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Veterinary Training & Education

RZSS veterinary team at work

The RZSS has one of the UK’s most highly qualified in-house veterinary services and is committed to providing training and further education to the next generation of zoo veterinarians. Our veterinary team frequently lecture at UK veterinary schools and speak at both national and international conferences.

In 2013 the RZSS became the first certified UK training centre for the European College of Zoo Medicine (ECZM) diploma in Zoo Health Management and is currently one of just four such centres globally. The 3-year ECZM veterinary residency position provides a qualified veterinary surgeon the opportunity to become a specialist in the field of zoological medicine with the aim of achieving ECZM diplomat status.

In addition, the RZSS veterinary team annually host a select group of students from both the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the University of Glasgow, School of Veterinary Medicine as part of their final year clinical rotations. This is a rare opportunity for undergraduate veterinary students to achieve training in the highly specialised field of zoological medicine.

For further information on the work of our veterinary department within the RZSS parks, please see Veterinary Services.


Extra Mural Study at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

The RZSS vet team take final year veterinary students from both Glasgow and Edinburgh University veterinary schools for their zoo selective rotations. This has significantly expanded over the last few years and now fills the calendar year. As a consequence the RZSS is not able to offer additional EMS for other students at this time. This will be reviewed annually and any changes posted here. 

I Want to be a Zoo Vet

I Want to be a Zoo Vet Nurse

Zoo veterinarians complete the same veterinary undergraduate training as those who work with domestic animals. After graduation significant additional training is then required to specialise into the zoological medicine field. For more information on becoming a veterinary surgeon, please see the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

For more information on specialising in zoological medicine, please see the European College of Zoological Medicine website.

There are currently two routes to becoming a qualified veterinary nurse; either by vocational training or a higher degree. A few additional courses are also available to qualified nurses in order to gain training in exotic and zoo animals.

For more information on becoming a veterinary nurse, please see the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website

For more information on specialising in exotic and zoo animal nursing, please see the City and Guilds Certificate in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Species.