Veterinary nurses care for sick, injured and hospitalised animals and play a pivotal role in promoting animal welfare. Our course wasthe first veterinary nursing degreein Europe and we are now one of Britain’sleading departments.
Why study BSc Veterinary Nursing at Middlesex?
“The course content is excellent with an extensive mix of topics covering all aspects of surgical and medical nursing.”
Lesley Moore, BSc Veterinary Nursing
We focus on building vital professional experience, preparing you for the workplace. Alongside theoretical classes, 50% of study time is spent on placement in a veterinary practice where you will develop essential clinical skills. Our innovative learning approach ensures you graduate armed with the skills to undertake a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures, under veterinary direction.
We seek students who can demonstrate the right acumen for this highly competitive course. To be an excellent veterinary nurse requires a calm and confident manner, and the ability to be sympathetic in sensitive situations. The demand for veterinary nurses is steadily increasing and employment prospects are excellent not only in veterinary practice, but also across related areas such as academia, research and the pharmaceutical industry.
- We have outstanding employment results: 95% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of completing the course
- Upon successful graduation, you will be a Registered Veterinary Nurse with full accreditation by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
- Your studies are supported by state-of-the-art facilities and lecturers who are experienced and knowledgeable veterinary professionals (veterinary surgeons and long qualified veterinary nurses).
- Our course is run in collaboration with the College of Animal Welfare: the UK's largest veterinary nurse training provider.
What will you study?
The three-year course blends 50% on placement in veterinary practices with 50% theory. You will study the concepts that underpin professional veterinary nursing practice and gain essential nursing knowledge. The anatomical, biomedical and physiological principles related to animal health and caring are also studied, and you will explore and debate current issues affecting veterinary practice, and the role of the professional nurse within this.
You will study the following modules:
- Introduction to Professional Issues - This module provides students with the theoretical underpinning knowledge relating to the health and safety within the practice environment. It also includes a broad foundation for communication and study skills which will stay as a lifelong skill for the Veterinary Nurse in practice, as well as providing an insight into ethics, legal theories and professional issues.
- Essentials of Nursing Care - This core module will provide students with the theoretical underpinning knowledge relating to the care of kennelled and breeding animals, observation, nutrition and care of the hospitalised patient and first aid (relating to animals). Theory and legislation relating to practice organisation and ethics, pharmacy and dispensing is also included in this module to provide students with a broad foundation for their practical placements in veterinary practice.
- Veterinary Nursing Practice - During this core module students will undertake two blocks of practice experience, each 14 weeks in length, totalling 28 weeks in practice.
- Animal Science - An introduction to physiology and anatomy which is fundamental to understanding the biological processes occurring in dogs, cats, equines and xotics. Students will also develop their practical skills in identifying key anatomical features and landmarks required in their day to day nursing practice.
- Clinical Nursing - This module aims to build upon the Basic Nursing Care module taught in the first year. Students will learn more specialised techniques in nursing and will also develop skills in helping to support clients in caring for their unwell pets.
- Pathology for Veterinary Nurses - This module provides an understanding of some of the body’s responses to disease processes, trauma, and the pathological changes which occur in illness and which inform the planning and assessment of client care. This module is science based and incorporates approximately 50% laboratory based work. The module covers the following areas: general pathology, clinical pathology and an overview of diseases in different organ systems.
- Theatre Practice - The aim of this module is to teach the principles of theatre practice in a practical context, using the NPL as a tool for recording competence. A range of resources will be provided online to assist with your knowledge. Participation in all activities is compulsory and time should be allocated during the day and in the student’s own time, to complete this work. Students will undertake two blocks of practice experience, one 10 weeks long and the other 14 weeks, totalling 24 weeks in practice.
- Approaches to Health & Social Care Research - This module introduces students of health and social care related subjects to the process of health and social care research. It is a professional requirement for those working in health and social care related disciplines to underpin their knowledge with research and evidence-based practice. Professionals need to be able to access research findings, and through an understanding of the research process and methodology, be able to critique research and apply this knowledge to practice. The aim of this core module is to develop the students' awareness of the research process and to equip them with the skills required in the subject area appropriate to their target award and to offer some preparation for the final year project/dissertation
- Pharmacology - The aim of this module is to build on knowledge gained throughout the programme in order to develop an understanding of some basic pharmacological principles and their application to patient care. In addition, to facilitate the acquisition of relevant practical skills in order to produce practitioners who are safe and competent in the administration of drugs.
- Principles of Imaging and Anaesthesia - This module enables individuals to build on their current knowledge, skills and experience within the surgical area. The module will cover surgical nursing, anaesthesia, radiography and triage. The module will incorporate the relevant sections of the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Day-One Skills. Students will undertake one block of 14 weeks practice experience.
- Dissertation - This module aims to synthesise learning from the students’ undergraduate Nursing programme providing an opportunity for students to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity; an inquiry based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest they wish to study further and will manage their own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.
and choose one optional module from the following:
- Equine Nursing - This elective module provides the necessary understanding and experience required for nursing in equine practice or other areas of equine work. Horses are uniquely susceptible to a variety of illnesses and injuries that require skilled nursing management. Working with horses requires specific skills in restraint, handling and management. An insight into the equine industry and people involved at various levels will also be approached. The module aims to allow development of the necessary knowledge and skills in theory and practice sessions.
- Management & Business - The aims of this elective module are to enable veterinary nurses to play a key role through a process of critical reflection and planned action in developing managerial competence within the veterinary practice through: the establishment, maintenance and improvement of the quality of veterinary nursing they provide; the use of a problem-solving approach for effective nursing management and leadership; the awareness, control and monitoring of the use of appropriate veterinary care resources for quality and effective nursing management
- Animal Behaviour & Training - The aim of this elective module is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills required for the understanding of behavioural problems presented to the typical small animal veterinary practice.
- Nursing Exotics & Wildlife - This elective module analyses the concepts of housing, handling, husbandry and environment of exotics and wildlife to include 10 of each species i.e. Birds, reptiles and mammals. It will equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience required for nursing wildlife and exotics. Working with wildlife requires specific skills in restraint, handling and management whilst working within the constraints of legal requirements.
- Professional Development - This elective module aims to prepare the Veterinary Nurse for clinical practice and to deepen understanding and promote critical appreciation of the theories of learning and principles of teaching to enable effective facilitation and assessment of a variety of learners within the clinical field. It will draw upon the concepts of reflection, nursing models and the VN’s role in teaching and assessing in clinical practice.
What will you gain?
You will develop the skills to be an independent professional who is able to make decisions, show leadership and work effectively in teams within a veterinary environment. Upon graduation you will be able to demonstrate a range of practical skills and techniques to implement successful veterinary nursing care.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.
Teaching and learning
Work placements are a vital part of this course, and your learning will be split equally between theory and practice. You will learn first by observing and then by practising yourself, and you will keep a logbook of your learning and progress during your placements. You will also submit a dissertation, give presentations, work on problem-solving exercises and supplement all this with your own study.
You will be assessed through exams, including an external practical exam, and practical observations. You will also submit coursework, including your dissertation, your portfolio, work reports and reflective journals. Other forms of assessment will include presentations and drug calculations. Students will give feedback on each other’s work.
We normally make offers between 240 UCAS tariff points, plus GCSE Maths Science and English Language at grade C. BTEC National Diploma/International Baccalaureate/Advanced & Progression Diplomas at equivalent tariff. Access to HE - Pass. Applications from candidates without formal qualifications are welcomed.
International Entry Requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, see further information under support in your country. For details of other equivalent requirements that Middlesex accepts see entry requirements.
English language requirements for international students
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL internet based 72 (with at least 17 in listening & writing, 20 in speaking and 18 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements.
What are the career options with a degree in Veterinary Nursing?
There is a current shortage of qualified veterinary nurses meaning the profession offers excellent career prospects within veterinary practice and the wider industry. Veterinary Nurses are respected throughout the animal welfare sector offering wider opportunities for qualified veterinary nurses. Many veterinary nurses are employed in general veterinary practices, but you could also find work in research establishments, laboratories, universities, colleges, zoological/wildlife parks, charities, pharmaceutical companies and breeding/boarding kennels.
What about placements?
You will spend 50% of the course in practice and there are placements during each year of study.
You will be supported by a trained clinical coach in the practice (a Registered Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Surgeon).
What about professional accreditation?
The course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
What our students say
BSc Veterinary Nursing
“One of the things that really appeals about this course is the facilities which are great, and the staff who represent the course. It was also handy being able to get to both the campus and the College of Animal Welfare from my home. I’ve loved working with animals in a clinical environment and the theory has been really challenging. I’m particularly proud of a piece of work where I investigated hyperthyroidism in cats.
“As a mature student who has previously worked in (human) nursing, I’ve done my fair bit of full time employment. I’m hoping this qualification will enable me to work part-time in a veterinary hospital. I would also recommend Middlesex University to other mature students. I have never felt different or treated differently, only occasionally mistaken for a tutor or member of staff!”
BSc Veterinary Nursing
“The course content is excellent with an extensive mix of topics covering all aspects of surgical and medical nursing. Modules such as ethics and professional practice allow the opportunity to discuss the role of the veterinary nurse and prepare you for your career.”
“Many of the lecturers are veterinary surgeons and long qualified veterinary nurses, so you are learning from experienced and knowledgeable veterinary professionals who have all worked in the industry. The University assisted me in finding a placement at a large veterinary hospital where I stayed for the whole of my degree. This enabled me to learn practically from some excellent vets and nurses whilst I completed the whole of my Nursing Progress Log.”
What our alumni say
BSc Veterinary Nursing
Karen now works as a veterinary nurse for a company called 'vets4pets'.
"I chose to go to Middlesex the clincher was that they were the first VN degree in the country. They wrote the course and set the bar for other universities in the country. I wanted to be taught by the path finders in my field. My lectures were always engaging and made you feel they genuinely cared. They felt more like friends andcolleagues than they did lecturers. I loved the fact I got to spend so much time in placement and really get into the swing of things knowing that help was only ever an email away if you needed it."
"I always knew I wanted to work with animals and up until recently I wanted to be a vet. I wanted to enjoy my job, but not live to work. Being a nurse I feel respected for my knowledge, I enjoy my job, I work hard and I’m always busy, but it doesn’t take over my life. I work to live.”