BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Study the only veterinary nursing degree in Scotland on this internationally recognised and professionally accredited course with excellent career prospects in providing care for animals.

  • Napier code:

    72151BH

  • UCAS code:

    D310

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

If you care about animals and their welfare, then a career in veterinary nursing could be for you.

We offer the only veterinary nursing degree in Scotland, plus a professional qualification and excellent career prospects. You’ll graduate as a fully qualified veterinary nurse, with an honours degree and be eligible to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) as a veterinary nurse.

Work placements in RCVS registered veterinary teaching practices make up a large part of the course and give you valuable industry experience which prepares you to move straight into your future career.


vet nursing

You’ll learn from a combination of practical experience and theory, which is designed to give you an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of veterinary nursing.

You’ll develop the skills required to be a fully qualified veterinary nurse including critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills. You’ll also gain good academic study, research and writing skills.

The School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences is one of the largest in Scotland providing education and training to veterinary nurses, as well as other life scientists. We offer a supportive environment to encourage your personal and professional development within veterinary nursing.

This is a full-time course studied over four years. You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, discussions, seminars, group work, practice placement and reflective classes.

What you study

Year 1

  • Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology
  • Principles of Small Animal Care
  • Foundations of Veterinary Nursing Theory
  • Veterinary Science in Action
  • Veterinary Nursing Practice 1 and 2.

Year 2

  • Veterinary Pathology
  • Diagnostics for Veterinary Nurses
  • Animal Welfare & Ethics
  • Veterinary Theatre Nursing and Anaesthesia
  • Application of Small Animal Veterinary Nursing Care
  • Optional modules

Year 3

  • Veterinary Nursing Practice 3
  • Animals in Society
  • Equine Veterinary Nursing
  • Veterinary Nursing Practice 4
  • Optional modules

Year 4

  • Scientific Communication
  • Honours Project
  • Specialised Veterinary
  • Elective Practice Nursing
  • Optional modules

Work placement

Placements in RCVS registered veterinary teaching practices.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

You’ll have excellent career prospects as a fully qualified veterinary nurse. This qualification is accepted in the UK and also recognised in many other countries around the world.

Career opportunities may exist in

  • veterinary practice management
  • teaching
  • animal welfare organisations
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • veterinary publishing
  • veterinary nutrition


Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

Grades BBBB required. To include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics and a Literary subject*

National 5 C in Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics also required.

A Level

Grades BBC required. To include Biology or Chemistry or Physics and preferably a Literary Subject*

GCSE Grade C in Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Double Award Science at grades CC required.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System

Grades B1, B1, B3, B3 at Higher Level to include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics and a Literary subject*

Grade C2 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics also required.

New Grading System

Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level to include Biology or Human Biology or Chemistry or Physics and a Literary subject*

Grade O4 at Ordinary Level in English, Maths, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

GCSE Grade C in Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics or Double Award Science at grades CC required.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including a Science^ at minimum grade 5 and a Literary subject* at minimum grade 4.

4 points in SL Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics

European Baccalaureate

Pass at 70% or above with grade 7 in three subjects including Science ^ and Literary subject *

Gain Grade 6 in English, Maths, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics also required

HNC

Pass HNC in Animal Care or Applied Science or Equine Care or Equine Studies or Animal Nursing with B in the graded unit considered for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics also required.

HND

Pass HND in Animal Care or Applied Science or Equine Care or Equine Studies or Animal Nursing with BB in the graded units considered for year 1 entry.

National 5 C in Maths, English, and one of Biology or Chemistry or Physics also required.

Non-academic conditions

It is ESSENTIAL that all applicants demonstrate in their personal statement evidence of a minimum of 4 weeks relevant work experience. This means practical experience working with animals within a veterinary practice.

This experience MUST have been completed prior to submitting an application.

Work within any of the following environments would also add strength to an application but cannot be accepted instead of experience in a veterinary practice: a zoo, kennels, catteries, farms, wildlife centres or stables.

Please note that applicants will also be expected to have had a tetanus vaccination and will be asked to show evidence of this.

English Language

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS of 7.0 or above and with no element lower than 7.0.  This is in accordance with Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulations and no other English Language tests will be accepted.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.



* English/ English Literature, History, Modern Studies, Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies/ Theology, Psychology, Geography 


^ Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Minimum year 2 and year 3

Advanced entry unavailable for this programme. This is because all Veterinary Nursing students must sit RCVS accredited and mapped modules throughout programme including Year 1. Entry to year 2 or year 3 may be possible if an applicant has completed a Foundation degree in Veterinary Nursing. Please note availability will be limited.


Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students.Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol on our nursing courses (except Veterinary Nursing).

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,000
Overseas £11,840 £11,950

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships