Veterinary Nursing City and Guilds

What is special about this course?

Successful completion of the course enables candidates to apply to enter onto the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Register of Veterinary Nurses and use the post nominal RVN.  Currently the demand for RVN’s exceeds the supply.

North Highland College UHI students are trained by experienced RVN’s and Veterinary Surgeons in fully equipped laboratories and state of the art practical training suites.  This includes access to the Environmental Reasearch Institute teaching laboratory, purpose built equine yard and state of the art Veterinary Practical Training suite at the Rural Studies Centre based at Dale Farm in Halkirk.

  • North Highland College UHI veterinary nursing pass rates for evolve exams are higher than the national average.
  • 100% of North Highland College UHI veterinary nursing graduates gain employment on completion of the course.



Entry requirements

  • Maths, English, 1 Science Subject, 2 other full grouping qualifications at either:
  • GCSE Grade C or above
  • Scottish Intermediate 2 Grade C or above
  • National 5 Grade C or above
  • Standard Grade 3 Grade C or above
  • OR Level 2 Diploma Veterinary Care Assistant with evidence of maths/numeracy and communication/literacy qualifications at National 5 level.
  • AND have a firm offer of a practice placement or evidence of actively seeking a placement from an approved veterinary practice.  (Mature students and adult returners with relevant experience and qualifications will be considered on an individual basis)

Year 1:

  • Understanding the operational requirements of a veterinary practice
  • Comparative functional anatomy for veterinary nursing practice
  • Professional relationships and communication for veterinary nursing practice
  • Applied animal welfare, health and husbandry for veterinary nurses
  • Infection control in veterinary practice
  • Essentials of practical veterinary veterinary nursing care for hospitalised animals
  • Understanding the essentials of veterinary nursing care for hospitalised animals

Year 2:

  • Supporting the supply of veterinary medicines
  • Veterinary nursing support of diagnostic imaging
  • Veterinary nursing support for laboratory diagnostics
  • Supporting veterinary operating theatre practice
  • Principles of supporting veterinary anaesthesia
  • Principles of veterinary nursing support for small animal patients
  • Principles of peri-operative veterinary nursing support for small animals

Year 3:

  • Principles of small animal veterinary nursing emergency and critical care
  • Preparing for professional registration

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Work based
  • Block release

How long will my course last?

2.5 Years

24 weeks college attendance and 60 weeks (2100) hours in practice placement over two and a half years.

Where can I study my course?

  • Thurso
  • Employers Premesis

Start date

Annually in August/September.

  • 10 weeks college attendance in Year 1 (September – July)
  • 10 weeks college attendance in Year 2 (September – July)
  •  4 weeks college attendance in Year 3 (September – December)

The remainder of the academic year (excluding college holidays) will be spent in an approved training practice placement.

How much will my course cost?

Most full-time students will have their fees paid.

Students on part-time courses may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The Veterinary Nursing qualification is a well-respected qualification, opening various career avenues.  NHC graduates find jobs readily in veterinary practice once qualified. However there are also a number of alternative employment options for RVN’s available including zoos, veterinary nursing in the forces, veterinary pharmaceutical companies and lecturing.

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Veterinary Nursing City and Guilds

Our application system is currently undergoing routine maintenance. It is anticipated that the system will be available again after 5pm on Friday 24th November. Please try again after this time.

Search again