A new veterinary-specific Masters Degree that blends taught clinical programmes with research-oriented modules has been launched to enable veterinary surgeons in general practice to achieve a higher qualification without taking excessive time out of their practice.
The Master’s Degree in Advanced Veterinary Practice Sciences is the result of a collaboration between Improve International, which delivers the taught clinical modules, the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS), which acts as the assessment partner and Harper Adams University, which offers guidance on the research-based modules and provides validation and academic regulation under the QAA Framework.
Candidates for the new qualification can select modules from a wide range of species and discipline subjects based around their areas of special interest. They must complete at least two clinical programmes from a range of ten subjects and undertake a research module based on their clinical work.
Commenting on the Masters Degree, David Babington, MRCVS and Managing Director of Improve International, said: “The launch of this new Masters is a big step forward for the concept of lifelong learning in our profession. Candidates can spend five or even ten years working towards this higher qualification with achievable ‘stepping stones’ along the way.
Their studies will equip them with new skills, give them the latest veterinary knowledge and help enhance their ability to provide a superb clinical service to their clients. During the journey they have the opportunity to achieve a respected, valuable and recognised PgC (60 academic credits); a PgD (120 academic credits) and, finally, a full Masters Degree (180 academic credits).”
Dr Erica Martin, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing at Harper Adams, added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Improve International and ESVPS on this innovative new qualification. We welcome the opportunity to help the profession increase ‘evidence-based’ veterinary practice through clinical development and the advancement of research skills in a way that is both accessible to vets in practice and that leads to a qualification that recognises the commitment and work involved. These postgraduate qualifications join the MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy, the MSc in Veterinary Pharmacy and the MSc in Veterinary Nursing which are delivered by Harper Adams University.”
David Babington continued: “Candidates can spread the cost of the Masters across the training period and recoup the investment easily by implementing new services they learn within the practice. The initial response to this unique qualification has been very positive with our first candidates embarking on their studies during November 2013.”
Based near Swindon, Improve International was founded in 1998 by veterinary surgeons from across the UK, including a number of recognised experts. It provides high quality CPD in a range of formats for veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, receptionists and practice managers to help them develop their skills and knowledge, using a combination of review lectures, case-based discussion and where, applicable, hands-on practical sessions.
The EVSPS is an established and well-respected not for profit organisation, providing accreditation and assessment for veterinary courses throughout the UK and Europe. Harper Adams University is the UK’s leading specialist provider of higher education for the agri-food chain and rural sector.