Exploring student experiences of an Undergraduate Certificate in Veterinary Medical Education

Kirsty Hughes, Neil Hudson, Catriona Bell, Nina Tomlin, Ian Handel, Sarah Chinnery, Susan Rhind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The ability to teach is recognised as a core skill for many professionals, including veterinarians, but opportunities to develop this skill are not always available at an undergraduate level. A complementary teaching certificate offered during the clinical years of an undergraduate veterinary programme was evaluated to investigate student experiences of the programme and the perceived benefits and challenges of taking part. The study used a mixed methods approach, with questionnaires to provide an overview of the participant experience and semi-structured interviews to gain a deeper insight into students’ experiences of the programme. Two cohorts completed questionnaires comprising Likert-style and open-ended questions on the three-year teaching certificate, the first cohort after one year of the programme and a second cohort at completion. Interviews with participants from both cohorts were thematically analysed to identify recurring themes. An average of 27% of students per academic year enrolled in the certificate programme, most of whom completed it. Additionally, 4-6 per cohort applied for Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and 19 students have achieved this recognition. Key themes from the data included that students felt the certificate built their confidence, increased their veterinary knowledge and helped them become a better teacher, with time management and reflection the biggest challenges. The UCVME was a good teaching foundation while working towards the AFHEA provided some insight into higher education and academic careers. A structured teaching programme offers students the opportunity to develop their learning and reflection both as students and future educators.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20210098
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Early online date17 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • student teachers
  • teaching certificate
  • mentoring
  • mixed methods
  • qualitative methods


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