Hartpury College

Equine Veterinary Nursing Science (SW)



Course Overview

If you want to pursue a rewarding career as an Equine Veterinary Nurse, this exciting vocationally-based foundation degree will give you specialist veterinary nursing knowledge and skills essential for safe and effective practice, and will develop your skills of enquiry and reflection required for lifelong professional learning and development.

Completion of this qualification will make you eligible to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and practice as an Equine Veterinary Nurse. 

Students are able to widen their skill base, develop key contacts and gain valuable work experience with a compulsory 2,100 hour work-based placement in an approved RCVS training practice. This will allow you to gain and develop ‘day one’ clinical skills and develop competence and confidence in preparation for professional registration and practice.

Hartpury is an RCVS veterinary nursing practical examination centre and the outstanding facilities include a veterinary nursing clinical skills area, Equine Therapy Centre, small animal house, hydrotherapy treadmill, commercial farm and equine centre. 

The programme is completed full time in three years, including the compulsory placement year.

Students that demonstrate good academic performance across the three year Foundation degree programme will be eligible to top up to the BSc (Hons) Equine Veterinary Nursing Science (Top-Up) degree if they wish to do so.

Our students have gone on to some fantastic careers in a wide range of industries and enjoyed some exceptional work placements all over the world, helping them open doors to their dream careers. You can read our students’ stories here

Entry Requirements


Five GCSEs at Grade C or above to include English, Mathematics and Science

Tariff points range


A level subjects grades

One A2 in Biology

Level 3 Extended Diploma subjects grades

MPP in a Biological Science subject

International Baccalaureate

24 Points


Yes - Must include biology/biological science subject


You must also have gained a minimum of two weeks work experience within a veterinary practice

For the most up to date information on your programme, you can find your course information sheet here

Next Open Day

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05 Nov 2016 University Open Day Saturday 5th November 2016

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In Brief


3 Years

Tuition fees

Fees for September 2017 entry

UK: £9,000
EU fees: Will remain the same as UK students, £9000
International: £11,250
Please contact us to discuss part-time fees 

EU students starting this course in Sept 2017 will be eligible to apply for UK student loans for the duration of their course. 

In order to complete this programme of study you must be aware that some additional costs will be incurred.

These will include:
• Enrolment with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) - whilst undertaking your training to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse you are required to enrol as a Student Veterinary Nurse.
• Uniform – In order to carry out the compulsory placement (consisting of a minimum of 2,100 hours in a veterinary nursing training practice) you will need to purchase a Student Veterinary Nurse uniform.
• Accommodation and travel costs whilst on placement – during the compulsory placement you may not necessarily be based in your preferred location and therefore you may be required to live away from home. It is extremely likely that you will need to fund accommodation, living costs and travel costs.
• Return to college week – during the compulsory placement you will be required to return to college for a minimum of one week. You will be responsible for any accommodation, living costs and travel costs incurred during this time.
• Other additional costs to consider - it is advised that prior to starting the programme you purchase a lab coat, a riding hat, gloves, and footwear suitable for working with horses.

The college aims to keep any additional costs to a minimum.

When should I apply

You can apply for September 2017 entry now.  Please check the UCAS website for application deadlines.

How to apply

You must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Hartpury is an Associate Faculty of the University of the West of England. The Hartpury UCAS code is H22. If you feel that you have accredited prior learning please contact us to discuss your application.
If you want to study this degree on a part-time basis, please apply directly to Hartpury. Contact the Admissions team on +44 (0) 1452 702244 or email admissions@hartpury.ac.uk  to request a part-time university application form

Click to see more course information


    • Anatomy for veterinary nurses
    • Animal husbandry for veterinary nurses
    • Professional veterinary nursing practice
    • Patient care 1 for veterinary nurses
    • Placement preparation for veterinary nurses
    • Pharmacy management for veterinary nurses
  • 2,100 Hour work-based learning placement for veterinary nurses

    • Diagnostics for veterinary nurses
    • Surgical and anaesthesia practice for veterinary nurses
    • Choice of optional modules 
    • Reflective veterinary nursing practice
    • Patient care 2 for veterinary nurses


Graduate Profile: Catherine Lane, Equine Vet Nurse

What I Do?

As a nurse I am involved in patient care, giving treatments and medications, taking and running bloods and assisting with lameness and trotting horses up. I also help with x-rays when the vets are busy, as we are qualified to do this. In theatre I assist with surgical procedures, either during surgery or by preparing the horse for surgery. If it’s an emergency we don’t have time to groom, we just remove the shoes quickly and do the rest of the preparation on the table – the clipping and scrubbing – when the horse is anaesthetised.

Why I Chose Hartpury?

It was just before starting sixth form when my horse was seriously ill. She had to go to hospital for major surgery, and it was the after-care the nurses gave her that made me think I want to be an equine nurse rather than a small animal nurse. Hartpury was actually the only place that did equine vet nursing. I had applied for small animal nursing as well and got offers for both after my A level results and chose the equine course rather than the small animal course. I enjoyed my three years at Hartpury. I made a really good group of friends. I got on well with the horsey people and the sporty people, as I swam a lot before Uni. I don’t think I’d want to be in a big university in the middle of a town. But it is easy to get into town from the Hartpury campus.

Work Experience?

Before I started my degree I had done voluntary work with animals, but not in an equine practice. One of my tutors was friendly with one of the local equine practices and she helped me to get a job as a part-time nursing assistant through the summer. That got me in contact with the practice before I had even started my degree and helped build my confidence. Now I am working, my plan is to do my advanced veterinary nursing diploma. It is done largely in the workplace, with a few weekends at university.

course blog post

Animal and Land
18 Oct 2016

No more tilling – it’s time for direct drilling at Hartpury!

Hartpury Agriculture students had their eyes opened to an alternative approach to sowing the seeds of the future.

Read On

Career Opportunities

BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing Science

Registered Veterinary Nurse