Postgraduate study

Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

In veterinary management of animals, anaesthesia (rendering animals unconscious to permit procedures) and analgesia (reducing the pain an animal is suffering) have vital importance in improving animal welfare, as well as permitting the ongoing developments in medical and surgical advances.

Knowledge and advances in anaesthesia over the last 20 years have been considerable. We can use techniques to block sensation locally or over a region of the body not just total unconsciousness. We have an array of drugs and methods of drug administration available to us in our fight against pain. Anaesthesia has always carried risks, and we have an increasing availability of monitoring equipment to help us monitor the physiological function of the body during anaesthesia with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality in our animals.

The University of Edinburgh is offering this unique opportunity for an entirely online MSc to study these advances, during which students can gain knowledge and understanding in the equipment, drugs and techniques associated with anaesthesia and analgesia. Our team can provide a wide range of clinical and research experience across many species.

Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community.

Expert tutors will support you through every stage of the programme and you can engage with fellow students in supportive and constructive online networks.

Your progress will be assessed through online presentations, essays, critical reviews of literature, student self- reflection activities, short-answer questions, scientific posters, group wiki events and peer review activities.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The programme is taught part time over 3 years, but its flexible nature will allow you a maximum of 6 years to complete it. There are also options for studying for a certificate (1-2 years) or a diploma (2-4 years).

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms, structured into two blocks of five weeks of study, with a week in between for independent study and reflection.

The Postgraduate Certificate year (Year 1) starts with a series of compulsory courses to give a foundation in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, then progresses to examine how this may be applied in a variety of species. In the Postgraduate Diploma year (Year 2), you have the choice of selected courses to tailor the programme to your requirements. A dissertation completes the final year, however, this is a very flexible course, which can be tailored to suit you (subject to approval).

Year 1

Compulsory courses:

  • Basic sciences in anaesthesia and analgesia
  • Anaesthetic equipment
  • Patient assessment, critical incidents and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

You will also choose 2 out of 4 species-related courses in dogs and cats, equidae, ruminants, camelids and pigs or small mammals (e.g. rabbits, rats etc).

Year 2

You will choose courses to total 60 credits from the following:

  • Emergency case management (10 credits)
  • Chronic pain and advanced analgesic principles (10 credits)
  • Advanced cardiovascular procedures and monitoring (10 credits)
  • Lung ventilation and mechanical ventilators (10 credits)
  • Reptiles and birds (20 credits)
  • Ethics in veterinary anaesthesia: animal welfare and euthanasia (10 credits)

In addition, you could choose to select additional species courses from Year 1.

Year 3

During the written reflective element of the programme you will have the opportunity to further develop your scientific skills and utilise scientific theory. The form of the dissertation may vary to suit individual candidates, subject to approval of a submitted proposal. The dissertation will be a piece of written work 10-15,000 words long, which may take the form of a research study, analysis of techniques used in previous clinical work or an extended literature review. A casebook or portfolio submission may also be permitted.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScVeterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDip (ICL)Veterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCert (ICL)Veterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20

The MSc Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia is likely to be desirable for veterinary surgeons seeking employment in research environments (e.g. as Named Veterinary Surgeon or other roles) due to the key importance of anaesthesia and the emphasis on this from Home Office regulation of research work in the UK.

The MSc will be a different route for progression for veterinary nurses who have key roles in private veterinary practices with regard to veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. This may be desirable for practices wishing to show a wide range of expertise amongst their staff and patient support for surgical procedures.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in veterinary medicine or veterinary nursing.

We will also consider your application if you have a degree in a related science with appropriate practical experience.

We may also consider your application if you do not have a degree but are a registered veterinary nurse/technician with a minimum of 3 years experience in anaesthesia and hold additional nursing or technical qualifications. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance. Please contact the programme team to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScVeterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Veterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Veterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgProfDevVeterinary Anaesthesia and AnalgesiaUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Administrator, Stephen Mitchell
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3914
  • Contact: msc-vaa@ed.ac.uk
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Administrator, Stephen Mitchell
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3914
  • Contact: msc-vaa@ed.ac.uk
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG