Bsc Hons Veterinary Nursing

Veterinary Nursing

BSc (Hons)

Qualify as a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Registered Veterinary Nurse. Specialise in companion-animal nursing. Uncover new knowledge with a research-based dissertation and qualify with a full BSc (Hons) degree.

This degree provides a fantastic opportunity for you to qualify as a Veterinary Nurse, whilst advancing your own and the industry's knowledge through research and clinical coaching. You'll advance your knowledge of an industry relevant area that interests you through live research and statistical analysis. Students have the opportunity to publish research with lecturers and present at industry conferences. On successful completion of your final year, you may be eligible to apply to join the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Registrar and begin practicing as a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse.

Key Information

Course Duration: 4 years full-time
UC UCAS Code: BD71
Part or Full Time: Full Time
Level of Study: Undergraduate Degrees
Placement Year: Required
Typical Offer: 96-112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Industry opportunities

In your second year, you’ll complete veterinary practice-based learning (currently 1,800 hours) in an approved RCVS veterinary nursing training practice. This will allow you to develop clinical skills ready for qualifying. We have excellent partnerships with local and national practices.


This course is ideal for those who are passionate about working as a Veterinary Nurse whilst improving industry practices through evidence-based research.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-accredited

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that, on graduation, you may be eligible to apply to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. On joining the course, you’ll need to enrol as a Student Veterinary Nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 96-112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is CCC-BBC or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels including A Level Biology at grade D or above.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a MMM-DMM in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject to include a minimum of a pass in Level 3 Biology.

  • IB | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 or above, including one in Biology.
    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of two Highers to include Higher Biology grade D or above.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 96 -112 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers, to include Higher Biology at H4 or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level at O4 or above.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a MMM-DMM in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level | Typical offer is Pass (C or above on the core) in you T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

Successful students will need to have obtained at least 10 days of work experience in a UK small animal veterinary practice. Successfully complete our fitness to Practise Process. In the case of international applications, we will require a NARIC equivalency certificate.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 80 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.

An IELTS level 7.0 English qualification with 6.5 in each element, is expected for international applicants without a GCSE Grade C or above (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) in English Language.

Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

Please contact us for further information:

Email us

Industry opportunities on this course will support you to develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

You’ll undertake veterinary practice based-learning, made up of 1,800 hours, during full time working hours (minimum of 37 hours per week), working in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice. This is an exciting opportunity to develop your veterinary nursing clinical skills, gain valuable experience and build connections within the veterinary industry, ready for your graduate career. Many of our veterinary nursing students are offered graduate roles with their placement providers when they graduate.

We’ll support you to secure your placement within a UK-based veterinary nursing training practice – there’s no need to have this in place before starting the course. You’ll also be supported during your placement by a designated clinical coach within the veterinary practice and a Hartpury clinical tutor.

Our commercial canine and equine therapy centres, as well as our commercial farm, also offer opportunities for students to gain voluntary industry experience ready for their careers.

Volunteering

Our research activities and businesses on campus create opportunities for students to gain valuable experience outside their studies. Students have recently volunteered with our 70-species animal collection (domestic and non-domestic species), in our equine and canine therapy centres, as well as our livestock farm.

Guest lecturers

Recent guest lectures have included individuals from veterinary pharmaceutical companies and veterinary equipment providers.

Graduate careers

  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Senior Veterinary Nurse
Success Stories

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career.

The course is taught in English.

Course information

Overview

Industry opportunities

In your second year, you’ll complete veterinary practice-based learning (currently 1,800 hours) in an approved RCVS veterinary nursing training practice. This will allow you to develop clinical skills ready for qualifying. We have excellent partnerships with local and national practices.


This course is ideal for those who are passionate about working as a Veterinary Nurse whilst improving industry practices through evidence-based research.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-accredited

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that, on graduation, you may be eligible to apply to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. On joining the course, you’ll need to enrol as a Student Veterinary Nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 96-112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of 5 GCSE A* to C, (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) or equivalent, to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is CCC-BBC or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels including A Level Biology at grade D or above.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a MMM-DMM in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject to include a minimum of a pass in Level 3 Biology.

  • IB | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 or above, including one in Biology.
    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 96-112 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of two Highers to include Higher Biology grade D or above.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 96 -112 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers, to include Higher Biology at H4 or above. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level at O4 or above.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a MMM-DMM in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level | Typical offer is Pass (C or above on the core) in you T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

Successful students will need to have obtained at least 10 days of work experience in a UK small animal veterinary practice. Successfully complete our fitness to Practise Process. In the case of international applications, we will require a NARIC equivalency certificate.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 80 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.

An IELTS level 7.0 English qualification with 6.5 in each element, is expected for international applicants without a GCSE Grade C or above (or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded) in English Language.

Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

Please contact us for further information:

Employability

Industry opportunities on this course will support you to develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

You’ll undertake veterinary practice based-learning, made up of 1,800 hours, during full time working hours (minimum of 37 hours per week), working in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice. This is an exciting opportunity to develop your veterinary nursing clinical skills, gain valuable experience and build connections within the veterinary industry, ready for your graduate career. Many of our veterinary nursing students are offered graduate roles with their placement providers when they graduate.

We’ll support you to secure your placement within a UK-based veterinary nursing training practice – there’s no need to have this in place before starting the course. You’ll also be supported during your placement by a designated clinical coach within the veterinary practice and a Hartpury clinical tutor.

Our commercial canine and equine therapy centres, as well as our commercial farm, also offer opportunities for students to gain voluntary industry experience ready for their careers.

Volunteering

Our research activities and businesses on campus create opportunities for students to gain valuable experience outside their studies. Students have recently volunteered with our 70-species animal collection (domestic and non-domestic species), in our equine and canine therapy centres, as well as our livestock farm.

Guest lecturers

Recent guest lectures have included individuals from veterinary pharmaceutical companies and veterinary equipment providers.

Graduate careers

  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Senior Veterinary Nurse

How you'll study

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career.

The course is taught in English.

Modules

What you'll study

You’ll study a number of compulsory modules as part of this degree programme. These compulsory modules are designed to develop the skills and competences required for access to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Register of Veterinary Nurses.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain at levels five and six will contribute towards your final degree classification.

Your first year will focus on developing underpinning, fundamental knowledge and skills to support you in progressing to your clinical placement year. You’ll receive a minimum of 15 hours scheduled contact per week in lectures, seminars and practical sessions in your first year.

Compulsory Modules 

Fundamentals of Veterinary Nursing

Develop the underpinning knowledge required for a career in veterinary nursing. Topics include, anatomy, animal husbandry, professional communication and many more.

Introduction to Clinical Veterinary Nursing

Study the theory of key concepts of patient care and pharmacy management alongside acquiring practical veterinary nursing skills.

This is your opportunity to put your skills and knowledge gained at level four to good use, as an RCVS-enrolled Student Veterinary Nurse. You'll spend a minimum of 1,800 hours (at least 37 hours a week) in an Approved Training Practice in the UK. All placements are approved by Hartpury.

You’ll complete a Nursing Progress Log (NPL), supported by a clinical coach and clinical tutor, developing your clinical practical skills whilst gaining first-hand knowledge of the veterinary industry.

Compulsory Modules 

Veterinary Nursing in Practice 1

Undertake 1,800 hours of veterinary practice based-learning, during full time working hours (minimum of 37 hours per week), in an RCVS approved veterinary nursing training practice.

You’ll build on existing clinical skills and knowledge, exploring topics such as theatre practice, anaesthesia and diagnostics, as well as expanding your awareness of research and the impact it has on the veterinary industry.

Compulsory Modules

Veterinary Nursing in Practice 2

Refine veterinary nursing practical skills in the Hartpury University Clinical Skills Centre.

Evidence-Based Clinical Veterinary Nursing

Reflect on veterinary practice-based learning experiences and develop further theoretical knowledge of surgical nursing, anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging and laboratory diagnostics.

Research Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Develop an appreciation of research study design, data collection and analysis.

Your final year allows you to focus on areas that interest you and that will support your future career. You’ll select from optional modules to gain additional skills to progress your career, as well as undertake your dissertation, a substantial research project that enables you to experience responsibility for planning, implementing and reporting on a veterinary-related research enquiry.

You’ll be given the opportunity to develop clinical coaching skills whilst working with first-year students, a valuable skill that will allow you to progress to clinical coaching training after graduation.

The final year will equip you with a range of additional, relevant and valuable skills, to help prepare you for a successful and fulfilling future as a veterinary nurse.

Compulsory Modules

The Practising Veterinary Nurse

Apply ethical principles to medical nursing scenarios and study the theory of coaching student veterinary nurses.

The Veterinary Nursing Coaching Practitioner

Coach first year student veterinary nurses and support them to prepare for their veterinary practice-based learning.

Veterinary Nursing Dissertation

Plan, design and implement an independent research enquiry in an area of interest.

Modules

Overview

What you'll study

You’ll study a number of compulsory modules as part of this degree programme. These compulsory modules are designed to develop the skills and competences required for access to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Register of Veterinary Nurses.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain at levels five and six will contribute towards your final degree classification.

Level four (year one)

Your first year will focus on developing underpinning, fundamental knowledge and skills to support you in progressing to your clinical placement year. You’ll receive a minimum of 15 hours scheduled contact per week in lectures, seminars and practical sessions in your first year.

Compulsory Modules 

Fundamentals of Veterinary Nursing

Develop the underpinning knowledge required for a career in veterinary nursing. Topics include, anatomy, animal husbandry, professional communication and many more.

Introduction to Clinical Veterinary Nursing

Study the theory of key concepts of patient care and pharmacy management alongside acquiring practical veterinary nursing skills.

Level five (year two)

This is your opportunity to put your skills and knowledge gained at level four to good use, as an RCVS-enrolled Student Veterinary Nurse. You'll spend a minimum of 1,800 hours (at least 37 hours a week) in an Approved Training Practice in the UK. All placements are approved by Hartpury.

You’ll complete a Nursing Progress Log (NPL), supported by a clinical coach and clinical tutor, developing your clinical practical skills whilst gaining first-hand knowledge of the veterinary industry.

Compulsory Modules 

Veterinary Nursing in Practice 1

Undertake 1,800 hours of veterinary practice based-learning, during full time working hours (minimum of 37 hours per week), in an RCVS approved veterinary nursing training practice.

Level five (year three)

You’ll build on existing clinical skills and knowledge, exploring topics such as theatre practice, anaesthesia and diagnostics, as well as expanding your awareness of research and the impact it has on the veterinary industry.

Compulsory Modules

Veterinary Nursing in Practice 2

Refine veterinary nursing practical skills in the Hartpury University Clinical Skills Centre.

Evidence-Based Clinical Veterinary Nursing

Reflect on veterinary practice-based learning experiences and develop further theoretical knowledge of surgical nursing, anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging and laboratory diagnostics.

Research Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Develop an appreciation of research study design, data collection and analysis.

Level six (final year)

Your final year allows you to focus on areas that interest you and that will support your future career. You’ll select from optional modules to gain additional skills to progress your career, as well as undertake your dissertation, a substantial research project that enables you to experience responsibility for planning, implementing and reporting on a veterinary-related research enquiry.

You’ll be given the opportunity to develop clinical coaching skills whilst working with first-year students, a valuable skill that will allow you to progress to clinical coaching training after graduation.

The final year will equip you with a range of additional, relevant and valuable skills, to help prepare you for a successful and fulfilling future as a veterinary nurse.

Compulsory Modules

The Practising Veterinary Nurse

Apply ethical principles to medical nursing scenarios and study the theory of coaching student veterinary nurses.

The Veterinary Nursing Coaching Practitioner

Coach first year student veterinary nurses and support them to prepare for their veterinary practice-based learning.

Veterinary Nursing Dissertation

Plan, design and implement an independent research enquiry in an area of interest.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, seminars and practical sessions, face-to-face and online, alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course also includes work placement learning as part of a module.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Level four (year one) 24% 0% 76%
Level five (year two) 97% 0% 3%
Level five (year three) 18% 0% 82%
Level six (year four) 17% 0% 83%

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of written, oral and practical exams and written assignments. Some modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Written feedback will be provided for all assignments, specific exam feedback is available via the module team.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level four (year one) 42% 25% 33%
Level five (year two) 0% 0% 100%
Level five (year three) 49% 23% 28%
Level six (year four) 28% 21% 51%

Year one, three and four of this course are taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below.

      • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
      • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
      • Work placements may entail different days and hours
      • Timetables are available during enrolment week

Year two consists of full time veterinary practice based-learning (minimum of 37 hours per week). Exact shift patterns will vary depending on individual veterinary practices and may include, evenings, weekends and nights. Monthly online seminar sessions, with tutors, are scheduled throughout the year.

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.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that, on graduation, you may be eligible to apply to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. Information on fees is available below.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

You’ll need to purchase appropriate clothing and footwear, including a veterinary nursing uniform to wear for practical sessions and whilst completing your veterinary practice-based learning. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to purchase at enrolment – everything is available from our online shop.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Fees & Finance

Our Resource Library is where you'll find all the essential details about Hartpury University's courses. It includes Programme and Module Specifications, along with Course Information Sheets for every course. You can easily download a complete revision history for each of these, clearly showing the dates changes were made.

Course Information Sheets: These are PDF versions of the course webpages. They provide an overview of the course, what to expect during your studies, and the topics covered.

Programme Specifications: These are detailed, validated documents containing academic specifics for each programme. They include descriptions of the programme, its aims, learning outcomes, year and module structure, as well as teaching, learning, and assessment strategies.

Module Specifications: Each Programme consists of several Modules. Our Module Specifications outline the topics covered and the expected outcomes for students studying each Module.

Resource library

Accommodation

Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation

Finance

We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance

Support

When you become a student at Hartpury, you become part of our community. As a small university, we provide personalised support based on your individual requirements and aspirations. Our teams cover wellbeing, achievement and success, learning support, careers, and more. From wellbeing, safety and employability, to finance, accommodation and IT, our staff will answer your questions or get you set up with someone who can.

Hartpury University Student Support
Rcvs Logo

RCVS-accredited

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.

Gold Gold Gold 01

TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

NSS 2023 Academic Support

Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Anthony Hall
“Hartpury gave me confidence in my abilities. The practical lectures and work placement created a direct pathway into my veterinary diagnostics career.”
Anthony Hall
BSc (Hons) Equine Veterinary Nursing
Hannah Smith Working In Veterinary Surgery Anesthetic

Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

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.