*BSc (Hons) Animal Therapy

We are pleased to confirm that Writtle University College and ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) are joining together. The merger will happen during the 23/24 academic year. Writtle’s full range of Higher and Further Education courses will continue to be delivered on site at the Writtle campus, enhanced by resources available at nearby ARU. If you are starting your course in September 2024, your degree will be awarded by ARU. Find out more about ARU, including our recent Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, at

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

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

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 4 x H3 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

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. Animal Therapy 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

  • 50 hours for equine
  • 50 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 01.07.24. 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
  • Capstone Project


* Subject to final validation approval

Veterinary Physiotherapy

Join Claire Styles and the team at Writtle University College as they teach you an introduction to veterinary physiotherapy. Whilst this Subject Spotlight is focused on the horse please do also note that the course teaches students on both horses and dogs on a 50:50 ratio.