There is on-going debate regarding whether veterinary students should focus on one (or a small number of) species during their undergraduate training (ie, track). The aims of this study were to: evaluate UK stakeholders' opinion on partial tracking (whereby students continue to qualify able to practise in all species) and full tracking (students qualify in a limited number of species necessitating restricted registration); and evaluate students' career aspirations in relation to the UK veterinary profession's employment profile. This paper presents the quantitative results of surveys completed by practitioners, students and university staff. The majority of respondents (69.4 per cent) disagreed or strongly disagreed with full tracking, however, there was widespread support for partial tracking (79.0 per cent agreed or strongly agreed). Students favoured partial tracking more so than practitioners (P<0.001). Univariate analysis of demographic factors did not identify differences in opinion regarding tracking within stakeholder groups. Students' knowledge of the UK veterinary employment profile appeared accurate. However, their career aspiration changed with year of the course, and only final year students' intentions were aligned with the profession's current profile. Qualitative data from these surveys are presented in a second paper and include the advantages, disadvantages and implications of partial and full tracking.