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My course requires work experience – what do I do?

Remain calm! Thanks to COVID, everyone is in the same boat this year and many applicants for healthcare and vet med courses don’t have the usual portfolio of work experience. For ease of reference, I have compiled the following links so you can quickly check what your university is asking for in terms of work experience requirements for your 2020 application. I have also included advice and resources from the various professional bodies which you may find useful over the summer.


The Dental Schools Council has very useful advice on what you can do if you currently cannot access any work experience for your 2020 application. There are also links to all the dental schools in a handy list for ease of reference.


Extremely helpful guidance from the Medical Schools Council on work experience for 2020 applications and useful links to get you started.

The fabulous Medic Portal has a complete list of all the medical schools and their work experience requirements for 2020 but you are strongly advised to check the website of each of your chosen universities to ensure the requirements have not changed.


There doesn’t appear to be anything up to date on the Royal College of Nursing website so until that changes, I would suggest using the same guidance as the medics from the MSC.

Veterinary medicine

The Veterinary Schools Council has produced an extremely comprehensive guide for work experience entry requirements and links to all the university websites.

In summary: There has also been a consideration of the impact Covid-19 on admissions this year, with schools assuring prospective applicants that COVID-related disruption will be taken into account when considering applications for veterinary courses. In particular, UK veterinary schools have reviewed their requirements for work experience, and applicants should visit the individual university websites for further details.

For example:

University of Bristol: We are aware that many of applicants will be unable to obtain work experience during the coronavirus crisis. Please be assured that if you are applying for entry in 2021 we will be taking the situation into account when reviewing applications and you will not be penalised should your ability to gain relevant work experience have been adversely affected.

University of Liverpool: We are not expecting any applicant to have completed any work experience on or after March 2020. We have also had to make some changes to way we will interview applicants.We do however recognise that not all candidates have equal opportunities for access to work experience and that many placements have been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. We will therefore interview all applicants who have completed 5 days of any type of animal or veterinary-related work experience. Interviewers will have access to work experience questionnaires and may ask applicants to reflect on their experiences during their interview but applicants will NOT be scored on the amount of work experience they have been able to complete.

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