Lantra Awards Level 3 Work-based Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal)

What is special about this course?

This qualification suits those who wish to qualify and register with the RCVS as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. It provides an opportunity to achieve a recognised national qualification that reflects the national and regulatory standards required for this role. The qualification is designed to enable learners to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to support their role, and develop their career in veterinary nursing of small animals. You will spend time studying online via our Brightspace platform and will also attend our state of the art practical training suite at our Rural Studies Centre in Halkirk for expert practical tuition from our experienced Registered Veterinary Nurses 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 16 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 at Merit Grade or above and evidence of Maths and English at National 5 Grade A-C 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

Learners undertaking this qualification will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and the skills required for veterinary nursing of small animals.

The qualification aims to assess the Learner’s knowledge and understanding of:

• Animal husbandry and welfare

• Communication and working relationships

• Daily practice - the team, health and safety, stock and waste and record keeping

• Nursing care plans, models, clinics, and home car

• Preparing for professional registration

• Cell structure

• Central nervous system and associated nursing

• Infection control, disinfection and sterilisation

• Laboratory diagnostics

• Musculoskeletal system and associated nursing

• Skin, wound care and bandaging

• Body fluids, homeostasis and fluid therapy

• Circulatory system and associated nursing

• Urinary system and associated nursing

• Medicines and dispensary management

• First aid, emergency and critical care nursing

• Respiratory system and associated nursing

• Digestion, nutrition and feeding

• Reproduction and breeding and associated nursing

• Endocrine system and associated nursing

• Pain management

• Diagnostic imaging

• Anaesthesia

• Operating theatre management and nursing care.

The qualification focuses on veterinary nursing care of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Work based

How long will my course last?

2.5 Year


Year 1:

10 weeks college classes

26 weeks practice placement

Year 2:

10 weeks college classes

26 weeks practice placement

Year 3:

16 weeks practice placement

Where can I study my course?

    • Thurso
    • Employers Premises

Start date



Theory classes are delivered online and studied from home

Practical teaching will take place at the Rural Studies Centre, Halkirk

Students will also spend 68 weeks in practice placement over the 2.5 Years on the award


Study mode  Scottish Fee RUK* Fee International Fee
Full-time £1790 £5970 £5970
Part-time (per credit/module) £90 £300 £300

Full-Time Study

Full-time students will automatically receive the fee waiver if they are eligible from the information they have provided on their course application form.

If you have been living in the UK for at least three years, are an ordinary resident in Scotland before the course start date it is likely that you will not have to pay fees for your full-time course. Please check our fee waiver policy for more information.

Fees are payable on enrolment each academic year.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing please check with your course tutor.

Please get in touch with if you have any further questions on fees.

*Rest of UK (students typically domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), with a term-time address in Scotland.

Part-Time Study

A Fee Waiver could be available to help with the payment of course fees depending on your personal circumstances, please check our fee waiver policy to see if you are eligible.

Fees are payable on enrolment each academic year.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing please check with your course tutor.

Please contact  if you have any further questions on fees.

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 Lantra Awards Level 3 Work-based Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal)

I want to start in 2022/23

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North Highland. UHI North Highland 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.