Hartpury College
BSc (Hons)

Veterinary Nursing Science (SW)



Course Overview

If you want to pursue a rewarding career as a Veterinary Nurse, this exciting vocationally-based degree will give you the 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 a 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 four years including the compulsory placement year.

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 & Science

Tariff points range

240 (typical offer)

A level subjects grades

Two A2s to include biology 

Level 3 Extended Diploma subjects grades

MMM in a Biological Science subject

International Baccalaureate

24 points


Yes - must include biology/biological science subject


You must have also 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


4 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

    • 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
    • Dissertation
    • The Professional Veterinary Nurse
    • Choice of optional modules



Graduate profile : Susannah Price, Veterinary Nurse at Highcroft Veterinary Group

What do you do now?

I work as a veterinary nurse at Highcroft Veterinary Group in Bristol. I carry out duties such as assisting the veterinary surgeons in caring for the patients and giving medication. I also monitor general anaesthetics and prepare the animal for surgery as well as cleaning the theatres and making sure they are stocked up daily. Cleaning the different areas of the practice is a big part of my job to reduce the risk of any infection spreading. Nurse Clinics also form part of my work, which involve educating clients about the health and wellbeing of their animal. I check the animals over to make sure there aren’t any problems and work with the clients to help prevent any problems in the future.

Why did you choose to study at Hartpury?

Having visited a number of different universities I felt that Hartpury offered not only the right course for me but also other fantastic facilities which I could make use of. I loved the location; based in the countryside but close enough to the city to make use of the shops and other local amenities. I completed the Foundation Veterinary Nurse Degree.

What are some of your memorable experiences from your time at Hartpury?

I had many memorable times at Hartpury! I enjoyed my lectures, especially when we were hands on in the laboratories learning about the anatomy and physiology of animals. As part of the course we had to have several practical assessments which involved using a variety of teaching methods. I enjoyed going out on the student nights out, although not so much when you had lectures the next morning! I joined a society called All Tacked Up which meant I got to meet new people. We had the opportunity to go western riding and experience a game of polo.

How do you put your degree into practice at work?

My degree was a sandwich course so I was on placement at a veterinary practice in my second year for 60 weeks. We worked though a nursing progress log, with a clinical coach, learning and practising different practical techniques. I use all the theoretical and practical techniques I learnt during my time at Hartpury and continue to put them into practice in my new job.

How did you get into the industry?

I completed my second year at Highcroft Veterinary Group in Bristol; I worked hard and showed them that I was capable and willing to learn.

They contacted me at the end of my degree offering me a full-time job which I accepted. I was delighted as it was a big referral practice and I knew that I would be able to get a lot of experience, and develop a good foundation of knowledge to further my career.

Do you have any advice for people who are interested in studying vet nursing?

It is a very rewarding job but at times it can be tough. If you enjoy working with animals and enjoy working as part of a team then do your research about what type of course will best suit you and go for it! It’s not easy as there is a lot to learn but if you are motivated and focused then the end result is worth it.


course blog post

Animal and Land
27 Oct 2016

Limelight lands on Hartpury’s lambs

Lambs were in the limelight when Katie Brian of the Agriculture and Development Board (AHDB) visited Hartpury to talk to some of our agriculture students.

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Career Opportunities

Registered Veterinary Nurse