BSc (Hons)

Veterinary Biosciences

UCAS Code: D300

Typical offer: 128 UCAS tariff points

Duration: 3 years full-time

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

Develop your knowledge and skills in animal biological sciences with this degree. Prepare to apply for a veterinary medicine/surgery degree in the future or an exciting career within the wider veterinary industry including veterinary laboratory and animal management environments.

If you want to study an animal biology course with a focus on topics related to animal health and disease, this degree is for you. You'll develop your expertise in animal health and disease, biochemistry, parasitology, microbiology and how different aspects of the veterinary industry work together to have a positive impact on animal health and welfare. Engage with subject experts, including practising veterinary professionals, within our team at Hartpury and visiting external speakers.

Work with a range of species in our on-site animal collection, commercial farm and large equine centre to experience handling and working with animals. These experiences will be part of your course and there is also opportunity for you to select additional external experience as part of our modules.

Gain practical experiences and apply theory to practice as you get hands on in our dissection, science and microbiology laboratories, learning more about health assessment and management in a range of species. Investigate notifiable and zoonotic diseases, and understand more about how laboratory diagnostic tests work alongside other diagnostic methods.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702333

What you'll study

What you'll study

Your degree will focus on the principles of animal biology with a focus on topics related to animal health and disease.

This course is comprised of compulsory modules, to ensure that you are well prepared for future study of veterinary medicine or a career in the veterinary health industry.

Level four (year one)

Your first year will focus on key underpinning of subjects, such as anatomy and physiology, genetics, animal health 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.  At the end of your first year if your average grades are not at least 60% then you will normally be transferred onto year two of the BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Science programme; grades below this threshold would be unlikely to support a successful application to study veterinary medicine in the future and the more generalist programme will allow you to select optional modules to focus your studies around your own interests.

Compulsory modules

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

Introduces the problems and insights of animal behaviour and welfare, including the study of ethical issues and legislation.

Explore the application of genetics and heredity in the animal industry.

Discover how diseases affect animals, health monitoring, and animal first aid.

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.

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

Level five (year two)

In your second year we will really focus on providing you with knowledge, practical experiences and skills to enable you to apply to study veterinary medicine/surgery in the future if you wish. Concepts include biochemistry, parasitology, pathology and the implications of management and therapy practices for animal disease. You will experience a wide range of animal species and spend time in our onsite commercial enterprises and animal collections to apply your skills.

Compulsory modules

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

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.

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

Explore how biochemicals are fundamental to processes of cell signalling and key determinants of toxicological effects.

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

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

Level six (final year)

Your final year allows you to conduct a research project in an area you have selected to experience, being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a specialist topic. You'll also continue learning and evaluating a range of topics in animal biology and disease, including gaining an insight into current research in the field.

Compulsory 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 module involves independent research and analysis with one to one support from an academic.

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.

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

You will advance your ability to undertake a research project, from reviewing existing knowledge to developing your own research proposal.

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.

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.

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 and application of skills, including lectures, workshops, practical sessions and experience in our onsite commercial enterprises, with our onsite animals and industry professionals. In year two, you will have rotation of practical experiences within these facilities. Some rotations will be in timetabled scheduled hours, and some will require you to attend in addition to typical timetable to experience practical situations in on-site commercial and industry standard settings.

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. At the end of your first year if your average grades are not at least 60% then you will normally be transferred onto year two of the BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Science programme; grades below this threshold would be unlikely to support a successful application to study veterinary medicine in the future and the more generalist programme will allow you to select optional modules to focus your studies around your own interests.  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. You’re expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level four (year one)30%0%70%
Level five (year two)23%0%77%
Level six (final year)22%0%78%

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.

Working in the veterinary industry often involves high pressure, time dependent decision making as usually health and disease decisions need to be made quickly.  As such examinations, demonstration of practical skills and questioning do form the basis of many of the assessments on this programme.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level four (year one)55%16%29%
Level five (year two)28%24%48%
Level six (final year)41%6%53%

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
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week
  • Practical experience rotations, especially in year two, will require you to attend at times in addition to your typical weekly timetable to reflect the professional and commercial demands and opportunities of those experiences, for example if you are on a lambing rota this might involve later night shifts as that may be when lambing occurs.


Your career

Career opportunities within the veterinary industry are diverse and this course has also been designed to support you if you decide to apply to study veterinary medicine in the future.

Practical and industry relevant experience

We make use of our onsite animal collection and commercial enterprises to provide you opportunities within core timetabled sessions to gain industry experience and practical skills ready for future employment. Our commercial farm, equine yard, animal collection, canine and equine therapy centres also offer opportunities for voluntary roles and experiences in addition to your timetabled sessions. Alongside this we encourage you to find a voluntary role with a local organisation to increase your experiences and inform your decisions about future career.

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 for the Bioveterinary Science course, that shares its first year and many of the modules with Veterinary Biosciences, have included places such as Three Counties Equine Hospital, Crufts and The Royal Veterinary College. Extra fees may be required – please see the fees tab.

Recent guest lecturers have included veterinarians from Three Counties Equine Hospital, 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 Veterinary Biosciences graduate, you may decide to apply to study veterinary medicine in the future or you may wish to go on to another career in the veterinary industry such as in research or clinical laboratories, pharmaceuticals or animal health. You’ll also have the transferable skills you need for other graduate careers. Our careers team can support you to prepare and find future roles. Anticipated graduate destinations include:

  • Veterinary medicine
  • Research assistant
  • Masters and PhD programmes
  • Laboratory technician


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, these include:

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 main 72-hectare Home Farm is on campus, with four other farms nearby.  Our farm is home to cows and sheep including a dairy bull-beef calf rearing unit, a 296 cubicle dairy unit, sheep flock and a livestock handling unit.


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, others 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.

Commercial yard

We have a large commercial yard with stabling for 230 horses, including 125 boxes for student livery. We take horses on a loan basis, which are used during the semesters for educational and teaching purposes. This provides you with the opportunity to gain and develop horse handling skills and apply theory to practice in topic areas such as behaviour, health assessment and nutrition.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS tariff points | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points or equivalent, to include both Biology and Chemistry.
  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to A, (or 9 to 7 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include two sciences and at least a 6/B in English and Mathematics.
  • A-level | Typical offer is ABB or equivalent. This must include both a Biology and Chemistry. A grade A or above must have been achieved in either Biology or Chemistry. 
  • Vocational award | Typical offer is a DDD in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.
  • Access | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in a science-based Access to Higher Education Diploma to include a minimum of 15 level 3 credits in Biology and a minimum of 15 level 3 credits in Chemistry at distinction.
  • IB | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H6 or above, including Biology and Chemistry. 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 128 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers, to include both Biology and Chemistry.
  • Irish leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 128 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers at H1 or H2 including Biology and Chemistry, one of which must be H1. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level, O3.
  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a DDD in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.
  • International students |  Please contact our admissions team to discuss specific requirements.
  • 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 2021.