Course Overview

This BSc Honours Veterinary Nursing degree programme- jointly developed, delivered and assessed by Middlesex University and The College of Animal Welfare was the first of its kind in Europe, and offers a unique opportunity to study a BSc (Hons) in veterinary nursing.

This degree programme is available in the following locations:

The degree is a single award from Middlesex University and was the first programme in the UK to be given direct accredited status by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). This means that unlike those training on non-directly accredited programmes, graduates will not need to undertake further assessment in order to be eligible to apply to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses in accordance with the requirements of the Veterinary Surgeons Act (1966) and the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Registration Rules. It is by means of RCVS registration that veterinary nurses achieve their highly valued professional status.

As well as modules covering relevant theoretical knowledge, there will be an emphasis on gaining direct experience throughout this veterinary nursing degree programme. As such you will be encouraged to experience not only first opinion practice, but also veterinary referral centres and leading animal welfare clinics and hospitals. The practical training offers valuable opportunities to gain hands on practical experience in veterinary practices that have been carefully selected and arranged for you. This will give you a professional advantage on completion of the qualification and prepare you for the responsibilities and challenges that come with your chosen career.

Please note that regardless of whether you choose to study in London, Huntingdon or Leeds, the programme delivery, structure, and assessment will remain the same for all students.

Key Facts

  • Attendance: Full time
  • Duration: Four years

Location: This programme is available at the following locations:

Take a look at our new StoneX facilities available to students studying at Hendon:

Course Content

All modules are compulsory and are taught in semesters, with three semesters per year. Over the course of the degree programme, you will undertake the following modules:

Year 1:

  • Body Systems (Gastrointestinal and Integument)
  • Professional Development (Legal & Professional)
  • Fundamentals of Working in a Veterinary Environment
  • Practical Veterinary Nursing (Placement and Clinical Skills)

Year 2:

  • Body Systems (Urogenital & Theatre Practice)
  • Body Systems (Musculoskeletal, Endocrine and Radiography)
  • Professional Development (Evidenced-based Veterinary Nursing, Communication & Ethics)
  • Practical Veterinary Nursing (Placement and Clinical Skills)

Year 3:

  • Body Systems (Neurology & Anaesthesia)
  • Body Systems (Cardiovascular & Respiratory)
  • Professional Development (Leadership skills, Wellbeing, Minor Surgical Procedures)
  • Practical Veterinary Nursing (Placement and Clinical Skills)

Year 4:

  • Applied Emergency & Critical Care Veterinary Nursing
  • Contemporary Veterinary Nursing (Including SQP)
  • Professional Development (Quality Improvement Project Proposal)
  • Practical Veterinary Nursing (Placement and Clinical Skills)

Clinical experience

This four-year course blends placement in veterinary practices with academic studies. The placement meets and exceeds important requirements of the profession, including the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Registration Rules.

You are offered an opportunity to choose between placements near to your home where possible (potentially a considerable cost saving) or closer to the campus you are studying at. All placements are arranged by the University and in accordance with the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Registration Rules may only be undertaken at RCVS approved Training Practices. The programme incorporates the VetSkill Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) qualification, which allows graduates to enter the SQP register and under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, prescribe and supply certain veterinary medicines.

Virtual Reality Learning at CAW

The College of Animal Welfare’s new virtual reality technology is changing the way we think about learning. All CAW students will have the opportunity to use virtual reality headsets to prepare for their OSCEs (practical exams). Virtual reality helps create muscle memory, leading to the development of practical skills and alleviating exam anxiety. Students can practise the OSCE tasks that they may come across in their real exam, such as taking x rays, packaging samples and identifying parasites. We are the first veterinary nurse college to use virtual reality and we are very excited about the potential application of it. So, the only question we have left to ask is, are you ready to step into the future of veterinary nurse training and join us?


To successfully complete the degree, you will be required to pass all the University’s practical and written assessments and examinations.

Entry Requirements

The demand for places on this programme is extremely high and, consequently, the selection process is competitive. Offers of places are given through a process of initial application, academic assessment, and interview. Admission tutors are most likely to be interested in applicants who can show a commitment to pursuing a career in veterinary nursing and can demonstrate a caring and professional approach towards their work.

The academic requirements consist of a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above (9-4) in English, Mathematics, one Science plus two other subjects.

Prospective students would also be expected to hold a minimum of one of the following or equivalent:

  • A level – BBC – BBB, include a grade C or above in science (preferably Biology); or;
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma– DMM– DDM in a related subject
  • A recognised Access to HE Diploma – of which all 45 credits must be at Merit or higher in a science or health related subject with an overall pass.

Prospective applicants who are over 21 years of age and meet the minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above in Mathematics, English, 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 or Registered Veterinary Nurse), are also invited to apply.

We welcome applications from international students looking to undertake veterinary nurse training here in the UK. Applicants holding international qualifications are required to have all international qualifications officially translated into English with a notarised stamp. Furthermore, they must have proof of competence in the English Language by holding either the ESOL qualification or IELTS at a minimum score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all four components) where the qualifications were not taught and assessed in English, plus equivalent qualifications in the Sciences.

Don’t meet the entry requirements? Take a look at the BSc (Honours) Veterinary Nursing with Foundation Year at Huntingdon.

Work experience

To apply for the BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing you will need to have a minimum of four weeks (each week 35 hours) work experience within a veterinary practice in order to have developed animal handling skills and obtained an insight into the work of veterinary nurses. You will need to have completed the minimum requirements to enter onto the course. The experience does not need to be in an RCVS approved training practice, although this would be beneficial.

For offer making purposes, the University will only consider work experience that has taken place in the period two years immediately before the course start date to ensure that you have recent experience on the most up to date approaches and procedures carried out in veterinary practice.

Further information

Applicants are encouraged to have at least two weeks recent experience in a veterinary practice before they can be considered for interview. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the evidence of the experience when requested. This evidence must include a reference from each practice attended. A total of at least 4 weeks is required overall to meet the work experience element of the entry requirements.

The RCVS has a website facility called which can be helpful when locating a veterinary practices based on area. It is important when contacting veterinary practices for relevant work experience you explain that you are applying to study Veterinary Nursing at degree level at university and that it is an entry requirement for the course.

Course Fees

More information regarding fees can be found on the Middlesex University website.

What Next?

Registering as a newly qualified registered veterinary nurse (RVN)

On completion of the Middlesex University BSc Honours Veterinary Nursing Degree, students are eligible to apply to join the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses. Following the submission of the registration form and fee, successful applicants will then become entitled to call themselves a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) and use the post nominal term, RVN, after their name. They will also receive a Registered Veterinary Nurse badge from the RCVS that, when attached to their uniform, identifies them to members of the public and their colleagues as being of professional status. The registration also demonstrates to employers and the general public that the RVN is accountable to the RCVS for their professional conduct and are committed to keeping their knowledge and skills up to date by means of continuing professional development (CPD).

Progression and employment prospects in veterinary nursing

As a result of a high demand for registered veterinary nurses across the country, job prospects are excellent both within veterinary practice and in other related areas. Salary prospects have improved significantly in recent years, meaning that veterinary nurses can now earn an average of £30,000 per year. We advertise current veterinary nurse jobs on our job board, if you’re looking for a place to begin your job search.

Many opportunities are afforded to graduate veterinary nurses in relation to working in first opinion veterinary practice or moving into more specialist areas, such as surgical nursing in a referral practice or large veterinary hospital. On completion of degree level training and study, your career prospects could also expand into team leadership, research, teaching, sales or rehabilitation.

Remember that, on achieving professional status, it is the responsibility of veterinary nurses working in practice to undertake CPD on a regular basis. Our CPD and short courses are designed for both registered and student veterinary nurses, allowing delegates to refresh their veterinary knowledge and understand the latest developments in the profession.