Advanced Veterinary Nursing Dip AVN | Harper Adams University | Undergraduate


Advanced Veterinary Nursing*

Year of entry

UCAS code

Apply direct
Institution code: H12


Up to 5 years (part-time)

Start date

January 2019

The course

This diploma is intended only for veterinary nurses who are already qualified and have worked in veterinary practice for at least a year since qualification, but want to advance and develop their skills. The diploma can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or students can use the diploma as part of a BSc or BSc (Hons) degree.

Earning this diploma should take the equivalent of just over one full time academic year, but it is anticipated that most applicants would prefer to study on a part-time basis while continuing in employment, and thus could study over several years. To facilitate this the course will be delivered by blended learning which will include short block study sessions at Harper Adams (a maximum of two days a month) and distance learning, through paper delivery and the Learning Hub virtual learning environment. 

This diploma is approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and so applicants must register with the RCVS after commencing. You will be required to spend some time in practices with specialist facilities (which will vary depending on the choice of optional modules). This will not exceed 12 weeks over the entire diploma. The integration of relevant clinical experience with the lectures, seminars, practical classes and distance learning material will enhance the experience, giving you an opportunity to practise the theory being discussed.

Entry requirements for 2018

What will I study?

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Accredited by: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Registered veterinary nurses studying this programme who register with the RCVS and work in appropriate veterinary practices for the period required during the optional clinical modules, will be awarded the RCVS Diploma of Higher Education in Advanced Veterinary Nursing on completion.

Teaching and learning

Minimum of 135 credits in total to gain the Dip AVN awarded by the RCVS (must include all core modules).

Teaching and learning

Modules are delivered by blended learning. All key material is delivered online or by paper. Keynote lectures, seminars, practical classes and guest speakers supplement this for 1-3 days per module. For many students studying part-time while working their own veterinary practice will offer the facilities and case load required. For a few secondment to a different practice, hospital or referral centre may be needed.

The course is designed to be taken at the students own pace. This could be from 18 months to five years to complete the diploma.

Assessment methods

There are a wide range of assessment types used, including case studies and other assessments that utilise practical experience. As this is an accredited course some assessments are prescribed by the RCVS.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is important for all professionals. Advancing your current skills and developing new ones leads to increased job satisfaction and wider career opportunities. You will be entitled to use the post-nominal letters Dip AVN. The veterinary nursing profession is advancing and there will soon be an increased requirement for highly trained, competent nurses in practice. The diploma is an industry recognised qualification and enhances employment opportunities, particularly in the referral field.


Many veterinary hospitals and referral centres particularly look for veterinary nurses with the Dip AVN, or are willing to study for it. It is considered to be a qualification that increases the practical value of a nurse to a practice. Some referral centres pay up to £5,000 more in salary for a veterinary nurse with a Dip AVN. Graduates of Dip AVN have a separate listing in the RVN register.

98% Employability

Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

(HESA 2017)


For course related enquiries please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000


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