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Stephen May



Stephen May MRCVSStephen May graduated from Cambridge in 1980. After spending time as large animal house surgeon at Liverpool and in general practice, he undertook further training in equine surgery and diagnostic imaging, at Liverpool, subsequently gaining Diplomas in Veterinary Radiology and Equine Orthopaedics.  He then studied for a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), followed by a return to Liverpool as Lecturer in Equine Orthopaedics, and was recruited to the RVC in 1993 to rebuild the equine clinical services, and expand the equine research focus.  In 1997, he became Head of the Farm Animal and Equine Clinical Department, and, in 2000, the College’s Vice-Principal for Teaching.  He also held the post of Deputy Principal, and is currently Senior Vice-Principal.  Stephen was an RVC appointed member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) from 2001 to 2010, and an elected member from 2012 to 2020.  He is a past President of the RCVS, and a past President of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Having come from a clinical and research background, Stephen set about converting himself into an “educationalist”, and has gone on to develop and lead “LIVE”, the RVC’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, which received the Association of Medical Education in Europe’s Aspire Award for Excellence in Educator Development, the only veterinary school to be recognised in this way.  Stephen now works on veterinary discipline-focused pedagogy, as well as professionalism, including the development of professional identity, and professional ethics.

Council Member category

  • Elected: 2012 – 2020, 2021 - 2024
  • Appointed (University of London): 2001 – 2010

Committee membership

  • Education Committee
  • Finance and Resources Committee
  • Specialist Recognition and Advanced Practioner
  • CPD and Compliance Panel 
  • Panel of Assessors (Advanced Practitioners)
  • Post-nominals Subcommittee
  • Riding establishment Subcommittee

Declaration of interests


Director as member of RVC Senior Management Group of RVC Developments Ltd

Relevant financial interests, eg shareholdings, bonds and derivatives




Appointments to other bodies

  • Chair, Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust
  • Member, Home Office Animals in Science Committee

Membership of other veterinary or allied organisations

  • Member, European College of Veterinary Surgeons (Past President)
  • Member, British Veterinary Association
  • Member, British Equine Veterinary Association (Past Member of Council)
  • Member, British Inflammation Research Association
  • Member, Association for Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Member, Association for Veterinary Teaching and Research Work
  • Member, European Association for Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging
  • Member, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Veterinary Society
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, Association for Medical Education in Europe
  • Member, Veterinary Education Worldwide


Current position:

Royal Veterinary College, University of London:

  • Senior Vice-Principal 2017 - present
  • Professor of Education 2017 – present
  • Deputy Principal 2004 - 2017
  • Vice-Principal for Teaching 2000 - 2013
  • Head of Department of Farm Animal and Equine Medicine and Surgery 1997 - 2000

Previous appointments:

  • Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery 1993 - 2017
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Equine Orthopaedics University of Liverpool, Veterinary Field Station 1988 - 1992
  • Research Fellowship supported by Welfare Grant from Home of Rest for Horses, Royal Veterinary College 1986 - 1988
  • Temporary Assistant (Small Animal Practice) Beech House Veterinary Hospital, Stockton Heath, Cheshire 1985
  • Horserace Betting Levy Board Research Training Scholarship in Equine Surgery (Orthopaedics) University of Liverpool Veterinary Field Station 1982 - 1985
  • Temporary Assistant (Small Animal/Equine Practice) E & R Veterinary Surgery, Eastleigh, Southampton. Large Animal House Surgeon 1982
  • University of Liverpool Veterinary Field Station 1980 - 1981
  • Temporary Assistant (Small Animal Practice) Beech House Veterinary Hospital 1980

Qualifications (other than veterinary qualifications listed in the Register)

Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Interests relating to immediate family or close friends


Other relevant information