Why choose this course?
It integrates work experience in a veterinary training practice with the underpinning teaching at the University. Your work placement will include a full year in a veterinary practice (your second year) to allow you to complete the National Occupational Standards Nursing Progress Log and build up your work experience.
- You will be able to pursue a career in roles associated with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) when you graduate.
- We offer access to a modern Veterinary Nursing Centre on campus to support the course.
- You will gain work experience in veterinary practices throughout the course.
- You will graduate as a qualified veterinary nurse (graduates are able to register with the RCVS).
- A brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus library due to open in Autumn 2013.
Want to know more?
UCAS code: D311 FdSc/VN
Please see the Applying
Course length: 3 years FT inc. a Learning in the workplace year
Study location: Brackenhurst campus
Fees and funding:Please see our applying and fees section.
How many places are available on this course?
There are approximately 30 places.
When does the course start?
Please see the academic calendar for term dates.
What will I study?
Animal Health and Welfare
This module will enable you to understand:
- the importance of maintaining health in animals
- how healthy animals function and why they become ill.
You will study a range of aspects which will enable you to work as a veterinary nurse. You will learn how to:
- Support the veterinary surgeon through daily practice.
- Assist and educate clients in the healthcare of their pets.
You will develop the knowledge to better understand the practical aspects of healthcare. Animal health assessment and disease control within a veterinary practice are an integral part of the module, with importance given to the groups of pathogens.
You will also develop practical skills in maintaining health by:
- cleaning accommodation
- handling and restraining animals effectively
- learning basic laboratory skills.
This module will also expose you to a variety of handling situations across a range of species. You will therefore develop essential practical skills. You will learn to identify behaviour patterns for a number of species in different stress situations. You will also develop the ability to assess the housing needs of in-patients relative to the different species and learn how to apply this knowledge practically in the veterinary practice.
Applied Functional Anatomy
This module will enable you to distinguish between normal and abnormal form and function of major body systems of small animals. You will be able to examine visually or by palpation key anatomical features and landmarks. Practicals include fascinating dissection work to help students apply their knowledge to real veterinary scenarios.
You will appraise how normal physiological function can be disrupted with relation to the disease process and how these changes may modify the provision of nursing care.
Essential Veterinary Nursing Skills
This module will develop the essential skills of care and nursing in the management of patients through health, ill health and emergency first aid situations. You will develop an understanding of the attributes required by veterinary nurses to care for animals competently and to perform their role effectively under the supervision of qualified veterinary staff.
Practice Administration and Communication Skills
This module will help you to understand the dynamics of communication in a veterinary practice. You will learn how different styles of communication can affect perception and will also examine how circumstances can change the way in which clients communicate. You will explore the concept of team work and distinguish between the roles and responsibilities of veterinary practice staff including practice management.
You will learn about time management and organisational skills including the supply and safe storage of veterinary materials and medicines. This module will examine the legal and professional regulatory frameworks within which a Veterinary Nurse will work. You will:
- Demonstrate effective health and safety practice.
- Appraise the principal risks in a veterinary practice.
- Find out how to report and manage common risks along with applying the principles of human first aid.
Level Two includes the extended year-long Work Based Learning module while based in a veterinary practice
Theatre Practice and Diagnostics
This module will provide you with an appreciation of the need to prepare the surgical environment. This includes preparing the instrumentation and patients. You will learn how to allow aseptic procedures to be reliably undertaken. You will also learn how to handle the potential consequences effectively, should breaches of sterility go unnoticed. Adopting an overview of theatre function will also allow you to assist with surgical triage ensuring the most efficient use of theatre time. You will also cover the physiology of sedation and anaesthesia along with the pharmacology of commonly used anaesthetic agents. This module will prepare you to assist with:
- anaesthetic induction
- anaesthetic maintenance
- the recovery of patients.
You will also learn to apply the correct diagnostic techniques to identify and confirm illness and disease. You will be able to propose the correct patient care and management supported with safe working practices.
Application of Veterinary Nursing Care
This module builds on the skills and knowledge of relationships, applied anatomy and essential veterinary nursing. You will also develop a case study approach to learning to allow you to focus on the patient and owner rather than the disease itself.
You will develop vocational skills that enable students to meet the RCVS requirements to become a qualified veterinary nurse.
This module will enable you to reflect on the role played by the student in the relevant work place during placement.
Patient Management and Therapeutics
This module will introduce you to the issues of drug use in the veterinary practice relating to prescribing and dispensing of medicines including legal obligations. You will gain knowledge of basic pharmacology and assess the practical applications and relating theory of administering medication via different routes. You will also be able to compare the use of alternative therapies with more traditional treatments.
The aim of the module is to provide you with the tools needed to understand and evaluate the needs of the patient and thereby take a patient centred approach to care; both within the veterinary practice and by the owner at home.
You will have 13 hours of scheduled contact time per week, of which approximately four hours will be practical work.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will be via a combination of the following.
Where will I be studying?
You will be studying at Brackenhurst campus. Over £20 million has been invested in facilities at Brackenhurst campus in the last eight years. Our beautiful 200 hectare estate acts as an outdoor classroom for fieldwork and research. Set in rural Nottinghamshire but only a 40 minute bus journey from the city it is the perfect site to study this course.
Is this course accredited?
The University is accredited with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) so completion of the course will entitle you to become a registered veterinary nurse without having to take any further external examinations. Students will also complete a portfolio of evidence with a Nursing Progress Log within the workplace, which is assessed externally. This work enables students to achieve the RCVS day one competencies - the essential competencies required at graduation.
What do the course fees cover?
The annual fee for your undergraduate degree course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. Below is an indication of those items that are covered within the fee.
- You will have a pre-paid printing allowance of £20 (which currently equates to up to 400 sides of A4 black and white printing) for use in NTU Print Shops.
- We will supply laboratory equipment, coats and safety equipment, where required.
- There will be a fee Waiver for Year Abroad/Sandwich year when part of a course.
- You will not have to pay additional administration fees for International Exchange.
- You will be given two tickets to the Graduation Ceremony (any additional tickets will incur a fee).
What is not included in the fee?
You will need to budget for the following:
- general printing of coursework in addition to the printing allowance
- books and texts
- accommodation and travel costs
- travel and accommodation costs involved in year abroad, sandwich year or any placements you take
- graduation social events
- additional field trip or field work costs where not borne by the School.
Language classes are available via the University Language Programme at a very reasonable additional fee, alongside your chosen course. These do not bear credit towards your course.
Are you an international student?
Find out more about entry requirements, fees and accommodation.
The purpose built veterinary nursing building contains a simulated veterinary practice to give you the practical know-how on vital veterinary nursing procedures and the adjoining animal unit will allow you plenty of handling practice of a wide range of species.
Your career development
Students successfully graduating from this foundation degree will be entered onto the registered list of qualified veterinary nurses, which is held by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Students can then use the post-nominal letters FdSc VN and are qualified to give animals medication and perform acts of minor surgery under veterinary direction.
Please note due to the position of Veterinary Nurse not being classified as a 'graduate level' job by DHLE the employability rate is shown as 0%. In actual fact the employability rate for 2009 / 10 was 100% for our graduates from this course.
Excellent placement opportunities
The work-based learning now includes the opportunity for a short placement in Year one, followed by a year long placement in Year two. The full year placement enables students to efficiently manage their accommodation and travel expenses in line with their work placement commitment.
You will not have to pay any fees during your placement year. You only pay fees for the years you are studying.
The work placements will be within approved training veterinary practices. These placements will facilitate the development of employment skills and provide students with the opportunity to apply their acquired skills and knowledge. In addition, students will achieve a greater depth of understanding and be able to develop their practical skills to enable them to achieve the RCVS Occupational Standards and complete the required nurse progress log.
We will support you in finding placement through our network of affiliated veterinary practices. Some students wish to return to practices closer to home and we endeavour to support students to ensure that the practices chosen are regulated to the same standards as our affiliated practices.
You will need one of the following options:
- 140 UCAS Tariff points (including Science A-level) and five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, Science and Maths
- MERIT PASS PASS (MPP) or above in BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) including Merit (M) in Biology and Anatomy and Physiology and Merit (M) in one of the following units: Nutrition, Breeding, Animal Health, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Scientific Methods or Stats and IT and GCSE Maths or equivalent.
All applicants must have obtained a total of two weeks work experience in one or more small animal veterinary practices in the UK before applying through UCAS and must state the length and type of experience in their personal statement. Applicants will be required to attend an interview.
How to apply
UCAS code: D311 FdSc / VN
You can follow our step-by-step instructions when applying through UCAS.
Also ensure that you check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder, when you have applied. We may need to contact you during this time.
Take a look at our guide to writing an effective personal statement. Use it when you start writing your UCAS application.
International student entry requirements
If you want to speak to us about this course, open days or how to apply - then get in touch using the following details:
Telephone: +44 (0)1636 817099 (Brackenhurst)
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200 (Admissions)
Good luck with your application.
Please note the following information for applicants