University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow


The Glasgow Veterinary College was founded in 1862 by James McCall, Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, one hundred years after the establishment of the first Veterinary School in Europe. The modern School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow is preeminent in teaching, research and clinical provision, and attracts students, researchers and clinicians from around the world.

The internationally accredited school is proud to have been associated with the AAVMC since 1999, when Glasgow received full accreditation from the AVMA. The school is renowned for its esprit de corps and fierce loyalty of its graduates as well as its rich heritage of discovery; boasting Nobel Laureates and Fellows of the Royal Society amongst its alumni and staff.  This tradition continues to this day with Glasgow being ranked top for quality of veterinary research with the highest score (grade point average) in the recent UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014), reaffirming the college’s position as one of the country’s leading veterinary schools.



  • 1862 – Glasgow Veterinary College founded
  • 1863 – Royal Charter granted to James McCall establishing Glasgow Veterinary College
  • 1939 – Alf Wight (James Herriot) graduates
  • 1948 – Angus Carmichael plays for the British Soccer Team in the Olympic Games in London
  • 1949 – Amalgamation with the University of Glasgow.  From its inception in 1862 to 1949, Glasgow Veterinary College had been a privately funded body situated at Garnethill, whose students graduated with a Diploma of Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.  Under the guidance and leadership of William Weipers the College became part of the University of Glasgow and the first students were enrolled in 1949
  • 1952 – David Gracie represents Britain in the 440 Hurdles at the Olympic Games in Helsinki
  • 1954 – The new veterinary school, the building of which began in 1950, opens on Garscube Estate
  • 1957 – Glasgow develops the use of tissue culture for the diagnosis of canine distemper.  Medical colleagues visit to witness the new technology at first hand.
  • 1963 – The first formal link with Africa involving undergraduate education in Kenya is formed.  This has led to a tradition of Glasgow being strongly associated with Africa through contributions to the development of veterinary schools and animal research centres.
  • 1964 – Feline leukaemia virus first identified by Professor Bill Jarrett.  Working with a local practitioner, Harry Pfaff, Professor Jarrett realised that clusters of cats were dying from lymphosarcoma suggesting an infectious origin.  The first isolation of feline leukaemia virus particles helped to establish Glasgow as an internationally recognised centre for research into retroviruses and cancer.  This work has subsequently extended into the realms of human medicine with investigations into the role of leukaemogenic viruses in human cancer.
  • 1966 – William Weipers receives knighthood
  • 1966 – First ever slow-release intra-ruminal alloy bolus to help prevent magnesium deficiency in cattle is patented by the University of Glasgow (Hemingway & Ritchie)
  • 1986 – Quintin McKellar represents Scotland in rowing in the Commonwealth Games
  • 1987 – Ian Botham formally opens the Leukaemia Research Fund Virus Centre
  • 1988 – Sir James Black, who in the 1950s established the foundations of research in veterinary physiology at Glasgow, is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
  • 1989 – Glasgow Vet School, along with Cambridge Veterinary School, is threatened with closure after the publication of the findings of the Riley Committee.  A huge public awareness campaign culminated in a petition which was presented to Downing Street.  In 1990 a new government report – the Page review – recommended that all six veterinary schools remain open and that they increase student numbers.
  • 1995 – The Weipers Centre for Equine Welfare opens
  • 1998 – Hayley Haining represents Britain in athletics in the Commonwealth Games
  • 1999 – Andrea Nolan becomes Dean, the first female Dean of a UK veterinary school
  • 1999 – The School is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, one of only a few schools in Europe to have AVMA accreditation.
  • 2001 – The University celebrates 550 years since its creation by Papal Bull in 1451
  • 2005 – The Henry Wellcome Building for Comparative Medical Sciences, the research hub of the School, opens at a cost of £7m.
  • 2006 – The first students are admitted to the School’s new Masters Degree in Veterinary Public Health
  • 2006 – Memorandum of understanding signed with the Moredun Research Institute, cementing commitment to research for the benefit of food animal production and farming.
  • 2008 – The School establishes a new BSc programme in Veterinary Biosciences
  • 2009 – The £2m Scottish Centre for Production Animal Health and Food Safety is established at Garscube
  • 2009 – Alumnus Euan Murray selected tight head prop for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa
  • 2009 - The Medical Research Council announces an investment of £28 million over five years, in a partnership with the University of Glasgow, to fund a new multidisciplinary centre of excellence in virology research, the Centre for Virus Research (CVR).  The CVR will be located in a new building to be constructed at Garscube and will be a unique research centre in the UK made up of an outstanding collection of scientists studying viruses that cause diseases in humans side by side with those that affect a variety of animal species.
  • 2010 – Official opening of the multi award winning new Small Animal Hospital at Garscube
  • 2012 – The School establishes the first International Student Chapter of AVMA outside the USA
  • 2013 – The School introduces a fundamental reshaping of the BVMS programme
  • 2014 - The School is represented at the Commonwealth Games by Laura Muir (third year BVMS student) and Dr Hayley Haining (Clinical Pathology)
  • 2014 - In the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) Glasgow ranked top for quality of veterinary research, with the highest score (grade point average).
  • 2015 - In the 2015 QS subject rankings (the leading global provider of specialist higher education and careers information) the University of Glasgow is ranked 7th in the world and 2nd in the UK for Veterinary Science.

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