We care for all creatures great and small.
Our courses are designed for anyone with the ambition of working in a Veterinary Practice as an animal nursing assistant or would like to qualify as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.
Askham Bryan College is a VetSkills-accredited centre approved to deliver vocational training in veterinary nursing, which could entitle you to join the Register of Veterinary Nurses which is held by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
With high-quality teaching and learning facilities, our centres provide students with the essential theoretical expertise and an appreciation of the practical skills necessary to undertake the role within the profession. All key members of the delivery team are Registered Veterinary Nurses or Veterinary Surgeons, with experience of the industry. The College runs veterinary nursing and animal nursing assistant courses at our York and Gateshead locations.
Working closely with over 80 veterinary practices across the North of England, we offer routes to support both full-time students that require placements as well as those already employed in a veterinary practice. This enables the team to source and place our students within practices to complete the mandatory hours required in an industrial placement. The department boasts strong and expansive links with veterinary practices and other related industrial representative groups.
Students can choose to study from a broad range of practices, including working with domestic and companion animals through to zoological species and birds. Please use our course search tool to find out which centres run our wide range of Animal Management courses.
With a diverse offering of courses at all levels students will apply their knowledge to real life situations, as well as benefiting from detailed study of animals in captive and natural environments. The College benefits from partnerships with Flamingo and the Askham Bryan College Wildlife and Conservation Park which serve to broaden the range and scope of species which are encountered on College courses.
Preparing For Your Course
All applicants to the Level 3 Diploma Veterinary Nursing and Foundation Degree Veterinary Nursing will require relevant industrial experience of working in a veterinary practice prior to the start of their studies to ensure an appreciation of this varied and rewarding career. Applicants for the ‘Introduction to Nursing’ courses should ideally have relevant experience of a wider industry setting or a reasonable level of experience of working with or keeping animals.
Askham Bryan College offers veterinary nursing courses that meet the assessment outcomes which on successful completion students are eligible to enter the professional register.
Students that enrol on these courses are required to undertake extensive work-based placement learning as part of their studies.
Essential skills around employability are required at the onset of study to ensure candidates are able to demonstrate the skills required to successfully maintain a placement secured through an interview process.
Staff at the College will support students in accessing interview opportunities as necessary.
*STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE ALL COMPLUSORY COMPONENTS OF STUDY TO BE ENTITLED TO APPLY TO JOIN THE REGISTER*
Course TypeFurther Education,
Oustanding student experience
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Our facilities are better than ever
- Mock veterinary facilities
- Computer suite and lecture rooms
- Dedicated animal science facilities
- Access to the animal management facility
- Wildlife and conservation park at York
- Access to equine facilities as necessary
- Opportunities to explore farmed livestock
“Askham Bryan College is a fantastic college. It has been a pleasure learning here. All the tutors are willing to go above and beyond to ensure you have the best knowledge possible. I would recommend this college to anyone wanting to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse. ”
“Choosing the level 3 Arboriculture course was a big decision being a 31-year-old self-employed landscape gardener. I am now at the end of my first year and there is no looking back. I have come on leaps and bounds professionally. I have already expanded my business into arboriculture with the skills and knowledge I have learnt. Askham Bryan College has been an eye opener and I've learned skills that I will take through my entire life.”
What is a typical week like? How much time is practical? How much is theory?
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: Students have lessons 3 days per week, two hours of this time is practical lessons spent on the animal unit, the rest is theory and completing assessments.
Level 3 Vet Nursing: Students come to college 2 days per week and spend 3 days per week as an apprentice at their veterinary practice place of work.
Where have past students ended up? What jobs could I do?
Level 3 Vet Nursing: Most students continue working at their veterinary practice once they have become fully qualified and progress through work to e.g. head nurse position.
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: many students progress onto other courses either the Level 3 Diploma Veterinary Nursing or complete their diploma in Animal Management. Students who want to go into work often find work in a kennels, cattery etc. Or as auxiliary nursing support within veterinary practices.
How many hours work experience do I need to do? How do I find a work placement? Do you find it for me?
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: Once you have started college we will help you find a suitable work experience place. You would normally have to complete 150 hours work experience but this is subject to change at the moment due to Covid.
Level 3 Vet Nursing: You will need to complete 1800 hours over 2 years, either by securing an apprenticeship or being employed. If you are only able to secure a voluntary placement you will need to choose one of our other courses. You must have this secured before you can enrol on the course.
You can find details of approved Training Practices on the RCVS website. Details for the link are below:
What grades do I need?
Level 2 Certificate of Vet Nursing (distance learning): Applicants should be aged 19 or over, and ideally have a placement in a Vet Practice in a nursing role, or in an animal related placement. Applicants are normally expected to have a level 2 in English and Maths
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: 4 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (old GCSE grading C or above) to include English Language, Maths or Science, plus two weeks of work experience with suitable references in any animal related placement. Where a student has completed a previous Level 2 qualification e.g. Animal Management, they must have achieved a Merit grade.
Level 3 Vet Nursing: 5 GCSEs for Level 3 Diploma (Eng, Maths and Science) grade 4 or above ( old GCSE graded C or above), equivalences will be considered. Students must have secured employment or an apprenticeship position within a training practice in order to be eligible to enrol on this course.
Are there any exams?
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: Yes there will be a synoptic exam to complete in March.
Level 3 Vet Nursing: Externally set examinations are completed at the end of each year, including a number of practical assessments in the final year.
How many UCAS points would I get?
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: If you achieve a Distinction* you will achieve 58 UCAS points which you can use if you wish to apply for Askham Bryan’s Foundation in Veterinary Nursing course
I’m not sure which course to choose, can I apply for more than one?
You need to choose at the outset whether you want to apply for the Level 3 Diploma or the Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare. If you apply for the Level 3 Diploma and are unable to secure an apprenticeship or employment and decide to change to the Introduction course, the course may already be full. It is much easier to apply for the Introduction course and then upgrade to the Level 3 Diploma if you are subsequently successful of finding work or an apprenticeship.
What size are the classes?
Introduction to Animal Nursing and Welfare: These can vary from 20 up to 45
Level 3 Vet Nursing: Usually around 12 to 20
What previous experience do I need?
For the Introduction to Nursing course you need to complete work experience in any animal related setting prior to the start of the course. For the Level 3 diploma you require employment or an apprenticeship not a work placement. You need to approach approved Vet practices for either of these and have this in place prior to the start of the course.
I want to be a vet. Is this the right course for me?
No, you would need to investigate Veterinary Science programmes in our Animal Management Department. If you are considering university, you would need to apply for L3 Animal Management to ensure you get the UCAS points you need.
Is there a uniform? Is PPE provided?
Students are required to wear suitable clothing i.e. overalls or boiler suit in their practical sessions. Students can order this through the college online shop, or they can source independently.