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Veterinary Nursing (Top-up) BSc Honours

Delivered in partnership with one of the UK's largest animal welfare colleges, this course offers flexible learning options to help your develop your career in veterinary nursing
D106 (Huntingdon)
September 2024
2 year full-time
3-4 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Catherine Hemingway

Why choose Veterinary Nursing (Top-up) BSc Honours at Middlesex?

We offer flexible study options ( full and part-time) and you will learn via online distance learning, to study around your work or other commitments, and visit one of our three campuses for attended sessions and exams.

Our students rate this course highly as shown by our excellent results in the National Student Survey, 2023:

  • Top 5 university in the UK (THE Young Universities 2023)
  • 5th in London for overall student positivity (National Student Survey 2023)
  • Top 7 for research in the UK (THE Young Universities 2022)

What will you gain?

You'll develop analytical and problem-solving skills and learn how to be a reflective practitioner. You'll gain a variety of transferable skills which will enhance your veterinary career and continue your personal and professional development. By choosing elective modules, you'll be able to study subjects and topics that interest you. You'll achieve the C-SQP status when you graduate from the course.

We have 145 years of experience delivering professional, creative and technical education that prepares students – like you – for success in global careers.


Following graduation you will also be able to register as a Companion Animal Suitably Qualified Person (C-SQP) with VetSkill. Visit the VetSkill site.

What you will learn

You'll develop your understanding of the legal, professional and ethical aspects of veterinary nursing and how these principles can be applied when providing veterinary nursing care. You’ll study research processes and how evidence-based medicine can be applied to veterinary nursing. You'll develop an understanding of pharmacological principles and explore how they apply to patient care.

You'll further your understanding of the fundamentals of veterinary nursing and gain skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Critical evaluation of research and evidence
  • Academic writing and presentation skills
  • Team working
  • Problem-solving and complex decision-making skills.

You'll have the opportunity to explore your own specific interests in the project and dissertation modules, during which you'll be supported by experienced tutors. The wide range of elective modules allows subjects that interest you to be studied in detail.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Learn from leading practitioners
    You'll be taught by leading practitioners who will be on hand to support you throughout your studies
  • Gain C-SQP status
    Once you graduate from the course, you'll become eligible for Companion Animal Suitably Qualified (C-SQP) person status
  • Professional networking opportunities
    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

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Course content

Year 1 (full-time route)

In year one you will further your understanding of professional, legal and ethical issues relevant to veterinary nursing. You'll study evidence-based veterinary nursing, design and conduct a work-based project and study pharmacology and the skills and knowledge needed for the Companion Animal Suitably Qualified Person (C-SQP) role.

Year 2 (full-time route)

In year two you will choose three elective modules to study from a choice of seven; emergency and critical care, animal behaviour, exotics, equine nursing, international veterinary nursing, management and business and education and professional development. You will also complete your dissertation.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Pharmacology for Veterinary Nursing Practice (30 credits)

      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.

    • Legal, Professional and Ethical Aspects of Veterinary Practice (30 credits)

      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.

    • Work Based Project (30 credits)

      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.

    • Appraising and Using Evidence for Practice (30 credits)

      The focus of this module is to facilitate the development of skills in research critically and appraisal of evidence using a team based learning approach. The module aims to enable you to: use the knowledge and skills acquired to effectively engage with evidential literature; evaluate the quality of its evidence; apply concepts to theoretical contexts - particularly to the year three dissertation and to practice contexts and facilitate the use of evidence to support problem solving and decision making through effective team working.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Dissertation (30 credits)

      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 2 - Optional (choose three of the following)

    • Management and Business (30 credits)

      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.

    • International Veterinary Nursing (30 credits)

      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.

    • Veterinary Education and Professional Development (30 credits)

      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.

    • Applied Emergency and Critical Care (30 credits)

      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.

    • Equine Nursing (30 credits)

      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.

    • Companion Animal Behaviour and Training (30 credits)

      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)

      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.

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.

To find out more about this course, please download the Veterinary Nursing (Top-up) BSc Honours specificiation (PDF).

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

  1. Teaching and learning
  2. Coursework and assessments
  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply


These fees are for 2024/25:

UK students*

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students**

Full-time students: £16,600

Part-time students: £138 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to the resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees, and you will need to budget for these:

  • Travel to and from a centre for any teaching or assessments
  • You'll need access to a computer or laptop with a webcam and microphone to complete your studies
  • You'll need a stable internet connection to complete your studies
  • Following graduation, professional fees to join the SQP Register held by VetSkill. Annual professional renewal fees also apply.

Financial support for students

To help ensure uni is affordable, we’re doing everything we can to support our students.

  • The MDX Student Starter Kit can help some students with up to £1,000 of goods including a new laptop or iPad
  • Our MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Our Regional or International Merit Awards reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Work while you study

We'll help you find work. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

Fees Disclaimers

1. UK Fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International Students. Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

How can the BSc Veterinary Nursing (Top-up) support your career?

There is a current shortage of registered veterinary nurses according to the Royal College of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), 2022, which means you'll have excellent career prospects after you graduate. Veterinary nurses are respected throughout the animal welfare sector, offering wider opportunities for registered veterinary nurses.

Graduate Job Roles

By topping up to BSc (Honours) level you could develop your career in fields such as teaching, research, practice management, the pharmaceutical industry or specialist areas such as exotics nursing. You could also choose to pursue further postgraduate training.

Transferable skills

You'll develop analytical and problem-solving abilities 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 practice, 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.

Employability support

Our Employability service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews and networking. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

Catherine Hemingway
BVetMed CertAVP MRCVS Course Leader

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. 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 in 2014, initially as Course Leader for the BSc(Hons) Veterinary Nursing degree, before moving over to lead the Top-up Veterinary Nursing degree. Catherine holds a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice and has just finished studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Digital Education.

  • 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.

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.

Other courses

Veterinary Nursing BSc Honours

Start: September 2024

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: D313 (London), D316 (Leeds), D315 (Huntingdon)

Veterinary Nursing with Foundation Year BSc

Start: October 2024

Duration: 4 years full-time

Code: D107

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