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

You’ll need to purchase appropriate clothing and footwear before you enrol, or during enrolment week. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to purchase in your enrolment guide – everything is available from our supplier’s online shop for approximately £100.

Optional field trips (up to circa £50)

Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. Many field trips are included in the course fees, however, a few are not. These may involve a small fee to cover transport and or entry to the location.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.

*Reflects activities after 15 months for those who graduated in 2020.