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    Matt's on course to veterinary career

    Posted 14 July 2011

    Once I’d done the course, I felt prepared and ready to start university."

    20-year-old Matt Raven at the Harper Adams Beef Unit

    An up-and-coming young vet has found that a course he undertook at Harper Adams has given him a head start towards his degree course in Veterinary Science.

    Matthew Raven from Knutsford, Cheshire, was among the first cohort to complete an Introduction to Farm Animal Management and Production at the University College in Shropshire.

    This three-day qualification is specifically designed for potential applicants to Veterinary Science degree programmes. It provides delegates with sufficient knowledge to be able to understand modern animal production systems and their impact on animal health and welfare.

    20-year-old Matt, who completed the course two years ago, said: “Although I’m from a dairy farm background, I needed to improve my knowledge of sheep, pigs and beef cattle. This gave me a really good overview and grounding for my degree at the University of Liverpool.

    “I’m interested in the larger animals and hope to specialise in them in the future, becoming a country farm vet.”

    During the course, half a day is spent on each of the five animal systems – dairy, beef, sheep, pig and poultry, through a series of practical and theoretical sessions. There are also farm enterprise visits with industry specialist vets.

    Matthew, who is preparing to embark on the second year of his five year degree, added: “Once I’d done the course, I felt prepared and ready to start university. It was more detailed and practical than other placements or courses that you might get elsewhere.

    “I really enjoyed my time at Harper Adams, the facilities were good and the lecturers were knowledgeable. The people that completed the three days with me all agreed that we hadn’t done anything like it before.”

    The programme is delivered primarily by Harper Adams Lecturer, Alan Stewart, who also guest lectures on a similar module at Matthew’s university.

    Alan, said: “Attending an Introduction to Farm Animal Management and Production will provide evidence of the student’s commitment, passion and knowledge of the vast subject area of livestock production.

    “Students from non-agricultural backgrounds can often find it extremely different to gain on-farm work experience. This course provides an opportunity for those young people.”

    Following the course, delegates need to successfully complete an assessment, which is equivalent to five Higher Education (HE) credits at Level 4.

    This year, Farm Animal Management and Production takes place from August 30 until September 2 at the University College near Newport, Shropshire. Places are now full, but to enquire about 2012, contact 01952 815324 or visit

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