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Frequently Asked Questions

Key facts to help your decision making

General FAQ

  • The PgC is a university qualification which provides 60 academic credits. The qualification is positioned at masters level seven within the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) framework for higher and further education. The 60 credits can be used towards achieving a masters degree which represents 180 credits at level seven. The PgC is a recognised academic qualification which will demonstrate that you have achieved a certain standard in that subject.

  • All PgCs are higher education awards and are academically equivalent to other certificate level qualifications awarded by recognised bodies.

  • Small Animal Medicine is a 20 module programme run over two years comprising 14 face to face taught modules and six webinar delivered modules. Additional case based webinars support the face to face modules and several modules have practical components.

    Our Small Animal Surgery PgC programme has been designed to be spread over two years culminating in an exam at the end. It comprises fourteen taught modules and eight practical modules.

    Our Consolidated Learning Surgery programme allows you to gain access to the content of our Small Animal Surgery PgC programme usually spread over two years in just four months. This programme will give you all of the lecture based teaching and practical skills in a condensed period, it then follows the normal route of a PgC programme.

  • Small Animal Medicine is being offered this year in Swindon, Hatfield and Cheshire. Small Animal Surgery is being offered in Swindon, Hatfield, Cheshire and Dublin. All dedicated practical modules take place in Swindon at our purpose converted wet-lab facility.

    Our Consolidated Learning route for Small Animal Surgery is being held at Alexandra House, Swindon.

  • A PgC comprises 600 hours of notional study. This is typically made up of the following:

    • 100 hours of taught sessions and ten hours of practical experience for Small Animal Medicine
    • 70 hours of taught sessions and 48 hours of practical experience for Small Animal Surgery
    • 82-94 hours preparing for and reflecting on the taught sessions. This includes pre and post course online evaluation and self-reflection
    • 200 hours of independent study, including the preparation and writing of case reports and case studies
    • 200 hours preparing for final written assessment including in-practice development
  • At the beginning of the programme you will receive a syllabus and specific learning objectives for all of the taught modules.

    During the programme you will be required to document your current knowledge and skills prior to each module and undertake an informal short multiple choice exercise. After the module you will then undertake a further multiple choice exercise to reflect on knowledge gained and implement a strategy to address any outstanding knowledge and skills gaps via independent study.

    You will be required to submit a 2,500 word case report, along with 10 x 500-1,000 word case studies, 15-30 x 100 word peer reviewed case logs and a 500 word reflective essay on either case logs or practical session feedback.

    The final written multiple choice examination will take place at the end of year two, or at the end of year one for the Fast-Track programmes, covering the course syllabus. Success will lead to the award of a General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) awarded by ESVPS as well as a Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) awarded by Harper Adams University.

  • All delegates will receive a subscription to Harper Adam’s online e-library providing access to 1,000s of scientific articles and abstracts.

    Medicine delegates will be provided with a ‘Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine’ by Ettinger & Feldman and Surgery delegates with ‘Veterinary Surgery’ by Tobias and Johnston.

    Surgery delegates will also receive a total of five ‘How to’ DVDs by Professor Howard Seim of Colorado University illustrating key surgical procedures.

    The Improve Learning Management System (LMS) provides access to a notes library, discussion forum and other study resources including webinars.

    A dedicated Programme Tutor will support every individual during their PgC programme to ensure a rewarding and successful learning journey.

    More information can be found on our Learning Support page


  • All pricing information can be found under the Pricing section of this website. However we would be pleased to discuss this with you directly and the payment options available.

  • The Consolidated Learning Surgery programme has been designed to enable veterinary surgeons to access the PgC Surgery programme over a much shorter period. The taught and practical modules are delivered in blocks of four over a 12 week period. This programme then follows the normal route of a PgC programme.

    A Programme Tutor will provide support, ensuring you are well placed for your examination at the end of the programme.

  • Yes, these programmes which we deliver in association with Harper Adams University and the European School of Veterinary Studies, have been added to the list of qualifications conferring eligibility for application for RCVS’ Advanced Practitioner status.

    Until 2017 you can apply for Advanced Practitioner status on the basis of these qualifications and if accepted on to the list you then have a five year period up to your next application for re-accreditation, to undertake CPD in key areas of professional development or complete a professional development module.

    After 2017 you will need to meet this requirement before you apply. Improve International are currently working with Harper Adams University to deliver a professional development module.

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