HNC Animal Nursing candidate information

The HNC Animal Nursing will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for employment in Animal Nursing or Animal Care, or for progression to the HND Veterinary Nursing. The main topics of study include:

  • animal anatomy and physiologypractical animal nursing and care.
  • practice organisation.
  • animal accommodation.
  • care of exotic species.
  • health and safety.

Additional topics covered in optional Units are:

  • advanced science.
  • large animal nursing.

You will also have opportunities to develop the Core Skills of Communication and Problem Solving at SCQF Level 6 and the Core Skills of Numeracy and Information Technology at SCQF Level 5.

Students are expected to undertake a significant proportion of time in a practical placement during which they are expected to work towards the NVQ level 2 National Occupational Standards for Veterinary Nursing.

Employment and Progression Opportunities

Beyond the veterinary world, potential employers include animal rescue centres, animal welfare bodies and zoos, together with other organisations providing animal nursing at a basic level. Completing the award may allow you to progress to the HND Veterinary Nursing, to future work-based training leading to NVQ levels 2 and 3, and RCVS external examinations and registration as a qualified veterinary nurse.


Access to this group award will be at the discretion of the centre, depending on your qualifications. Normally, one or more of the following would be desirable:

  • Five Standard Grade passes at grades 1 to 3, including Maths, English and a Science.
  • Any two relevant National Courses at Higher level, together with 3 Standard Grade passes at grades 1 to 3 including Maths and English. 
  • An SVQ at level 2 or 3 in a relevant area, and evidence of Communication and Numeracy/ Maths at Intermediate 2 or Higher levels, or equivalent.
  • A group of 15 or more National Units covering a range of science related topics including Communication and Numeracy/Maths at Intermediate 2 or Higher.
  • Combinations of relevant National Qualifications, Vocational Qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.

If you have suitable relevant work experience you may be accepted for entry