Veterinary Nursing

Students checking rabbit
  • Level(s) of study: Foundation degree
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: October 2018
  • Course duration: Three years full-time including a learning in the workplace year

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.

Why choose this course?

  • It integrates work experience in an RCVS approved veterinary training practice with the underpinning teaching at the University.
  • Your work placement will take place over the three years of the course. There will be periods of work placement during the first and second years with your final year being completely in a veterinary practice.
  • Your work placements will take place in RCVS approved veterinary training practices.
  • You will be eligible to register with the RCVS as an RVN on graduation from the FdSc Veterinary Nursing course.

During your course you will have opportunities to attend various CPD days, the Nottingham Trent University congress and also visit specialist veterinary practices. Our CPD days will give you the opportunity to practice practical skills, attend lectures from professional experts and have one-to-one tutorials with your course tutors. Our Nottingham Trent University congress includes a variety of sessions from external veterinary practitioners.


100% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course (National Student Survey 2018).

Accredited by:

RCVS accreditation logo

What you'll study

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Accreditation

The University is accredited with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) so completion of the course may entitle you to become a registered veterinary nurse without having to take any further external examinations. You will also complete a portfolio of evidence with a Nursing Progress Log within the workplace, which is assessed externally. This work enables you to achieve the RCVS day one competencies and skills: the essential competencies required at graduation.

  • Year One

    Applied Functional Anatomy

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species, and of how this applies to clinical practice.

    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.

    578 hour (approximately 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.

  • Final year

    1,422 hour (approximately 37 week) work placement

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

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

100% of FdSc Veterinary Nursing students are satisfied with the course. (NSS,2018)

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (0%), written (57%) and practical (43%).
  • Year 2 coursework (17%), written (50%) and practical (33%).
  • Year 3 coursework (50%), written (0%) and practical (50%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (67%) and placement (10%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (67%) and placement (10%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (0%), independent study (0%) and placement (100%).

Careers and employability

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.

Excellent placement opportunities

Learning in the workplace will take place throughout the course. There will be two short placements in Year One and Year Two, with a year-long placement in the final year.

The work placements will be within approved training veterinary practices. These placements will facilitate your development of employment skills and provide you with the opportunity to apply your acquired skills and knowledge. In addition, you will achieve a greater depth of understanding and be able to develop your practical skills to enable you to achieve the RCVS Day One Competencies and Skills and complete the required Nursing Progress Log.

We will support you in finding placement through our network of affiliated veterinary practices. You may wish to return to practices closer to home and we endeavour to support you to ensure that the practices chosen are regulated to the same standards as our affiliated practices.

100% of students on this course went on to work or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE 2015/16)

Our Brackenhurst Campus is home to our flagship Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' (RCVS) accredited Veterinary Nursing Centre- a purpose built simulated veterinary practice.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – CC, including a Science subject grade C and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - MPP, including relevant Science modules (including a Merit in Biology, Anatomy and Physiology and a Merit in one of the following units: Nutrition, Breeding, Animal Health, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Scientific Methods or Stats and IT; or
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from two A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in a Science subject and excluding General Studies; and
  • GCSEs - English Language and Maths grade C / 4 (these must be achieved before applying)

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology, Zoology and Psychology.

You will also need:

  • A total of two week's work experience in one or more small animal veterinary practices in the UK before applying through UCAS. This must have been obtained in the last 18 months. (Please note a large proportion of the work experience should be gained on weekdays, solely Saturday work will not be accepted). You must provide details of how you meet the work experience criteria in your personal statement.

You will also be required to attend an interview. If selected for interview, you will be asked to talk about your work experience at a small animal veterinary practice.

If you are not offered a place on this course, you may be offered a place on an alternative course.

Applicants without A-levels will have their applications assessed for subject compatibility.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created a UCAS Tariff calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

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 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. 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 contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

You will need to add details of the required work experience in your personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

A minimum of two weeks' work experience in one or more small animal veterinary practices in the UK is required. This must be obtained prior to application.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement. All students will also be expected to provide their own wellingtons or working boots, overalls, nurse shoes and NTU vet nursing scrubs (£13.50) as well as having a valid RCVS membership (£174).

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418