Postgraduate Certificates

The BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) equips veterinary surgeons with the knowledge and expertise that they need to deal with the medical or surgical situations that they encounter regularly. The programme also explores complex techniques and new advances, better enabling them to discuss treatment option and potential outcomes with clients, as well as to refer appropriately.

The certificates are validated by Nottingham Trent University and are relevant to small animal practice, with a combination of face-to-face courses and online learning enabling flexible study, yet providing a feeling of academic community and support.

PGCert subjects:

  • Small animal surgery
  • Small animal medicine
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Ophthalmology
  • Diagnostic Imaging

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To apply, you need to either be a registered user of the website or a BSAVA member. Choose your option on the course outlines below.

If you have any queries about the Postgraduate Certificates, please email or call 01452 726700. 

Frequently asked questions

Small Animal Surgery

Designed primarily for veterinary surgeons working in small animal practice, who would like to strengthen their surgical knowledge and practical skills, allowing them to manage surgical situations confidently and appropriately.

Successful completion will lead to the award of BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery (BSAVA PGCertSAS)


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Small Animal Medicine

Designed primarily for veterinary surgeons in small animal practice who would like to strengthen their medical knowledge, problem-solving and decision-making, to support optimal management of the medical conditions commonly encountered.

Successful completion will lead to the award of BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine (BSAVA PGCertSAM).


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Every veterinary surgeon working in small animal practice is presented with a critically ill patient or an emergency situation from time to time. This programme is designed to develop medical and surgical knowledge and practical skills in this context, and build confidence in managing such patients appropriately.

Successful completion will lead to the award of BSAVA & Vets Now Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care (BSAVA & Vets Now PGCertSAECC)


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This programme is focused specifically on the acquisition of knowledge and practical skills in ophthalmology, including the development of a logical problem-solving approach to each case. It is designed to enable veterinary surgeons to manage ophthalmic cases confidently and appropriately in small animal practice.

Successful completion will lead to the award of BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Ophthalmology (BSAVA PGCertSAOphthal).


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Diagnostic Imaging

Designed primarily towards veterinary surgeons working in small animal practice who have a particular interest in diagnostic imaging. The aim is to provide participants with the knowledge and expertise they need to confidently and competently chose the most clinically relevant diagnostic imaging technique and to accurately interpret images obtained with radiography and ultrasonography. Furthermore, participants will enhance their understanding of more advanced imaging techniques. 

Successful completion will lead to the award of BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Diagnostic Imaging (BSAVA PGCertSADI).


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Course structure

Module I 


Medicine Surgery ECC and Ophthalmology 

20 taught day courses 

Each of the 20 small units begins with a one day course of teaching and  discussion, combining lectures and interactive case discussions. For the Small Animal Surgery, Small Animal Ophthalmology and Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care certificates, some of these modules will be practical in nature. 

Diagnostic Imaging 

15 core units plus an elective 

Eight of the core subject units will include an attendance day comprising of practical skills training, lectures and interactive case based discussion. The remaining seven core subject units will be delivered entirely online through a combination of webinars and live streamed imaging rounds. The elective will contain online teaching, 2 attendance days and 2 days of practice observation. 

Online resources and activities 

You will have access to the BSAVA education website, which hosts a variety of activities and resources. There will be an online assessment task for each unit, for which you will get feedback. 

Typical resources include: 

  • Recommended reading lists 
  • Notes and lecture presentations from the taught course 
  • Access to podcasts (BSAVA Congress MP3s), and publications like JSAP and Companion 
  • Multiple choice questions or short question exercises 
  • Case-based problem solving exercises 
  • Image interpretation exercises 
  • Webinars 
  • Online moderated discussion forums 

Assessment of Module I 

Satisfactory completion of each of the 20 units (or 15 core units plus elective for diagnostic imaging) will require attendance at the taught course (where applicable) and participation in all compulsory online activities. When all units have been completed, there will be a formal written examination which candidates must pass before progressing to the next section of the programme. 


Module II 



Eight cases will be presented, illustrating a variety of clinical presentations, and demonstrating the candidate’s ability to work logically through a case, to select and justify the decisions made, and to evaluate the outcome in the context of the published literature. In addition to the case reports, two extended reflective commentaries  relating to key veterinary skills are required. Comprehensive guidance as well as support will be available. 

Case Diary 

Candidates on the diagnostic imaging certificate will need to submit a portfolio of prescribed images in addition to the case book. Comprehensive guidance as well as support will be available. 

Assessment of Module II 

The submitted casebooks, case diary (where applicable) and commentaries all contribute to the Module II assessment.  

Enrolment process and fees

Enrolment Process

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

We will notify you within three working days of receipt as to whether or not you have successfully secured a place. We will then send you a full enrolment pack, which must be completed, signed and returned with a non-refundable deposit of £300.00 by the stated deadline in order to confirm your place.

If numbers are such that we cannot enrol you immediately, we will place you on a waiting list and will contact you as soon as a place is available for you.

Enrolment criteria

The criteria for enrolment onto the BSAVA PgCert courses are as follows:

  • Applicants must hold a veterinary qualification
  • UK-based applicants must be on the RCVS Home Practising Register
  • Applicants based outside the UK must hold a veterinary qualification that would entitle them to register as a member of the RCVS
  • Applicants must have spent a minimum of one year in veterinary practice
  • 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.


Students are required to pay an annual enrolment fee for each of the first 3 years of their studies.
In 2022, this fee is set at £3,730 plus VAT.

This fee covers:

  • Attendance at each of the taught courses run for the programme of study during the year
  • Access to all online activities and resources
  • Membership and support from RCVS knowledge
  • All assessment fees
  • Academic and pastoral support
  • Registration with Nottingham Trent University
  • BSAVA membership
  • Discounted admission to BSAVA Congress and on BSAVA manuals

If studies are extended, then the full enrolment fee is not payable in years 4 and 5. Students will be required to maintain their BSAVA membership, and to pay a fee each year for registration with Nottingham Trent University.

Do you have access to a dog?

Please note that the PGCert in Small Animal Diagnostic Imaging is a practical based programme. BSAVA are unable to provide dogs for the practical courses. Therefore, if you enrol on this course, you need to be prepared to bring a dog with you to the practical sessions.

If you plan to sign up for this certificate, you should consider who’s dog you are going to bring – your own, a friend’s or colleague’s - clinical patients must not be used. 

You will be asked at the time of enrolment to indicate whether or not you intend to bring a dog to the course. We will need at least 15 students per cohort to agree to bring dogs, and those that do so will be offered priority booking.

If you are travelling from overseas or otherwise would find it impossible to bring a dog with you, you will be paired with another student who can. 

We will have a person responsible for animal welfare at all practical courses who will be happy to look after the dogs when they are not being used for scanning.  Our local hotel is dog-friendly for those who need overnight accommodation.

Online resources

Students and mentors can access resources on the BSAVA Education site.

VetCEE approval

The BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine and Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery have been evaluated and approved by Veterinary Continuous Education in Europe. (VetCEE).

VetCEE is responsible for developing a high standard for structured continuing professional development and mutual recognition across Europe. VetCEE approval of BSAVA’s Postgraduate programmes means the certificate is not only at the recognised European standard, but has also gone through vigorous evaluation by an independent panel of experts.

What is VetCEE?

VetCEE is a joint initiative of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS), Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP).

Why was VetCEE set up?

While minimum standards already existed at veterinary graduate and specialist level, there was a lack of European standards for the middle-tier level for veterinary practitioners wishing to improve their clinical skills. VetCEE was created with the aim to validate the quality of these middle-tier programmes.

VetCEE will raise the quality and transparency of postgraduate training programmes, and in turn support improvement in veterinary care.

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"I absolutely loved the course, would even consider doing another PGCert in the future. It’s really helped my confidence.” (BSAVA PGCertSAM)

“I’ve done a lot of CPD over the years in different countries throughout Europe and this was the best!” (BSAVA PGCertSAM)

“It was a really well structured, useful and enjoyable course. There was a good balance between online activities and also meeting face to face with colleagues to discuss cases. It has contributed enormously towards my everyday working life”. (BSAVA PGCertSAM)

“Overall, I am really glad I sat this course. It has accelerated my career progression in a way I couldn’t have hoped for. Very friendly and approachable staff and lecturers. I particularly enjoyed the 2 or 3 days courses for getting to know others.” (BSAVA PGCertSAS)

“This has been by far the best value for money and most worthwhile CPD I have ever done. So good I’m considering signing up to another BSAVA cert in a year or two.” (BSAVA PGCertSAS)

“Truly fantastic experience that has developed my skills professionally, and opened up the opportunities to improve my patient care and job satisfaction. Wish I could have done it 10 years earlier!” (BSAVA PGCertSAS)

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