Veterinary nurses will begin studying at Aberystwyth University from this September as part of plans to expand Wales’ only School of Veterinary Science.

As part of the Veterinary Nursing foundation degree at Aberystwyth University students will study the Day One skills and competences needed to care for a range of small animals and some large animals.

The course combines theoretical and practical learning, with a year-long work placement in a veterinary practice as an integral part of the programme.

Students will benefit from the university’s facilities, including a clinical skills lab, research and anatomy laboratories, equine teaching centre and University farms. A mock veterinary clinic is currently being developed and will allow students to prepare for clinical placements in a simulated environment.

A key part of Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science, Aberystwyth’s new Veterinary Education Centre was officially opened in December 2021 by King Charles III.

Students have been studying to be vets at the new School in Aberystwyth since 2021, following an investment of more than £2 million in new facilities.

Professor Darrell Abernethy, Head of Aberystwyth University’s School of Veterinary Science, said: “With the undergraduate programme well underway, and in line with the School’s vision and feedback from the profession, we are delighted to be introducing a veterinary nursing degree this year.

“By enhancing the profession, we support not only the farming community but pet owners, equestrian interests, national government and, in turn, Welsh society. That is also why Aberystwyth University has invested so heavily in creating a centre of excellence in animal health to add to its existing platforms – from state-of-the-art laboratories to world-class expertise in bovine TB research.

“Wales now has its own School of Veterinary Science that is tuned to, and meets, the needs of its own veterinary community – from providing graduates who can speak Welsh, who come from Wales and are thus more likely to stay in Wales, to supporting the profession with postgraduate training and undertaking research that is both excellent and locally relevant.”

Emma Anscombe Skirrow, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing
Emma Anscombe Skirrow, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing (Aberystwyth University)

Emma Anscombe-Skirrow, Senior Lecturer and Veterinary Nursing Lead is responsible for establishing the new course at Aberystwyth University.

She said: “The success of Wales’ only School of Welsh Veterinary Science since it opened is fantastic to see. The addition of vet nursing studies to the veterinary degree that is already being taught here is a great opportunity to expand the School's educational provision."