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Veterinary Medicine FAQ



Why did the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine bring in this requirement?

This requirement is to help you, as a prospective student, decide on a career in Veterinary Medicine. It will give you additional knowledge of the career and the profession and prepare you for your veterinary studies by providing some animal handling and husbandry knowledge and skills.

What is the actual requirement?

For 2024 entry the requirement will be 60 hours .

This experience should cover at least two of the following four animal categories:
1. Pets (Dogs and cats);
2. Horses;
3. Farm animals (cattle, sheep, pigs, goats);
4. Wildlife/zoo

Only animal categories for which you have a minimum of 5 hours experience will be considered.

Does the experience have to be taken in a block of one week or two weeks?

No. The experience can be made up of shorter periods, but the entire experience should add up to the required amount

How will I apply and what are the deadlines?

You must apply via CAO for Veterinary Medicine DN300 by 1 May (or by change of mind up to 1 July)

You will receive an email from UCD in January/February (depending on when you apply) advising you of how to submit the information about your practical experience online. You will need to upload a signed Practical Experience Document for each placement. The closing date for submitting the details of your animal/veterinary experience will be 4 July 2024. A .pdf version of Practical Experience Document is also available.

What information will be required?

The only details you will need to provide are the name of the premises, the number of hours experience, the animal category, and contact details for the responsible person who will verify your experience and upload a signed Practical Experience Document for each placement. 

What if I’m doing my experience after the closing date?

For experience to be considered it must have been completed before the closing date of 4 July 2024.

Only practical experience undertaken between 1 February 2021 and 4 July 2024 will be taken into consideration

When will I hear the outcome?

You will receive an acknowledgement via e-mail, once your form has been submitted. If you don't receive this, please check you have submitted it properly. If this doesn’t resolve the issue contact www.ucd.ie/askus quoting your CAO application number (we will not be able to assist unless you include your number).

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.

Who will decide on whether my experience is sufficient?

A sub-committee of the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine admissions committee will review the forms and decide whether you meet the criteria.

How do you verify applicants actually have the experience they claim?

The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine will verify each application by contacting the persons listed on the application form. Experience that cannot be verified will not be accepted.

Who is the responsible person?

The responsible person who can verify your experience will be the owner or manager of the animal premises where you worked. The responsible person cannot be a parent/guardian.

Will experience gained before transition year in school qualify?

Experience gained from the 1st February three years prior to application will qualify; e.g. applicants for 2024 can include experience from 1 February 2021.

Will experience gained abroad count?

Yes, as long as it can be verified

Will my experience by graded?

No. It will be a simple pass or fail to meet the requirements

Does the School of Veterinary Medicine offer any help to applicants unable to get the required experience?

The School hosts a Summer School for a small group of prospective applicants. This is a week-long programme which covers 30 hours of the requirements across three animal types. We cannot, at this time, guarantee that we will be able to offer this in 2024.

Completing the Summer School will count for 30 hours of the required experience, but will not confer any higher ranking on you, or secure you a place on the Veterinary Medicine programme. From 2024 onwards you will still be required to complete another 30 hours of experience to meet the requirements for entry.

If you complete this, you will be given a certificate of attendance which you can upload to show this experience.

Does experience gained in another academic programme e.g. Animal Science, Veterinary Nursing count?

Yes, but it must be signed off by the appropriate module coordinator and cover the handling requirements on the Practical Experience Document.

How do I know that my form has been received?

There will be an automatic notification of receipt. If you think you have submitted your form but don't receive a receipt within 24 hours, please contact UCD Registry Admissions

When will I know that my Practical Experience has been approved?

Not all practical experience will be approved before offers issue. If your experience has been received you will be considered in competition with other applicants on the basis of your school-leaving results (and in accordance with CAO procedure).

Any experience not already verified will be checked following the CAO offer. In the event that it cannot be verified, regretfully, we will have to rescind the offer.

I have a (pony, dog, cat, rabbit, bird…) at home and am completely responsible for looking after them. Does this count as appropriate experience?

No. - handling pets with which you are familiar is not sufficient experience.

I was born and raised on a dairy farm (or other such enterprise). Can this be used to meet the farm animal requirement?

Yes, but only if it was externally supervised. Your parent/guardian/sibling cannot be the person who signs your Practical Experience Document.

Can a parent sign off on my experience?

No. There must be some external supervision.

Who should be contacted in case of queries?

If you have technically difficulty with the form or please contact UCD Registry Admissions.

If you want to ask about details of the experience requirements, please contact the (opens in a new window)UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.

I have been offered DN300 and I want to defer? will I need to submit my experience again?

No. If you have an official deferral from UCD Admissions, you simply need re-apply through CAO for DN300 only and notify admissions of your new CAO number.

I am going to repeat the Leaving Cert and apply again. Do I need to submit my experience again?

Experience submitted in 2023 can be carried forward if you are applying to DN300 again in 2024. For 2024 applicants who submitted work experience previously, only experience from 1 February 2020 onwards can be carried forward. You can upload your signed practical form from your 2023 application to your 2024 application .  

If you wish to add new or additional experience you can do so before pressing the final submit button.

Please contact UCD Registry Admissions if you are having difficulty. 

I'm having difficulty finding a placement. Can you help?

 From 2024 onwards the requirement will be 60 hours.

If I submitted work experience previously ,do I need to submit again ? 

Experience submitted in the last two years can be carried forward. For 2024 applicants who submitted work experience previously, only experience completed from 1 February 2020 onwards can be carried over.  You can upload your signed practical form from your 2023 application to your 2024 application . If you wish to add new or additional experience you can do so before pressing the final submit button.

Please contact UCD Registry Admissions if you are having difficulty. 

Contact UCD Registry

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 1555 | Location Map(opens in a new window)