Please note that following recent discussions with VSC, the RCVS Council has agreed to temporarily suspend its Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) requirements for UK veterinary students, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Extra-mural studies (EMS) are placements taken throughout the veterinary medicine degree which prepare students for working in a clinical environment. They are an essential part of veterinary education.
Current regulations set a minimum of 38 weeks of EMS during the course. This typically breaks down as 12 weeks on pre-clinical placements and 26 weeks of clinical placements, of which the first six weeks are preparatory for the final 20 weeks, which are undertaken in the clinical years of the degree. These time frames were laid out in 2011 in EMS Recommendations and Policy Guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Whilst universities are responsible for teaching the skills that the student needs to practise when they first graduate (the ‘day-one competences‘), it is on EMS placements that students can further practise the animal-handling and clinical skills that they first learn at university, as well as build up their experience of dealing with clients and with members of the veterinary team. Each veterinary school publishes their EMS curriculum on their websites.
Veterinary schools recommend that their students take BVA student membership which automatically provides students with free personal accident and personal liability insurance. For details of each school’s cover, please refer to the EMS summaries for individual schools. Further details about BVA student insurance can be found on the BVA website. The student insurance policy does not include professional liability as students should be covered by their employers’ professional liability insurance.
The RCVS provides general guidance on EMS which students and placement providers may find useful.
- BVA – Making the most of EMS (guides available to BVA members only)
- EMS Driving Licence – guidance for students before they start EMS
- GVS – Government Veterinary Surgeons
- GVS – Getting experience in UK government
- GVS – Getting experience in the food sector
- EMS at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
- Extra-mural studies with the VLA – a guide for students
- The Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool – guidance for students on preparing for their first EMS placement
- AVS Pre-Clinical EMS Guide
- AVS Clinical EMS Guide