The Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing is a unique distance-learning, advanced veterinary nursing qualification for practicing registered veterinary nurses.
If you are employed in clinical practice and looking to study part-time from home, the diploma will help you develop valuable knowledge and skills to take you to the next level of your career.
The Graduate Diploma is managed and taught by leading veterinary professionals who are recognised by employers both within the UK and internationally. The course focuses on developing critical thinking, using both theory and its practical application, enabling you to become better equipped to care for your patients.
Our learners come from a wide range of veterinary practices around the world. Whether you work in a first-opinion practice, a charity clinic or a large specialist referral practice, you will share an ambition to excel in the veterinary field and a desire to improve animal health and welfare.
The Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing can lead to more recognition and responsibility in your field. The flexible award is designed to be completed over a period of 29 months (part-time) and is delivered almost entirely online via the RVC’s online Virtual Learning Environment.
During the programme you will:
In addition, your practice will benefit from your motivation and ability to make an enhanced contribution to the workplace.
The Graduate Diploma is delivered through flexible online learning via the RVC’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – ‘Learn’ and is predominately an online distance-learning course. We aim to keep attendance days to a minimum because we appreciate the challenges of taking time off work and family commitments.
There are some compulsory attendance days at our Hawkshead Campus during the course:
Year One: Orientation Week (normally in June), one exam day at the end of two of the core modules (normally in April)
Year Two: one exam day at the end of your studies (normally in early September)
There are also some optional days throughout the course where you may book into our small animal teaching hospital for clinical enhancement days and two optional exam practice days. As a student of the RVC, you are also welcome to spend time in the library or clinical skills centre.
Our introductory Orientation Week (compulsory attendance days, usually in early June) will help ensure that you are confident in using modern learning technologies throughout the programme, and is an essential part of the first pre-requisite bridging short-course, Contemporary Study Skills.
This is a part-time programme and modules split into credit-rated units. The credit-rated units relate to an average number of hours that you are expected to spend on each module. For each 15 credits, you will have spent, on average, 150 hours. This means in a typical week you will need to commit approximately 12-15 hours to your studies. Your time should be spent on reading the weekly course materials, additional reading, partaking in discussion forum activities, and preparing for all of your assessment activities.
Each module has a subject specialist assigned as module leader. They act as your personal tutor, helping you navigate through the module and setting a series of collaborative tasks, assignments and online discussion activities. The programme is led by:
Perdi Welsh BSc (Hons), DipAVN (Surg), CertEd, RVN
Course Director for Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing, and Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing
Hayley Carne BSc (Hons) GradDipVN, PGCertVetEd, FHEA, RVN
Deputy Course Director for Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing, and Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing
You will be assessed throughout your course by online assignments. The estimated breakdown of assessment for your final grade is:
There are no work placements for this course, but you must be employed in, or have agreed access to placement in a suitable veterinary clinical environment.
As a guide, suitable clinical environments are veterinary practices which can demonstrate meeting the minimum General Practice standards for small animal practices as set in the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme.
It is advised that you spend a minimum of 15 days per 15 credit module working in a suitable clinical environment (e.g. critical care if the Emergency and Critical Care Nursing module is taken).
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.
The MSc Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing comprises three components:
Three core courses (Year 1)
Three optional courses (Year 2)
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.
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.
This exciting course is run in conjunction with the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP). The programme is designed to develop the skills of the student to support veterinary surgeons in the rehabilitation of a variety of species and will in particular focus on equine and canine patients. It will also focus on supporting equine and canine athletes both during competition and for recovery.
It is designed to enhance competency in existing therapists and to help students with less experience achieve their goal as capable and knowledgeable veterinary physiotherapists. The programme offers successful students the opportunity to become part of the existing para-professional cache of veterinary physiotherapists by developing excellent understanding and knowledge of anatomical structure in relation to function, treatment, rehabilitation of a variety of animals and of course business skills for those who plan to be self-employed.
The programme will be run on a part-time basis over three years, with the majority being delivered at weekends (11 weekends for the 1st year , 19 weekends – including internal placement weekends on site – for the 2nd year). There will be the occasional Friday that requires attendance, such as Academic Induction and examinations. The first year is quite structured and enables us to accurately predict the level of commitment required from each student to pass the modules. In the second clinical year, students differ widely in their ability to pick up and accurately apply the techniques being taught. So the requirement for self-directed practice can be substantial. There is also an increased level of contact in year 2 as students need to undertake placement days alongside the taught element, so weekends become far more frequent than during the first year. By year 3 students will be able to organise their own study time to complete the dissertation.
The first two years will comprise the Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy and if successful the student will be invited to become a member of the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists and be able to practice. The third year involves the dissertation and on completion the student will have a full MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy.
A successful veterinary physiotherapist will soon find that demand for their services outstrips their availability as there are a limited number of qualified therapists in the industry. Additionally, para-professionals in the veterinary world may soon be limited to those carrying a recognised post graduate qualification.
A successful Veterinary Physiotherapist will soon find that demand for their services outstrips their availability as there are a limited number of qualified therapists in the industry. Additionally, Para-professionals in the veterinary world may soon be limited to those carrying a recognised postgraduate qualification.
The BA/BSc Top-up in Professional Practice is a flexible, work-related undergraduate programme that provides a route to a degree for those who have previously achieved an undergraduate qualification, such as a Foundation Degree, HND or similar. It is the third stage of a BA/BSc, delivered part-time over two academic years.
This work-related learning programme is suitable for professionals from a wide range of areas in the public and private sectors. This includes health and social care, education, local government, public services, human resources, professional trades people, business and administrative services, cultural industries, retail, hospitality, financial and legal services.
The Centre for Professional Practice offers flexible, work-related academic programmes for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. The Centre is founded on the belief that employers can benefit from the University of Kent’s academic and research excellence, quality teaching, design and development activities to create positive change and to forge new knowledge within their organisation.
We work with a wide range of external partners and employers to create distinct and original work-based and work-related developmental and educational solutions, which respond to the unique workforce challenges experienced by employees and organisations across the region and beyond.
The Centre’s programmes are designed to enhance career progression and foster intellectual and professional development and practice.
The programme offers an opportunity to attain academic recognition for the skills, knowledge and experience you have developed in the workplace. It focuses on a specific area of practice relevant to your work and enhances your career progression. You can explore your profession further and consider the professional challenges associated within your specific area of practice. The modules have been designed to help you review and analyse the current debates relevant to the professional context in which you are working.
The programme is structured over three modules delivered over two years:
Year 1 (30+30 credits):
Year 2 (60 credits):
Taught sessions are delivered over a series of long weekends.
The Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) is a flexible way to achieve a veterinary post-graduate qualification. It is run as a distance learning assessment only programme, with you only needing to come to the RVC for C module written exams.
The CertAVP at the RVC encourages independent, adult-centred and self-directed learning, it is not a taught course. The aim of the assessment process at the RVC is not only to support you to fully understand the quality of your current clinical practice but also to foster life-long learning skills and to advance and enhance your clinical knowledge, skills and understanding. Reflective, critical practice is expected and encouraged.
The learning scaffold for CertAVP at the RVC is your clinical and professional experience - the learning you build by reading, formal CPD and other learning activities around the professional issues you have faced in your practice and the clinical cases you manage. Setting your own learning goals to help you achieve the learning outcomes for the modules and seeking the learning opportunities that fulfil your learning needs are crucial activities for an adult learning experience. So, although the CertAVP at the RVC is not a taught course (which can imply that everyone has the same learning needs), there are rich learning opportunities at every stage. These include the detailed and personalised feedback you will receive on your work, a range of discounted RVC CPD courses that support learning outcomes for many CertAVP modules, a wide variety of online learning resources including access to the RVC library and where needed one-to-one learning support from our Learning Development team or module leaders.
RVC assessors have specialist and higher educational qualifications that ensure the level of assessment is educationally sound, robust, fair and at the level expected of veterinarians aspiring to achieve Advanced Practitioner status. Extensive feedback is provided on allsubmitted work. Assessment of your work is as and for your learning, not just of your learning. Our aim is to help you develop life-long commitment to improving your practice, and therefore skills such as self-analysis, clinical reasoning, and accessing, interpreting, and applying information, are of utmost importance to the RVC-based CertAVP.
Reflection is an important component of the CertAVP for a very good reason and will remain. By learning to reflect on your practice, you learn how to analyse what you do and why you do it, become better placed to explain this to clients or colleagues, and identify areas for improvement. Even more importantly, where you are competent at a skill in one context, reflection probes you to consider whether you could repeat that skill in a more demanding situation, or adapt it to fit a more challenging context. By analysing situations where you feel some discomfort, reflection encourages you to consider why you feel less satisfied, and how you could develop your approach to be more satisfying in future.
Reflection is a critical part of the self-evaluation process in learning. It helps you think about what you know or have learned and helps you identify areas of confusion, so you can create new learning goals. Evaluating what you have learned, what you still need to work on, and how you can get there all supports developing deeper understanding rather than superficial knowledge. Self-reflection and self-critique are essential components of the adult learning experience, life-long learning and professional practice. Were it not for reflection, the implication is that there is no room for improvement.