STUDENTS wanting to study vet nursing will have to impress man's best friend if they want to be accepted into the course - after a university enlisted a trio of dogs to attend interviews.

Edinburgh Napier University has drafted in a 14-week-old puppy Belle, a black Labrador and a terrier to roam around the room while the candidates are quizzed on their skills.

Dr Mary Fraser, a vet nursing lecturer and Belle's owner, said they had received more than 400 applicants for 30 places on the degree course, which is the only one of its kind in Scotland.

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She said: "Having Belle in the interview room not only helps calm the prospective students but lets us see what they're like with animals.

"All of our students go on to have work placements so if, at this stage, they don't cope well with a very friendly puppy then they are unlikely to get on well with a snarling 60kg dog."