Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine

With the exception of companion animals, the 21st- century veterinarian is less concerned with the individual animal than with herd health and the prevention of infectious diseases. An important task of the modern veterinarian involves the production method and the safety of food.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
Postgraduate studies


Today’s economic and social reality has evolved to such an extent that smaller farms keeping various animal species have given way to the intensive cultivation of usually only one species. The focus no longer is on the individual animal, but on the entire herd. Against that background, the veterinarian’s main concern lies with herd health (management) and the prevention of infectious diseases. The care for the individual animal is still a focus of the main subject Companion Animals. Here, we notice an evolution similar to the one in human medicine with a further in-depth study of specific disciplines. Finally, in the context of veterinary public health, the veterinarian fulfils an important task as a guardian of food safety.


From the 2023-2024 academic year onwards, admittance into the Veterinary Medicine programme is subject to passing the entrance exam and obtaining a high ranking. More information on the entrance exam (in Dutch) can be found on toelatingsexamen diergeneeskunde.

For whom

For admittance into the Veterinary Medicine programme you have to hold a secondary school diploma, pass the entrance exam and obtain a high ranking. The entrance exam assesses your level of understanding in the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology: a thorough knowledge of these disciplines is therefore necessary to be able to pass the exam. The academic study programme of Veterinary Medicine entails more than ‘simply’ diagnosing and treating animal illnesses. It also covers the whys and wherefores in an in-depth manner. Sufficient physical and motor skills (e.g. muscle strength, eye-hand co-ordination) as well as perseverance and commitment are important elements in the training as well as the profession. Finally, it is important to be able to work independently and to have good social skills.


  • Bachelor

The first year of the Bachelor’s curriculum focuses on bringing the basic sciences up to university level. This is the purpose of course units such as Medical Physics, Inorganic and Bio-organic Chemistry. Mathematics does not feature as a separate course unit, but is integrated into the Medical Physics and Statistics course units instead. You acquire the basics of statistical data processing in veterinary research and you receive an introduction to ICT (information and communication technology). In the first term you will also study the different breeds as well as an introduction to animal behaviour and animal ethics. Throughout the year, you study the evolution, diversity, general anatomy and organ functions of pets. In the second term, you learn which cells and tissues constitute an animal's body. Finally, the economic aspects of livestock farming and the general principles of veterinary public health are discussed.
The second year of the Bachelor’s curriculum continues with the study of the healthy animal. The study of anatomy is a direct preparation for the clinical course units in the Master’s curriculum. You gain insight into what are normal tissue and organ functions and are also introduced to what can go wrong at this level. You acquire in-depth knowledge of biochemical conversions in animal organisms. And in addition, you are introduced to a second section of veterinary public health with a focus on nutritional and environmental chemistry. You acquire an understanding of molecular and general genetics, and of biosecurity and animal housing. Finally, you develop clinical and communication skills.
The third bachelor year has a mainly paraclinical focus. You gain insight into general surgery, the various pathogens, animal nutrition and immunology. You study deviations from the normal constitution and bodily functions, as well as the embryological development of various animal breeds. Basic insights into pharmacology, a third section of veterinary public health, an extension of your skills and an orientation work placement conclude the third year.

  • Master

The first and second year of the Master’s curriculum thoroughly cover the entire spectrum of veterinary medicine. You study various diseases and deviations. In addition, there is a strong focus on the animal as a food source, veterinary rules and regulations and ethics. Halfway through the second Master’s year you will have a curricular choice between small pets, utility animals or horses. The third year, then offers you a choice of five main subjects. Depending on your choice of main subject you spend 17 (or more) weeks in one of our on-campus clinics (a combination of day, night and weekend shifts) and/or you embark on a work placement at a veterinary practice, or on company visits. Assignments in the context of the Master’s dissertation are staggered across the three years of the Master’s curriculum. You will be asked to discuss a number of clinical case studies and to sit a theoretical as well as a practical clinical final exam. This makes up the fourth and last component of the Master's dissertation.

A Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine also grants access to Master's degrees other than the ones listed here. Take a look at the ‘After Graduation’ tab for a detailed overview.

Labour Market

Studies have shown that unemployment among our graduates is low. Up to 75% of our alumni find employment as a veterinary practitioner shortly after graduating. Three years after graduation these percentages show a downward curve: a number of practitioners choose other career paths.
Veterinary practitioners usually organize themselves in group practices with other colleagues, with or without the assistance of assistant-veterinarians. Although our graduates increasingly end up in salaried positions, they are often still self-employed. In addition to (primary or secondary) animal care, smooth and professional people skills (pet owners, colleagues, ...) are an important element of the job. Depending on your choice of discipline you must take into account flexible working hours, evening hours, as well as night and weekend shifts. In a fast-evolving discipline as is veterinary practice, continuous and continued learning is a must.
For further specialization into specific disciplines (internal medicine, surgery) you can take on a species-specific specialization at the Academy for Veterinary Medicine (in Dutch) and become a ‘specialized veterinarian’. If you wish to obtain the title of ‘European Veterinary Specialist’ you will need to take on further training in the form of an Internship followed by a Residency’.
Thanks to your solid scientific-academic education you are eligible for various positions outside of veterinary practice, too. You could opt for a research career (with the possibility of obtaining a PhD), the education sector (the Master’s Programme of Teaching in Health Sciences is a way to hone your didactic skills), a position in the industry or in diagnostic laboratories (e.g. vaccine and/or (animal) drug development or an advisor in an animal feed company), with the federal or regional government (Federal Agency for Safety of the Food Chain, Animal Health Care Flanders or the army), and European or international government agencies. Your broad academic training offers guarantees for an interesting and sufficiently versatile career path!