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Programme overview

Veterinary nursing is a growing profession. The introduction of increasingly sophisticated courses for veterinary nurses has raised their level of education, leading to greater responsibilities in the workplace. To develop the skills to work as a responsible and knowledgeable member of a veterinary team, this is the programme to choose. You'll gain knowledge of advanced veterinary and intensive care nursing, and develop practical skills and an understanding of their ethical and welfare implications. Find out how to educate clients on animal health issues, learn about preventative health clinics, and explore how to manage and promote a veterinary clinic.

Highlights

  • A significant amount of clinical practice at:
    • The Unitec Veterinary Hospital
    • The Veterinary Specialist Group at Unitec's Mt Albert campus
    • An external veterinary clinic of your choice
    • The New Zealand Conservation Medicine Centre at Auckland Zoo (places limited)
    • The award-winning Unitec Simulated Veterinary Clinic.
  • Enables you to become a full member of the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association.
  • Lecturers who are experts in veterinary science, animal health and welfare, microbiology, genetics and animal behaviour, and who continue to work closely with industry.
  • Cross-credits towards the Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare).

Before you apply

To make sure you're familiar with the profession, you need to spend at least two days in a veterinary clinic of your choice before you apply for this programme. Please provide a letter from the veterinary practice confirming your attendance at their clinic with your application.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General admission

For Level 6 Diploma programmes applicants must have a total of 60 NCEA credits at level 2 in best 4 subjects, OR a maximum total of 16 in best 4 Sixth Form Certificate subjects, OR equivalent OR completion of an appropriate qualification at Level 3 or above.

Special Admission

Applicants must have:

  1. Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the diploma is to commence; AND 
  2. Have provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a successful outcome in the qualification.

Discretionary Admission

In exceptional cases an applicant who does not meet the general admission requirements and who has not reached the age of 20 on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the diploma is to commence may apply for discretionary admission.

In assessing whether to grant discretionary admission in exceptional cases, the primary focus will be on the applicant's level of preparedness for study at the required level.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language Requirements
Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in Reading, 4 in Writing).

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

  1. Completion of NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) Academic Level 4;
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5
  3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of 550 (plus essay TWE of 5) OR  an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) score of 60 (plus writing score of 20);
  4. Level B2 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a Pass at Grade B OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 52 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
  6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 50;
  7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 66.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

To be considered for admission to the Diploma, applicants must:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age when the programme begins (or provide a completed Early Release Exemption form, which you can obtain from your local Ministry of Education office); AND
  2. Have completed 60 NCEA credits at level 2; including at least 12 NCEA credits in a relevant science subject at level 1 or above; OR
  3. Have an appropriate qualification at level 3 or higher.
  4. All applicants must spend at least two days in a veterinary clinic before applying for this programme. Applicants should supply a letter from the veterinary practice confirming their attendance with their application.

Courses and timetables

The following courses are valid for 2014. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

CoursesCredits Restrictions
Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology (Sem A) (NSCI4700-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to reflect on and apply the skills and theoretical knowledge gained during their studies through the practical application of the appropriate management of a range of animals and to develop their transferable and interpersonal skills in a work-based environment.
Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology (Sem B) (NSCI4700-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to reflect on and apply the skills and theoretical knowledge gained during their studies through the practical application of the appropriate management of a range of animals and to develop their transferable and interpersonal skills in a work-based environment.
Animal Business Studies (NSCI4703) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable student to understand the business structures, records, legalities, operations, communication and staff and client relations required to operate an animal businesses
Animal Business Studies (Sem A) (NSCI4703-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable student to understand the business structures, records, legalities, operations, communication and staff and client relations required to operate an animal businesses
Animal Business Studies (Sem B) (NSCI4703-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable student to understand the business structures, records, legalities, operations, communication and staff and client relations required to operate an animal businesses
Animal Clinical Care (Sem A) (NSCI4705-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to apply specific husbandry requirements for animals in clinical care and recognise the role of a veterinary assistant as part of a veterinary team.
Animal Clinical Care (Sem B) (NSCI4705-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to apply specific husbandry requirements for animals in clinical care and recognise the role of a veterinary assistant as part of a veterinary team.
Clinical Animal Care Practicum (Sem A) (NSCI4710-SA) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to employ practical application of `best practice’ husbandry and nursing required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Clinical Animal Care Practicum (Sem B) (NSCI4710-SB) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to employ practical application of `best practice? husbandry and nursing required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Veterinary Anaesthetic and Analgesic Procedures (Sem A) (NSCI4711-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic and analgesic procedures in the role of the veterinary nurse.
Veterinary Anaesthetic and Analgesic Procedures (Sem B) (NSCI4711-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic and analgesic procedures in the role of the veterinary nurse.
Contemporary Issues in Animal Management (NSCI4733) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to research a current and topical issue in Animal Management, by using essential study and research skills. Development of these skills will facilitate student success in their certificate programme
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (NSCI5504) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to use laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and other disease causes relevant for the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (Sem A) (NSCI5504-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to use laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and other disease causes relevant for the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (Sem B) (NSCI5504-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to use laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and other disease causes relevant for the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Animal Husbandry (Sem A) (NSCI5738-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical and applied basis of animal husbandry in a range of animal species, selected from companion, agricultural and equine animals
Animal Husbandry (Sem B) (NSCI5738-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical and applied basis of animal husbandry in a range of animal species, selected from companion, agricultural and equine animals
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Veterinary Medical & Surgical Care (NSCI6100) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of specialist surgical and medical nursing to animals in a range of situations
Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care (Sem A) (NSCI6100-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of specialist surgical and medical nursing to animals in a range of situations
Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care (Sem B) (NSCI6100-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of specialist surgical and medical nursing to animals in a range of situations
Veterinary Medical & Surgical Care Practicum (Sem A) (NSCI6101-SA) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to employ advanced veterinary nursing skills required to support the medical and surgical team within a veterinary clinic and a specialist veterinary hospital.
Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care Practicum (Sem B) (NSCI6101-SB) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to employ advanced veterinary nursing skills required to support the medical and surgical team within a veterinary clinic and a specialist veterinary hospital.
Animal Disease & Pharmacology (NSCI6102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand disease processes as well as the prevention, identification and treatment of diseases.
Animal Disease and Pharmacology (Sem A) (NSCI6102-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand disease processes as well as the prevention, identification and treatment of diseases.
Animal Disease and Pharmacology (Sem B) (NSCI6102-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand disease processes as well as the prevention, identification and treatment of diseases.
Veterinary Imaging (NSCI6103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical application and the use of diagnostic tools within a veterinary clinic setting.
Veterinary Imaging (Sem A) (NSCI6103-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical application and the use of diagnostic tools within a veterinary clinic setting.
Veterinary Imaging (Sem B) (NSCI6103-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical application and the use of diagnostic tools within a veterinary clinic setting.
Companion Animal Behaviour (NSCI6731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply animal behaviour concepts to a range of applied situations focussing on the welfare of companion animals.
Companion Animal Behaviour (Sem A) (NSCI6731-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply animal behaviour concepts to a range of applied situations focussing on the welfare of companion animals.
Companion Animal Behaviour (Sem B) (NSCI6731-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To explore and apply behavioural assessment and analysis techniques for a range of situations. Understand how and why these may provide information about animals’ experiences.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (NSCI6737) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the students to develop an understanding of the management of breeding and nutrition in a range of animal species selected from agricultural, equine, canine and captive wild animals.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (Sem A) (NSCI6737-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the students to develop an understanding of the management of breeding and nutrition in a range of animal species selected from agricultural, equine, canine and captive wild animals.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (Sem B) (NSCI6737-SB) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the students to develop an understanding of the management of breeding and nutrition in a range of animal species selected from agricultural, equine, canine and captive wild animals.