Veterinary Nursing

Bristol Veterinary School has trained veterinary professionals for over 60 years. Gain unique clinical experience onsite at our small animal hospital and in a wide range of clinical environments.


Our Vet Nursing degree is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and provisionally validated by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).

Unique clinical experience

Langford campus, on the edge of the rural Mendips, is home to our small animal referral hospital and award-winning, internationally recognised clinical skills laboratory.

Teaching by experts

Benefit from cutting-edge, evidenced based teaching from clinically active experts. Many of our teaching staff are also researchers as well as passionate about supporting student learning.

Veterinary Nursing courses for 2023

Single Honours

Veterinary Nursing at Bristol

Taught across both the Clifton campus in central Bristol and our rural Langford campus, you will gain a diverse student experience. You will study with lecturers who are at the forefront of research developments in companion animal behaviour and will graduate with the specialist knowledge and practical skills required for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of problematic behaviours in companion animals.

You'll be taught by staff from our world-leading Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group and have access to Bristol's renowned clinical skills laboratory.

Your degree will give you accreditation as a Registered Veterinary Nurse awarded by the RCVS. It is also the only Veterinary Nursing degree in the UK that fulfils the academic requirements for accreditation as a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB). See the course page for terms.

We are also the only veterinary nursing higher education provider to offer clinical rotations around one of the highest-level small animal referral hospitals in the UK, located on site.

I struggled to decide between studying behaviour or veterinary nursing; this course gives me the ability to study both. Go for it! There are many skilled lecturers here and Bristol is an amazing university – I feel privileged to be studying here.

Joanne, BSc Veterinary Nursing with Companion Animal Behaviour

Career prospects

Two veterinary nurses with a cat.

You'll graduate with a degree from a prestigious Russell Group university and be equipped for a wide range of career opportunities within animal behaviour.

Bristol's cutting-edge facilities and experts will make you highly employable and prepared for a diverse range of careers, with many graduates occupying senior roles in specialist referral practices.

Alongside opportunities in clinical nursing, you will be ideally placed to work in behaviour and welfare for animal charities and the commercial sector or to continue your practical training to become a certified clinical animal behaviourist (CCAB).

Opportunities exist in general veterinary practice, specialist veterinary referral hospitals, in veterinary schools, in animal charities and within the business sector.

Further study leading to a postgraduate qualification is another option for graduates who gain an upper second class degree or higher.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Two veterinary nurses in scrubs with animals in enclosures.

In year one you will study fundamental concepts of anatomy and physiology, and the principles of nursing and pre-clinical science.

Year two will give you an understanding in anaesthesia and fluid therapy, surgical nursing and theatre practice, medical nursing and diagnostics and therapeutics.

To meet the clinical placement requirements of the RCVS, you will spend time in clinical practice during the vacation in years one and two. Usually this takes place close to your home.

Year three is a placement year spent in a first opinion veterinary practice and in the referral hospital at Langford.

Year four consists of compulsory units and a ten-week research project as well as units specific to each of the above degrees.

Professional accreditation

Two people performing an examination on a dog.

The course was launched in 2018 and is now undergoing the normal process for validation with the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB). We expect to receive full validation in 2022 (subject to satisfying ASAB’s conditions).

All graduates of this course will thereby gain direct entry to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon's (RCVS) Register of Veterinary Nurses. Also provisionally validated by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), this degree will open up a wide range of career opportunities within animal behaviour.

Our BSc Veterinary Nursing and Companion Animal Behaviour also fulfils the academic requirements needed to become a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB).

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