Intercalated Degree Reports

Amber Mathie

I intercalated after BVMS3 in BSc (Vet Sci) Zoology at the University of Glasgow. I was motivated by the opportunity to broaden my education and research experience, eager to take the chance to study something I’ve long been interested in, and up for the challenge!

It has been the most enjoyable year for me so far at university. It is challenging for sure - you join a new year group on a new campus (or even university!); you jump into the final year of a completely new degree programme; you need to conduct an honours research project and are examined via written essays - something quite foreign to a veterinary student! But what an awesome experience to develop yourself and your scientific skills and knowledge. It gave me the opportunity to have a research project focused on amphibians, a passion of mine, and learn, in depth, about the natural world and conservation, which was so enjoyable! The disease ecology course was especially fascinating and very useful for a veterinary student - I now have a broader understanding of disease with respect to epidemiology and the impacts of disease at global scale, and an appreciation for the importance of field research when tackling challenging and emerging diseases.

On top of a new area of knowledge, scientific writing and reading, critical analysis, project design and data handling are all skills which I developed greatly during my intercalated year. These skills, I think, will be valuable when considering specialising and research in my future career, and skills which aren’t as fine-tuned within the practical BVMS degree. The benefits extend into personal development too. After completing this year, I feel much more confident in myself, and excited to meet the challenges of my final years studying veterinary medicine. I also now have a much broader opportunity for my future career, and newly found interests I want to include with in my career; after seeing how important field research is with in disease research I’m very eager to contribute to this area, and become involved in international work.

I couldn’t recommend the intercalating programme highly enough to other vet students who are eager to develop themselves, pursue their scientific interests out with veterinary medicine and like taking on a challenge! It’s an opportunity too good to miss.