How to Become a Veterinarian

Friday, 7 May, 2021 - 10:24
Terrique Faro

If you have a passion for animals, then you've probably considered becoming a Vet. But do you know how to make that dream a reality? Let's unpack the options available to you and find out exactly how to become a vet.

How to Become a Veterinarian

Becoming a vet is an extremely challenging prospect: you will need to be very strong academically speaking in order to be accepted to study the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree. There is a great deal of competition that you'll be up against, so put your war face on!

The only institution in South Africa that offers the BVSc is the University of Pretoria, through their Faculty of Veterinary Science, one of just 46 in the whole of Africa. This means that you'll be competing against everyone else in the country who wants to study Veterinary Science as well!

The BVSc is a 6 year degree:

  • First year includes modules such as Animal Nutrition, Introductory Animal Production and Veterinary Professional Life
  • Second year deals exclusively with basic veterinary disciplines such as Anatomy, Histology, Microbiology and Physiology as well as modules in Animal Science, Pasture Science and Professional Life
  • Third year is devoted to the causes and effects of disease and will include modules on Infectious Diseases, Parasitology, Toxicology, Pharmacology, Organ Pathology and Professional Life
  • Fourth year sees students introduced to modules aimed at diagnostics and therapeutics
  • Fifth year includes modules on community interaction and electives
  • The final year is spent focusing on experiential training in the core and elective components in the academic hospital as well as in satellite and other approved facilities


How many years does it take to become a veterinarian?

There are a limited number of spaces available in the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science. As such, meeting the minimum requirements listed below will not guarantee you a place.

The minimum entry requirement is the National Senior Certificate (NSC) with the following subjects and levels of achievement:

  • English at Home or First Additional level: 60-69%
  • Mathematics: 60-69%
  • Physical Science: 60-69%


After completing your studies, you will want to register with the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA), which helps veterinarians fulfil their role in communities and provides assistance with career-related queries.

And there you have it, how to Become a Vet.

Search for Veterinary jobs here: The Jobs Portal


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