University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia

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. During the course 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.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to 1st or upper 2nd Class Honours in the UK), in veterinary medicine or veterinary nursing. A degree in a related science with appropriate practical experience may be accepted subject to individual approval. If English is not your 1st language, you must have 1 of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English: IELTS Academic: Total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module); TOEFL-iBT: Total 92 (at least 20 in each module); PTE(A): 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).

Course modules

Year 1 compulsory courses: Basic sciences in anaesthesia and analgesia; anaesthetic equipment; patient assessment, critical incidents and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Year 2 options include: Emergency case management; chronic pain and advanced analgesic principles; advanced cardiovascular procedures and monitoring; lung ventilation and mechanical ventilators; reptiles, birds and wild animals; evaluating research in veterinary anaesthesia; ethics in veterinary anaesthesia: animal welfare and euthanasia. Year 3: Dissertation.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods include dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Distance learning September 2016 - 36 months
PgCert Distance learning September 2016 - 12 months
PgDip Distance learning September 2016 - 24 months

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Telephone number: 
0131 650 6272