Veterinary Nursing City and Guilds

What is special about this course?

Successful completion of the course enables candidates to apply to enter into the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Register of Veterinary Nurses and use the post nominal RVN. 

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 Research 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 Premises

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.


For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

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?

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Apply for Veterinary Nursing City and Guilds

I want to start in 2018/19
I want to start in 2019/20

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at North Highland College UHI. North Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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