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Course summary

Why choose this degree?

  • Three-year full time FdSc programme designed to meet RCVS Day One Competencies and Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses.
  • 1800 hours on clinical placement, working in collaboration with over 60 local registered training veterinary practices.
  • Build vital industry experience through handling skills, clinical skill development, extensive work placements and strong links with industry.
  • Be eligible to register as a veterinary nurse upon graduation with excellent rates of employment.
What makes UCS special? University Centre Sparsholt has a very strong provision for teaching and training Veterinary Nurses. Our teaching staff bring experience and expertise in all areas of animal work including vet nursing, health and welfare work as well as animal training. Our purpose-built Veterinary Nursing Centre boasts radiology, consultation preparation and theatre rooms and is stocked with all the equipment veterinary nurses use on a daily basis. In addition, our Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre is stocked with a diverse and extensive range of animals that allows you to develop your practical animal handling and husbandry skills. What will I learn? The programme is designed to equip you for the veterinary industry, studying in a supportive environment with industry professionals. Throughout the course you will be taught a wide range of science-based subjects, vital in developing your knowledge of companion animal nursing within diverse topics including anatomy and physiology, analytical techniques, professional skills of the veterinary nurse, anaesthesia, pharmacology and animal behaviour. You will learn through a combination of formal lectures, laboratory sessions, animal handling and clinical practicals, along with guided and independent study. Work placements are key to your professional development and benefit from the University Centre’s strong links to diverse organisations within the veterinary and animal professions. To meet RCVS clinical placement requirements you will spend a minimum of 1800 hours in veterinary practice in a year placement. We also offer students the chance to participate in optional overseas study tours including South Africa and in Costa Rica. You will be encouraged to undertake challenging and innovative research. Previous student projects include:
  • Does obesity in canines affect the rate of recovery after an anaesthesia?
  • Comparing the effectiveness of warming methods used in anaesthesia to improve clinical practice.
  • Do veterinary professionals and the general public perceive clinical signs of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) to be “Normal” for the Breed?
How will I be assessed? A wide range of assessment methods are used including written coursework, presentations, practical examinations and traditional written examinations. While you are working within the clinical environment, your progress will be monitored with practical competency assessments, designed to assess RCVS Day One Competencies and Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses. Where can I go from here? Veterinary nursing is a diverse and satisfying career with many opportunities for registered veterinary nurses. Following graduation, you will be able to work as a RVN within the companion animal profession in general practice. Students completing the FdSc are also given the prospect to continue their studies for a final year in a wide range of related BSc top-up courses including BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Science, BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour or BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology, all of which are offered by University Centre Sparsholt. The veterinary industry also presents increasing opportunities for veterinary nurses to work within patient rehabilitation, specialised referral hospitals, equine practice, the pharmaceutical industry, zoological/wildlife parks and in education.


• LEVEL 4 • Analytical and Diagnostic Techniques • Animal Husbandry, Inheritance and Disease • Functional Anatomy • Industrial Experience • Practice Organisation and Personal • Development Planning • Principles of Veterinary Nursing • LEVEL 5 • Application of Veterinary Nursing Care • Diagnostic Imaging • Pharmacology • Animal Behaviour • Applied Industrial Research • Recent Advances in Animal Health • Veterinary Nursing Clinical Skills

Assessment method

Assessment is through a combination of coursework, including laboratory investigations, assignments and presentations and, for the elements of the Professional Syllabus, closed book examinations. Whilst on placement you will also complete a Nursing Progress Log to evidence practical competencies and on your return to college you will undertake a practical clinical examination.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Veterinary Surgeons, Royal College of

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

We welcome applications from international students. For further details on the English language requirements, visa requirements and student life, please see our website

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Minimum requirement is 80 UCAS tariff points (dependant on qualifications). Students who successfully complete the FdSc may apply to 'top-up' to the BSc. We welcome applications from people with non-standard or international qualifications.

Additional entry requirements


Five GCSE including Maths, English and Science @ Grade C/4 or above (or level 2 equivalents), plus completion of 2 weeks clinical work experience in a veterinary practice.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6Overall score of 6.0 with minimum scores of 5.5 in any of Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening (CEFR B2)
Trinity ISEPassPass in each of Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening (CEFR B2)
PTE Academic60Minimum score of 60 or higher in each of Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening (CEFR B2)

We will also accept the following qualification: LanguageCert International ESOL SELT - minimum score of 33/50 in each of Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening (CEFR B2)

Please email [email protected] for details

Unistats information

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Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £6800 Year 1
EU £6950 Year 1
England £6800 Year 1
Northern Ireland £6800 Year 1
Scotland £6800 Year 1
Wales £6800 Year 1
International £6950 Year 1
Channel Islands £6950 Year 1

Additional fee information

Sponsorship information

If your household income is under £32,960 you could receive a bursary of up to £750 per annum. This can be used to help towards travel costs, books and equipment or anything else that will help you during your course. Depending on the financial information disclosed in your Student Loan application, UCS may make an automatic bursary award based on specific criteria as set out in our Access and Participation Plan. If this is not the case you may still be able to apply for financial support to the UCS HE Hardship fund by completing a Bursary Application Form (available from end of |Term 1). For more information please [email protected].

Veterinary Nursing Science at University Centre Sparsholt - UCAS