UCAS code:
Direct application only

Course type:
Higher Education Diplomas

Diploma in Professional Studies Veterinary Nursing

Benefit from our outstanding facilities, including a veterinary nursing clinical skills area, Equine Therapy Centre, small animal house, hydrotherapy treadmill and pool, and commercial farm.

Qualify and be eligible to join the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons register of Veterinary Nurses whilst working in practice. Specialise in equine or small animal veterinary nursing. Graduate with a university-level qualification.

This two-year course - the only one of its kind in the UK - provides a fantastic opportunity for you to achieve a university-level qualification (other nursing qualifications are college/further education-level) whilst qualifying as an RCVS-approved veterinary nurse.

You'll be supported to complete your qualification as a confident veterinary nurse and academic graduate. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed to progress into nursing, coaching and leadership roles with a practice or referral hospital.

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.

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 – all RCVS-registered veterinary nurses.

What you will study

In terms of course content, you'll work with a range of animals - domestic and non-domestic - or horses 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.

The programme is fully accredited by the RCVS veterinary nursing regulatory body. You will need to be working in an RCVS-approved practice, and will attend Hartpury regularly for your training. Completion will give eligibility to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Nursing Register and allow you to legally practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.*

Prior to applying for this programme, please ensure you read the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Disability Guidance on the Recruitment of Veterinary Nurse Students.

Industry Opportunities

You’ll need to be working in a RCVS-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 clinical coach and personal tutor; your learning will be delivered on campus for one day each week. In addition to this you'll also complete between 3 and 5 hours of learning per week via our virtual learning hub.

Teaching and assessment

This programme comprises of different modules, which focus on specific subjects.

You will be assessed through a mixture of written and oral exams, practical exams and coursework. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment.

Career destinations

Completion of this programme will give you eligibility to join the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary Nursing Register and allow you to practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.

Due to the professional nature of this programme, students will incur some additional costs. See course information sheet for details.

Diploma in Veterinary Nursing Bursary

We're currently offering a £3,000 bursary to eligible candidates for each year of study. This entitles students to a discount of £6,000 from the total cost of tuition fees spanning two years, making each year of study just £6,250.

Book onto this course

Course Duration

2 Year
2 Year course
Course type:
Full Time
Part-time study options available

Entry Requirements

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 A2 and must include A Level Biology.

Vocational award | Typical offer is a MPP-MMP in an Extended Diploma or equivalent in a Biological Science subject.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications, including Access and the International Baccalaureate. Contact the admissions team to discuss.

You must have gained have gained full time paid employment (minimum of 35 hours a week) in a RCVS approved veterinary training practice and have support from your employer (usually in the form of a reference).

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications.

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

Key information

  • University accommodation

    At Hartpury you could choose to live on campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre.

    Whichever option you go for, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

    Explore accommodation

How to apply

Apply online

Please click here and fill in our application form

Please note: you can complete this form on your computer and then print it to send back to us - you are unable to save. We will then contact you to arrange an interview.

You are not required to apply through UCAS

Thinking of postgraduate study at Hartpury?

Hartpury University has an outstanding postgraduate employment history of 100% and is skilled at supporting students to progress both their interests and career aspirations. Offering postgraduate qualifications in Equine, Sport, Animal and Veterinary Physiotherapy, Hartpury provides a unique postgraduate experience.