Veterinary nurses treating dog in veterinary practice
Diploma in Professional Studies

Veterinary Nursing

Typical offer: 64-80 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 2 years full-time

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Accreditation: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Apply for this course here: https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/university/courses/higher-education-diplomas/diploma-in-professional-studies-veterinary-nursing/diploma-in-professional-studies-veterinary-nursing-2021/

Overview

Course overview

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.

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.

Anyone considering a career as a veterinary nurse is recommended to read the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Fitness to Practise guidance which provides useful information about specific characteristics required to be accepted on an accredited course.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

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 or via live online sessions. 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

Levels four and five (year one)

Compulsory modules

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

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

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

Develop practical veterinary nursing skills in a clinical setting.

Learn how to prepare for and undertake diagnostics tests.

Discuss the medical nursing requirements of patients.

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

Levels four and five (year two)

Compulsory modules

Learn how to prepare for and undertake diagnostics tests.

Discuss the medical nursing requirements of patients.

Learn about different types of medications and their administration.

Develop practical veterinary nursing skills in a clinical setting.

Understand the principles of veterinary anaesthesia and anaesthetic equipment maintenance.

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

Investigate the specific veterinary nursing needs of patients.

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

How you'll study

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.

The course is taught in English.

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.

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.

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.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Levels four and five (year one)15%48%37%
Levels four and five (year two)13%40%47%

You’ll spend a minimum of four days each week in your RCVS-approved veterinary nurse training practice, supported by your clinical coach and personal tutor. During term-time one day each week will be spent engaging in taught content (lectures, seminars and practical sessions) plus three - five hours a week of learning activities via our virtual learning hub.

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.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
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.

Employability

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

Facilities

Specialist facilities

You’ll benefit from outstanding facilities, including a Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills Centre, equine and canine therapy centres, a commercial farm and over 70 animals species on campus. Our teaching team are qualified and experienced RCVS-registered veterinary nurses. Students can gain voluntary roles working with our animals to enhance their learning.

Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills Centre

Our Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills Centre is equipped with a range of industry relevant resources to help you learn key clinical skills required for your veterinary nursing career. These resources include x-ray machines, anaesthetic equipment, surgical instruments, animal mannequins and much more.

Laboratories

Our laboratories are modern and well equipped, providing the ideal spaces for scientific activities and research. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has journals, e-books, computers and break-out study spaces, as well as our Study Zone – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 64-80 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE |  A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) 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 including A-level Biology.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is MPP-MMP in an Extended Diploma or equivalent Biological 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.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 64-80 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of a Higher Biology.

  • We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Contact the admissions team to discuss.

  • 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:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

The tuition fee for this programme is £6,250 per year of study.

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). The one-off fee for this is currently £196, which lasts for the duration of your qualification, but may be subject to change.

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

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.