Diploma In Professional Studies Veterinary Nursing

Veterinary Nursing

Diploma in Professional Studies

This two-year course - the only one of its kind in the UK – provides a fantastic opportunity for you to achieve university-level expertise (other two-year veterinary nursing qualifications are usually college/further education-level) whilst qualifying as a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Registered Veterinary Nurse.

You’ll need to be working in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice while studying this course.

Key Information

Course Duration: 2 years full-time
Part or Full Time: Full Time
Level of Study: Higher Education Diplomas
Typical Offer: 64-80 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

You’ll be taught by RCVS-Registered Veterinary Nurses, who will support you to complete your qualification and become a confident veterinary nurse. You may also have guest lectures from other industry professionals in the veterinary sector to strengthen your learning and professional networks.

Our Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills Centre will enable you to refine your nursing skills in a simulated environment, before applying them to your patients in practice.

Alongside developing skills to provide outstanding nursing care, you’ll learn how to evaluate and apply research to what you do, using the latest scientific findings to problem-solve and change ways of working for the better.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that on graduation, you’ll be eligible 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).

Successful completion of the course will give eligibility to enter the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Register and allow you to legally practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the UK.

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 64-80 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 CC-CDD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of one A Level and must include A Level Biology at grade D or above.

 

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a MPP-MMP in an Extended Diploma in a Biology subject.

 

  • Access | Typical offer is 64-80 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 64-80 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of one Higher at H3 or above, including a Higher 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 64-80 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of two Highers including Biology.

 

  • Irish leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 64-80 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of Higher Biology. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

 

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a MPP-MMP in an Extended Diploma in a Biology.

 

  • T Level | Typical offer is Pass in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.
  • We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Contact the admissions team to discuss.

We will interview all applicants that are shortlisted.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

Applicants who are successful after submitting an application will be invited to attend an assessment day as part of the selection process.

An IELTS level 7.0 English qualification is required for applicants whose first language is not English and who have not achieved a GCSE Grade 4 or above (or C or above where numeric grades are not 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.

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Your career

You’ll need to be working in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice while studying this course. Alongside this, you'll hear from industry professionals in lectures to help prepare you for your career.

Employment

You must have gained full-time paid employment (minimum of 35 hours a week) in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice and have support from your employer (usually in the form of a reference) before you can enrol on the course.

On completion of this course, you’ll be eligible to join the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary Nursing Register and practise as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the UK.

Guest lecturers

Industry professionals in lectures may form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different veterinary disciplines and best practices.

Graduate destinations

  • RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse
Success Stories

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential. 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.

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory modules on different industry-focused topics.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies.

Alongside this, you’ll have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions to support students to make the most of their studies.

We also have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Modules

What you'll study

This course will enable you to work with a range of animals - domestic and non-domestic, to develop your knowledge of:

  • anatomy
  • husbandry
  • patient care
  • clinical and study skills

You'll also study pharmacy management, diagnostics, surgical nursing and anaesthesia, applying what you learn to practice each step of the way.

You’ll need to be working in a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-approved veterinary nursing training practice while studying this course.

You'll spend a minimum of four days each week in your practice, supported by your practice-based clinical coach and Hartpury-based personal tutor; your learning will be delivered one day each week either face-to-face at Hartpury University. In addition to this, you'll also complete between three and five hours of online learning per week via our virtual learning hub.

DPS = Diploma in Professional Studies

Module credits

This programme comprises of different modules, which focus on specific subjects. On completion and passing of these modules you gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain for these modules may contribute towards your overall award mark and outcome.

Compulsory Modules 

DPS Academic Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Develop academic skills and explore the principles of research in the veterinary nursing field.

DPS Clinical Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Nurses

Learn the structure and functions of the major body systems for a range of species.

DPS Animal Husbandry for Veterinary Nurses

Discuss legislation, housing, nutrition, handling and health of animals.

DPS Patient Care

Discuss the medical nursing requirements of patients.

DPS Introduction to Clinical Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Develop practical veterinary nursing skills in a clinical setting.

DPS Professional Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Recognise the roles and responsibilities expected of them within the veterinary establishment and as a member of a regulated profession.

DPS Pharmacy Management

Learn about different types of medications and their administration.

Compulsory Modules 

DPS Patient Care (continued from year 1)

Discuss the medical nursing requirements of patients.

DPS Diagnostics for Veterinary Nurses

Learn how to prepare for and undertake diagnostics tests.

DPS Surgical Veterinary Nursing

Understand the principles of operating theatre equipment, instrument care and the role of the surgical nurse.

DPS Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nurses

Understand the principles of veterinary anaesthesia and anaesthetic equipment maintenance.

DPS Clinical Skills for Veterinary Nurses

Develop practical veterinary nursing skills in a clinical setting.

DPS Small Animal Veterinary Nursing or DPS Equine Veterinary Nursing

Investigate the specific veterinary nursing needs of patients.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled independent and work-based learning. You’ll have one full day of lectures, seminars and practical sessions each week, delivered face-to-face at Hartpury University or via online sessions. In addition, you’ll be expected to complete between three and five hours of blended learning during your working week. Some modules may bring in guest lecturers to provide topical and industry-relevant talks.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Levels four and five (year one) 15% 37% 48%
Levels four and five (year two) 13% 47% 40%

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of written, oral and practical exams and coursework. Some modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given informally in taught sessions and formally following each assessment.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Levels four and five (year one) 57% 14% 29%
Levels four and five (year two) 61% 11% 28%

This programme is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks. Timetables are normally available during enrolment week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place at any time between 8:30 to 20:30.

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

Below you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that, on graduation, you’ll be eligible 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). Find out more about RCVS fees.

Fees & Finance

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

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.

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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

Develop your unique interests

We're preparing our students to qualify as skilled veterinary nurses, and to help drive forward a vibrant, rewarding and sustainable profession, now and for the future.

The experience of our teaching and support staff and our excellent industry connections with veterinary professionals will help to boost your future opportunities and prepare you to make that difference.

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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.