Predictors of success in a UK veterinary medical undergraduate course

Morris Chivwaba Muzyamba*, Nigel Goode, Margaret Kilyon, Dave Brodbelt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Admission procedures for veterinary undergraduate training programs often include an interview as well as assessment of previous academic performance. In addition to pre-course factors, within-course factors such as performance in earlier years may play a role in determining success in the veterinary course. This study investigated the relationship between pre-course factors and within-course factors as predictors of success within the course. The study population consisted of six first-year cohorts, five second-year cohorts, four third-year cohorts, three fourth-year cohorts, and two fifth-year cohorts. There were a total of 1,347 students from the five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed) program at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Data from these cohorts consisted of pre-entry demographic (sex, age, and nationality) and admission variables and within-course assessments. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between predictors and outcome. The study confirmed the value of previous academic performance in selecting students for the veterinary degree course but the value of interviews in the selection process was less clear. Within-course examination results were associated with later course outcome and high marks in continuous assessments were associated with overall success in the course. The study supports selection of students on the basis of previous academic performance but not interview scores. Continuous assessment and within-course examination results may be of value in identifying those students most likely to fail and therefore, those who need to be monitored and advised more closely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • admissions procedure
  • pre-entry factors
  • veterinary medical education
  • within-course factors


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