Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest-established independent veterinary school, and a constituent college of the University of London. Offering programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences, the RVC is consistently in the Complete University Guide's top ten for veterinary medicine. The RVC achieved Gold status for its teaching (TEF 2017) and holds full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC – allowing graduates to work all over the world.

City Centre
City Centre

In or close to the centre of a city


In or close to the countryside


The university (including student accommodation, teaching, and leisure facilities) is located on one site


Located on a green space in, or near to, a city or town centre


Specialises in a single subject area, or a small range of subjects

UCAS Code: R84

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 78%
  • Postgraduate 22%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 86%
  • Part Time 14%

Where students come from

  • UK 81%
  • EU 3%
  • Other 15%

Student gender

  • Male 22%
  • Female 78%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • Split across the two campuses, the library has an extensive range of learning materials such as textbooks, journals and electronic resources. It offers computer workstations, and facilities for group and individual study. SCOUT (Search Content OUT) is a digital tool for the discovery and delivery of books, e-books, journal articles, and digital resources.
  • Teaching-related IT facilities include a virtual learning environment (RVC Learn), which houses lecture notes and slides, enables students to participate in online tests and directed learning sessions, or collaborate with classmates and communicate with tutors. A lecture capture service (Echo360) enables students to revisit past lectures from the comfort of home – great for catching up, reviewing complicated subjects, or revising.
  • Students also have free access to Microsoft Office 365 and specific course-based software, as well as secure wireless Internet on campus via eduroam. The RVC App gives quick and easy access to RVC resources, as well as timely updates and notifications about special events. The app can be downloaded through the App Store and on Android.

Student jobs

  • RVC students can apply to work as student ambassadors to help support recruitment, outreach and other public engagement events.

Careers advice

  • The RVC's careers service offers one-to-one support to help students make career decisions and identify their transferable skills. Support includes practice interviews; tips on how to handle assessment centres; and guidance on preparing CVs, covering letters and job applications.
  • A range of resources can be accessed via the University of London, including the UK's largest careers information library and Job Online.

Health services

  • Advice Centre staff aim to support students throughout their journey at the RVC, signposting them to the many internal and external support services to help manage their well-being.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • Student life, studying and professional training can be both exciting and stressful; the RVC's confidential and free counselling service can support students through any difficulties they may be experiencing, with professional BACP-accredited counsellors. There is also a weekly psychology clinic at both campuses to support students with more complex or long-term issues.
  • 24/7 online support for students is available through Silvercloud, which can be accessed on computers, phones or tablets.
  • Specialist mentoring can help students reach their full potential, with support tailored to individual needs. Mentoring may be funded through the Disabled Students Allowance.

Disability support

  • The university's disability adviser offers information and guidance about support available for students with disabilities, learning difference and long-term health conditions via the government funded Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
  • The RVC also has a number of resources, such as a recorded lecture service, to assist learning.

Other services and facilities

  • A chaplain and interfaith adviser offer independent support and advice to everyone who seeks it, regardless of religious belief or none, and can also signpost students to nearby faith communities. Prayer and quiet rooms are available at both campuses for individual prayer or reflection.

Students' Union

  • The Students' Union provides a range of services, support, social activities and student development opportunities.
  • As soon as students start at the RVC, they can get involved with everything the SU offers – from sports clubs, societies and nights out, to volunteering opportunities, student representation, support and advice. The SU is a big part of life on campus, providing plenty of opportunities to get involved.
  • As well as representing students, the SU seeks their feedback on how to improve student life, to address the concerns of students and make their time at the RVC the best it can be. Please refer to RVCSU website to find out more.


  • The Royal Veterinary College originated in St Pancras, London in 1791, when four students began a three-year course intended to cover all aspects of veterinary medicine and science.
  • In 1875 the College received its first Charter of Incorporation from Queen Victoria; it remains the only veterinary college in the UK to have its own Royal Charter. Over one hundred years, the college had grown from a horse infirmary with a handful of students to a science-based institution, producing internationally-renowned veterinarians and scientists.
  • In 1949 The Royal Veterinary College became a full part of the University of London, whilst retaining its independence. In 1955 the college acquired a country estate in Hertfordshire to provide a new field station, today known as the Hawkshead Campus.

Fascinating Fact

  • It was the death of a horse that led to the founding of the Royal Veterinary College. From 1769 to 1770 Eclipse dominated horseracing unbeaten, winning 18 races in a row before being retired in the absence of competition – eight races were declared walkovers because no-one would put horses against him. He went on to sire many winners: now, 95% of all thoroughbred racehorses are descended from him. On his death, age 25, the urgent need to find the secret of his racing success required veterinary expertise but there was only one qualified vet in the country – Frenchman Charles Benoit Vial de St Bel. He became the first principal of the veterinary school.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Aleen Cust – first woman to hold the MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) diploma, 1922.
  • Olga Uvarov – the first woman to become president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (1976).
  • Mark Evans – from Inside Nature's Giants, Channel 4.
  • David Grant – Animal Hospital.
  • Sir Frederick Hobday – renowned vet who pioneered the Hobday operation.
  • Adrian Jones – vet and sculptor, responsible for the largest bronze sculpture in Britain, the Peace Quadriga in London.
  • Liz Bonnin – wildlife and science TV presenter.
  • From 2008–2014, the positions of chief veterinary officer in the United Kingdom, England, Wales and Scotland were all held simultaneously by RVC graduates.


Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London, NW1 0TU