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BSc / BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour

Key information

Select a year of entry

Level of study


UCAS code

Institution code: H12


4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience.

Start date

September 2021


Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)*

Typical offer

96 - 112 UCAS points

The course

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) work alongside veterinary surgeons in order to provide a high standard of care for animals. Veterinary Nurses normally work within a veterinary surgery or veterinary hospital and are involved in a wide range of care and treatment.

There are increasing employment opportunities within veterinary nursing and the animal health industry.

Because of the vocational nature of the course, the content is a balance between practical work (vital to gain the necessary experience to become a qualified nurse) and the intellectual skills needed for a degree. You will learn practical skills at Harper Adams via short block release completed during vacations and during the work placement year.

Students on the Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour pathway will study diagnosis and treatment of behavioural problems.

Work Experience

Due to the potential difficulties in gaining work experience in a veterinary practice as a result of COVID-19, for 2021 entry, where an applicant cannot get 4 weeks work experience in a veterinary practice, 2 weeks of this can now be undertaken in an animal related setting as an alternative. (At least one week of experience in a practice must be completed before an applicant is considered for an offer) The validity period of experience has also been extended to 3 years, so for applicants for September 2021, we will consider experience gained since September 2018.


4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience. Please contact Admissions for further information on this option.


Veterinary nursing is a career with lots of job satisfaction and there is a strong demand for registered veterinary nurses. Although the majority of RVNs work in general practice there are increasing opportunities for specialisation into different areas, such as patient rehabilitation and companion animal behaviour. Although primarily a companion animal qualification, the degree offers modules for those interested in other species, increasing the job opportunities available upon graduating.

The pharmaceuticals industry employs trained veterinary nurses. The degree also opens the door to wider opportunities concerning the health and welfare of animals.

Entry requirements for 2021

Use the drop-down tool to select the qualifications you have or are working towards to see what grades would be required for access to this programme. If you can’t see your qualification or would like any assistance with entry requirements, telephone the admissions team on 01952 815000, email or complete a form to enable them to contact you.

Course fees

The latest fees for this course can be found in our fees and funding section. You will also find course related costs, specific to this course in this area.

Not sure which course is right for you? Try our Course Comparison tool to compare modules taught on different courses.

Teaching and learning

What you study

Students on veterinary nursing courses share a common curriculum for the first two years, studying the same modules, before spending their third year on placement. The main focus of the first three years of the course is to equip students with the day one skills and competences required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in order to practice as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Subjects will include veterinary physiology, professional skills of the veterinary nurse, companion animal management, anaesthesia and surgery, medical nursing, diagnostic imaging and disease diagnosis.

In the final year all veterinary nursing courses will share a number of common subjects such as anaesthesia, critical care and surgical techniques.

The specific Honours pathways will then allow students to specialise in their chosen field of study.

Students on the Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour pathway will study diagnosis and treatment of behavioural problems.

For students on the honours degree courses completion of an Honours Research Project will allow them the opportunity to more fully explore an area of veterinary nursing that is of particular interest.

* During the Covid-19 Pandemic the University is delivering blended learning. Government guidance is being constantly reviewed to establish the learning events which can be delivered face to face. Please refer to our frequently asked questions for further details.

Work placement

To obtain the nursing qualification a minimum of 1800 hours is spent working in a registered veterinary nurse training practice, both as short block release and during the sandwich year. This hands-on experience complements the applied animal health, nursing, business and welfare sciences studied at Harper Adams.


Accredited by: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Harper Adams’ courses are approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the requirements for gaining the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Licence to Practice are written into the course structure, so you will not only have the skills and rights of a registered veterinary nurse but also those skills provided by an honours degree in science. Graduates in Veterinary Nursing will receive the Licence to Practice at graduation and will be able to register with the RCVS as a qualified veterinary nurse.

Course life


For course related enquiries please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000

Key university facts

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(Graduate Outcomes 2020)


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Whilst every opportunity has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information on this course page, Harper Adams University wishes to emphasise that the content is regularly reviewed and is subject to change from time-to-time as required. Our courses undergo reviews to ensure they are flexible, relevant and as up-to-date as possible.

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