Linnaeus, one of the UK’s leading veterinary groups, has divided its two-year graduate programme into two courses to provide more tailored support for its graduate cohort.

The group, which is owned by Mars Veterinary Health, will now offer a 12-month Graduate Development Programme (GDP) followed by a 12-month Early Careers Programme (ECP). New graduates will work through both programmes during their first two years in practice.

The GDP will continue to focus on support and networking – with greater access to mentors, social events and a structured education programme that covers 12 core educational days, including a pre-start training camp. In addition to primary care skills development, the GDP will cover topics including veterinary business training, leadership skills and time management.

All graduates will then complete the ECP, which is designed to offer greater flexibility as the participants start to focus on different clinical areas. Professional and clinical skills training will be more tailored to graduates’ topics of interest, while funding will be available to cover the cost of CDP courses that support individual areas of development. Online courses and content are accessible throughout the year.

Professor Séverine Tasker, Chief Medical Officer at Linnaeus, explained:

“We decided to update the GDP after asking for feedback from across Linnaeus and our stakeholders. By continually evaluating and improving the programme, we can deliver the best experience for new graduates and the teams that play such an important role in supporting them.

“While many graduates need a lot of guidance in the first 12 months of their veterinary careers, they will then start to develop more specific areas of interest. By developing two separate programmes, we can offer education, guidance, networking and flexibility that is adapted to the progression of our graduates.”

The GDP and ECP each provide all graduates with both a primary and secondary mentor, with their primary mentor focusing on clinical guidance and a secondary mentor offering pastoral support.

The next Linnaeus GDP starts in the summer of 2022 and is open for applications from now until the end of May; it is aligned with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ VetGDP course. The ECP provision will be available from mid-2022 to support recent graduates that join Linnaeus outside of their GDP intake. The ECP will be available to all Linnaeus graduates who have completed the GDP from 2023.

Linnaeus comprises 47 primary care and 17 referral veterinary practices across the UK and Ireland. There are 46 graduates on the current Linnaeus GDP scheme.

For further information about graduate career opportunities at Linnaeus, visit

Back to news