New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6).xml New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)

A-Z study guide

DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 2 years

Programme code








Domestic Applications due

30 October

International Applications due

30 October


Christchurch - Madras Street

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$6,650 - $7,500



Course related costs

About this programme

Become skilled in a rapidly changing profession and enjoy a rewarding career working with animals and their owners.

The New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6) has been developed with input from industry. It is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed in an advanced and rapidly changing profession. The programme covers advanced medical and surgical nursing including suturing, in-house diagnostics, cytology, anaesthetic monitoring, surgical assistance, triage, dental hygiene, professional communication skills and the development of nursing services.

The New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6) is an advanced study programme for students who have already completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) (Level 5) or equivalent.

You'll learn through a mix of small group tutorials, full class discussions and clinical workshops.

Work placement forms a large part of the programme. You'll be required to source your own work placement in at least one high quality veterinary practice and to seek their support of your studies throughout the programme.

Please note: For part-time students, please advise us if you have a preference on which course you would like to complete first.

As places are limited on this programme we strongly recommend applying as soon as you know you wish to study with us.

Career opportunities

This qualification will enable you to practice independently in all areas of a veterinary clinic where direct veterinary supervision is not required. Once you've graduated you'll be eligible for registration with the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (a theory exam may be required). Your qualification can be utilised overseas but it may not directly transfer to overseas qualifications.

Study pathways

Specialisation in anaesthesia, critical care, dentistry and other areas can be pursued by meeting the criteria set out by specialist boards.

Recommended school subjects

  • Biology
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • English writing
  • Mathematics

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology Level 5 with Veterinary Nursing Assistant Strand or equivalent

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you need to:

    • provide a recent curriculum vitae demonstrating previous experience of working with animals and with contact details for two referees.
    • source your own work placements, in one or more veterinary practices. Best outcomes are anticipated if you can rely on the support of the clinic throughout the programme.
    • be able to carry out physical activities within the veterinary clinic to fulfil the requirements of the programme.
    • Consent to Disclosure of Information: Changes to government leglislation may require police vetting for registration as a veterinary nurse after qualification. If you consider that this may be an issue we recommend you discuss it with a course tutor prior to course entry. You can view the New Zealand Police Vetting Service (NZPVS) Request and Consent Form and see further information on the NZ Police Vetting Service on the New Zealand Police Website.
    • you will be required to attend an interview if you meet academic entry.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the requirements for admission are accepted in the order their applications are received.

If the programme is oversubscribed, candidates with proven " Continuing Professional Development" (CPD) interest through the NZVNA will be given priority. Candidates may be asked to attend an interview to determine selection.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form
  • provide a current curriculum vitae
  • complete a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management Application Pack

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.