Level 3 Diploma

Equine Veterinary Nursing

This Level 3 qualification awarded by Central Qualifications and it is essential to become an RCVS registered equine veterinary nurse.

Veterinary nurses play a key role in veterinary practices by providing expert supportive care and treatment for sick horses and by assisting owners to maintain the health of their animal. An equine nurse can work in a mixed practice or a dedicated equine practice.

With this qualification you could also work for animal welfare organisation’s e.g. sanctuary’s, or within the pharmaceutical or veterinary supplies industries.

You’ll be supported in developing vital clinical and employability skills in a real life setting, in preparation for the responsibilities and accountability of being a registered equine veterinary nurse.

To enrol on this course you can be employed by or be working voluntarily in an equine/mixed veterinary practice. Your time will be split between learning theory at college (one day a week) and gaining practical experience while you are on your placement in your practice (a minimum of 15 hours a week). Your practice must have facilities such as a theatre, knock down box and stocks.

You will undertake some training that involves small animal nursing, therefore will need to secure a placement in a small animal or mixed practice to complete an online portfolio. This should be for a period of around 6 months dependent on the cases you see in your first year of training.

During your course your clinical skills will be assessed and you will have to successfully complete theory exams, a work based progress log, college assignments and a final exam.

Course includes

What will I study?

Year 1

  • Understanding the operational requirements of a vet practice
  • Infection control
  • Understanding the essentials of vet nursing care for hospitalised animals
  • Comparative functional anatomy
  • Applied animal welfare, health and husbandry for vet nurses
  • Professional relationships and communication for vet nursing practice
  • Essentials of practical nursing care for hospitalised animals

Year 2

  • Veterinary nursing support of diagnostic imaging
  • Supporting veterinary operating theatre practice
  • Principles of supportive veterinary anaesthesia
  • Lab diagnostics
  • Supply of vet medicines
  • Principles of emergency and critical care
  • Professional registration
  • Principles of peri operative veterinary nursing support for horses
  • Practical peri operative veterinary nursing support for horses
  • Principles of veterinary nursing support for equine patients
  • Practical veterinary nursing support of equine patients
  • Principles of equine veterinary nursing emergency and critical care
  • Principles of neonatal care

How long will it take?

  • 2 years, full-time

What qualifications do I need to start?

  • At least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, Maths and Science, or
  • Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants with Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths
  • Before you apply for this course you must be working at a RCVS approved training practice or one which is gaining to seek this status

What qualifications will I gain?

  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing
  • You will gain Equine Veterinary Nursing status with the RCVS

Course options after this programme

  • Progress onto the Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or a BSc in Veterinary Nursing

Career options

  • RCVS Registered Equine Veterinary Nurse. With experience you could lead teams of more junior nurses and nursing assistants and you could organise nursing clinics.
Useful information

How much will this course cost?

If you are under 19 on 31st August 2018 the tuition fees and exam costs are free for our courses. If you are aged 19 or over you may have to pay a fee.

You may also be required to pay costs associated with study tours or additional qualifications.

For more information on fees and to find out about what financial support may be available to you visit the student finance pages on our website.


Our college buses pick up over 1,400 students each day from a wide area. From September 2018 all college bus routes to Reaseheath will be FREE. To find a bus route near you visit the transport pages on our website.

How do I apply?

If you have found a course you are interested in and are in Year 11 or above you can apply now online. For a step by step guide on the application process visit the how to apply pages on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find out more information about this course on our FAQs page.