What is the requirement for DN300?

Applicants must normally have at least 60 hours practical experience relevant to animal handling. This must include experience with at least two of the following four animal categories: Pets, Horses, Farm Animals, Wildlife/Zoos

Special arrangements for applicants seeking entry in 2021 and 2022: due to the difficulties applicants are experiencing in getting placements as a result of the pandemic, the requirement has been reduced to 15 hours and it will only be necessary to have experience in one animal category. However, we would strongly encourage applicants to get as much experience as possible across all categories. For 2022 only we will also accept this approved online course as meeting the practical experience requirement. The digital certificate should be uploaded to your online practical experience form. 

The practical experience must have been undertaken between in the last three years i.e. for 2022 entry between 1 February 2019 and 6 July 2022 and all details must be submitted by 6 July 2022 to be taken into consideration.

Here are some examples of the types of experience and whether they fit the criteria.

Experience: Acceptable
Working at a riding school or mucking out stables and looking after the horses Counts as equine experience
Working at an animal rescue facility: walking and grooming dogs, cleaning kennels, feeding and grooming animals   Counts as pet experience
Working on a commercial farm: assisting the farmer with daily chores – milking cows, feeding stock, lambing ewes, etc.   Counts as farm animal experience
Working in a seal sanctuary   Counts as wildlife/zoo experience
Looking after my own pets Not acceptable - handling pets with which you are familiar is not sufficient experience.
Working on the farm I was brought up on   Not acceptable unless it can be verified by a supervisor who isn't a parent/guardian

Why was this introduced?

This initiative is to encourage prospective applicants to learn about the profession before applying to the programme. It should increase applicant awareness of what the career entails and cement their determination to follow this path. The requirement for practical experience does not in any circumstance involve ranking of applicants.

What do I need to do?

  • Complete your practical experience which you can do prior to applying.
  • For each experience complete the Practical Experience Document and get it signed by the person responsible for supervising you.
    .pdf version of Practical Experience Document is also available. 
  • Keep your experience documents safely as you will need to upload them when you're completing the online form.
  • The responsible person will be the owner or manager of the animal premises where you worked. UCD School of Veterinary Medicine will be contacting this person to verify the information you have provided.
  • If you uploaded work experience previously please see last question of faqs

Apply via CAO for DN300 no later than 1 May 2022 (or by change of mind up to 1 July).

From late January, as we receive your application in UCD, we will email you. You can then complete the Online Form.  (please note for applicants who make a late application, emails will not be sent until May. For those who entered DN300 using Change of Mind, emails will be sent within two weeks of applying until Change of Mind closes).

For each practical experience undertaken you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of the premises where you conducted your practical experience
  • Number of hours experience
  • Animal category
  • Contact details for the responsible person who will verify your experience.
  • You will need to upload the document(s) signed by the person who supervised your experience.

When your application is complete, submit it no later than 6 July 2022.

You will not be eligible to compete for a place on DN300 Veterinary Medicine, unless full details of your practical experience are submitted by 6 July 2022 at 5 pm. The School of Veterinary Medicine carry out a verification process.

I did the UCD Veterinary Medicine Summer School. Do I still have to complete the form?

Yes. You must complete the form and include the Summer School (you can upload your certificate of attendance). This counts as 30 hours experience.

When will I hear back from UCD?

It will not be possible for all submissions to be verified before CAO offers issue in August. When offers issue any relevant unverified submissions will be checked at that stage.

Where can I get further information?

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions Page

October 2020