Vet Students feature

Vet Students

Axe Valley is a foster practice for the University of Bristol Veterinary School at Langford. We accept Veterinary Students from their third year of study until their final year. These students will attend the practice to gain valuable knowledge and training from our experienced vets to ensure that, once qualified, they will have a good grounding to begin their career as a Veterinary Surgeon.


What is EMS (Extra-Mural Studies)?

EMS is an essential part of the undergraduates training and education. Students must complete a minimum of 38 weeks of EMS during their veterinary course. This normally consists of 12 weeks of pre-clinical (animal husbandry) and 26 weeks of clinical placements. As a mixed practice our foster students gain experience and knowledge in a wide range of animal species, which we feel is an important part of their education and training.

A placement within a veterinary practice gives the student the opportunity to gain real life experience within the practice setting, which will enhance the theory gained in the university class room. It is on EMS placements that students can further practise their animal handling and clinical skills that they have learned at university, as well as build up their experience of dealing with clients and with members of the veterinary team. 

Attending an EMS placement, new graduates are then able to 'hit the ground running' once they have completed their 5 year degree course.  EMS helps students to prepare for work, and introduces them to the important concept of lifelong learning and reflective practice which then continues after graduation through the Professional Development Phase and ongoing CPD.  As the veterinary degree is a professional qualification, EMS constitutes an important component that helps to distinguish the qualification from other academic science degrees.


What is the aim of EMS?

The aim of EMS is to enable students to gain practical experience in as many aspects of veterinary work as possible, including the handling of animals, to achieve proficiency in routine techniques, and give students first hand experience which will help them to develop as professionals. Specifically, EMS should enable students to:

  • develop their animal handling skills across a range of common domestic species 

  • develop their understanding of the practice and economics of animal management systems and animal industries

  • appreciate the importance of herd health and the epidemiological approach to production animal work

  • develop their understanding of practice economics and practice management

  • develop their understanding and gain further experience of medical and surgical treatments in a variety of species

  • develop communication skills for all aspects of veterinary work

  • expand their experience to those disciplines and species not fully covered within the university

  • appreciate the importance of animal welfare in animal production and in the practice of veterinary medicine

  • gain experience to help them appreciate the ethical and legal responsibilities of the veterinary surgeon in relation to individual clients, animals, the community and society

  • gain experience of a variety of veterinary working environments

All veterinary students attending Axe Valley are supervised by our experienced Veterinary Surgeons who train them in all aspects of clinical work within veterinary practice, which involves them assisting with surgical procedures.Once they have displayed competency, they will be supervised performing routine surgeries such as neutering. Should you not wish to participate in the education and training of veterinary students please make this known to staff when you attend the surgery.

To apply for a placement at Axe Valley for your EMS please complete the attached application form and submit with a hand written covering letter to: 


Mrs Claire Gough RVN
Practice Administrator
Axe Valley Veterinary Practice Ltd,
Redmans Hill
BS28 4NG


What our students say

"Axe Valley Veterinary Practice is a great choice for anyone wanting to experience traditional mixed practice in the heart of Somerset. There is a pretty even split between farm and small animal work and ample opportunity to get actively involved in both and develop your day one skills.  Axe Valley has a lovely friendly team who are a pleasure to work with and will make you feel welcome and help you to find your feet as a student".  Lissie Gerke Graduated 2012