Veterinary nurses work alongside veterinary surgeons providing nursing care to a variety of animals and making a real difference to the lives of animals and pets. Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of qualified veterinary nurses so job prospects upon graduation are excellent. Topping up your veterinary nurse qualification to degree level will open up many opportunities and expand your career prospects.
This course is run in collaboration with the College of Animal Welfare, one the UK's largest veterinary nurse training providers, and aims to give you the skills, experience and knowledge to become a critically thinking individual who can enhance the standing of the Veterinary Nursing profession.
You'll develop analytical and problem-solving approaches and be able to demonstrate the holistic assessment, planning and implementation of veterinary nursing care to a range of species.
You'll learn how to be a reflective practitioner with the skills required for autonomous practise, decision-making and team-working. You'll gain a variety of transferable skills which will enhance your veterinary career and continue your personal and professional development.
You'll be taught by leading practitioners who will be on hand to support you throughout your studies and by choosing elective modules, you'll be able to study subjects and topics that interest you.
After you graduate, you’ll be invited to join The College of Animal Welfare’s alumni association, CAW Connect, a social networking website and education hub. You'll have the opportunity to connect with other alumni, enjoy industry discounts, make use of exclusive careers advice and resources, find new job opportunities and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news.
The majority of the course is delivered online via distance learning. There is one module that will require attendance on site every third week which runs from January – April. Please note that written and practical examinations are held on campus.
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During this top-up degree, you'll further your understanding of the legal, professional and ethical aspects of veterinary nursing and how these principles can be applied when supplying veterinary care. You’ll study the research process and how evidence based medicine can be applied to veterinary nursing.
Your understanding of pharmacological principles and their application to patient care will be explored culminating in eligibility for Companion Animal Suitably Qualified Person (C-SQP) status. Specific interests will be explored in the project and dissertation modules, during which you'll be supported by experienced tutors. The wide range of elective modules allows subjects to be studied in detail.
As well as furthering your understanding of the subject areas underpinning Veterinary Nursing, you'll also gain skills and experience in the following areas:
The modules and the associated learning will allow you to develop into a thoughtful and knowledgeable practitioner as well as an an independent learner.
The aim of the module is to build upon knowledge gained in practice, to develop an understanding of pharmacological principles and their application to patient care. Development of skills related to supply of veterinary pharmaceuticals will be considered, culminating in eligibility for Companion Animal Suitably Qualified Person (C-SQP) status.
This module will allow you to develop your research skills in critically appraising evidence using a team based learning approach. You'll gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively engage with evidential literature, evaluate the quality of its evidence, apply concepts to theoretical contexts (particularly to the your dissertation and to practice contexts) and facilitate the use of evidence to support problem solving and decision making through effective team working.
During this module you will undertake a real work based project that's designed to develop or inform areas of your own or your colleague’s professional practice within a veterinary environment or educational setting.
You'll plan, carry out and evaluate the project and critically discuss the learning gained, as well as the outcomes of the project for your area of practice. The focus of the project is negotiated with your tutor and your employer (or equivalent) and can be related to individual or team practice development and/or wider organisational development aims.
The module will provide an opportunity for learning to be achieved in the work context whilst facilitating strategic development within the work place for the mutual benefit of both the employer and employee.
This module will develop your understanding of the complex nature of delivering veterinary care, with reference to the key legal, professional and ethical frameworks that exist. You'll be introduced to such frameworks and enhance your understanding and application of knowledge to your own field of practice. There will be an opportunity to engage in discussion with other RVNs to develop strong links between theory and practice.
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.
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. These aims will be achieved 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.
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.
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.
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.
This elective module equips you with the tools to coach, mentor and teach others within a veterinary context. You'll explore learning theory and teaching methods alongside learning the skills needed in order to plan and deliver a teaching session and act as coach in a veterinary practice setting.
This module will give you the knowledge and skills you need to work effectively with a range of emergency and critical care veterinary patients. In addition to this, you'll also be able to develop evidence-based nursing care strategies, using nursing models and frameworks to recognise, assess and successfully manage emergency and critically ill patients.
The module promotes a greater awareness of the influence and impact of culture and global issues on veterinary health and veterinary nursing. You'll gain experiential learning through an international placement and be able to consolidate, and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge gained throughout the programme. Areas of focus will be personal relationships, adaptability, ability to take responsibility, interest, knowledge/cognitive ability, skill and efficiency.
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.
Catherine qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon from the Royal Veterinary College in 2006. She initially worked in small animal clinical practices in the UK, including an RCVS accredited hospital practice. During her time in practice she qualified as an A1 assessor and subsequently a clinical coach. Catherine has also recently gained her Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice. As a clinical coach, she successfully supported many student veterinary nurses, some of whom now work in leading referral centres in the UK and overseas. Catherine moved into teaching, initially as Programme Leader for the BSc(Hons) Veterinary Nursing degree before moving over to lead the Top-up Veterinary Nursing degree.
Veterinary Nursing BSc student
Veterinary Nursing BSc student
Veterinary Nursing BSc graduate
Karen now works as a veterinary nurse for a company called 'vets4pets'
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.