BSc in Veterinary Nursing

Key Points

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Graduates will acquire knowledge and skills in a wide range of subjects. These include, but are not limited to, pet anatomy and physiology, fluid therapy, medical and surgical nursing care, laboratory testing, veterinary diagnostics and therapeutics, office management, and client communication.

Program structure

Semester 1

  • Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • Cell biology (including biochemistry)
  • Introduction to Veterinary Nursing
  • Mathematics and computer applications (one-year module)
  • Work practice 1 (4 weeks before Christmas)

Semester 2

  • Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • Microbiology
  • Livestock (including 1 week residential experience on a farm in Ballyhaise, usually early March)
  • Customer service and relationship marketing
  • Mathematics and computer applications (all year)
  • Labor practice 1 (4 weeks after the January exam session)

Semester 1

  • Clinical pathology
  • Small Animal Medical Nursing
  • Alien Species Veterinary Nursing
  • parasitology
  • Office practice and teamwork (horse handling classes are held during the last week of this semester)


Semester 2

  • Applied research and writing skills
  • Large Animal Pharmacology / Medical Nursing
  • Welfare and animal husbandry
  • Workplace 2 (8 weeks between March and April)

Semester 1

  • Anesthesia and analgesia
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Pharmacy, Law and Ethics
  • Surgical Nursing 1
  • Personal effectiveness and team support (including first-year mentoring)

Semester 2

  • Animal reproduction
  • Surgical Nursing 2
  • Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
  • Equine Nursing
  • ECOE Veterinary Nursing (final assessment of practical skills, conducted in late May / early June)
  • Veterinary Nursing Internship (12 weeks during the summer)

Business placement

Students are required to complete a position at a registered veterinary clinic or hospital (as listed in the Veterinary Council of Ireland Facility Accreditation Scheme) in each year of the course.
Internships last eight weeks in 1st year, 8 weeks in spring in 2nd year, and a 12-week internship during the summer at the end of 3rd year. Two weeks of the third-year internship may be electives in a local or industry of the student’s choice, for example, a veterinary laboratory, physical therapy service, or animal charity.

Career options

Graduates of this course will find employment primarily in large animal, companion animal, equine and mixed veterinary hospitals and clinics. Opportunities also exist in animal welfare facilities, veterinary products companies, and general animal care industries.
Some examples of the diverse range of roles beyond veterinary practice filled by graduates of this course include pet insurance, clinical nutrition, farm advisory services, horse racing regulation, Bord Bia auditor, and animal welfare officer from the Local Authority.

Course delivery

Veterinary Nursing is a very practical career, so this course involves a lot of practical work, as well as lectures and tutorials.
Assessments are a combination of written tests and course work, such as practical tests, group assignments, quizzes, poster presentations, and online assignments.
The course is intensive in nature, due to both the wide range of skills a veterinary nurse needs and the time spent on internships.

Admission requirements

→ International students will require a Bachelor’s degree from the country of origin. The degree and notes must be officially translated into English.
Applicants will require a baccalaureate degree officially translated into English.

→ IELTS 5.5 or higher (or its internationally recognized equivalent).

Who should apply

This course is best suited for students who:

  • They have a love for animals is obvious, but this course is also suitable for students who enjoy working with people: all animals have an owner or caretaker to communicate with, and a veterinary team provides optimal nursing care.
  • They are interested in science, since the goal of nursing care is to restore the animal’s body systems to normal.
  • They have good writing and math skills – Veterinary Nurses need these skills in order to provide and record safe and effective patient care.

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