Veterinary Medicine

Course Information

MVB (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN300
CAO Points Range 2018: 560
Length of Course: 5 Years
Average Intake: 82

Leaving Certificate:
  • H5 Chemistry
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics, a third language and one other recognised subject

Application Procedure

Applicants must apply via CAO no later than 1 February.

Practical Experience Requirement

Undergraduate students applying through the CAO system will be required to demonstrate that they have acquired at least 60 hours practical experience relevant to animal handling between 1 February, 2016, and 22 March, 2019. For full details and to complete your records of experience please visit:

Students who have previously been unsuccessful in any Veterinary Medicine programme (i.e. have not met academic or other requirements within the programme) will only be considered for admission to Veterinary Medicine in UCD on a case-by-case appeal basis, to be considered by the relevant Programme Board.

Please note: Biology at Leaving Certificate is not required but it is strongly recommended

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

This programme will educate you to the best international standards in veterinary medicine. To work as a vet in the Republic of Ireland, you must have a degree in Veterinary Medicine, which is registered by the Veterinary Council of Ireland. UCD’s Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB) is Ireland’s only such degree. The veterinary profession is concerned with the promotion of the health and welfare of animals of special importance to society. This involves the care of healthy and sick animals, the prevention, recognition, control and treatment of their diseases and of diseases transmitted from animals to man, and the welfare and productivity of livestock.

The study of Veterinary Medicine necessitates using animal-derived material in some classes. Any animal tissue used in classes is ethically sourced in full compliance with the university’s ethical review body. Individuals who object unreservedly to the use of animal material in teaching should not enter the veterinary medicine programme.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

You can work in mixed, small animal, farm animal or equine practice. You may also obtain further specialist clinical qualifications. Beyond clinical practice, veterinarians play an important role in the protection of public health, in research into diseases of animals and man, and in other areas such as conservation and wildlife protection. While most graduates work in clinical practice, increasing numbers pursue research in public service or private sector research. This reflects the important role of the veterinarian in animal health control and consumer protection. At present, there is almost complete employment for veterinary graduates.

What Will I Study

This programme will prepare you for entry into any branch of the profession, with specific hands-on work and clinical cases in fifth year. The course structure is:

First & Second Year

  • Normal Animal Structure & Function
  • Animal Husbandry & Welfare
  • Animal Handling & Animal Experience
  • Professionalism

Third & Fourth Year

  • Pathobiological Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Therapeutics
  • Herd Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Veterinary Public Health


Fifth Year

  • Clinical rotations in the UCD Veterinary Hospital (see Year 5 in Pathway document)
  • Elective Studies
  • Clinical Experience

During the first four years, students spend an average of 40 hours per week attending lectures, tutorials and practicals, with some practicals taking place at Lyons Research Farm. During the final year, clinical rotations take place mainly in the UCD Veterinary Hospital and can involve early mornings and some late-night work. Students are also expected to undertake independent study.

A combination of end-of-semester written, practical and competency examinations, along with continuous assessment during term, is used throughout the programme.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

Many students choose to obtain part of their extramural experience abroad, in veterinary hospitals or other veterinary schools. The high standing and international recognition of Veterinary Medicine at UCD ensures that they are readily accepted for such placements.


“I have enjoyed every minute of my five years studying Veterinary Medicine in UCD. I knew I would enjoy the content of the course as I had always wanted to be a vet. But it was the people in this faculty and the sense of community felt here that will make me think of the past five years fondly.

I have met some incredible people during my time here – from equine surgeons in Boston to sheep farmers in Louth. I have developed huge confidence as a result of the practical elements of this course.”

Liz Gray, Student 

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