Harper Adams University College Veterinary Nursing

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Harper Adams University College Veterinary Nursing

BSc / Bsc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing

Duration: 4 years full-time

Start date: September 2017

The course

There are increasing employment opportunities within veterinary nursing and the animal health industry.

Because of the vocational nature of the course, the content is a balance between practical work (vital to gain the necessary experience to become a qualified nurse) and the intellectual skills needed for a degree. You will learn practical skills at Harper Adams via short block release completed during vacations and during the work placement year.

What you study

Students on these courses share a common curriculum for the first two years, studying the same modules, before spending their third year on placement. The main focus of the first three years of the course is to equip students with the day one skills and competences required by the RCVS in order to practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Subjects will include veterinary physiology, professional skills of the veterinary nurse, companion animal management, anaesthesia and surgery, medical nursing, diagnostic imaging and disease diagnosis.

In the final year all course will share a number of common subjects such as anaesthesia, critical care and surgical techniques.

The specific Honours pathways will then allow students to specialise in their chosen field of study.

Students undertaking the Veterinary Nursing with Rehabilitation Therapy pathway will study rehabilitation of the veterinary inpatient, whereas students on the Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour pathway will study diagnosis and treatment of behavioural problems.

Those undertaking the honours degree in Veterinary Nursing will study companion animal life care and exotic animal health and nursing.

For students on the honours degree courses completion of an Honours Research Project will allow them the opportunity to more fully explore an area of veterinary nursing that is of particular interest.


Accredited by: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Harper Adams’ courses are approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the requirements for gaining the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Licence to Practice are written into the course structure, so you will not only have the skills and rights of a registered veterinary nurse but also those skills provided by an honours degree in science. Graduates in Veterinary Nursing will receive the Licence to Practice at graduation and will be able to register with the RCVS as a qualified veterinary nurse.


Veterinary nursing is a career with lots of job satisfaction and there is a strong demand for registered veterinary nurses. Although the majority of RVNs work in general practice there are increasing opportunities for specialisation into different areas, such as patient rehabilitation and companion animal behaviour. Although primarily a companion animal qualification, the degree offers modules for those interested in other species, increasing the job opportunities available upon graduating.

The pharmaceuticals industry employs trained veterinary nurses. The degree also opens the door to wider opportunities concerning the health and welfare of animals.