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    Work experience

    Work experience as part of your application can give you confidence and a competitive edge when academic entry requirements have been met. It also helps you to decide if the course you have chosen to study is the right one for you and that it confirms your career aspirations and expectations.

    If you are planning to study Veterinary Nursing or Veterinary Physiotherapy, you’ll need some more detailed work experience to support your application. We will send you links to all the required forms to complete and return if we are in a position to make you an offer of a place. Please note if you are applying for deferred entry, your work experience must be completed in the cycle in which you apply - you can't use a "Gap Year" to meet the entry requirements.

    If you are applying for an Agriculture, Animals, Engineering, Zoology, Food, Business or Wildlife course, work experience is very useful and will enhance your application, but is not compulsory.

    For applicants of Land and Property Management courses a minimum of one week in a rural chartered surveyors or land agent prior to starting the course, would be particularly beneficial, but is not essential.

    Work experience is essential to study:

    Veterinary Nursing
     
     

    Please note our work experience requirements apply equally to all applicants and exceptions cannot be made. Work experience must be completed within the same application cycle and if an applicant chooses to defer their entry,  a "gap year" cannot be used to gain the required experience to meet the conditions of any offer.

    For the 2024 application cycle: A minimum of 4 weeks (20 days) work experience carried out since July 2022, is required. This should comprise at least 2 weeks (10 days) in veterinary practice (preferably 5 days of this should be in a block) and the remainder in an animal related placement. You are welcome to do all of the four weeks in a veterinary practice if you wish to. Ideally some of this work experience should be completed prior to application. Work experience must be completed and evidence of this submitted by 3rd July in the cycle in which you apply.

    For the 2025 application cycle: A minimum of 4 weeks (20 days) work experience carried out since July 2023, is required. This should comprise at least 2 weeks (10 days) in veterinary practice (preferably 5 days of this should be in a block) and the remainder in an animal related placement. You are welcome to do all of the four weeks in a veterinary practice if you wish to. Ideally some of this work experience should be completed prior to application. Work experience must be completed and evidence of this submitted by 3rd July in the cycle in which you apply.

    What constitutes a 'week'? 35 hours (in a block or separate, however must cover different times of the day to experience different client types)

    Acceptable types of experience: 10 days must be within a small animal veterinary practice. The experience does not need to be in an RCVS approved training practice, although this would be beneficial.

    Examples of alternative animal related placements may include: livestock farm, stables or livery yard, wildlife centre, zoo, dog training school, groomers, dog day care, rescue or boarding kennels/cattery, experience in a hydrotherapy unit or rehabilitation centre, time spent working alongside a veterinary physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath, time spent in a large animal/equine/farm veterinary practice.

    For offer making purposes, we will only consider work experience that has taken place in the period 2 years immediately before the course start date. This is to ensure that you have recent experience on the most up to date practices and procedures.

    Further information: It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the evidence of the experience when requested. This evidence must include a satisfactory signed reference from each veterinary practice attended.  If an offer of a place is made, we will provide instructions on how to send us your work experience evidence. Please keep a log of your experience and then enter it into the record system to submit it all together, in one go. This is important. If you try to add information at a later date it won’t match-up and may be missed, meaning your application could then be rejected for having insufficient work experience. Do ensure you complete all sections fully and accurately, and please be aware that we audit a random sample of work experience each year so any irregularities would affect your application.

    The RCVS has a website facility called Find a Vet which can be used to find practices based on a postcode search. When contacting veterinary practices to enquire about a work experience place, it is important to stress that you are applying to study Veterinary Nursing at degree level at University and that it is an entry requirement for the course. This may give you priority over those wanting general work experience while at school. It is best to write or email in the first instance, then follow up with a phone call. It is important to show enthusiasm and be persistent, but without pestering!

    Veterinary Physiotherapy

    Please note our work experience requirements apply equally to all applicants and exceptions cannot be made. Work experience must be completed within the same application cycle and if an applicant chooses to defer their entry,  a "gap year" cannot be used to gain the required experience to meet the conditions of any offer.

    You’ll need to carry out 10 days of work experience with animals as part of your application. These days don’t need to be consecutive, and each day should be 7 hours long. Work experience must be completed and evidence of this submitted by 3rd July in the cycle in which you apply.

    We recommend you experience working in a variety of settings and with small and large animals to best prepare you for the practical elements of the course. It’s also best to gain most of your experience in a hands-on settings rather than undertaking observational days. Both of these pointers will help you write a strong personal statement.

    What constitutes a 'week'? 5 days (in a block or separate days) totalling 35 hours.

    Acceptable types of experience: Past applicants have shadowed Veterinary Physiotherapists, worked in kennels and dog groomers, undertaken dog walking at rescue centres, helped with RDA sessions, worked on the yard at local stables, or helped with animals on the farm . Whilst owning your own horse or dog can be included within your personal statement, we’re looking for experience of animal-based work environments to satisfy the application process. You can include any experience gained since July 2022  (for the 2025 cycle, this will be after July 2023).

    Further information: If an offer of a place is made, we will provide instructions on how to send us your work experience evidence. Please keep a log of your experience and then enter it into the record system to submit it all together, in one go. This is important. If you try to add information at a later date it won’t match-up and may be missed, meaning your application could then be rejected for having insufficient work experience. Do ensure you complete all sections fully and accurately, and please be aware that we audit a random sample of work experience each year so any irregularities would affect your application.

    While the area of veterinary physiotherapy is quite specialised, it may seem hard to find work experience, however, we accept a wide range of experience provided that it is hands-on with animals. NAVP has a list of members who may be able to help with some experience however, bear in mind that these are often small businesses and may not have the capacity to help, partly due to insurance restrictions. It is important to do some research when applying for experience and ensure you explain what your career aspirations are and to stress that it is part of a university course application.

    Contact us

    Admissions
    Faccenda (Student Centre)
    +44 (0)1952 81 5000

    admissions@harper-adams.ac.uk

    No other courses have compulsory work experience requirements, but bear in mind that work experience always gives you confidence and a competitive edge when academic requirements have already been met or exceeded. It will also be helpful when on course as you can apply what you have learnt during work experience to your theoretical studies and view learning from a different perspective.

    We understand that securing suitable work experience may be a daunting prospect, especially if you do not have any contacts within your course area. We also understand that it may be difficult to get the variety of experience required. However, please note that we ensure that all applicants have the same levels of work experience in each course area, as experience has taught us that students perform better on their course and during their placement year if they have practical experience which they can relate to and take examples from.

    We recommend that you collate information and references in relation to your work experience and build up a portfolio to demonstrate what you have done. We would advise all applicants, where possible, to obtain references on letter headed paper at the point the experience is completed so you have a full record of the depth and breadth of experience obtained and to avoid having to contact experience employers retrospectively.

      

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