Written by a current vet student:
"My decision to apply to the UK was based on friends and relatives recommendation due to the uncertainty and element of luck involved with the leaving cert and I am certainly very grateful for the advice. 2 weeks of examinations to test 2/3 years of education in 7 or 8 subjects with the ten point gap between an A1 and an A2 in one subject often determining the outcome of a veterinary application (with limited guarantee of a repeat being any better) leaves a huge amount relying on luck and I wished to do all I could to minimise this risk.
I sat the leaving certificate in 2013 however in truth my application to veterinary began properly in ‘transition year’ or 4th year. I had not achieved overly brilliant junior certificate results (3a’s, 7 b’s) however this was in part due to other time commitments.
Work experience is vital for an application to UK vet schools and is also an excellent way of ensuring that this really is an area you wish to become involved in (I’d recommend as wide a range as possible). 4th year allowed me this opportunity and so I spent much of the school year and the majority of my holidays out of school and on placements. At the end of 5th year I wrote and prepared my personal statement with the help of a guidance councillor as obviously personal statements are not a pre-requisite to any Irish colleges/universitys and so it was helpful to find someone who could provide me with some brief directions as to the structure and what was expected in a personal statement.
When choosing subjects (and in turn colleges) it is important to check the UCAS guidelines and grade requirements for each individual university as the requirements for A grades in certain subjects are a lot more specific than the ‘HC3 in chemistry’ required in Dublin. All of these are available on the UCAS website under international course requirements though they do take a while to get for each of the individual vet schools.
I received all A’s as predicted grades and along with this information and my personal statement I applied to 4 UK vet schools as well as Dublin. I received work experience questionnaires and documents to complete from a number of the universitys and was offered an interview in one. To this I brought a number of statements and answered questions on a number of topical and relevant subjects at the time, a bit about things I’d seen in practice and plenty on my own interests, hobbies, aims and goals. Following my interview I received a conditional offer (no specification on A1s vs A2s) and then sat the exams in June.
Finally in August I received my leaving certificate results and after receiving 4 A2s I realised I was likely to just miss out on the points requirement for Dublin and so confirmed my place in the UK and I am now a fourth year who is still very grateful for the advice to apply to the UK 7 years ago."