“The course content is excellent with an extensive mix of topics covering all aspects of surgical and medical nursing.” Lesley Moore, BSc Veterinary Nursing
Veterinary nurses care for sick, injured and hospitalised animals and play a pivotal role in promoting animal welfare. Our course was the first veterinary nursing degree in Europe and we are one of Britain's leading programmes, attracting students from not just the UK but overseas as well.
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 challenging 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 qualified veterinary nurses is high and employment prospects are excellent not only in veterinary practice, but also across related areas such as academia, research and the pharmaceutical industry.
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:
and choose one optional module from the following:
The majority of teaching is delivered during classroom and practical sessions on campus, the remainder is delivered via online learning. Online modules are to be completed during placement blocks alongside NPL (Nursing Progress Log).
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.
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.
The demand for places on this programme is extremely high and as a consequence selection is competitive.
In order to train as a veterinary nurse a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above in English Language, Mathematics, one Science plus two other subjects (or equivalent) are required. In addition a minimum of one of the qualifications groups below should be held:
Offers of places are given through a process of initial application and academic assessment, group interview and discussion and written assessment. Applicants with a keen interest in enjoying a career in veterinary nursing and who can demonstrate a caring and professional approach to their work are likely to be of most interest to admission tutors.
Prospective applicants who are over 21 years of age and meet the minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above in Mathematics, English Language, a Science plus two others but do not hold further qualifications, and are able to show high levels of ability and experience within the veterinary care sector (evidenced by a supportive reference by a Veterinary Practice Principal), are also invited to apply.
Prior to applying for this programme, please ensure you read the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Disability Guidance on the Recruitment of Veterinary Nurse Students which can be downloaded here.
It is important that all applicants have a first-hand appreciation of the veterinary profession and its work. A minimum of two weeks (10 days) work experience in veterinary practice is required. Work experience must be evidenced by a satisfactory reference(s) signed by a Practice Principal (veterinary surgeon) or a Head Nurse (Registered Veterinary Nurse). The reference(s) must be provided on practice headed paper, clearly state the dates worked (start and finish), provide comment on the tasks undertaken, applicant ability and performance. Students who have gained more work experience in a veterinary practice or have a wider breadth of experience within animal care will be considered more favourably than those who have not.
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.
It is important that all applicants, including international students, have a first-hand appreciation of the veterinary profession and its work.
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirement for international students is IELTS 7.0.
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.
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).
The course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
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."
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 and colleagues 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."