Taught course

Veterinary Nursing, Advanced Practice in

University of Glasgow · College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) who have a BSc/BSc(Hons) in Veterinary Nursing or a related subject, or equivalent international qualification, will be considered for the MSc programme.

RVNs that hold the RCVS Dip AVN (achieved post-2005), RCVS DipHE AVN, DipHE CVN or FdSc VN/HND VN plus 1 years post-qualification work-experience, or equivalent international qualification, will be considered for the PG Cert in the first instance. Successful completion of this will allow progression onto the MSc programme.

RVNs that hold the RCVS Level 3 Diploma with 2 years post-qualification work-experience or the RCVS DipAVN (achieved pre-2005) will be required to submit supporting documentation for their application and will be considered for the PG Cert in the first instance. Successful completion of this will allow progression onto the MSc programme. Applicants entering at this level will be required to complete a non-credit bearing study skills module.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme provides a framework for postgraduate study which offers Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) the opportunity to advance their knowledge, improve research skills, and practice evidence based veterinary nursing. The programme is flexible and allows individuals to directly align their studies to areas that are of interest to them, or are directly relevant to their current or future roles. The programme is intended to meet the needs of anyone seeking a flexible and adaptable route to a successful postgraduate degree, or who wish to undertake postgraduate-level study for continual professional development purposes at an advanced level.

Why this programme

  • This is the first fully online postgraduate qualification designed specifically for RVNs currently being delivered in Scotland. The part-time and online nature of the programme means it is ideally suited to individuals who are in full-time employment.
  • The University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine is ranked 2nd in the UK (Complete University Guide 2016).
  • The University of Glasgow ranked top amongst UK Vet Schools in the National Student Survey (2016) with 98% overall student satisfaction, and the School of Veterinary Medicine combines both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.
  • The programme reflects the need for tomorrow’s RVNs to be involved in lifelong self-directed learning. It supports RVNs to become adaptive to the dynamic care environments that they work in, supports their delivery of quality care, and promotes the use of best practice techniques.
  • The programme offers specialist education in veterinary nursing which encompasses a core set of specialised skills, knowledge and competencies, supplemented by a choice of additional specialised areas including research, education, business management, ethics and best practice.
  • Close involvement of experts from different fields of veterinary nursing and the wider veterinary industry in the planning and delivery of courses ensures that the programme is current and relevant.

Programme structure

The MSc Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing comprises three components:

Three core courses (Year 1)

  • Introduction to research and evidence based veterinary nursing
  • Clinical governance in veterinary medicine
  • Developing evidence informed practice through independent learning

Three optional courses (Year 2)

  • Promoting best practice in veterinary nursing
  • Animal and veterinary ethics
  • Introduction to teaching and assessment in veterinary nursing
  • Introduction to statistical methods
  • Introduction to veterinary business studies

Dissertation (Year 3)

The programme is delivered fully online using a range of learning and teaching approaches including lectures, seminars, tutorials, work-based learning and project work. You will have the flexibility to tailor the subject of many of your assessments and final dissertation to disciplines or specialisms that are relevant and of interest to you and/or your future career.

The online and part-time nature of this programme, and the flexibility this route offers, makes it ideally suited to individuals in full-time employment.

Core and optional courses

Core courses:

Introduction to research and evidence based veterinary nursing

This course will introduce students to the concepts of theoretical and practical research. It will cover what research is and why it is carried out, the basic elements of the research process, different types of research (quantitative and qualitative) using relevant examples from veterinary nursing/medicine. Following on from this, students will be shown how to access research, how to find and evaluate evidence, carry out literature searches, utilise evidence in their own writing / studying and how to develop their own research questions.

Clinical governance in veterinary medicine

This course will enable veterinary nurses to learn from an industry expert to develop their knowledge of the key concepts underlying clinical governance in veterinary practice. Students will learn skills than can be directly applied to practice including how to perform audits and monitor performance and outcomes in their own clinical environments and how these skills can be applied if their practice undergoes accreditation or awards assessment.

Developing evidence informed practice through independent learning

This course enables veterinary nurses to learn theoretical frameworks of reflection and develop practical skills in personal reflection. Such skills allow the student to identify any deficits in an area of individual interest or specialism, which can then be addressed through independent learning using evidence informed practice.

Optional Courses:

Promoting best practice in veterinary nursing

This course allows students to develop best practice in a particular area of interest or specialism through independent learning by reviewing and assimilating the appropriate literature, which will then be disseminated to others using written and verbal techniques. This course will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the different techniques that can be utilised to disseminate best practice. They will also learn skills in how to disseminate best practice such as writing for journal publications and delivering oral presentations.

Animal and veterinary ethics

This course will enable students to develop their knowledge of key concepts underlying animal and veterinary ethics. Participants will also improve their ethical reasoning skills by learning to utilise a logical approach to decision making when faced with ethical dilemmas.

Introduction to teaching and assessment in veterinary nursing

This course aims to provide veterinary nurses with the knowledge and skills to create an effective learning environment for individuals within the veterinary nursing profession. Students will analyse strategic learning theories and models of teaching in order to synthesise knowledge and adapt one's own teaching practice. The course will cover delivery of teaching, evaluation of competencies, and self-reflection allowing for research to be utilised and adapted to create a teaching, learning and assessment plan. Individuals will also cover key transferable skills which will influence teaching practice. A proportion of the course will focus on the teaching and assessment of clinical skills, and how it can be practically implemented and utilised within one’s own practice, and in an academic environment.

Introduction to statistical methods

This course assumes no prior knowledge of statistics. It covers graphical and numerical methods of displaying and summarising data along with the use and interpretation of confidence intervals, significance tests (t tests, chi-square tests, etc.), correlation and linear regression. Students get hands on experience of using appropriate statistical software to carry out these analyses.

Introduction to veterinary business studies

This course will enable students to develop their knowledge of core business concepts and how they apply to the veterinary industry. Participants will learn skills that can be utilised in practice from a variety of areas, including business strategy, marketing, finance and human resources.

Studying online

Online learning at the University of Glasgow allows you to benefit from the outstanding educational experience that we are renowned for -without having to relocate to our campus.

You do not need to have experience of studying online as you will be guided through how to access and use all of our online resources.

Virtual learning

You will connect with your fellow students and tutors through our virtual learning environment where you will have access to a multitude of learning resources including:

  • recorded lectures
  • live seminars
  • videos
  • interactive quizzes
  • journal articles
  • electronic books and other web resources

A global community

As an online student at the University you will become part of a global community of learners. Community building and collaborative learning is a key focus of our online delivery and you will be encouraged and supported to interact with your fellow classmates and tutors in a number of ways. For example, through the discussions areas on our virtual learning environment, by skype, during live seminars and in our virtual campus on Second Life.


Great emphasis is placed on making sure you feel well supported in your learning and that you have good interactions with everyone on the programme. Support is available in a number of ways and you will find out more about this during orientation.

All you need to participate in our online programmes is a computer and internet access.

Computer requirements for your online studies

Career prospects

This programme meets the demand for the preparation of both specialised and extended role practitioners and will develop students’ knowledge, skills and confidence in order for them to pursue a career related to Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing such as referral nurse, head nurse, practice manager, educator or researcher.

The programme also provides a platform for students to move into the field of research, with the potential for individuals to continue studying towards a doctorate.

Information for international students

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding

UK students
£1,167 per 20 credits
International students
£1,167 per 20 credits

Please visit our website for fees and funding information.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36 months


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
12 months

Course contact details

MVLS Veterinary Nursing
0141 330 4515