BSAVA Masters in Clinical Veterinary Research

Enrol now to start in January 2022

The BSAVA Masters in Clinical Veterinary Research is designed primarily for veterinary surgeons working in small animal clinical practice or clinical training programmes, with a particular interest in the identification and solving of problems through clinical research. 

The Masters course is flexible and combines online learning and a workplace-based clinical research project so students can continue working throughout the course.

Enrolled students study part-time at a pace that suits them; the course may be completed within two years, or be extended to a maximum of five years. The Masters is accredited through Nottingham Trent University, and will carry 180 credits at Level 7.

A current Masters student describes her experience of the course so far, “It has been very interesting - I had already been taught some aspects of clinical research but the course has really expanded my knowledge in this area. I feel much more confident about the subject now.  The tutors have been great - really helpful and approachable.”

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Enrol now

Enrol now to start our Masters programme in January 2022 by completing the online enrolment form above. Please note: To enrol online you need to be either a BSAVA member or registered user of the website.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and in-depth understanding of a chosen area of clinical veterinary science
  • Evaluate the rigour and validity of published research and assess its impact on current or new practices within a chosen area of clinical veterinary science
  • Show a critical understanding of the research methods and techniques required to propose, plan and perform clinical research
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in identifying and solving clinical problems, and in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level
  • Apply appropriate techniques to address complex issues in a systematic manner, make informed and reliable judgements even in the absence of complete data, and critically evaluate the results
  • Plan, undertake and communicate the progress and findings of a clinical veterinary research project

Course outline

The course comprises a combination of online learning and a workplace-based clinical research project.  Enrolled students will study part-time at a pace which suits them; the course may be completed within 2 years, or be extended to a maximum of 5 years.

Enrolled students will work through 6 key stages in turn.

  1. Core online study units introducing students to the principles of clinical research; topics include searching and reviewing literature, funding of projects, study design, statistics, ethical and legislative considerations in research, collection of data, writing up a project
  2. Identification of the research question
  3. Detailed literature search and review
  4. Design and plan study, including consideration of feasibility, and present the outline to a small group of colleagues for formative feedback and discussion. Submit study proposal for formal ethical approval
  5. Collect and analyse data
  6. Write up the project

Each student will be allocated a project supervisor to provide advice and guidance; detailed guidance for students and supervisors will specify the responsibilities and expectations of each party. It should be emphasised that, although provision of support and guidance is considered a priority, each student will be expected to work independently and to take responsibility for his/her own studies.

All projects will be required to undergo formal ethical approval. Those projects involving animals will be expected to fall within the realm of recognised veterinary practice, and must not require Home Office licencing under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Assessment and feedback

Feedback will be provided through exercises within the core online study units. There will be further opportunities for feedback from the project supervisor and through discussions with colleagues.

The formal assessment will have 3 elements:

  • A written account of the clinical research project in a format suitable for publication
  • A reflective essay considering the challenges faced in designing and carrying out the research project
  • An oral examination to discuss the account of the research project and the reflective essay

Final award - MRes in Clinical Veterinary Research

Admission criteria

Applicants must hold a veterinary qualification

  • If based in the UK, he/she must be on the RCVS home practising register
  • If based outside the UK, he/she must hold a veterinary qualification which would entitle him/her to register as a member of the RCVS and must provide evidence that he/she is licensed to practice in the country in which he/she works

Applicants must have spent a minimum of 3 years working as a veterinary surgeon

  • Veterinary surgeons who qualified in 2007 or later and who are based in the UK must have completed the RCVS Professional Development Phase (PDP) before they can enrol

Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have a good command of spoken and written English (minimum requirement British Council IELTS grade 6.5 or equivalent). Equivalent experience may include the successful completion of a degree or other accredited postgraduate qualification in the English language or a significant period of residence/work placement in an English-speaking country.

Applicants must have achieved a postgraduate qualification relevant to some aspect of veterinary science, that carries at least 60 credit points at level 7. Evidence of achievement of this qualification will be required before confirmation of acceptance onto the course.

  • Qualifications achieved outside the UK may be offered, and will be evaluated for credit equivalence and level before acceptance onto the course is confirmed
  • Postgraduate qualifications which are not formally accredited may be offered, and will be evaluated for content, level and volume before acceptance onto the course is confirmed

Please note that, although the course is intended primarily for veterinary surgeons working in clinical practice, it is not a requirement that applicants are working in clinical practice. We recognise that veterinary surgeons working in other environments may be interested in the course; it is simply important that each applicant understands that he/she needs to be in a position to design and implement a clinical research project.

How and when to enrol

You can enrol at any time throughout the year by completing the online enrolment form. We take in one cohort of students each year, and places are offered on a first come, first served basis

Please note: To enrol online you need to be either a BSAVA member or registered user of the website.

If you are already registered to the BSAVA website and logged in you will be taken directly to the application form.  If you are not logged into the website or not registered you will be prompted before proceeding.

If you already have an existing application you will be taken to myBSAVA > My Applications in order to complete and submit.

Course fees

An annual enrolment fee will be payable for each of the first two study years.

  • In 2022, the annual enrolment fee will be £3,090 (plus VAT)
  • The annual enrolment fee is set each year, and may therefore undergo a modest inflationary increase each year
  • The fee may be paid as a single sum at the start of the study year, or payments may be made by monthly direct debit
  • The fee must be paid by a single individual or organisation. Any arrangements for sharing of fees is a personal matter between the student and other relevant bodies
  • It is possible to pay for the whole course (two years) at the beginning of the course. In this case the sum payable will be £6,100 plus VAT

If a student extends his/her studies over a longer period, the full enrolment fee is not payable in years three, four or five. Students will instead be responsible for paying their own BSAVA membership and a fee which allows BSAVA to register them with Nottingham Trent University

What do course fees include?

  • Access to the BSAVA online learning platform throughout the study period
  • An allocated supervisor for each student, for provision of advice and guidance
  • General study support through a Masters programme coordinator and the administrative team at BSAVA, Woodrow House
  • Ethical approval process fees
  • Formal assessment fees
  • BSAVA membership for the first two years of study
  • RCVS Knowledge Library membership for the first two years of study
  • Discounted attendance at BSAVA Congress for the first two years of study

NB Any project costs will not be covered by course fees. Potential costs should be borne in mind during the project design phase, forming an important part of the feasibility study. Advice and assistance will be provided if necessary in identifying potential funding sources and preparing applications.

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