Veterinary Nursing

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The Veterinary Nursing foundation degree at Aberystwyth University enables you to study animal health and management topics relating to small animals (dogs, cats, small mammals) and horses, with some reference to large animals. The course combines theoretical and practical learning, with a work placement in a veterinary practice as an integral part of the course.

As the home of the only Veterinary School in Wales (Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science), we have excellent facilities to support your studies, including a clinical skills lab, research and anatomy laboratories, an equine teaching centre and university farms.

This course is provisionally accredited by RCVS.

Course Overview

Modules in year 1 and 2 are directly linked to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses, in preparation for a year-long work placement in a registered training practice. Initially, topics including animal health and principles of veterinary nursing provide an understanding of the basic concepts surrounding veterinary nursing. These are then applied in the year 2 topics, before commencing a year-long work placement. The placement commences halfway through year 2 and finishes in the middle of year 3. The final modules in year 3 include an optional focus in either nursing of exotics or large animals depending on which speciality you would like to work in. There is also an emphasis on leadership, community nursing and One Health in the final year.

Your work placement will be provided by one of our registered training practices, and you will be allocated this by a placement officer. Whilst on work placement, you will complete an online log of your clinical skills development, the Nursing Progress Log. As part of the licence to practise requirements of the RCVS, you will complete a minimum of 1800 hours on the placement.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff in the Department of Life Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Department has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Anatomy and Physiology VN10020 20
Animal Health and Management VN10720 20
Preparing for Placement VN10820 20
Principles of Diagnostic Techniques VN10920 20
Principles of Veterinary Nursing VN11020 20
Professional Practice VN11120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Medical Nursing and Critical Care VN20620 20
Principles of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia VN21020 20
Surgical nursing VN21120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Applied Veterinary Nursing VN20020 20
OneHealth for Veterinary Nurses VN20920 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Nursing of Exotics VN20720 20
Nursing of Large Animals VN20820 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


By successfully completing the foundation degree, you will be eligible to register with the RCVS as a registered veterinary nurse (pending full accreditation). As a registered veterinary nurse, you will be eligible to work in general practice, referral hospitals, charities providing veterinary services, laboratories, pharmaceutical industries and within animal collections such as zoological parks. RCVS Accreditation is recognised in many countries through ACOVENE.

You will also be able to continue your studies with a BSc Top-up or an RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

You will study animal health, anatomy and physiology, diagnosis, pharmacology and anaesthesia, and gain an understanding of veterinary nursing. You will be able to specialise in the nursing of exotic or large animals.

How will I learn?

Your theoretical learning is balanced by practical sessions working with animals and lab-based research. The integral work placement will enable you to apply your knowledge and develop your clinical skills in a veterinary practice setting.


All modules in year 1 and 2 include an examination assessment as an RCVS requirement. Each module has an element of coursework, usually 50% weighting.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 96

A Levels CCC including a life science e.g. Biology, or Level 3 extended diploma in a science at Merit, or Access to HE (Science) at Merit, or Aberystwyth University Foundation year at Merit AND a minimum of 2 weeks work experience in a veterinary practice, with a reference from the practice as evidence. Applicants may be required to attend an interview.

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
5 GCSE’s including English/Welsh, Maths and Science at C/4 or higher

BTEC National Diploma:
MMM in a specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
26 points with 5 points in Biology at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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