How long is the course?

For Veterinary Care Assistant students (VCA) the course lasts for 1 year, from September until the end of June.

For Diploma in Veterinary Nursing students (VN Dip) the course last for 2 years. Year 1 runs from September until the start of July. Year 2 runs from September until the start of July and September until the end of December.

What are the entry requirements?


  • GCSE’s at Grade D in Maths and English Language and Grade C in Science
  • Suitable reference from a Veterinary Practice
  • 3 weeks industry experience prior to course start
  • A suitable Veterinary placement to support 2 days a week work placement whilst on the course, totalling 600 hours over the course (offers will only be made once details of a work placement provider have been supplied)

VN Dip:

  • 5 GCSE’s at Grade C in Maths, English and Science plus 2 others


  • VCA plus English and Maths at Level 2
  • A suitable reference from a Veterinary Practice
  • You must be working at least 15 hours per week in a Veterinary Practice which is prepared to support you through your two years of training (offers will only be made once details of a work placement provider have been supplied)

What happens if I don’t get the right entry qualifications for the course?

Once you apply to us, we will base our offer on your predicted results and suitability of placement.  There are a range of courses on offer at Animal Management and if you do not achieve the grades for the course you initially applied for, we will review your results following GCSE Results Day in August and suggest an alternative. We will also suggest other courses or Departments that may be of interest to you following your results.

What will my pattern of attendance be?


  • 3 full days, typically 9am – 5pm

VN Dip:

  • 1 day, 9am – 5pm

What topics will I study?


The modules you will study are:

  • Practical hospital care
  • Assisting the VN/Vet
  • Administrative procedures

VN Dip:

You will study modules such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Health and disease
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • Theatre practices
  • Hospital care
  • Administrative procedures
  • Laws and legislation
  • Professional registration at Level 4

How many hours in practice do I need?


  • A regular placement 2 days per week in a small animal or mixed practice
  • You will also be out on placement for 2 weeks every term

VN Dip:

  • A regular placement, recommended 2 days per week in a small or mixed practice

Can I train in an equine practice?

Yes, see our Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing page for more information.

Do I need to be employed by the practice?

We do not stipulate that you must be employed by the practice and can train on a voluntary basis (you will need to discuss this with your practice).

Does the Veterinary Practice need to be an RCVS training practice?


Not required for this course.

VN Dip:

A qualified member of the college team will visit the practice to assess the provisions they have to train you. Provided all criteria is met, Reaseheath will grant this status.

What happens if I haven’t got or can’t find a Veterinary Practice to support me?

We will offer a suitable alternative programme following interview but keep a record of all applicants who are primarily interested in Veterinary Nursing.  We will contact the applicant if we become aware of a potential placement that may be of interest, but the emphasis is on the applicant to secure their own placement/employer. As soon as the applicant finds a placement, they must inform us immediately and we will then offer a conditional place on the most appropriate Veterinary Nursing Course.

What if I don’t want to study anything other than Veterinary Nursing?

Veterinary Nursing is a very popular programme of choice and so offers will only be made to applicants who have secured a placement.  We offer an alternative programme as a back-up in case applicants cannot find a placement in time.  Those adamant about only wanting to study Veterinary Nursing will be kept on file until they contact us to confirm they have secured a placement. It is common for students to study a more generic Animal Management Course with us in the interim until their find employment within a Veterinary Practice and then reapply for Veterinary Nursing Course a year or two later.

My practice is already affiliated with another college, can I still train with you?


Not required for this course.

VN Dip:

Normally the practice will send you to their current provider, however ask the practice to contact the college directly and we will be more than happy to discuss whether or not you will be able to train with us.

Your practice can choose to send you to Reaseheath and still work with other colleges.

How will I be assessed?


  • 59 assessments in total assessed in a variety of ways ranging from case logs, oral questionings, display work, in class tests and discussions.
  • Work based assessments will be completed in practice by a qualified member of the college team or by a qualified assessor in practice.

VN Dip:

  • 5 x exams sat at intervals throughout the course
  • Range of assignments
  • Central skills log – on line practical skills log
  • OCSE’s practical exams

How much does the courses cost?

Students aged 16-18 do not have to pay tuition fees. Students 19+ are liable to pay full tuition fees and should discuss their individual circumstances with student finance at their interview following their application.

Dependent upon circumstances there may be bursaries available to you through the college of the awarding body.

Am I required to pay any fees?


  • There are no exam fees for this course

VN Dip:

  • Course fees include registration with the awarding and governing body (RCVS) and one examination fee per paper/OSCE. Results are charged additionally.

Is the practice required to pay any fees?


  • The practice is not required to pay any fees to train you.

VN Dip:

  • There are practice fees which will be discussed directly with your practice.

Are there any additional fees for the course?

All students are required to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which consists of steel toe-capped boots, scrub top bearing the college logo and waterproofs for use on practical.

What happens after I apply?

After applying you will be invited in for an interview, where we can discuss in detail your course choice and specific requirements.  A suitable offer will be sent to you in writing, including any specific conditions you need to meet to secure your place in Animal Management. It is important that you confirm is you wish to take up your place as soon as possible.

After the GCSE results are released in August, all applicants will be invited to attend a half day event at Animal Management.  This will be held in the last week in August. This will involve reviewing your entry qualifications (and other conditions you have been asked to meet), confirming your course, agreeing an alternative programme of study where necessary and completing some initial assessments.

What do I do once I know my exam results?

You will be sent information before August explaining how to submit your exam results to us.  It is very important that you inform us of your results to ensure your start date is not delayed.

If you have any further questions please contact the enquiries team by using our online enquiry form.