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City & Guilds Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Equine Pathway)

Enrolments open for entry in September 2018 

September 2018 cohort Induction Study Week: 1st – 4th October 2018

Awarded by City and Guilds, this qualification prepares veterinary nurses for professional registration on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Register of Veterinary Nurses.

This qualification comprises 13 core units and two option pathways, one in small animal nursing and one in equine nursing. TOCES offers training towards the core and equine pathway units, oversees practical training and monitors the completion of work based clinical skills via the online Nursing Progress Log (NPL).

Programme Structure

Study Hours Requirement

Required study hours per week


In addition to distance learning material and study weeks, students are required to complete 1800 hours of practical training within an RCVS accredited Training Practice.

The Training Practice must agree to provide the following to support their student through their qualification:

  • a safe working environment
  • a minimum of three hours of structured training per week - training provided by the student’s clinical coach targeted towards NPL completion or preparation for OSCE examinations.
  • a minimum of three hours of independent study time during paid working hours* - time allocated to the student for the completion of their distance learning material. In the event of busier periods where study may not be possible, it is expected that the opportunity will be given for the student to make up this time at a later date.
  • reasonable access to their clinical skills coach on at least two days per week - the clinical coach should be available to work with their student in order to provide additional support alongside the structured training hours.
  • permission to attend planned TOCES study weeks and online tutorials

*If a student is completing their training hours in practice in a part-time agreement, their independent study time during paid working hours should be provided on a pro-rata basis.


For further information regarding the responsibilities of the Training Practice and the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with TOCES, please refer to the “UK/International Veterinary Practices” tabs above.

Enrolment includes BEVA membership

Programme specifications
Academic Level: Further Education Level 3
Number of units/modules: 19 VN Units (12 Modules)
Study Hours per Module: 150
Total Hours:  1800
Course Duration:  2-3 years
Study Week Requirements: 8 x 4 day study weeks
Study week dates

Please refer to the dates below which are relevant to your cohort.

September 2016 cohort

Study week 6: 11th – 14th June 2018

Study week 7: 13th – 16th November 2018

Study week 8: w/c 25th February 2019

March 2017 cohort

Study week 5: 31st July – 3rd August 2018

Study week 6: 4th – 7th December 2018

Study week 7: 21st – 24th May 2019

Study week 8: 30th July – 2nd August 2019

September 2017 cohort

Study week 3: 10th – 13th July 2018

Study week 4: 16th – 19th October 2018

Study week 5: 19th – 22nd February 2019

Study week 6: 11th- 14th June 2019

Study week 7: 12th – 15th November 2019

Study week 8: 18th – 21st February 2020

March 2018 cohort

Study Week 2: 22nd – 25th October 2018

Study Week 3: 22nd – 25th January 2019

Study Week 4: 2nd – 5th April 2019

Study Week 5: 4th – 7th June 2019

Study Week 6: 3rd – 6th December 2019

Study Week 7: 16th – 19th June 2020

Study Week 8: 7th – 9th September 2020

September 2018 cohort

Study Week 1: 1st – 4th October 2018

Entry criteria
  • Aged 16 or above.
  • Minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C and above. These must include English Language, at least one Science subject and Mathematics.
  • Alternative qualifications of a comparable or higher standard may be accepted in lieu of the usual requirements. TOCES’ BTEC First Diploma: Equine Nursing Technician is an acceptable entry qualification.
  • Learners must have access to suitable work experience in a clinical veterinary practice. This may be on the basis of paid employment or an unpaid placement and must amount to a minimum of 1800 hours over the course of the programme.
Training Practice requirements

To ensure practices are able to provide a suitable training environment they must be approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a *Training Practice (TP).

If a practice is not already a TP TOCES will arrange the approval process. Practices outside the UK may also apply to become an approved Training Practice. For further information about becoming an approved RCVS Training Practice please see How to become a Training Practice. 

*Practices that do not quite meet the TP criteria may be eligible to become an aTP and work with TOCES and other TPs to provide the necessary training.

Assessment method
  • Assignments
  • Case studies
  • College-based examinations
  • Nursing Progress/Skills Log 
  • Online multiple choice question examinations
  • Practical objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)

Equine nursing is our speciality

The core units include all species, but unlike other colleges you will start to study the equine pathway units from year 1!

RCVS Registration Form

You will need to download the form on the RCVS website, complete parts 1 and 3 and send to the college along with your enrolment form and any other relevant documents.

Full Payment

Plus registration and exam fees
  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
  • Eight four day study weeks
  • Does not include accommodation, breakfast and evening meals
  • Printing and postage fees (optional)
  • City and Guilds Registration fee payable upon enrolment (currently £206)
  • RCVS Registration fee payable upon enrolment (currently £185)
  • Examination fees payable upon entry
Enrol now

Pay As You Learn

Plus registration and exam fees
  • Deposit of £3,000 payable upon enrolment
  • Followed by 2x annual instalments of £2,000
  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
  • Eight four day study weeks
  • Does not include accommodation, breakfast and evening meals
  • City and Guilds Registration fee payable upon enrolment (currently £206)
  • RCVS Registration fee payable upon enrolment (currently £185)
  • Examination fees payable upon entry
Enrol now