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HomeBeefStudying veterinary medicine at UCD: What you need to know
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Studying veterinary medicine at UCD: What you need to know

UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

Currently, the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, based in a purpose-built facility on UCD’s Belfield Campus, is the country’s only veterinary medicine school, writes farming journalist, Catherina Cunnane.

The school, along with the UCD Veterinary Hospital, moved to the Veterinary Sciences Centre from the Veterinary College in Ballsbridge in June 2002, where the teaching of veterinary medicine had been based since 1900 when the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland on Pembroke Road and Shelbourne Road was constructed.

UCD’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ballsbridge was established in 1946, and the campaign for a new veterinary school on the Belfield campus was launched in 1992.

The school’s track record in education is “exceptional”, and its excellence in teaching and learning, research and clinical service is internationally recognised.

The work of the school is underpinned by a strong vision and mission; its ‘One Health, One Welfare’ strategy focuses on maintaining a flourishing Veterinary School, positively impacting animal and human health, animal welfare and the environment.

A spokesperson confirmed to That’s Farming that the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine currently has over 660 veterinary medicine students and more than 150 veterinary nursing students registered across its three undergraduate programmes:

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB);
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB) Graduate Entry;
  • Bachelor of Science in Veterinary.
Entry requirements 

In September 2022, over 190 students commenced their studies in the school, and its programmes “generally produce a similar number of graduates on an annual basis”.

There are 82 places available to CAO applicants each year on the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB) programme. Leaving Certificate subject entry requirements for the MVB programme are as follows:

  • H5 in Chemistry;
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics, a third language and one other recognised subject;
  • At least 60 hours of practical experience relevant to animal handling;
  • Biology at Leaving Certificate is not required, but it is strongly

The course ranks at level 8 on the NFQ and enables graduates to work in mixed, small animal, farm animal or equine practices or in technical industry-based roles.

There is also an opportunity to obtain further specialist clinical qualifications or undertake further study.

Its CAO course code is DN300, with a duration of 5 years and a CAO point range of 601-625 in 2022 (CAO points requirements are influenced by demand).

Read article on the proposal to expand the course with the allocation of additional 50 places, via this link.


The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine has ranked highly in the QS World University Rankings (QSWUR) by subject since 2015, when veterinary science was first introduced to the rankings to highlight the top veterinary schools worldwide.

The school has consistently ranked in the top 40 since 2015, achieving its highest ranking of 23rd in 2021.

Veterinary Science at UCD has been the highest-ranked subject in both UCD and Ireland on several occasions since 2015.


The school’s MVB degree programme is one of only seven in Europe fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

It is also accredited by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI).

The school is also a partner in the Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme (ICAT), an integrated pathway for clinical academic training in human medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry.

ICAT is an all-Ireland partnership comprising six universities, training authorities and health services, the Health Research Board and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

UCD Veterinary Hospital

The UCD Veterinary Hospital (UCDVH) is recognised worldwide as a state-of-the-art veterinary teaching hospital fit to meet the “highest” international standards of clinical training in terms of its staff, processes and future-proofed facilities.

The UCDVH provides a primary and referral service to the public and veterinary profession and is equipped with cutting-edge, modern technology and services.

This enables the team of internationally recognised experts to provide “the best care possible” to patients whilst training the next generation of vets and vet nurses.

As part of our popular written Student Focus series, we have spoken to the following UCD vet med students:

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