University of Liverpool Faculty of Veterinary Science

University of Liverpool Faculty of Veterinary Science

Infobox University
name = University of Liverpool Faculty of Veterinary Science

motto =
type = Public veterinary school
established = Incorporated 1904
affiliations = University of Liverpool
principal = Professor A J Trees BVMS PhD MRCVS
free_label =
free =
undergrad =
postgrad =
city = Liverpool
state = England
country = UK
campus = Urban and Rural
mascot =
website = []

The University of Liverpool Faculty of Veterinary Science was the first veterinary school in the United Kingdom to be incorporated into a University. The faculty's teaching, treatment and research facilities on the main campus and at Leahurst on the Wirral Peninsula, approximately 12 miles outside Liverpool, are amongst the most advanced and innovative in the country.



The foundations for the vet school at Liverpool were laid in the early 1900s when William Owen Williams, principal of the now-defunct New Veterinary College in Edinburgh (not to be confused with the Royal (Dick) Vet School, with which it was in competition), was invited to transfer his institution to Liverpool. The emerging science of veterinary medicine was of particular relevance both to the busy port city itself, which depended upon heavy horses to drive its docks and associated industry, and to the economy of the surrounding countryside, which at the time boasted the highest stocking density of cattle in the UK.

Initially, there was considerable resistance to the idea of a vet school operating within the confines of a civic University, as this seemingly endorsed a 'one-portal' entry system to the profession, thereby cementing the authority of the RCVS and its diploma. There was also opposition from the Royal College itself, as the new school was initially incorporated in to the University's medical faculty and, controversially, students received some instruction from medical staff.

In spite of this early scepticism, the incorporation of the school into the newly inaugurated university was a turning point in the history of veterinary education in the UK; by demonstrating the advantages of university affiliation, aggressively pursuing reform of the curriculum and providing innovative qualification structures, the faculty has done much to shape the modern veterinary landscape.


The UK's first veterinary field station was established at Leahurst

Veterinary Surgeons Act

The 1948 Veterinary Surgeons Act made a university degree a registrable qualification for veterinary practice. Two years later, the school was the first in the UK to receive an Order in Council allowing those obtaining the BVSc qualification to practice veterinary medicine.

In 1952, the school was formally accorded faculty status.


The trend towards increased specialisation and the subsequent expansion in clinical training has led to the development of Liverpool's three main teaching hospitals:

Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital

Built in the late 1990s at a cost of £1.4 million, the equine hospital (also known as the Philip Leverhulme Large Animal Hospital or PLLAH) is one of the busiest and most successful equine referral hospitals in the UK, treating over 2,000 patients per year with an annual turnover in excess of £1.2 million.

The hospital has particular expertise in the areas of gastroenterology, oncology, orthopaedics and neurology and is fully equipped to undertake laparoscopic investigations of the equine abdomen (e.g. for recurrent or chronic colic) and to perform operative procedures via laparoscopy, e.g. ovariectomy.

Digital imaging technology available at the hospital includes digital X-ray/computed radiology, gamma scintigraphy and ultrasonography. The University's Veterinary Development Campaign is currently in the midst of fund raising to support the installation of the first veterinary MRI Unit in the North of England and a new Radiotherapy Unit.

There are also facilities for iridium wire therapy, laser treatment and there is a treadmill for clinical assessment of horses which are not achieving their athletic expectations.

The hospital is named for Philip William Bryce Lever, the 3rd Viscount Leverhulme in recognition of his support for the faculty and university (see the Leverhulme Trust).

Small Animal Hospital

The small animal unit, established in 1977 on the Liverpool campus, has recently joined the other teaching hospitals at Leahurst with the construction of a brand new, state of the art £9.6 million facility. It currently treats over 5,500 patients per year with a turnover in excess of £2.5 million.

Farm Animal Hospital

The farm animal unit, which opened in 1996, takes cases from throughout North West England and North Wales for detailed investigation and intensive care treatment.

Liverpool University Veterinary Society

Liverpool University Veterinary Society (LUVS) is the official student body of the veterinary school at Liverpool. [cite web|url =|title = Liverpool Vets|accessdate = 2007-09-10|year = 2007|publisher = Liverpool University Veterinary Society] They organise many sporting, social, theatrical and charitable events through out the year.


The faculty provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses in veterinary medicine.


In 2006 there were 559 undergraduate students enrolled on the BVSc course and 84 on the Bioveterinary Science BSc degree course.


The faculty offers three Masters degrees: Veterinary Parasitology, Animal Reproduction and Veterinary Infection and Disease Control. The Diploma in Bovine Reproduction is available to MRCVS qualified candidates.The faculty has a strong portfolio of research degrees in infectious diseases, epidemiology, musculoskeletal systems, animal behaviour and protein function.


In 2006 the faculty was voted no. 1 UK vet school in The Times Good University Guide 2006, awarded 24/24 by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and in 2005 was cited as 'the University with the most satisfied students' by the British Veterinary Association and the Association of Veterinary Students.


*"Liverpool Veterinary School: the first 100 years" by Alison Kraft, The Veterinary Record (ISSN 0042-4900) 2004, vol. 155, no. 20.

External links

* [ Liverpool University Veterinary Society]
* [ Faculty website]
* [ Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital]
* [ University of Liverpool website]

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