BSc (Hons) Animal Therapy - Writtle University College
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BSc (Hons) Animal Therapy


This full-time three year programme of study allows students to progress through a high quality undergraduate course in animal therapy to gain both academic and practical skills. Study will involve both large and companion animals with a major focus being on horses and dogs. Students are eligible to apply for funding through Student Finance. The course gives students a fabulous opportunity to excel in both an academic and professional setting alongside professionally qualified clinicians. Obtaining a BSc Animal Therapy will also allow students to apply for membership Animal Health Professions Register (AHPR). Our team at Writtle have a wide range of knowledge which covers both academic and professional experience. We have veterinary surgeons, nutrition and behaviour specialists, biomechanists and a range of experienced therapy staff that are qualified in veterinary physiotherapy, animal manipulation (McTimoney), massage and myofascial release.

BSc Animal Therapy runs alongside MVETPHYS (same programme for the first three years, the difference being the 4th clinical year undertaken by the MVETPHYS). So for this reason, if you are successful in your BSc Animal Therapy programme (by achieving 50% overall stage average and getting a PASS for both Equine and Canine OSPE- Practical Exams-,) at the end of the first year only, you will have the opportunity to move on to the MVETPHYS programme.

Upon graduation, with a BSc Animal therapy, you will be able to find work as an equine or canine massage therapist or explore career paths in related industries. You can also consider postgraduate studies and apply for our Masters in Animal Welfare and Conservation or our Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy (Postgraduate route- this MSc course is a three year part time programme eligible for funding from student finance).

Introduction to Professional Skills
Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology Functional Anatomy
Human-Animal Interaction Saddle Fit and Farriery
Ethics of Animal Use Canine and Equine Nutrition
Research Methods
Applied Anatomy
Animal Therapeutic Techniques Rehabilitation and Performance
Exercise Physiology Animal Health and Science
Introduction to Animal Biomechanics Working in a Multidisciplinary Team
Capstone Project
Massage Therapy and Remedial Exercise
Animals in Motion Sports Medicine
Veterinary Pathophysiology Business and Client Management

The following information provides the entry requirements for this particular course.

UCAS Tariff Points
GCE A Levels
96 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above in a relevant science-based subject
Irish Certificate
96 UCAS tariff points, to include 3 x B1 or H2 higher, one of which in a relevant science-based subject
Scottish Highers
96 UCAS tariff points, to include 3 x B, one of which in a relevant science-based subject
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
BTEC Level 3 Diploma
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
C & G Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720)
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
Distinction (96)
C & G Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
Merit (96)
C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
Merit (96)
C & G Level 3 Diploma
In relevant science- based animal-related subject
Distinction (96)

Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Science or Physiotherapy 45 credits at level 3 with a mix of Distinction and Merit in relevant science-based subject to meet the overall UCAS entry tariff.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

Other course specific entry requirements

"Writtle University College encourages early disclosure of any specific learning needs, disabilities, medical and/or mental health conditions that you feel may have an effect on your studies. This allows us to discuss these with you and consider reasonable adjustments and support arrangements you may need.

The college takes its health and safety and welfare responsibilities very seriously. Veterinary Physiotherapy is a physically demanding course which will involve you working in close contact with large and unpredictable animals. Students are encouraged to declare and discuss with college staff, anything that may impact on their ability to safely and fully take part in any of the practical elements of the course."


Applications will take into consideration

  • Your academic profile
  • Your practical experience - reference letters
Practical experience

We would like to see evidence of a minimum of

  • 150 hours for equine
  • 100 hours for canine

Done under the supervision of professional providers ready to vouch for your skills. Ideally the placements are done prior to the interview (letters from the providers, on headed paper, stating the date and length of the placements, the animal handling activities undertook and the skills developed, are to be sent with your application. Alternatively, proof of competition (equine or canine), BHS qualification must be sent for evaluation.

Ideally, these reference letters will be sent alongside your application. If the placements have not been finalised, you can have more time to do so but reference letters must be submitted before 01.07.19. All placements must have been effective before the beginning of the course Placements must be less than three years old to be taken into consideration. We are looking at practical hands-on placements, not observational ones. Applicants could consider:

  • For equine: a yard, a riding school, a sanctuary, an equine vet practice.
  • For canine: kennels, dog groomer, dog walker, dog day care, RSPCA, Dog trust, small vet practice hydrotherapy centres.

Owning a dog or a horse does not constitute evidence of practical handling.

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding is approached through an emphasis on student-centred learning. The following list shows the variety of learning and teaching methods experienced on this course.

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical work
  • Formative and summative coursework
  • Case studies
  • Clinical practitioner days
  • Seminars
  • Presentations
  • Self-directed learning

This course contains a variety of assessment methods to ensure practical and academic competence. The following list shows the variety of assessment methods experienced on this course.

  • Assignments
  • Reports
  • Written examinations
  • Practical examinations
  • Oral presentations
  • Debates
  • Dissertation
This award would be supplemented by an optional massage qualification (EQ100 or CN3000) with our partner Equinenergy/Caninenergy Ltd .

Whilst not compulsory, we strongly encourage students to undertake the Equine or Canine Bodyworker course at Writtle, in the summer between their second and third year. These courses take the basic principles of massage already delivered to our students in practical sessions to enhance them via an intensive week of delivery, followed by an externship. The latter is supported at Writtle and students have the added benefit of staff expertise on hand throughout to help if required.

Now we have received details for students starting their award in the academic year 2019-2020, we can confirm that they can benefit from a bursary supplied by WUC of £500 towards the cost of the EQ100 course or the CN3000 course (price to be confirmed shortly). It is not possible to undertake EQ100 without first completing the online EQ50 introductory course, or to undertake CN3000 without first completing the online CN3005 (prices to be confirmed shortly). There will be an additional charge for the manual and the insurance. Students can benefit from discounted prices with Balens Insurance. Students can also benefit from the opportunity to rent a room in halls during the intensive course to avoid travelling daily. Details regarding the massage qualifications available will be provided during Induction week in September 2019.