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MSc, Postgraduate Diploma Veterinary Physiotherapy

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma Veterinary Physiotherapy

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Veterinary Medicine

Course type


Course Summary

Course overview

This course is ideal for those who have completed a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree and who want to qualify as an animal physiotherapist. Accredited by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP), successful completion will enable you to register as a professional practitioner with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) and the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP).

We provide the ideal environment for your training, with specialist expertise in canine and equine veterinary physiotherapy, as well as health, welfare, behavior and performance.

You’ll benefit from access to real-world cases and technologies in our canine and equine therapy centres, as well as laboratories kitted out with the latest scientific equipment.

Compulsory and optional modules cover a diverse range of animal physiotherapy topics, plus research skills and business management. The course includes work placements and guest lectures from veterinary practices and surgeons, as well as qualified ACPAT canine and equine physiotherapists.

The course is delivered on a part-time basis, via block delivery to help fit around work or other commitments.

What you'll study

This course is ideal for those who want to qualify and practice as animal physiotherapists, registered with the sector’s chartered body, the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT).

Compulsory modules across the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma cover a broad range of topics, including preparing for clinical practice, Applied Anatomy, Physiotherapy and Biomechanics, veterinary diagnostics, the research process and business management. As an MSc student, you’ll undertake a significant piece of research on a topic of your choice in year three to enhance your own and wider industry practice.

By the end of your first year you’ll have a solid level of understanding of animal behaviour, comparative anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, pathology and physiotherapy assessment to confidently assess horses and dogs. Your clinical reasoning skills will allow you to develop a problem list and goals for treatment, and present cases based on this information.

The majority of your time on campus will be focused on practical sessions with horses and with dogs, but in both your first and second years, you’ll undertake placement days to cement your clinical skills. This will support you to undertake complex clinical reasoning and apply assessment and treatment strategies once qualified.

On completion of your postgraduate diploma or the second year of your MSc, you’ll be eligible to register with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy, which means you can practice as a professional animal therapist.

However, we encourage you to progress into the third year to achieve the full MSc qualification, whilst undertaking a valuable piece of research tailored to your interests and career aspirations. This can focus on dogs, horses or humans. You can utilise our facilities or conduct your project in an external environment. Students often publish their research and present at industry conferences to enhance their professional reputation and networks.

Graduate destinations

Newly-qualified veterinary physiotherapists have been employed in veterinary/physiotherapy practices and set up their own businesses or undertaken self-employed roles within physiotherapy practices. Graduates often start their careers with the businesses with which they undertook their placements.

Some graduates enjoy academic study so much and decide to progress their learning and advance practice through a PhD.

  • Veterinary physiotherapist
  • PhD


Review normal and abnormal behaviours, legislation, needs, and management of domestic animals. Includes placement work.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

To be confirmed

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 in BSc (hons) Physiotherapy, registered with the Health Care and Professions Council as well as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. By the time of enrolment, students need to be a category B member of ACPAT. Students with 2:2 and relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis. A minimum of one-year postgraduate experience of working as a human physiotherapist is desirable but not essential.

University information

Hartpury University is a specialist provider of agriculture, animal, equine, sport and veterinary education, based in Gloucestershire, in the heart of England’s countryside. The university offers both taught and applied research degrees at master’s level, as well as PhDs, spanning subject areas of animal, agriculture, equine, sport and veterinary studies. The campus is situated within 360 hectares of rural grounds, and offers world-class...more

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