Hannah Smith Working In Veterinary Surgery Anesthetic

Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Clinical Nursing and Client Support)

Postgraduate Certificate

Develop your specialism as an advanced nursing practitioner in your chosen field while enhancing your skills and knowledge. Our Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Clinical Nursing and Client Support) focuses on areas of clinical interest and mapping out individual pathways for career progression.

Key Information

Course Duration: 1-3 years part-time
Part or Full Time: Part Time
Level of Study: Master's and PhDs
Typical Offer: Level 3 Diploma/FdSc/BSc in Veterinary Nursing

Course information

Flexible learning

This course is ideal for those wanting to combine working in practice with studying for an advanced qualification. All compulsory delivery is flexible and online, with optional study days at weekends providing opportunities to access our world-class facilities and meet with fellow students and staff face-to-face. The course can be tailored to fit around your existing commitments, with options to complete in one year or spread out over two/three years.

Enhance your expertise

The course has been designed for veterinary nurses with a special interest in advanced clinical (medical) nursing. In addition to advancing your clinical nursing knowledge and skills, the course will encourage you to suggest creative solutions to applied problems in medical nursing practice, even in cases of incomplete evidence or uncertainty, while acknowledging professional responsibility.

You'll be supported to set aspirational individual and team goals, and to supervise others to achieve these. This course will develop your approach to providing, monitoring and evaluating advanced medical nursing care for veterinary patients with chronic or life-limiting conditions. Realising the importance of a team approach to patient care, you'll be supported to enhance your skills in effectively communicating care plans to other members of the practice team, and in providing evidence-based support for clients.

Professional learning environment

You’ll benefit from the expertise of our professional veterinary nursing team, whose research interests include veterinary professional ethics and law, equine intensive care, behaviour and rehabilitation, and end-of-life care for animal patients. At Hartpury, you’ll join an inclusive, supportive and welcoming learning community that will help you to develop as an advanced practitioner.

All applicants will be interviewed to reassure both parties that this course is the most appropriate choice and to discuss the most appropriate learning pathway for each individual student. Individual programme planning will be discussed with each applicant at interview to suggest the most appropriate schedule.


  • A typical offer for the Postgraduate Certificate is a Level 3 Diploma, FdSc or BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing
  • Applicants must be a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Veterinary Nurse or, if an international applicant, must hold equivalent qualifications

International students

  • We welcome applications from international students and accept international qualifications at equivalent levels to the above
  • You may also need to evidence proficiency in English language

Only applicants who are RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurses, or who are on a statutory register in their home country, are eligible to gain the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

Please contact us for further information.

Email us

A supportive community

Hartpury offers students opportunities to join a flourishing postgraduate research community, attend regular research meetings held both on-site and online and present  research at events.

Guest lecturers

Industry professionals form an important part of your learning, enabling you to gain insights into current approaches to practice. You'll hear from guest lecturers on this programme, from a range of veterinary practice types and with a wealth of specialist knowledge.

Additionally, an important aspect of our Postgraduate Certificates is the inter-disciplinary nature of the subjects being studied. Thanks to our close links with the University of the West of England, parallels and differences with the care of human patients can be explored through the expertise of guest lecturers from the field of human nursing.

Success Stories

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential while you're here so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals.


This pathway has been designed to take one year to complete

However, options can be tailored to suit your needs, enabling you to complete your qualification in two or three years

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one. This will range from your lecturers and your personal tutor to our specialist academic support (Achievement and Success Centre), employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) and wellbeing teams.

Qualification and modules

This programme will develop your skills as an advanced nursing practitioner in your chosen area of specialisation. You’ll learn how to utilise the latest research and cutting-edge industry knowledge to evaluate your current practice, introduce new protocols and work with your team and your clients to maximise the welfare of patients in your care.

An important part of these qualifications is working with your fellow learners to share experiences, problems and solutions. Your learning community, although principally online, will use peer discussions to maximise collaborative learning. Assessment strategies will relate strongly to the practice context, enabling you to use your prior knowledge and experience, together with new learning, to produce work that is applied and relevant to your situation.

You'll be invited to join our veterinary professional specific ‘community of practice’ which aims to share knowledge with and between practices and consult professional practitioners regarding areas for future research.

Discover the modules for this course. Successful completion of your modules (4 x 15 credit modules = 60 credits in total) will enable you to gain your final Certificate award (pass, merit or distinction).

Module credits

Upon successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your certificate.

Advanced Veterinary Nurse Practitioner (15 credits)

This module will develop your professional and ethical knowledge as well as your ability to reflect and evaluate your own practice to support your role as a clinic-based, community or referral advanced nurse practitioner in either equine or small animal practice.

Applied Research in Veterinary Practice (15 credits)

This module will develop your ability to evaluate current research in the veterinary context, to construct and answer appropriate research questions and to communicate research findings. You will explore the use of evidence-based practice in advanced veterinary nursing and will develop the skills required to conduct knowledge summaries in small animal or equine practice.

Clinical Nursing – Patients with Long-term Conditions (15 credits)

In this module, you will evaluate the role of the advanced veterinary nursing practitioner in supporting patients with long-term medical conditions, in terms of planning, monitoring and evaluating ongoing care, and including the roles of other members of the team.

Communication and Client Support in Veterinary Practice (15 credits) 

The fundamental role of communication, with other team members and with clients, will be explored in this module. Topics will include the provision of nurse clinics, specific communication techniques, and support for clients during end-of-life care.

The programme is designed to be delivered entirely online, except for the optional study days.

Modules contain a mixture of flexible learning resources including online lectures.

Workshops and discussion sessions are designed to be delivered live.

The course is taught in English.

  Contact learning Independent learning
Postgraduate Certificate Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Clinical Nursing and Client Support) 16% 84%
Teaching contact time

Teaching contact time and method will vary depending on the module you’re studying. You’ll be expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per week.

You’ll be assessed through a combination of written exams, coursework, oral assessments and written assignments. All modules will include a mixture of assessment types. Feedback will be provided in written form, with the option for follow-up discussions with academic staff.

  Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Postgraduate Certificate Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Clinical Nursing and Client Support) 15% 33% 52%

This course is made up of two semesters. Semesters normally consist of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled live teaching workshops generally take place in the evenings (after 6pm), for some modules this may be every week
  • Delivery on the optional weekend study days is normally scheduled between 9am – 5pm
  • Teaching and assessment dates and timetables will be made available before enrolment.
View term dates

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing

There will be an additional fee if you wish to enrol for the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing. Find out more.

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library
Sport Student Working On Laptop

Book an appointment

Discuss this course with an Academic Programme Manager

Prospective students can book an online appointment with one of our programme managers to discuss our courses and options for postgraduate study at Hartpury University. 

Fees & Funding

It's a good idea to think about fees and funding around your course as early as you can. We can help you to understand and take control of your finances. Here’s everything you need to know at a glance.

Postgraduate Fees Funding Hartpuy University (1)


Our specialist facilities match our specialist nature. Students benefit from access to some of the most advanced facilities in the world at an educational institution.


Visit us

Find out more about our courses, professional learning environments and commercial industry connections. Learn about our world-class facilities and speak with our academic teams about how our qualifications could help to change or progress your career.

Postgraduate Visit Us Hartpury University
Rcvs Logo


Our courses are accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). On graduation, you’ll be eligible to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.

Surveys Logos PTES Colour PNG Large

Top 20

We're a top 20 UK university for postgraduate teaching, engagement, assessment, organisation and support (PTES 2023).

REF2021 Portrait

World leading

Our research has been recognised as 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.