First term complete!

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First term complete!

Amazing display (I think a Burmese python or similar) at the annual Christmas ‘The Lanterns’ event at Chester Zoo, December 2019.

Wow, hasn’t time flown? Can’t actually quite believe I’m writing this post honestly! It’s been a bit delayed because I’ve been busy revising and doing my coursework (3 January deadlines aren’t anyone’s favourite!). I’ve completed my first term at the University of Liverpool intercalating on their BSc Veterinary Conservation Medicine course, which means I’m officially halfway through the degree (crazy right?!).

It’s been a term of ups, adjusting to a new place, meeting some amazing people and living in a beautiful part of the country and learning about some amazing exotic species and their conservation. There have been a few downs too, coursework stress and family illness, but I’ve managed to persevere through and make it to 2020, a new decade!

The things I’ve enjoyed the most are so far:

The freedom to read around subjects! As I’ve already said (and you will have experienced being on the vet degree) we just have so much content to learn that we don’t have time to question it and read around the subject which is a real shame, but understandable when we have such a wealth of knowledge these days.

The like-minded people I’ve met; like the vet degree, you meet people from all backgrounds, but here the love of conservation and animals further flung than your average dog and cat has brought us all together which gives you even more in common!

The staff on the course; all the staff involved in the course at Liverpool are amazingly clever, passionate and kind which an absolutely lovely thing. You really get to know them more as well (considering there are only 5 of us on my course this year!)

The things I have enjoyed less…

Adjusting to the work load; don’t think an intercalated degree is a ‘break’ because it isn’t always. It is in the sense of learning less vet-ty material (in my case) but the work load is equal if not more than the vet course, just in a different way. I have had much more coursework so the independent learning side of things has been a real learning curve for me, but once you learn to manage your time it isn’t too bad really!

Feeling less in the loop and like the course is a bit ‘outside’ the normal university scheme of things; being based at Leahurst is very different to the Langford campus. at Bristol, where from 1st year we go at least once a week. At Liverpool, the only vets at the Leahurst campus are 4th and final years, and we don’t see them really as they are in lectures/rotations in different places to us which is a shame We also aren’t included on the year group vet mailing lists so we don’t really hear about what’s going on on the social side of things (have heard the odd thing from our Liverpuddlean course mates) but even they aren’t always sure, as 3rd years they were based in Liverpool centre. I am not an overly social person so it doesn’t bother me too much but I would like to know a few more people or know what’s going on around campus!

What’s next?

I am so excited to start next term (once exams are over of course!) as I’ll be working on a research project at Chester Zoo (behaviour/welfare based) and a project with the Mammalian Behaviour/Evolution group at Leahurst (top secret at the moment!). I’m not sure what species I’m working with at CZ yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know in my next post!

I’m also looking forward to the fact I’ll only have 1 exam (I think) in the summer, so the rest is coursework so I think that’ll be less pressure (famous last words!) and a bit more relaxing in the Easter holidays.

Be sure to keep a look out for all the updates on the blog, you can navigate to see what my fellow vet coursemates are up to using the drop downs above, and if you have any questions please use the contact form on our homepage or email

Thanks for reading!

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