Open main menu Close main menu
Study Animal health and welfare today

Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing

Take your passion for veterinary nursing to the next level. This programme is designed to set you up for registration as a veterinary nurse, enables you to increase your critical thinking, and gives you plenty of research opportunities to develop and further your career.

Level
7
Credits
360 (3.0 EFTS)
Campus
Mt Albert
Start dates
February
Duration
3 years full time, part-time options available in Year 2 and 3

Programme overview

Please note: Entry into this programme requires you to provide us with a reference from a veterinary clinic confirming you have completed at least three days’ worth of work experience. We recommend that you complete this before you apply to ensure the application process is as smooth as possible. 
 
The Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing is an extension of two current vet nursing programmes.
 
First Year: Your first year is the same as our New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant), where you can learn the fundamentals of animal nursing, with lots of opportunities to put theory into practice within select clinical environments.
 
If you have already completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant), you automatically meet the entry requirements for the second year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (dependent on placement numbers). 
 
Second Year: This practical experience increases in your second year, which is the same as our New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to gain registration as a veterinary nurse, and develop the technical skills and medical knowledge you need to become an effective veterinary nurse within a professional team. 
 
If you have already completed the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, you automatically meet the entry requirements for the third year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing.
 
Third Year: You’ll take your registration one step further, by extending your research and critical thinking. You can also choose to work on a real-life research project for a Vet Nursing organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand or overseas.
 
Graduates of the NZ Diploma who wish to enter the third year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing are able to enter in Semester 2.
 

Highlights

  • You’ll have lots of work experience; in your first two years you’ll complete at least 480 hours of work experience, and you can also extend this in your third year
  • You’ll have the opportunity to do your placements in interesting organisations ranging from the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine at Auckland Zoo, to a specialist veterinary hospital, to your community first-option veterinary clinic.
  • You’ll build advanced technical skills through a significant amount of clinical practice at Unitec's partner veterinary clinic Vet Care, as well as your choice of external clinics across Aotearoa
  • On successful completion, you’ll meet the requirements for both the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing) and the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, and will be eligible for registration with the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association at the end of your second year
  • You’ll develop an advanced understanding of what's considered best practice in a clinical environment, and the ethical and welfare implications of veterinary care
  • You’ll have lots of opportunities to conduct exciting and cutting-edge research, including a collaborative research project in an area of your interest
  • You’ll learn from experienced lecturers who are knowledgeable in veterinary medicine /science, animal health and welfare, microbiology, genetics, and animal behaviour
  • You’ll benefit from a varied learning approach that includes practical sessions, group work, online/small group tutorials, and one-on-one supervision

Admission requirements

Academic requirements

If you have already successfully completed either of the following qualifications (or equivalent), you automatically meet the entry requirements for this programme:
If you haven't successfully completed either of these programmes, you will need to meet the following requirements:
  1. 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or equivalent/higher, including:
    • At least 14 credits at NCEA Level 3 in each of two science-related subjects;
    • At least 14 credits at NCEA Level 3 in at least two additional subjects;
    • At least 14 credits at NCEA Level 1 in mathematics or Pangarau;
    • At least 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English or Te Reo Māori.
  2. Complete at least three days' work experience in a veterinary clinic prior to application. This must be supported by the following:
  3. Complete a criminal and medical self-declaration form;

If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we have a range of Bridging Education programmes which will help you prepare for further academic study.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need one or more of the following:

  • At least 8 NCEA Level 3 credits in English;
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency.

If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2020; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (NSCI5702) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Sem A) (NSCI5702-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Sem B) (NSCI5702-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Animal Clinical Care (Sem A) (NSCI5705-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 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) (NSCI5705-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 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) (NSCI5710-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to appropriately apply the practical application of ’best practice’ husbandry and veterinary nursing, required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Clinical Animal Care Practicum (Sem B) (NSCI5710-SB) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to appropriately apply the practical application of ’best practice’ husbandry and veterinary nursing, required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (NSCI5711) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (Sem A) (NSCI5711-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (Sem B) (NSCI5711-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Practice (NSCI5712) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course prepares students to work effectively in the client interfacing areas of a veterinary business, with a focus on communication and job-readiness.
Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem A) (NSCI5720-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health
Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem B) (NSCI5720-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health
Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (Sem A) (NSCI5738-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (Sem B) (NSCI5738-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Courses Credits Aim
Veterinary Medical & Surgical Care Practicum (Sem A) (NSCI6101-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 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) 15.0 credits (0.125 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) 15.0 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) 7.5 credits (0.063 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) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to understand disease processes as well as the prevention, identification and treatment of diseases.
Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (NSCI6103) 15.0 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 Diagnostic Imaging (Sem A) (NSCI6103-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 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 Diagnostic Imaging (Sem B) (NSCI6103-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 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 Medical and Surgical Care (Sem A) (NSCI6104-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of veterinary nursing care in a range of clinical situations.
Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care (Sem B) (NSCI6104-SB) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to manage and apply the principles and practices of veterinary nursing care in a range of clinical situations.
Veterinary Anaesthesia (NSCI6300) 15.0 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 Anaesthesia (Sem A) (NSCI6300-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic and analgesic procedures in the role of the veterinary nurse.
Veterinary Anaesthesia (Sem B) (NSCI6300-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic and analgesic procedures in the role of the veterinary nurse.
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (NSCI6504) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to integrate microbiology knowledge with laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and parasites that cause diseases relevant to the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (Sem A) (NSCI6504-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to integrate microbiology knowledge with laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and parasites that cause diseases relevant to the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Veterinary Laboratory Procedures (Sem B) (NSCI6504-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to integrate microbiology knowledge with laboratory procedures to detect and identify pathogens and parasites that cause diseases relevant to the New Zealand Veterinary Industry.
Research Methods (NSCI6730) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop skills in research methodology that will allow students to plan and initiate research, to analyse data and to critically appraise research findings.
Courses Credits Aim
Global Issues in Animal Welfare (NSCI7101) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate historical and recent issues relating to animal welfare research and practices in a global context.
Evidence-Based Veterinary Nursing (NSCI7109) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate historical and current veterinary nursing techniques and animal health issues using evidence based processes.
One Health (NSCI7421) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops the knowledge and skills of students about critically evaluating historical, current and predicted animal and public health threats in the context of `one health’, and critically evaluate historical and current veterinary practices as they relate to public health.
Negotiated Research-SA/SB (Sem A) (NSCI7731-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students with an opportunity to complete an in-depth applied science study using research skills and to disseminate their findings in an appropriate format.
Negotiated Research-SA/SB (Sem B) (NSCI7731-SB) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students with an opportunity to complete an in-depth applied science study using research skills and to disseminate their findings in an appropriate format.
Courses Credits Aim
Companion Animal Behaviour (NSCI6731) 15.0 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.
Animal Health and Welfare (NSCI6732) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to evaluate the methods used in assessing the welfare status of animals and to develop an understanding of how animal health is impacted by environmental factors.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (NSCI6737) 15.0 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.
Captive Wild Animal Management (NSCI6738) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to understand the philosophical, scientific and practical basis for the maintenance of wild animals in captivity.
Behavioural Ecology (NSCI6739) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary basis of animal behaviour, and the role behaviour plays in enabling animals to adapt to their environment.
Vertebrate Physiology (NSCI6741) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the physiological responses of animals to environmental challenges and stressors.
Courses Credits Aim
Anthrozoology (NSCI7103) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce students to the multidisciplinary field of Anthrozoology, illustrating the conceptual links between research in this relatively new academic field and use in understanding the interaction between animals and humans.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science (NSCI7106) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To assess and interpret observed behaviour of selected animals (in a range of situations) in relation to their environment. To explain how an understanding of applied animal behaviour can be used to improve animal management and welfare.
Internship (NSCI7810) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to undertake a short-term work and/or training experience related to practice in the animal industry. It provides an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge and practice through a strategy of applied learning in the workplace.