Veterinary Nursing City and Guilds

What is special about this course?

This qualification suits those who wish to qualify and register with the RCVS as a Veterinary Nurse. Train in our fully equipped laboratories and state of the art practical training suites with expert tuition from our experienced RVN’s and veterinary surgeon. You will spend time studying at our Rural Studies Centre, Halkirk in years 1, 2 and 3. Placement in an approved training practice is required to undertake the course. Assistance will be given to successful applicants looking to secure a placement




Entry requirements

  • Applicants should be at least 17 years of age with a reasonably high standard of physical fitness with Maths, English, a science subject and two other qualifications at GCSE Grades A-C or Scottish Intermediate 2 C or above or National 5 or above or a Standard Grade at level 1 or 2 or above
    • Satisfactory completion of Level 2 Diploma VCA and evidence of maths/numeracy and communication/literacy at National 5 or above.
    • Applicants must have recent work experience of at least 10 days in a small animal veterinary practice working alongside Registered Veterinary Nurses
    • Satisfactory interview

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 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
• Principles of small animal veterinary nursing emergency and critical care
Year 3:
• Preparing for professional registration

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Work based

How long will my course last?

2.5 Years

52 weeks, 1800 hours in practice placement and 24 weeks of college attendance over 2.5 years

Where can I study my course?

    • Thurso
    • Employers Premises

Start date

Annually in September

  • 11 weeks of taught classes September – June)
  • 11 weeks of taught classes Year 2 (September – June)
  • 2 weeks of taught classes Year 3 (September – December)

The remainder of the academic year, excluding college holidays and study weeks, will be spent in a 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.  Our 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 2021/22

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.