Cottrell Essay Prize 2021

Applications are now open for Cottrell Essay Prize for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine 2021.  Students in year 12 (or equivalent) attending schools/colleges in the UK and overseas are invited to choose one question from either Medicine and Veterinary and submit an essay of between 1,000-1,500 words by the 31st of May.

The questions can be found below:


  1. What lessons should public health services learn from the Covid-19 pandemic?
  2. Should vaccinations be compulsory?
  3. The Covid-19 pandemic and climate change demonstrate the importance of the concept of ‘one health’.  Do you agree?
  4. The Government is planning to modernize the Mental Health Act. How should clinical expertise be balanced with an increased emphasis on service user autonomy and choice?’

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Veterinary Medicine:

  1.  ‘Brachycephalic dogs spend their entire lives struggling to breathe.  Their popularity is regrettable and their breeding should be strictly regulated.’  Discuss.
  2. Assess the positives and negatives of the ‘lockdown puppies’ phenomenon.
  3. The Covid-19 pandemic and climate change demonstrate the importance of the concept of ‘one health’.  Do you agree?
  4. The veterinary profession has a high incidence of mental illness. What factors might contribute to this? How might the situation be improved?
  5. What makes a ‘dangerous dog’? Discuss in a critical fashion the Dangerous Dog Act and the role of the veterinary surgeon in its concept.




  • Lucy Cavendish College is offering one £100 first prize and two £50 second-place prizes in both Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
  • Both Medicine and Veterinary Medicine will also have an unlimited number of highly commended prizes available.


  • This competition is open to all students in year 12 or equivalent (i.e in their penultimate year in school and usually aged 16-17 years old) who intend to apply to University for 2022 entry, or deferred 2023 entry.
  • You do not have to be attending a school in the UK to enter this competition.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

  • You can only submit one entry to the Cottrell Essay Prize for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and you must only answer one question from either Medicine or Veterinary Medicine.
  • Your essay should be between 1,000-1,500 words. This word limit includes footnotes and appendices but it does not include the bibliography (which you must include). You may go under or over this limit by no more than 10%. You may use any appropriate referencing style you wish.
  • Please ensure that all pages of your essay are numbered and that your name and the question appear on each page.
  • You will need to combine any individual documents into one, and you must submit your document as a PDF.

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  • All entries need to be verified by a nominated teacher, so we ask you to provide us with the contact details of your nominated teacher on the form. Your teacher will then automatically receive an email from us with instructions on how to verify your submission.
  • Please note that your submission will be considered incomplete without this verification, so it is very important that you let your nominated teacher know in advance that they must verify your work by midnight on the 31st of May at the latest.
  • Please also ensure you have your teacher’s permission to share their contact details with us.
  • Once you successfully submit your entry you will see a confirmation screen and received an autogenerated email. Please ensure you retain this email as proof you have entered the competition. If you think you have entered but not received confirmation then you must let us know.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2021

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further queries e-mail at [email protected]
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