Veterinary Nursing and Applied Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (4 years with placement)

Cambridge, College of West Anglia

September 2016

Intermediate awards: CertHE, DipHE

code: D391

College of West Anglia Clearing line contact Lou Emery 01553 815373

Overview

Our four-year honours degree is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and will give you the skills to register as a veterinary nurse when you graduate. As part of the course, you’ll get 70 weeks’ (2,450 hours) placement experience. And that means plenty of hands-on contact with animals.

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Full description

Careers

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Veterinary nursing is a rewarding career with lots of opportunities to work independently or for specialising. As veterinary nurses continue to take on more responsibilities, they’re becoming more in demand and so employment prospects are very good.

This course gives you the skills you need to register as an RCVS veterinary nurse. It also includes 70 weeks (2,450 hours) of practice placement in an RCVS-approved veterinary training practice, so you’ll have fantastic experience to show to potential employers.

As a qualified veterinary nurse, you’ll work alongside vets to look after animals – from domestic pets to farm animals. You might even work in a zoo. You’ll help provide expert care for sick animals and to prevent diseases and conditions. You’ll be able to carry out diagnostic tests, apply medical treatments and even perform minor surgical procedures under supervision.

Besides working in a veterinary practice, you could get a job in a laboratory, university, research establishment, zoo or wildlife park, pharmaceutical company, charity or kennels.

As you progress in your career, you could take on extra responsibilities like supervising other staff, looking after animal hospital wards, practice management and teaching or training other staff.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Principles and Practice of Veterinary Nursing
    Focus on the role of the veterinary nurse and working relationships with clients and members of the veterinary team, while learning effective communication strategies. Develop knowledge and understanding of a range of common medical conditions, exploring how these pathologies are detected and how they affect the physiological, sensorimotor and behavioural functioning of animals. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of recovery factors and aspects of drug administration in veterinary medicine and cover health and safety within the practice setting, including risk assessments, safe handling of animals and equipment, compliance with protocols for the maintenance of veterinary equipment and handling of hazardous materials, as well as emergency procedures. You’ll assess, devise, implement and evaluate appropriate management and treatment regimes for a range of acute and chronic health problems, within an evidence-based paradigm of care planning and delivery. The delivery, assessment and pass marks for this module have been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to enable you to apply to enter the register of veterinary nurses.
  • Veterinary Nursing Within the Surgical Environment
    Learn the role of a veterinary nurse in the surgical environment, including preparation and hygiene in the surgical environment, routine preparation of patients for operative procedures, supporting the surgical team during the procedure and the stabilisation and monitoring of the post operative patient.
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
    Through this module, you’ll get an appreciation of how major anatomical structures and systems within animals relate to locomotion and behaviour. We’ll investigate the anatomy and physiology of animals giving you a thorough understanding of animal morphology. You’ll investigate the structure and function of all major body organs, including the superficial and deep muscles, skeletal structures, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Through the study of the senses, particularly the auditory and visual systems, you’ll understand how various animals perceive their environment and the influence this has on its behaviour. Computer-based learning assignments will give you immediate formative guidance on your performance and assessments will be short answer, multiple choice based assessments and a traditional essay where you'll be required to relate anatomy and physiology to behavioural characteristics of animals.
  • Principles and Practice of Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nursing
    You’ll learn about animal morphology through investigation of the gross anatomy and physiology of animals. Investigate the structure and function of all major body organs, including the superficial and deep muscles, skeletal structures, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Learn anatomical features of specific animals and the terminology for describing organs, regions of the body and anatomical directions. Through the study of the senses, particularly the auditory and visual systems, you’ll develop understanding of the way various animals perceive their environment and the influence this has on its behaviour.

Year two, core modules

  • Animal Therapy and Rehabilitation
    This module will build on your previous learning to develop a wider understanding of the range of disease and injury found in animal species. You’ll explore and rehearse handling, husbandry and rehabilitation techniques, including the use of the state of the art equipment within our new Equine Therapy Centre, designed to maintain and improve animal health. Through expert presentations and practical sessions, you’ll become familiar with the range of therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques that may be prescribed by veterinary personnel to combat a range of common illnesses and injuries in animal species. Video recording equipment and specialist analysis software will allow detailed observation of the movement patterns of both fit and injured animals. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit specialist centres such as the Animal Health Trust and veterinary hospitals. Guest lecturers from rehabilitation specialists will also be arranged. We’ll assess your learning through a case-study, showing your understanding of appropriate assessment techniques and immediate first-aid for an animal suffering from an illness or injury.
  • Principles and Practice of Diagnostics for Veterinary Nursing
    Gain knowledge and understanding of emerging imaging techniques and traditional laboratory diagnostics for differential diagnosis of disease and injury in veterinary practice. You’ll use a range of laboratory equipment and conduct standard laboratory tests, understanding and following protocols devised to comply with health and safety and other relevant safety at work legislation. Learn all the essential skills related to the preservation and processing of pathological samples and specimens and interpretation of the results from these investigations. You’ll focus on principles, practice, indications for use and interpretation of results of X-ray, ultrasonic and magnetic resonance imaging, CAT scans and endoscopic examination. This will develop your understanding of the principles and interpretation of electro cardiograms and competence in the maintenance and practical application of the equipment used for this diagnostic technique. The delivery, assessment and pass marks for this module have been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to enable you to apply to enter the register of veterinary nurses.
  • Biomeasurement
    This module introduces the use of statistics and computing software in the biosciences. Although we focus on biological applications, the quantitative and IT skills you will gain will be of benefit in a number of graduate employment roles. You will be shown how to use information in the form of data to answer questions about biological systems, and learn a range of visual data presentation and statistical techniques. We will also show you how to choose the most appropriate technique for a range of data types and circumstances, perform and interpret numerical and graphical analyses correctly, and communicate the results clearly and transparently.
  • Emergency, Critical and Perioperiative Care
    Extensive knowledge of both conventional and contemporary emergency and critical care procedures and peri-operative veterinary support for sick animals is crucial to the effectiveness of the role of the veterinary nurse. You’ll gain understanding of your potential role in relation to emergency and surgical care and the responsibilities of members of the surgical and post operative nursing team. You’ll gain in depth knowledge of the principles and practice of small animal first aid covering information gathering and history taking and such procedures as techniques of casualty assessment, the safe movement and transport of unconscious animals and immediate first aid for fractures and burns. The processes and equipment required for the receipt of an emergency casualty in the veterinary practice will be explained including procedures to stabilise or resuscitate a patient. You’ll learn the legal and administrative requirements for the admission and preparation of animals for surgery and develop your ability to create nursing records. You’ll cover in detail the core nursing procedures in the post operative period including patient monitoring of vital signs and bodily functions, comfort and freedom from psychological stress; administration of medication, fluids and nutrition; the hygienic elimination of waste products and wound management, including surgical wound care. You’ll cover emergency procedures for rapid deterioration and special intensive care nursing techniques such as the principles of intravenous cannulation, the administration of blood and the principles of respiratory therapy and parenteral nutrition is thoroughly explained. Discharge planning and advice on post-operative homecare is explained and you’ll devise appropriate homecare plans for a range of animals in common surgical scenarios. The delivery, assessment and pass marks for this module have been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to enable you to apply to enter the register of veterinary after graduating.

Year three, core modules

  • Animal Health and Nutrition
    This module will introduce you to the study of animal health and nutrition with particular emphasis on the relationship between health, disease, nutrition and welfare in domesticated animals. You’ll examine the essential components of food and learn how they contribute to a balanced diet in domesticated animals. We’ll discuss comparative digestive anatomy and physiology, as well as the impact of appropriate and inappropriate nutrition on animal health and welfare. You’ll examine the agents of significant animal diseases including epizootics and zoonoses, and the transmission, management and prevention of disease. We’ll discuss the use of veterinary intervention, drugs and feed supplements and the impact of these measures on welfare. We’ll also consider the ethical implications of their deployment in problems of animal disease.
  • Practical Application Module
    Animal handling, husbandry and general care are delivered in diverse settings by a number of professions. Here, you’ll explore different settings by negotiating a short placement of your choice within an appropriate specialist animal care setting. Your experience will foster the skills for independent learning, allow for experience of care in a different environment and may lay the foundations for your future career choices. You’ll spend time in a specialist animal care arena, allowing you to identify a personal focus for building upon the experience of inter-professional collaboration that you’ll gain throughout your course. The major focus of the module will relate to the understanding of evidence-based ‘best’ practice and the factors that can detract from the ideal within normal clinical settings. You’ll be given the opportunity for expert and peer review of their clinical practical skills in a simulated practice environment within the College of West Anglia. Group and individual engagement with realistic case scenarios will enable you to refine your problem-solving skills and culminate in the OSCE (Observed Structured Clinical Examination) to assess clinical competency in a range of practical skills fundamental to the practice of veterinary nursing. The delivery, assessment and pass marks for this module have been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to enable you to apply to enter the register of veterinary nurses.
  • Preparation for Research
    Here, you’ll learn a range of relevant analytical techniques and tools of relevance to employment in science and vital for your final year student-led research project. You’ll learn the information and skills you need to conduct successful research, including: defining and developing a conceptual framework; finding and reviewing relevant literature; identifying and understanding appropriate methods of data collection and analyses; presenting your work orally and in writing; ethical considerations and health and safety issues.

Core modules available in all years

  • Practice Placement 1
    Investigate the gross anatomy and physiology of animals and understand how major anatomical structures and systems within animals relate to locomotion and behaviour. Investigate the structure and function of all major body organs, including the superficial and deep muscles, skeletal structures, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Learn anatomical features of specific animals and the terminology for describing organs, regions of the body and anatomical directions. Through the study of the senses, particularly the auditory and visual systems, you’ll understand the way various animals perceive their environment and the influence this has on its behaviour. You’ll compare specific anatomical and physiological structures of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you and your tutors measure your progress. Beside exams, you’ll do laboratory skills tests, computer-based exercises and essays, and prepare practical and project reports.

You’ll have a total of 70 weeks (2,450 hours) of practice placement in an RCVS-approved veterinary training practice. During this time, you’ll be under continuous assessment.

To become an RCVS-registered veterinary nurse, you’ll need to take the RCVS SVN Level II and Level III external exams (in addition to any exams for your course modules). You’ll also build a portfolio of your 70 weeks’ practical experience.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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College of West Anglia
College of West Anglia

Study in the bustling market towns of King’s Lynn or Wisbech, or the historic city of Cambridge.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£8,000

Additional costs

Please note, the estimated additional costs for this course are as follows: poster printing - £20; walking boots - £60; waterproof coat - £50; wellingtons - £25; waterproof trousers - £20. 

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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  • 220 UCAS tariff points to include at least one A Level in a biological science. BTEC or C&G qualifications and Advanced GNVQs in a science subject will also be considered for entry. Equivalent qualifications will be considered on their own merit.
  • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, to include English Language, Mathematics and one science subject.

Note: the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) requires newly qualified nurses to disclose information relating to any conviction (including drugs offences) when registering. Students with these convictions may not be accepted onto the course.

Veterinary nursing applicants must clearly evidence their practical work experience in their application form. We'll expect you to have completed a minimum requirement of four weeks' work experience to be strongly evidenced in your personal statement. We recommend that this includes:

  • a minimum of two weeks' work experience in a veterinary practice with at least one week to be spent in a small animal or mixed practice
  • two weeks in an animal environment.
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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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