Veterinary Studies in France

In answer to the query about Veterinary studies in France, I thought I'd give you a quick precis as to what is involved in your child training to be a Vet.

Once in Lycée it is essential to choose to take the Bac S preferably with SVT (sciences de vie et terre) as the speciality. In January of the Terminale year the student will have to apply to various Lycées to do the 2 year Classes Preparatoire - for Vet studies these are the BCPST prepas (Biologie, Chimie, Physique, Sciences de Terre).

The student may be accepted at one of these Lycées providing they have an unblemished academic record from their current Lycée and they achieve the Bac with AT LEAST a mention - to be guaranteed they should have a mention bien or trés bien.

The 2 year prepas course entails examas at the end of year 1 - if a pass is not achieved then the student is literally pushed into the mainstream Uni system to do a degree.

At the end of year 2 is the CONCOURS - literally a competition!!! Around 2500 students will be chasing the 372 places that are allocated each year by the government. The first 372 past the post get the places - the student will be expected to have an overall average of around 15.5 out of 20 or above!!

After that 5 years of studies in one of the four Veterinary Colleges ensues - Paris, Toulouse, Nantes and Lyon. Exams each year with ONE redoublement only allowed (otherwise out!). Most students don't have to redouble.

In year 5 a thesis has to be written in order to obtain the Doctorate - this is the stage Simon is about to embark on!!

That's the simple explanation :-))

Hope this helps and if you want any more detail then just ask!!


Wow - that’s stiff competition for places so Simon has really done well. At least we have an idea what’s involved and we can judge how realistic is for us over the next couple of years as she’s just entering 4eme. I’m a little surprised that it is purely down to marks - in the UK there would be emphasis put on extra curricular activities etc. but I guess that’s because everyone applies with straight A’s.
Thanks for the explanation - it’s really clear and helpful.