Level 3 Diploma

Veterinary Nursing

We’re delighted to offer the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulated course, awarded by Central Qualifications, which follows on from our Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants.

The Level 3 qualification is essential to become an RCVS registered veterinary nurse. 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 veterinary nurse.

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
  • Vet support for small animals
  • Principles of peri-operative nursing support for small animals
  • Principles of emergency and critical care
  • Professional registration
  • Practical monitoring small animal anaesthesia
  • Practical peri-operative support
  • Practical nursing support

How long will it take?

  • 2 and a half years, full-time (7 terms)

What qualifications do I need to start?

  • At least 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English, Maths and Science, or
  • Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants with Functional Skills in English and Maths
  • Placement at an RCVS approved training practice or one which is seeking approval

What qualifications will I gain?

  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Course options after this programme

  • Progress onto the Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Career options

  • RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse. With experience you could lead teams of more junior nurses and nursing assistants and you could organise nursing clinics
Finding a placement

Securing a placement

For some useful tips on finding a placement read our 20 step guide to securing a veterinary practice placement here.

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.


We are able to offer the Level 3 Veterinary Nursing Diploma as an Apprenticeship, should your practice wish to sponsor you. Please click here to apply for the apprenticeship.


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.

Student Profile
Gemma Hall

Ambition: Veterinary nurse

School: Wolstanton High School, Newcastle

Age: 21

Gemma successfully gained her Level 2 Diploma Veterinary Care Assistants with us last year. During that course she completed 600 hours of work experience with County Vets in Alsager and, recognising her commitment and enthusiasm, the small animal practice took her on as a full-time trainee veterinary nurse.

Supported by her employers, Gemma now studies at Reaseheath one day a week for her Level 3 Diploma and spends the rest of the week working for the practice.

Enjoying this more demanding theoretical course, Gemma finds her new knowledge enables her to deliver a better service at her workplace and plans to take her studies as far as possible.

Originally interested in human nursing, Gemma studied health and social care and worked in a nursing home before deciding to pursue her interest in veterinary nursing.

An animal lover and dog owner, Gemma says: “Working at the practice is really rewarding, while coming to college gives me a different experience.”