Veterinary Nursing

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

In response to the recognition and registration of veterinary nursing as a profession in Ireland, UCD developed and implemented a full-time, four-year honours BSc Veterinary Nursing degree programme in 2009. The degree provides the graduate with not only a sound academic foundation but also the practical skills and competencies with which to build a solid career as a professional veterinary nurse.

The programme is accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) and by the European Accreditation body ACOVENE.


What Will I Study

First & Second Year

Students receive a high-quality education through lectures, tutorials and practical classes, as well as off-site work experience. The curriculum reflects the demands on the Irish veterinary nurse in practice by incorporating teaching on small animal (including exotics), farm animal and equine nursing.

During the first two years, students spend an average of 30 hours per week attending lectures, tutorials and practicals on all aspects of veterinary nursing, including classes:

  • Comparative Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology I & II
  • General Veterinary Nursing & Animal Handling
  • Veterinary Anaesthesia & Therapeutics
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Professionalism & Introductory Chemistry

Third & Fourth Year

During third year you undertake additional modules and complete work placements within veterinary practices that are committed to veterinary nurse training. During the final year, Veterinary Nursing rotations largely take place in the UCD Veterinary Hospital and can involve early mornings and some late-night work. Students are also expected to undertake independent study.

Assessment is via a combination of end-of-trimester written and practical examinations, along with continuous assessment during trimesters.

All students must pass a veterinary nursing skills exam to graduate and register as a veterinary nurse in Ireland. This exam is held in year four of the course.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: Current 3rd-year Veterinary Student shares her insight on the Clinical Skills Laboratory.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

In addition to the highly skilled role of veterinary nursing in the practice environment, strong demand exists for qualified veterinary nurses in a number of related fields:

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Pet Insurance
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Practice Management
  • Animal Welfare
  • Charitable Work
  • Education

You will also have the opportunity to pursue graduate studies, thereby actively contributing to academic and research fields both within your profession and in related sciences.

Other Entry Routes

“It has been a long road to get to the point that I am now and as I approach the final year at UCD, I can look back and see how far I have come to becoming a qualified veterinary nurse. I entered UCD as a mature student and the amount of help and support that I have received from both the university and the veterinary school’s student support has been astounding. The time that I spent here has been both inspirational and rewarding, from the time spent at lectures to the hands-on practical skills I have gained. The experiences and connections that I have will only continue to grow and develop throughout my career. I am grateful that it all started within UCD’s Veterinary Science building. ”

Paul Hughes, Student 

Contact Information

UCD Veterinary Medicine School Office,
Veterinary Sciences Centre,
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 6100

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