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Home > News > RCVS urges farmers to offer student work placements

RCVS urges farmers to offer student work placements

16th Feb 2024 / By Alistair Driver

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulatory body for UK veterinary surgeons, is looking for farmers to take on veterinary students to help them become qualified vets.

Students on veterinary degree programmes are required to undertake placements in areas of work where they can become prepared for the practical side of their job. 

The NPA helps to facilitate this for students seeking placements on pig farms but it can be hard to find producers willing to take on students.  

RCVS is now actively looking for owners of farms and animal shelters to help accommodate them in the form of extra-mural studies (EMS), which students usually take in their first or second year of study.

EMS focus is based on the undertaking of animal husbandry responsibilities so the students can become accustomed to rearing and handling animals across a number of settings.

They are generally available to lend a hand to anything that supports the upkeep and management of livestock. 

RCVS reports that the number of vet students in the UK is increasing, so they are looking to ensure that the rise in demand is met.

  • Farms wanting to be involved with the programme can contact the RCVS on .

There is evidence to suggest that vets on-farm can be a benefit to farmers and the environment, according to RCVS. Research by the British Vet Association shows that healthier animals have a lower carbon footprint through lower disease management and an improved efficiency of production.

RCVS director of education Dr Linda Prescott-Clements highlighted the potential benefits to both parties. 

“While increasing the number of available animal husbandry EMS placements available to students will be invaluable for the students themselves, there are also benefits to the establishments willing to provide these opportunities,” she said. 

“In return for providing a supportive and positive learning environment, EMS providers often appreciate having passionate and knowledgeable students working alongside them who care deeply about animal health and welfare.

“Additionally, establishments who offer EMS placements will be helping to support the vital development of our country’s future vets. It’s a mutually beneficial experience for all involved.”