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Success for postgraduate veterinary students

Posted 15 October

“The partnership with Improve International and the ISVPS represents a means of increasing access to higher education for an existing workforce and recognition of the quality of vocationally relevant Continuing Professional Development taking place within private providers."

More than 400 graduates have completed postgraduate veterinary qualifications, validated by Harper Adams University, to progress to the next stages of their careers.

As the only higher education institution to deliver a suite of postgraduate certificates and diploma options with partners Improve International and the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS), Link Tutor Emily Chapman-Waterhouse spoke about the success the Harper graduates have enjoyed.

Emily said: “Beginning in 2012, this veterinary education partnership has grown from two courses to fifteen, helping veterinary professionals develop their industry knowledge and progress up their career ladders. Last year, 175 new students joined the programme area and we continue to see this figure grow annually.

“Ten of the courses are designed for qualified vets to gain a ‘middle tier’ of recognition from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Instead of the large jump from general practitioner to specialist, this offers a stepping-stone to show progression in their career.”

Emily talked about the importance of the collaboration, saying: “The partnership with Improve International and the ISVPS represents a means of increasing access to higher education for an existing workforce and recognition of the quality of vocationally relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD) taking place within private providers.

“Development of curricula with meaningful input from employers and professional bodies is an enabling objective of the Learning, Teaching & Student Experience Strategy.

“Furthermore, the use of wrapper modules within the programme area is an example of how a curriculum can be flexible to the demands of employment sectors. These also reflect the University’s teaching activities within the partnership."

The suite of postgraduate certificates cover a range of small-animal related disciplines and seek to develop clinical skills as well as reflective practice and research skills.

Having a specific professional interest has never been more important. Emily explained: “With such a changing landscape in the sector, it is an ideal time to work on your CV and differentiate yourself from the rest. Returning to learning can also help to re-engage individuals with their profession, finding new ways to consider practice through CPD and discussion with peers.”

Emily spoke about the sense of community between the cohorts. She said: “Teaching on these courses is a great opportunity to get involved in veterinary workforce development. These postgraduate students bring with them informative experience. The courses prompt critical thinking in being an effective and advancing practitioner and, having to work on reflective practice and research skills, alerts them to different approaches to workplace problem solving. Beyond clinical enhancement and impact in the workplace, sharing in this can develop strong networks and friendships.”

For further information on the postgraduate certificate options, click here.

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