Veterinary Nursing

School of Animal, Rural & Environmental Sciences, Nottingham Trent University

Course Options
  • FdScFull-timeSeptember3 years
Course Information

This Foundation degree combines a solid grounding in scientific theory with technical and practical learning. It is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), enabling successful graduates to register as fully qualified veterinary nurses.

About this course

Our FdSc Veterinary Nursing course is ideal for those who wish to pursue a career in the veterinary profession.
The course covers all elements of a veterinary nurse’s role including: providing skilled supportive care for sick animals; undertaking theatre work, laboratory diagnostic tests and radiography; assisting in consultation rooms; ordering medication; and ward work including the general care and treatment of in-patients.

You’ll also develop strong communication skills in order to allow you to play an important role in educating owners to maintain good standards of animal health.

During the course you will gain experience of working with a wide variety of animal species, including exotics, and benefit from access to our Animal Unit for practical handling classes and observational studies.

Your topics will include husbandry and nutrition and you will be involved in routine health checks of the animals on the unit. 

Upon successful graduation, you will be qualified to give animals medication and perform acts of minor surgery under veterinary direction.

Our Brackenhurst campus is an approved RCVS examination centre and our flagship Veterinary Nursing Centre simulates a real-life veterinary practice. Combined with learning in our Animal Unit, you will develop the scientific, technical and practical skills essential for working as a veterinary nurse.

Teaching takes the form of lectures and practical classes, with sessions taking place in laboratories, lecture theatres and our purpose-built Veterinary Nursing Centre and Animal Unit.

You will be taught by our RCVS-registered veterinary nurses and veterinary surgeons at all times during your course. Visiting professionals and specialists will also support your learning. 

During the course, you’ll spend a significant amount of time on work placements within approved small animal veterinary training practices. This will allow you to develop your skills further within the veterinary industry. Year One contains a 16-week placement and your final year (44-weeks) is made up entirely of a further work placement and continuing professional development (CPD) days.

Your placement allows you to complete the hours needed to register as a veterinary nurse and to complete your Nursing Progress Log (NPL). This placement is a mandatory module of the course.

Assessment is via a combination of written and practical exams. You will also complete an online skills log within the workplace.

After graduation, you are eligible to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) if you fulfil the requirements of both NTU and the RCVS.

Our graduates gain employment in veterinary hospitals, practices or referral centres. In addition, you’ll be able to pursue a career in the allied veterinary industries.

Opportunities exist in research and academia, pet food and medical supply companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and animal welfare organisations.

What you’ll study

Year One

  • Applied Functional Anatomy

Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species.

  • Essential Veterinary Nursing Skills

You will begin to develop your knowledge of practical aspects of healthcare, including handling and physical examination techniques, and basic nursing and laboratory skills.

  • Practice Administration and Communication Skills

You will learn essential skills for working in a veterinary practice. These include teamwork, the roles and responsibilities of practice staff, time management, and organisational and communication skills.

  • 592 hour (16-week) work placement

Undertake a work placement in an approved veterinary training practice. 

Year Two

  • Application of Veterinary Nursing Care

You will develop vocational skills and gain an understanding of basic pharmacology, and disease processes, enabling you to meet the RCVS requirements to become a qualified nurse.

  • Theatre Practice and Diagnostic Aids

Learn how to assist with surgical triage, anaesthetic induction, and the maintenance and recovery of patients. You will also learn how to prepare patients for diagnostic procedures and recognise abnormal test results.

Year Three

  • 1,628 hour (44-week) work placement

Undertake a work placement in an approved veterinary training practice. You will also attend CPD days to enhance your learning and prepare you for your final practical examinations.

Entry Requirements For This Course

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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