Veterinary Nursing BSc Honours | Middlesex University London
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Veterinary Nursing BSc Honours

Our course offers excellent career prospects within veterinary practice and the wider industry too.
D313 (London)
D316 (Leeds)
D315 (Huntingdon)
October 2019
EU/International induction: September 2019
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *

This course is now available in Clearing.
Follow this link or call 020 8411 6565 for more info

Why study veterinary nursing with us

Our veterinary nursing degree was the first of its kind in Europe. It’s also one of the leading veterinary nursing courses in the UK – with a reputation that attracts students from the UK and overseas.

Registered veterinary nurses are in high demand – with excellent employment opportunities both in veterinary practice and in the wider field of academia, research and the pharmaceuticals, too. In fact, 100% of graduates from our BSc Veterinary Nursing are now in graduate jobs or further study (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education survey, 2017).

Our hands-on approach means you’ll learn through a mix of theoretical study and professional experience. Guided by veterinary professionals, you’ll develop your clinical skills as you learn how to undertake a range of diagnostic tests, medical treatments and minor surgical procedures.

Enhance your veterinary nursing experience with us

You’ll have the flexibility to study this course at our London, Leeds, and Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) campuses.

Our course is run in collaboration with the College of Animal Welfare, which means you’ll be taught by one of the UK's largest veterinary nurse training providers.

You’ll spend 50% of your study time gaining valuable professional experience and putting theory into practice at a veterinary practice.

Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll be able to apply to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse with full accreditation from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This will not only open up employment opportunities in general veterinary practices but also in places such as research laboratories, zoos, wildlife parks, universities, charities and pharmaceutical companies.

Get the support you need to succeed

During your course, you’ll get personalised support from your Personal Tutor, Student Learning Assistant, and Graduate Academic Assistant. Their first-hand experience in your subject area means they understand how to best support you.

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What will you study on the BSc Veterinary Nursing?

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.

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.


  • Year 1

    • Introduction to Professional Issues (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you 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 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This core module will provide you with the theoretical underpinning knowledge relating to the care of companion 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 a broad foundation for your practical placements in veterinary practice.

    • Veterinary Nursing Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      During this core module, you will undertake two blocks of practice experience, each 14 weeks in length, totalling 28 weeks in practice (taught via External Practice placement).

    • Animal Science ​(30 credits) - Compulsory

      An introduction to physiology and anatomy which is fundamental to understanding the biological processes occurring in dogs, cats, equines and exotics. You will also develop your practical skills in identifying key anatomical features and landmarks required in your day to day nursing practice.

  • Year 2

    • Clinical Nursing (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to build upon the Basic Nursing Care module taught in the first year. You 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 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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 areas of general pathology, clinical pathology and an overview of diseases in different organ systems.

    • Theatre Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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 your own time, to complete this work. You will undertake two blocks of practice experience, one 10 weeks long and the other 14 weeks, totalling 24 weeks in practice.

    • Appraising and Using Evidence for Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      You will develop skills in research criticality and appraisal of evidence using a team based approach. You will look at evidential literature, evaluation of evidence, and the use of evidence to support problem solving and decision making.

  • Year 3

    • Pharmacology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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 ​​(30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module enables you to build on 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. You will undertake one block of 14 weeks practice experience.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module aims to synthesise your learning, providing an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, and the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest you wish to study further and will manage your own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.

  • Year 3 Optional modules - choose 1 from the following:

    • Equine Nursing (30 credits) - Optional​

      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 and Business (30 credits) - Optional​​

      The aims of this elective module are to enable you 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 you provide, the use of a problem-solving approach for effective nursing management and leadership, and through the awareness, control and monitoring of the use of appropriate veterinary care resources for quality and effective nursing management

    • Animal Behaviour and Training (30 credits) - Optional​​

      The aim of this elective module is to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills required for the understanding of behavioural problems presented to the typical small animal veterinary practice.

    • Nursing Exotics and Wildlife (30 credits) - Optional​​

      This elective module analyses the concepts of housing, handling, husbandry and environment of exotics and wildlife to include 10 of each species such as birds, reptiles and mammals. It will equip you 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 (30 credits) - Optional​​

      This elective module aims to prepare you 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.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Campuses
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Veterinary Nursing support your career?

There is a current shortage of registered 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 registered 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.

Claire Defries
Programme Leader

Claire Defries qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2001 and developed interests in endoscopy, laparoscopic procedures and anaesthesia. She gained a Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Medical) whilst working in a university referral hospital where she coordinated all of the diagnostic areas of the hospital. Claire also worked as a head nurse in a North London hospital before moving into teaching. When Claire is not teaching she is also working as a locum registered veterinary nurse, which helps her keep up to date with current advances in clinical practice.  She has lectured at BSAVA, BVNA and AVSPNI conferences on various clinical and educational topics within the profession.

  • Margaret Fry

    Veterinary Nursing BSc student

    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!

  • Lesley Moore

    Veterinary Nursing BSc student

    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 registered 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.

  • Karen Birch

    Veterinary Nursing BSc graduate

    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.

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