Bristol Veterinary Interview Questions

Note: This interview Q&A is based on pre-Covid in-person interviews (from 2019 and before). All university interviews changed in 2020-2021 to an online format due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This article has been updated in November 2021 with further updated information, and we will regularly update it!

The University of Bristol uses a completely different application process to the rest of the UK vet schools. Instead of the traditional interview, or the MMI, the University of Bristol focuses on a Veterinary Supplementary Assessment Questionnaire and will not normally use the UCAS personal statement. This will continue to be used for 2021/22 entry.

For more information about University of Bristol Veterinary Supplementary Assessment Questionnaire, click here: Bristol Veterinary School

BRISTOL VETERINARY SCHOOL: Bristol’s Veterinary Medicine course is highly ranked and competitive, with the Complete University Guide ranking the course 3rd in the UK in their Subject League Tables 2021. Bristol is also ranked in the top 15 universities in the World for Veterinary Medicine, by the QS World University Rankings 2020.
BRISTOL VETERINARY SCHOOL: Bristol’s Veterinary Medicine course is highly ranked and competitive, with the Complete University Guide ranking the course 3rd in the UK in their Subject League Tables 2021. Bristol is also ranked in the top 15 universities in the World for Veterinary Medicine, by the QS World University Rankings 2020.

How does the University of Bristol select its new students?

Firstly, the students are assessed academically, using the details provided to the university on UCAS. If the students meet the criteria, the work experience of the students are then analysed, and the best students are given the SAQ (Supplementary Assessment Questionnaire). This questionnaire is not available prior to application.

What is the SAQ?

The SAQ is an additional questionnaire emailed out by the University of Bristol and provides the university with more details about the applying student. This replaces the traditional interview. Only in exceptional circumstances will candidates be interviewed where it’s deemed necessary.

What do University of Bristol include in the SAQ?

There are two main sections, A and B, in the SAQ. 

Section A focuses on the work experience of the student. The student must declare all of the work experience that they have completed so that it can be checked by the university. If the student does not have the required amount of work experience, they can be asked to complete a specific MOOC and a reflective piece of work to submit.

Section B focuses on the attributes, experiences, understanding and reflection of the student. This is designed to assess 

  • The awareness of the qualities of a good vet student
  • An ability to reflect on previous experiences
  • Recognition of strengths and weaknesses
  • An understanding of how a vet works in society
  • Awareness of the challenges a vet may face
LANGFORD CAMPUS: In years 4 and 5 of study, Vet Students are based on the Langford campus, as shown above. Bristol has been newly accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), reflecting their position as a world leader in teaching and student experience. Alongside other accreditations, the AVMA accreditation means that graduates of this course will be able to practise in multiple countries around the world.
LANGFORD CAMPUS: In years 4 and 5 of study, Vet Students are based on the Langford campus, as shown above. Bristol has been newly accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), reflecting their position as a world leader in teaching and student experience. Alongside other accreditations, the AVMA accreditation means that graduates of this course will be able to practise in multiple countries around the world.

Top Tips for the University of Bristol SAQ  

1) Take this as an opportunity to start thinking like a vet! The admissions team is more interested in how you think, rather than what you know, so practise lots of different questions beforehand. This includes practising writing your answers down so that you can make sure that your communication is clear with good grammar.

2) Prepare for the questionnaire beforehand by thinking of different scenarios where you have shown leadership, strength, and determination, and how specifically you plan to apply this on the course.

3) Research into the role of a vet, the different career options and what the challenges might be. It is a really good idea to think about how you plan to cope with the challenges.

4) Take time to make your answers specific to you and your experiences! It is really important that nobody else could write what you write, as this is your time to stand out! The more detail you can include and the more reflective you can be, the higher the chance of success!

University of Bristol application changes with COVID-19

The University of Bristol say that…

We are aware that many applicants will have been unable to undertake work experience during the coronavirus crisis. Please be assured that we will be taking the situation into account and you will not be penalised should your ability to gain relevant work experience have been adversely affected.

 We encourage applicants to seek opportunities to develop their awareness of the role of a veterinary practitioner, and the skills and attributes required of such roles through means such as online research, supporting their families and communities, etc. 

Applicants who have been unable to gain the required amount of work experience prior to application are still welcome to apply. You will be asked to complete the Supplementary Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) as described below. We may ask those with less than the required amount of work experience to complete a newly developed Virtual Work Experience Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provided by FutureLearn in lieu of work experience, and/or complete a further reflective piece of work, to demonstrate their understanding and awareness of the role of a veterinary practitioner. 

This must be completed where it has been requested in order to be considered for an offer. Completion of the MOOC does not guarantee an offer of a place. While we do not routinely interview for this course, if you are required to attend an interview and also need to complete the MOOC, we will ask that you complete the MOOC prior to attending your interview. 

To find out more about information about changes to the Bristol Veterinary interviews, click here Bristol Veterinary School

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