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The College of Animal Welfare

VetSkill VN Diploma FAQs
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Can I become a veterinary nurse without any GCSEs / formal qualifications?

It is highly unlikely you would be accepted onto a veterinary nursing training programme without any formal qualifications.

This is because the role of the veterinary nurse involves a high level of scientific knowledge relating to animal health, regular communication with both clients and their pets, as well as numeracy skills to deal with high-importance tasks such as monitoring anaesthesia and administering the correct level of medication. Therefore, it is important that students have the required level of proficiency in maths, English and science needed to complete their training and carry out the role safely and successfully.

However, please don’t be disheartened if you don’t currently meet the academic entry requirements needed for a course. It is never too late to achieve this if it’s what you really want to do.

In order to become a veterinary nurse, you’ll need to complete a veterinary nursing course approved by The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which can be either a university degree or a level 3 diploma. Entry requirements will vary by provider (a list of approved providers can be found on the RCVS website if you wish to research the options in your area), however as a minimum you will usually need to hold 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 (or A*-C) including English Language, Maths and a Science subject.

Here at The College of Animal Welfare, in order to study our Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, alongside the work experience requirements you must have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C (or 9-4), including English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject. However, if you do not meet these requirements, there are alternative qualifications that are acceptable. Read the full entry requirements. 

If you do not currently hold any formal qualifications but would like to study veterinary nursing in the future, please read on, as we explain how you might go about meeting the academic entry requirements to study our Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing: 

Study veterinary care with us, whilst completing our functional skills qualifications in Maths/English

If you do not hold the GCSEs needed to apply for programme, there are alternative qualifications that may be acceptable. One of these combinations is the Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants, along with GCSEs grade C or above (or Level 2 Functional Skills) in English Language and Maths. It is possible to study our level 2 functional skills in Maths and English courses as part of your programme of study on the VCA course. Many of our students who study this course then go on to study veterinary nursing on our diploma programme.*

Go back to college to study your GCSEs

There are many training providers that provide adult education classes. There may also be flexible study options such as online study or evening classes. Research the colleges, schools and training providers in your local area to see what is available.

What else should I know?

If you struggle with certain Maths or English skills, please do not be put off applying for the course. We have dedicated staff to help support you with your Maths and English skills throughout the course. You can read more about how we support students here.

Do you have any more questions? If so, feel free to connect with us on social media, email us at, call us on 01480 422060 or talk to us via web chat.

*Information is correct at the time of publishing; visit our website to keep up-to-date on entry requirements.

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