Yearbooks

Programme: Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
08130006 Faculty of Veterinary Science Minimum duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 388

Programme information

This programme is accredited with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC). 
Each student must apply immediately after registration at UP to the Registrar of the South African Veterinary Council for registration as a student in Veterinary Nursing. Registration is compulsory and must be renewed annually for the duration of the study. 
After the degree has been conferred, graduates are required to register with the South African Veterinary Council as veterinary nurses before they may practise in South Africa in this capacity.

Also refer to:
UP General Regulations and Rules
http://www.up.ac.za/en/yearbooks/2018/rules-pdf 

Examinations and related matters
https://www1.up.ac.za/cs/groups/staff/@contrib/documents/document/chby/mdm5/~edisp/uppr039909.pdf 

Admission requirements

  • Entry into the BVetNurs programme is highly competitive due to popularity of the programme and limited available spaces.
  • Selection is based on academic merit. The Faculty does not determine specific selection cut-off values as these are determined by the strength of the applications in a particular year. 
  • Entry into the BVetNurs programme is highly competitive due to popularity of the programme and limited available spaces.
  • Selection is based on academic merit. The Faculty does not determine specific selection cut-off values as these are determined by the strength of the applications in a particular year.
  • School-leavers

A valid NSC/IEB/Cambridge qualification with admission for degree purposes.

Subject requirements and the required Admission Point Score (APS) as indicated in the table below. The APS is calculated from the achievement levels obtained in the six 20-credit subjects of the NSC.

Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS.

Conditional admission is based on Grade 11 final examination results, final admission on NSC/IEB performance in Mathematics, English and Physical Science, as well as the Veterinary Value-added Form (VVAF).

Additional admission criteria may be used including an interview and additional selection tests.

School-leaving applicants who are conditionally admitted based on their Grade 11 results will forfeit their placement if their NSC APS is more than 2 points lower than the Grade 11 APS used for conditional admission.

  • Applicants with previous higher education exposure

There is an opportunity for students with previous higher education experience to also apply for the BVetNurs programme.

  • International students

A small number of international students may be admitted to the programme, including those from neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Applicants who are accepted receive a letter of confirmation from the University, which will facilitate their application for a study permit.

A valid study permit, obtained in the country of origin, is a prerequisite for registration.

The National Benchmark Test (NBT) may be required from international applicants. (www.nbt.ac.za)

International applicants must comply with all UP's and the Department of Home Affairs' regulations related to international students.

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Science 

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

4

D

4

D

4

D

28

*  Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.

Examinations and pass requirements

Refer to UP General Regulations and Rules

  1. All modules of this programme are compulsory.
  2. Attendance of all lectures, practical, and clinic duties is compulsory. Any form of absence must be justified by submission of a medical certificate or valid documentation, within 3 working days after returning. Failure to comply may result in examination refusal.
  3. No minimum semester/year mark is required for admission to the examination.  
  4. The semester/year marks and examination mark will count 50% each towards the final mark. Only semester/year, examination and final marks are to be rounded. No condonement of marks will be allowed.
  5. A student is required to obtain a subminimum of 40% in the examination as well as a final mark of at least 50% to pass a module. A subminimum of 40% in subdivisions of theoretical and/or practical examinations may be required as stipulated by the Dean in consultation with the relevant head of department, and as set out in the study guide. 
  6. A student must pass all the modules of the respective previous year of study in order to be promoted to the subsequent year of study.
  7. A second- or final-year student who fails a module or modules in a year of study, has to repeat all the modules for that particular year of study, except modules which were passed with a final mark of at least 65%, for which full exemption is granted.

During the repeat year, exemption from the examination is granted for a module that was passed in the previous year with a final mark of less than 65% and if at least 80% of the practical periods were attended and a year/semester mark of at least 50% was obtained. This applies to modules where full exemption is not granted (because the final mark in the previous year was less than 65%).

Examinations are compulsory in all the modules previously failed, as well as in those modules in which exemption from the examination has not been obtained. If a student fails any of these examinations (or supplementary examination), he or she will be excluded from the programme and will not be permitted to continue.

  1. The content, format and duration of the supplementary, extraordinary, and/or special examination will be similar to that of the examination, except for oral examinations, where the supplementary, extraordinary, and/or special examination may be in a different format.
  2. Students who have obtained a semester/year mark of 65% or more in a particular module may be promoted according to UP’s General Regulations. Departments will be allowed to use discretion in this regard. The rule will be stated in the study guide of the respected module.
  3. Examinations are conducted as stipulated in the Faculty Calendar.
  4. A student will be allowed to repeat a particular year of study only once.

Practical/clinical/internship information

Proof of satisfactory completion of all prescribed clinical and practical components of the programme must be submitted to the Head: Student Administration of the Faculty.

Pass with distinction

The BVetNurs is conferred with distinction on a student who meets the following conditions: 

• completes the degree in three years, and

• obtains a cumulative weighted average of at least 75% over the second and third years of study (the cumulative weighted average will not be rounded up to a whole number).

Minimum credits: 120

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Relevant anatomy and physiology, husbandry and handling, hospitalisation, medical nursing, surgical nursing, emergency and critical care, nutrition, common conditions, neonatal care, and anaesthesia of birds; reptiles; small mammals including rabbits, rats and mice, guinea pigs and chinchillas; primates, small carnivores, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and small wildlife. The hand rearing of wild hoof stock.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of the patients, of the relevant domestic animals, with diseases of the skin, hooves, teat and udder. Diagnostic procedures related to the skin.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Veterinary terminology and the correct usage thereof.  Human relations, responsibilities toward the employer, patients, clients and service providers.  Career paths in the veterinary nursing profession. Collegiality and professional associations, veterinary-related laws and professional ethics, wellness management.
    An introduction to establishing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating sustainable quality co-operative partnerships with communities and providing consistent veterinary nursing input in order to improve animal health and welfare within a One Health Context. Opportunity to interact with professionals and community partners working in developing communities, important communication skills with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. An introduction to research methodology, including defining a research question, research design, sampling design, methods of data collection, data analysis and interpretation and report writing.
    Aspects of animal welfare science and animal protection applied to companion animals (cats, dogs, horses) and production animals (cattle, sheep, pigs), and human-animal interactions.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Breeding, feeding, handling and husbandry or care of domestic animals (cats, dogs, horse, cattle, sheep, pigs). Important parasitic and infectious diseases of domestic animals, including relevant immunology, food safety and zoonotic diseases.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Essential nursing practices including disinfection and hospital hygiene, hospitalisation, basic nursing practices, observation and clinical examination of patients and occupational safety aspects. Fundamental pharmacology including medicine administration, storage and handling, drug regulations, dispensing, calculations, pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The pharmacology of organ systems.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Diagnostic procedures involving veterinary nurses, including diagnostic imaging, clinical pathology and other laboratory test, sample taking and sample management. Introduction to the general principles of animal physical rehabilitation procedures.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Introductory anatomy, histology and physiology of the dog, cat, horse and ruminant. Applied ethology and communication of domestic animals (cats, dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs). 

    View more

  • Module content:

    Anatomy and physiology of the organ systems of the dog, cat, horse and ruminant.

    View more

Minimum credits: 120

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Nursing and physical rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal patients of the relevant domestic animals. Diagnostic imaging of the skeleton.  Principles of theatre practice.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of patients, of the relevant domestic animals, with dental and gastrointestinal diseases. Diagnostic Imaging of the abdomen. Other diagnostic procedures related to the gastro-intestinal tract.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of patients, of the relevant domestic animals, with reproductive conditions. Care and nursing of neonates. Assisted reproduction technologies.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of the patient with endocrine disease, of the relevant domestic animals. Nursing of urinary and renal patients. Diagnostic procedures related to the endocrine system, bladder and kidneys.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of ophthalmological and neurological patients, of the relevant domestic animals. Diagnostic imaging of the skull and spine. Diagnostic procedures related to the eye and nervous system.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Nursing of cardiac and respiratory patients, of the relevant domestic animals.  Anaesthesiology of the veterinary patient. Diagnostic imaging of the thorax. Other diagnostic procedures related to the cardio-vascular and respiratory system. Physical animal rehabilitation related to the circulatory and respiratory systems.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Critical care of patients, of the relevant domestic animals. Nursing of the oncology patient. Nursing of a patient with multi-systemic disease. Triage and emergencies.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Soft skills including communication, conflict management and negotiation skills for veterinary nurses. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, professionalism and relationship management. Cultural diversity. Information management. Practice management for veterinary nurses, including relevant marketing, promotion and sales, human resources management work place discipline, rewards for good work performance and application of the Labour Law in the work place, strategic client service and management, compassion fatigue and its components. Continuation of a portfolio as evidence of learning.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Experiential learning: a practical application of the theoretical aspects of veterinary nursing practice. Experiential learning and experience will be gained by means of the Onderstepoort Skills Laboratory and limited exposure to clinic rotations in the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital.

    View more

Minimum credits: 148

Core modules

  • Module content:

    A portfolio as evidence of learning is required to show that throughout the three-year degree programme, graduates developed the skills and competencies required to enable the veterinary nurse to be a consummate professional, capable of dealing with the diverse challenges of veterinary nursing professional and everyday life.

    View more

  • Module content:

    Experiential learning: a practical application of the theoretical aspects of veterinary nursing practice covered in the curriculum of the BVetNurs programme. Topics include medical nursing, surgical nursing, intensive care nursing, reproduction, animal physical rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging, ophthalmology, dentistry, theatre practice, anaesthesiology and veterinary nursing professional life skills. Domestic animals exposed to include cats, dogs, cattle, small stock, horses and exotic animals/wildlife. The emphasis of practical exposure will be on attaining of the Day One Competencies for graduating veterinary nursing professionals.

    View more


The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2019. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share